Archive | November, 2016

Calisthenics – The Importance of Body Weight Exercise

Calisthenics, also known as body weight exercise, is one of the most versatile, effective and beneficial training methods available to both those who wish to start exercise and to the professional athlete. Body weight exercises are an efficient way to develop usable strength, stamina, flexibility, agility, and coordination.

Your degree of strength and stamina is often measured by your ability to control the movements of your own body. When you exercise the way you naturally move you begin to apply these physical improvements (i.e., true functional strength) to your activities of daily living.

One of the most important benefits that calisthenics can do for you is to help preserve the ‘range-of-motion’ (ROM) of your joints. That means the movements you perform during many body weight exercises actually preserve your ability to perform that motion anytime. Instead of your joints rusting-up, instead of arthritis settling in – for instance – they remain more fluid and pain-free.

You can also increase your strength. Done properly, calisthenics are as effective as weight lifting, due to using your own body weight as resistance.

Don’t underestimate the importance of body weight exercise…they are one of the best tools you have for improved physical conditioning. You will have greater strength and energy. You will feel more poised and become physically stronger and more agile. You will experience greater emotional balance and become more self-confident. You will even begin to have new ideas and perspectives emerging from your improving health and enhanced physical power.

Calisthenics Is the Perfect Place to Start

If you are just starting a physical conditioning program calisthenics will teach you how to control the weight of your own body, building you a solid foundation in which other physical conditioning techniques and strategies can be built upon.

The fact is…you should not attempt weighted resistance exercises until you can effectively and efficiently control the weight of your own body.

Calisthenics: Start, Add or Diversify

There are many variation of calisthenics…giving you the ability to modify them to make them easier or harder (by varying the exercises, stresses and intensities of your workouts). When used effectively and in the right proportion in your physical training program body weight exercise can help you meet the challenges of sport, work and life with greater awareness and energy.

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7 Tips to Increase Your Hip Flexibility

One of the biggest complaints my clients present during their sessions is a lack of flexibility. With the high number of professional computer jockeys in today’s modern world, the common complaints are limited range of motion in the hips and shoulders, pain in the neck, back, and feet.

Sitting all day, especially at an ergonomically challenging computer set up, creates a shortening in your hip flexors (the muscles along the front of your hip and thigh that pull you down into a chair). These muscles in turn pull your lumbar spine forward, causing tension and stiffness in the low back and bracing in your hips.

Additionally, 99.9% of everyone I see in my office sits incorrectly. I attribute this to a lifetime spent on soft, cushy couches and overstuffed easy chairs. Unfortunately, while plush seating may feel nice for a while, it has the effect of rolling your sacrum under so that your weight isn’t centered over your ischial tuberosities (sitting bones) but rather on the last vertebra of your spine (i.e. your sacrum).

Once your sacrum is jammed, your entire spine compensates. This is why a headache or sore neck is actually located in your pelvis, and why work around the hips and low back will generally result in greater shoulder mobility.

Here are 7 easy tips to increase your flexibility and range of motion while reducing pain and stiffness:

1. When sitting for prolonged periods, make sure your hips are higher than your knees. If your knees are higher than your hips, all of your weight falls into your pelvis while the job of holding you upright falls to your hip flexors and the postural stabilizers of your low back.

Instead of bracing your torso to stay upright, place your feet flat on the floor, one foot a few inches in front of the other. By pressing into the ground, you should feel support travel up through your legs and into your low back. Taking the strain off your back is the first step in allowing greater mobility.

2. Do squats* – full on, all the way to your heels squats! Squats force you to mobilize your ankles, knees, hips, and the facet joints in your spine. Most people who haven’t ever trained for this kind of movement find even a basic squat with no weight to be challenging.

When performing the maneuver, make sure your torso doesn’t pitch forward. Holding a small weight, a weighted bar, or a wooden dowel in front of your chest, as in a traditional front squat position, can help you stay upright.

If you are not flexible enough to keep your feet relatively parallel, start with your legs wider apart, feet turned out at 45 degrees. The more you practice squatting, the more willing your body will be to go all the way to the ground.

3. Practice sitting down on the ground and getting up without using your hands*. This is especially helpful for lubricating the hip joints, and it erases the fear that people develop as they age that they will fall and not be able to get back up. It has the added bonus of loosening the lateral rotators of the hip – the muscