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    ** Get Big Articles, Tips, Nutrition & Training **

    For starters, its not a sticky attempt, i dont post in this section reguarly enough for that.
    But i do get PM'd alot of questions by beginners, so i thought this may help you out if you have the time to read.

    I'll post some of my favorite reads from it...

    10 Biggest Nutritional Mistakes of Bodybuilders

    1. Eating Too Much
    We all know the biology. Excess calories are stored as bodyfat. For overeating to be at the top of the nutritional false move list is no mistake. Building muscle is the number one goal of bodybuilding and bodyfat is the bodybuilder's number one enemy. What's the sense of working an impressive set of muscles requiring much blood, sweat and tears, if it's obscured by a layer of lard? May I suggest the obvious? If you are overweight, eat less. The simple act on consuming less food will cause you to lose weight. Be aware, however, that if you eat less but retain your current food profile, you will just construct a miniature version of your old self. Less of the same will shrink you, but your proportion of muscle to bodyfat will stay the same. The end result? You look like your old self, just pounds lighter. Truly sensational physical transformation lies in losing bodyfat while maintaining muscle. To achieve true nutritional nirvana, building muscle while simultaneously losing bodyfat, we need to practice nutrient based dieting.

    To lose fat and retain muscle, besides doing aerobic exercise, you need to eat precise amounts of protein, carbohydrates and fat. You need to become nutrient conscious. Read the labels on the food you eat. What is the consensus on achieving metabolic nirvana? To hang on to muscle, you need protein and lots of it. To maintain energy and fuel growth you need quality cards. To shed the fat blanket and keep the muscle, to effect the physical transformation you seek, you need lots of quality nutrients, but not in excess. You tread the razor's edge between enough and too much. Everyone is different. Experiment and monitor.

    2. Eating Too Little
    Undereating is as bad as overeating. Physiologically, it's impossible to build muscle if your diet lacks proper nutrients. Ample amounts of protein, carbohydrates, and yes, even fat are necessary to build muscle. The trick is balance, you need enough high quality food to grow muscle. Yet even the finest muscle fuel will be stored as fat if taken in excess. One key strategy is to confine your eating to 'clean fuel', nutritionally dense foods with little or no fat and sugar. And you need to eat plenty of them. A serious weight trainer who additionally performs regular cardiovascular work will need to the extra nutrients to cope with the additional metabolic demands.

    3. Insufficient Protein
    The fact remains: Protein is the single most important nutrient for muscle regeneration and building. The trick is to use only lean protein. Protein and fat usually coexist in food sources. Meat, fish, fowl, dairy, these primary sources all can have much fat content. In the old days, we did not worry about such inconveniences. As a result, heavy protein consumers developed nasty clogged arteries and astronomical cholesterol rates. The fault wasn't in the protein, but the fat attached to the protein.

    Nowadays, we hardcore weight trainers confine our protein to nonfat or low fat sources. Skim milk, egg whites, fish, skinless fowl, flank steak, and of course that staple of weight training, protein powder. These foods represent powerful, clean protein sources. Start by ingesting 1 - 1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight per day. To stay anabolic, divide the total intake into 4-8 equal portions and eat these low fat protein sources at regular intervals throughout the day.

    4. Failing to Cook for Yourself
    Meal preparation is a critical skill. To be truly successful as a bodybuilder, you should be able to prepare your own food. Nutritionally sound foods eaten throughout the day are necessary to obtain anabolism. Most male bodybuilders (and more than a few female ones) do not cook. Big mistake. Why depend on mom, your spouse, restaurants or fast food joints for the endless succession of small, nutritious feedings required to mount a serious bodybuilder effort?

    Not only do you have to come to grips with cooking, but you have to develop a wide and inventive repertoire of dishes and meals. Otherwise you are locked into the equivalent of prison chow. Jail house cuisine is bland, unimaginative, tasteless. Kinda like the clean foods we bodybuilders choose to contend with day in, day out.

    You need a lot of imagination to deal with clean food. Tuna and egg white need not be dull. How do the ignorant become enlightened? Comb the magazines. Read low fat cook books. Assemble your ingredients, set aside some time and have at it. Plus, you'll impress the heck out of your mom when you serve her a low fat gourmet feast some fine Sunday.

    5. Not keeping a Nutrition Log
    As cumbersome as it might sound, the muscle elite keep daily records of what they consume and when they consume it. They write it all down in a log. This allows them to keep a running tally of their nutritional progress. They establish a long term game plan and keep daily tabs on food and supplement consumption. Tracking results, identifying trends, finding what works, discarding what doesn't, a log becomes your nutritional report card. You can make truly accurate assessments and implement intelligent corrective action when you base your adjustments on factual data and objective analysis. Otherwise it degenerates into wishful thinking and self-delusion.

    So begin by assembling data. The truly complete nutritional log lists date, time, food type, and carb, fat, sugar, sodium, protein and caloric content. Body stats are notated along with short descriptive phrases on the athlete's general condition. Drawn up in column format, the comprehensive notation of a meal takes about two minutes. And you'll find that the purchases of a food nutritional value book (available at any bookstore) will be of a great help. Did I hear you say what a hassle? It could be worse. Thomas Jefferson wrote down every financial transaction he made in his adult life and he lived to be 83.

    6. Too Much Fat & Sugar
    The twin demons of nutrition. Fat is calorically the densest of all nutrients, with nine calories per gram. Fat is hard to digest and is the body's preferred storage material. Though a certain amount of fat is needed for brain and other bodily functions, the little that's required is easily acquired through regular low fat eating.

    Excess sugar is easily converted to fat once in the body. Buyer beware: A food may be advertised as low fat and still be loaded with sugar. Taken in excess, this sugar can be quickly converted to fat. Quite a few a few of the sports drinks and nutritional sports bars are loaded with sugar. Limit fat intake to roughly 15% of your total caloric consumption.

    7. Not Drinking Enough Water
    As we know, the body is 67% water, and we should drink lots of water throughout the day. Water courses throughout the body's plumbing; downing copious amounts throughout the day keeps the pipes clean as chrome. So flush the system continually and regularly, regenerating muscle cells through water replenishment. Drink 10 eight ounce glasses of water a day.

    8. Lacking Positive Nitrogen Balance
    Positive nitrogen balance is the physiological state in which muscular growth is possible. How to achieve it? Take in a fresh supply of muscle building nutrients every 2-3 hours. The human body works most efficiently when given small feedings at regular intervals throughout the day. These evenly spaced feedings should be composed of high quality protein and carbohydrates.

    How can you eat every 2-3 hours when faced with the rigors of a job, family and real world responsibilities? A nutritious sports bar and a glass of skim milk can supply 50 grams of protein and 50-100 grams of carbohydrates. How long does it take to eat a sandwich? Or drink a protein shake? How about a piece of fruit and a chicken breast? You get the idea. This ties into food preparation; pack clean food snacks and graze throughout the day. When an athlete is in positive nitrogen balance, the body is ready, willing and able to grow.

    9. Lacking Food Balance in Meals
    Imbalance is rampant in this off kilter world. Food consumption is no exception. Balanced eating as defined by some nutritionists is not quite the same as balanced eating as defined by the muscle elite. The optimal feeding, according to the elite, is a skillful blending of lean protein, starcvhy and fibrous carbohydrates, minuscule amounts of fat and no sugar. The proportional divisions vary depending upon individual characteristics. Some folks are carb sensitive and need to keep starchy carbs to a minimum, otherwise they blow up like cartoon characters who've swallowed an air hose. Others thrive on a diet heavy on potatoes and rice with no ill effects.

    How you metabolize food is as individual as your hair color or height. You need to determine how foods affect you. Rule of thumb for proportional balance: 50% calories from carbs, 35% from protein and 15% from fat. This is a good starting point, and careful monitoring once on this 50-35-15 regimen will dictate any necessary adjustments. The goal is building muscle and reducing bodyfat. How do you achieve a real world balance with traveling around with a scale, calorie book, and calculator? At each meal, fill 50% of your plate with carbohydrates. Half of these should be dense, starchy carbs (rice, potatoes) and half should be fibrous carbs (broccoli, green beans, lettuce, etc.). The other half of the dinner plate should consist of lean protein (skinless chicken, turkey, fish, etc.). Don't worry about the 15% fat... it's there!

    10. Ignoring Supplementation
    We all have little holes and shortcomings in our diets, and supplements help us round them out. All elite athletes use supplements. The expense, hassle and confusion of diet supplementing scares off some trainers. Big mistake. State with a prepackaged multipak. In addition, a quality protein powder, a high grade carbohydrate powder, and a big supply if beef liver tabs will do wonders for your recuperation, training, and physique.
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    10 basic rules for building mass by Chris Cormier


    1. Use Free Weights for all Heavy Sets
    As heavy as some machines might feel, they do not involve as much of the ancillary muscles areas as do free weights and, therefore, do not build as much compound mass.

    2. Utilize Compound Movements
    How you perform an exercise is perhaps the most important dynamic in building mass. If you want full, hard bulk, do not isolate. Instead, use what Dave Draper calls 'body thrust' to compound the involvement of all the muscles in the area. Also, don't fall for the theory that cheating robs you of separation. On the contrary, it augments the compound benefit and builds even greater size so that there's more muscle in which to carve separations.

    3. Find areas of improvement
    Assess your physique to determine which muscle groups need to be brought up in size, then go to the gym with that in mind, concentrating on working those areas first. Begin your workout with a barbell movement and follow with dumbbells. If you use cables, do so at the end of your workout. Never count cable sets as muss building sets.

    4. Experiment to find your best mass building exercises
    I used to perform lots of squats, and I became incredibly strong with them, going as high as 40 reps with 315 pounds. But there came a point where, even at that level of intensity, my legs weren't growing to my satisfaction. I discovered that my lower back and hips were taking too much of the stress; the solution lay in working my quads more exclusively. I therefore stopped squatting and switched to leg presses and hack squats instead. My legs are now better than ever.


    5. Avoid injuries
    Be wary of dangerous exercises. Squats and flat bench presses, for example, possess the highest injury potential, so I stay away from them. I can't count the number of individuals whose bodybuilding careers were ended by torn pecs, slipped discs or strained erectors. With proper knowledge and execution, you can get commensurate or even better growth from exercises that work those muscle groups thoroughly without placing undue stress on tendons and ligaments.

    6. Utilize optimum sets
    Use a range of 16 - 20 total sets per bodypart.

    7. Don't count exercises
    There is no optimum number of exercises. Most bodybuilders prescribe four sets each of four or five different exercises per bodypart, but for some muscle groups, there might be only one or two movements that work them effectively. In those cases, you should do 16 - 20 sets of one exercise, or 8 - 10 sets each of two exercises.

    8. Perform optimum reps
    I like to train heavy, but I also like to use lots of reps. I recently performed incline barbell press with 405 pounds for 10 reps, but I consider that to be medium to light weight, and, therefore, not mass training. My favorite number of mass reps on a regular basis is 10, to failure, of course. However, that doesn't mean you should avoid going as heavy as possible now and then.

    9. Flirt with maximums
    Check out your strength levels every so often by maxing out with one or two reps. Remembers, though, that any time you play around with benchpress poundages above 405, you flirt with danger. The body cannot consistently take that type of training. When you want to test your max, do not take big jumps. Rather, work up gradually to keep your body accustomed to the changing forces and their deflections at each level. For example, I go up to 500 pounds for two reps on the incline barbell press, but I do not jump directly from 405 to 500. Instead, I make sure I can do 465 for at least four reps before I go to my max.

    10. Eat your meat
    The more protein you eat, the better, and the best form of protein for mass is meat, especially red meat. That's where you get your muscle building nutrients, your strength reserves and the necessary fats for joint protection. Make all of these tenets second nature to your bodybuilding lifestyle and you will gain good solid mass.
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    Registered User ResovoirDog's Avatar
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    Top 10 Supplements for Bodybuilders

    Creatine Monohydrate
    This substance is without question one of the biggest advances in bodybuilding supplements in the past 10 years. Significant weight gains are frequently reported after utilizing creatine monohydrate in 20 grams per day amounts for seven to 14 days.

    For some individuals, however, such high creatine doses are not tolerable either physically or financially. Fortunately, recent data show that lower amounts of creatine monohydrate can have a beneficial effect on growth. Bob Fritz and Thomas Fahey, PhD, have completed field tests that indicate that doses of creatine as low as six grams per day increase nitrogen retention. While 20 gram doses may be required to increase sprint performance, smaller amounts may be adequate to support increases in muscle protein synthesis, growth and strength, albeit at a slower rate.

    Vanadyl
    Vanadyl's ability to mitigate insulin resistance and improve carbohydrate utilization efficiency may be indirectly responsible for the results of field studies (again by Fahey and Fritz) that demonstrate that vanadyl increases nitrogen retention in bodybuilders and other strength athletes.

    Vanadyl's effects on insulin resistance make it a prime candidate for athletes who are exposed to lengthy training sessions that often result in overtraining. For these applications, vanadyl may not only improve carbohydrate utilization efficiency but also lower catabolic hormones such as cortisol that tend to rise after overtraining.

    Vanadium (IV), however, has a newer form that is considered safer than vanadyl sulfate. Bis vanadium, Bis (maltolato) oxovanadium (IV). This substance has been shown to have a greater margin of safety over its close relative, vanadul sulfate, due to its improved absorption and decreased tissue accumulation.

    In addition to bodybuilders, other athletes, including football players, may also benefit from supplementation advances such as vanadium and creatine. Maintaining bodyweight and strength throughout an entire season can mean the difference between not only winning or losing but staying healthy.

    Mahuang
    This is another supplement that produces noticeable ergogenic and anticatabolic effects when taken as mahuang extracts containing various amounts of ephedrine isomers. The most potent of the active isomers is 1-ephedrine and is responsible for increased muscle contraction strength, endurance, thermogenesis and lipolysis, and decreased muscle protein degradation.

    In addition to ergogenic effects that benefit resistance training, mahuang also facilitates fat loss without loss of lean mass by helping to maintain metabolic rate and thyroid function, both very important to any long term fat loss program.

    Ephedrine effects and margin of safety are strongly supported in scientific literature. Although there are contraindications, such as cerebrovascular and cardiovascular disease, mahuang can be taken in small enough doses to improve tolerance and increase its margin of safety in those individuals who may initially be highly sensitive to its effects.

    Leucine
    This is one of the most important amino acids for hard training bodybuilders. Leucine and the other branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), isoleucine and valine, escape liver metabolism and can directly and significantly influence muscle protein metabolism. Dietary leucine serves as a substrate for muscle metabolism during periods of cellular energy depletion, thereby sparing critical contractile and enzyme muscle protein from degradation to supply leucine requirements.

    Because leucine contributes to glutamine synthesis, taking supplemental leucine before and after intense training and between meals can help to normalize glutamine levels in both the serum and muscle, thereby promoting anticatabolic muscle metabolism as well as supporting immune function.

    Ketoisocaporate (KIC)
    KIC is another very important nutrient capable of producing significant anabolic effects. KIC is the branched chain keto acid of leucine, and it occurs naturally in muscle and liver metabolism. Unlike leucine, however, dietary KIC affects the liver to a greater extent than muscle tissue. Eighty percent of dietary KIC is taken up by the liver, where it decreases the catabolism of amino acids.

    The immediate obvious effect of dietary KIC is that it reduces urine urea nitrogen retention, the long term effect of which could be increased muscle mass.

    Alpha-Ketoglutarate
    The salts of alpha-ketoglutarate (calcium, magnesium and potassium) have been demonstrated to increase muscle glutamine stores in severely catabolic hospital patients to a greater degree tan leucine. Alpha - ketoglutarate is utilized in the Krebs cycle and provides the carbon skeleton for a portion of glutamine synthesis. The combination of leucine and salts of alpha - ketoglutarate can provide invaluable support for both muscle metabolism and immune function during periods of physical stress.

    The combination of KIC, leucine (or BCAA supplements high in leucine) and salts of alpha - ketoglutarate can produce measurable anabolic effects. The strong anticatabolic effects produced by the combination of KIC, alpha - ketoglutarate and leucine can limit the use of amino acids for energy and promote the use of fatty acids, resulting in deceased urine-urea nitrogen.

    it's reasonable to assume that this combination of nutrients could eventually lead to increased lean mass and decreased bodyfat, provided that appropriate diet and training procedures are followed.

    Whey Protein
    Whey protein is a clear improvement over other sources of protein for athletes. Previously, egg protein (especially egg white) was considered the best protein for bodybuilders. However, while egg protein does possess a very high ratio of essential to nonessential amino acids, its ratio of BCAAs to essentials is not as good. Due to the fact that BCAAs, especially leucine, are utilized to a great degree during intense training, resupplying them is very important. Because whey protein is very high in leucine, containing almost twice as much as egg protein, whey becomes a better choice for athletes.

    Beta-Ecdysterone
    This is a plant sterol that has been shown to increase muscle deposition in rats at a comparable level to Dianabol. Also, in field studies by Fahey and Fritz, 30 mg of beta - ecdysterone were shown to improve nitrogen balance in weight trained athletes. However, it was found that protein with a high biological value (BV) was found to be a very important if not critical component of this equation.

    Hydroxycritic Acid (HCA)
    Though not a thermogenic agent, HCA interferes with hepatic triglyceride synthesis by inhibiting citrate lyase. The rationale of incorporating HCA in a diet regimen is that it limits carbohydrate conversion to fat. When citrate lyase is inhibited, serum glucose levels remain higher, depressing appetite. HCA may also contribute to an increase in liver glycogen that may facilitate longer periods of anabolism by maintaining serum glucose, which, in turn, can reduce release of catabolic stress hormones.

    Ornithune alpha-ketoglutarate (OKG)
    Once hailed as the most anabolic of supplements, OKG has not produced the effects of the supplements listed earlier in well nourished athletes. However, there is no question that OKG decreases nitrogen loss and limits muscle wasting during severe illness.

    Every athlete has experienced periods in which an illness has produced training setbacks. Part of the problem during illness is that sufficient calories and protein can't be consumed, thus resulting in loss of muscle protein.

    OKG may provide significant relief during periods of illness by protecting stores of muscle protein. This is because of OKG's effects on intramuscular glutamine stores. The loss of intramuscular stores of glutamine during trauma, illness or stress leads to an increase in muscle protein degradation. Subsequent to a variety of stressors, which includes caloric restriction, glutamine is released from the muscle to support to metabolism of tissues such as the gastrointestinal tract and immune system.

    The alpha-ketoglutarate portion of OKG provides the carbon skeleton for glutamine synthesis, while it is believed that ornithine slows the production of urea, resulting in higher and more stable serum levels of glutamine.

    Because maintenance of immune function is dependent on glutamine, adequate serum levels of glutamine are important for optimal immune response and timely recovery. Consequently, taking gram amounts of OKG during illness not only limits muscle wasting but also supports immune response, facilitating a quicker recovery.

    OKG may be effective in conditions of overtraining as well. Overtraining can readily occur after months of relentless workouts. The importance of adequate nutrition and stress reduction in limiting the loss of bodyweight as well as injury cannot be understated. Adding recommended maintenance amounts of OKG to a bodybuilder's diet may go a long way toward stabilizing muscle mass and limiting injuries linked to loss of strength and bodyweight.
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    Carb Rules by Chris Aceto

    If you ask 20 bodybuilders about carb intake, you will likely get 20 different theories. Suffice it to say, there is a wide variety of opinion on how to manipulate carbs properly to either gain mass or lose fat. To get a handle on this controversial subject, I have compiled a list of facts, tips and suggestions to allow you to gain mass without adding unwanted fat.

    1. Eat Complex Carbs
    Carbohydrates should comprise the bulk of your daily caloric intake because they form muscle glycogen - the fuel for arduous training sessions. Focus on unprocessed complex carbohydrates like yams, potatoes, whole grain breads, oatmeal and brown rice. Why? These natural complex carbs are made of long chains of sugar and are digested very slowly. Slow burning carbs promoted consistent blood sugar levels, which help to offset fatigue while promoting the release of insulin - the body's principal anabolic hormone. Men can project daily carb intake, in grams (g) by multiplying their bodyweight by three; women should multiply bodyweight by two. For example, a 200 pound man should consume 600g of carbs daily, while a 125 pound woman should consume 250g.

    2. Eat Fiber
    Benefits of fiber include making muscle tissue more responsive to anabolism by improving sugar and amino acid uptake, and aiding in muscle glycogen formation and growth. Beans and oatmeal are two excellent sources of fiber.

    3. Stagger your Carb Intake
    Divide your carb meals into six distinct servings throughout the day. This divide and conquer approach stimulates a steady release of insulin to create an anabolic (muscle building) state. If you eat too many carbs in one sitting, the net effect is that fat-storing enzymes kick into high hear and you lose than lean and hard look.

    4. Eat Simple Carbs After Training
    Honey, sugar and refined foods such as white bread and white rice - typical simple carbs - are digested quickly and easily. The resulting insulin spike is a double edged sword, however. After training, it can prevent muscle catabolism while promoting anabolism. If you have not been working out, the intake of simple carbs can stimulate fat storage.

    5. East More Carbs After Training
    This edict is the corollary to tip #4. A high carb intake at your post training meal will have less chance of being stored as fat, as carbs must replenish depleted glycogen levels before they gain the ability to stimulate fat storage. Eat about 25% of your daily carbs at this meal.

    6. Eat a Carb-loaded Breakfast
    Besides the post training meal, breakfast is the other golden time to ingest carbs, because blood sugar and muscle glycogen levels are low from your overnight fast. Your body must replenish these levels before stimulating the fat storing machinery in the body.

    7. Use Supplements to Assist Carbs with Insulin Utilization
    Chromium, Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin E and Alpha Lipoic Acid all increase a muscle's ability to use insulin. Supplement your breakfast with 200 micrograms of Chromium, four grams of Omega-3s and 100 milligrams of Alpha Lipoic Acid.

    8. Minimize Fruit Intake
    Though low in calories and rich in vitamins, fruit is problematic for dieting bodybuilders for one reason: it contains fructose, a simple sugar, which is converted into glycogen in the liver. There, it can be readily used as a building block for fat synthesis.

    9. Avoid carbs after hours
    Unless you are blessed with a superfast metabolism, you should forget about eating baked potatoes late at night. Late night carbs interfere with the release of growth hormone and promote fat storage while you sleep.

    10. Mix carbs and protein in the same meal
    Combining carbs and proteins minimizes the risk of carbs being stored as fat. Eating protein with carbs facilitates the transport of amino acids from protein foods into the muscles to trigger new growth.

    11. Rotate carbs for fat loss
    Bodybuilders who rotate their carb intake tend to lose more fat than bodybuilders who maintain a steady flow of carbs while dieting. For example, instead of eating 600g of carbs every day (the typical daily total for a 200 pound bodybuilder), try varying the volume of intake. Eat 50% fewer carbs (300g) for two days, then the standard 600g for the next two days, then 50% more (900g) for the next two days, The total carb intake is the same, but this schedule works because it lowers muscle glycogen in the first stage (promoting fat loss), and then increases insulin levels (ensuring no loss of muscle) on the final two days. Carb rotation gives you the best of both worlds: decreased fat with no loss of muscle.
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    you spelled carbs wrong in the first section. You spelled it as cards. And in the 5th section of your complex carb you spell eat as easy. Sticky
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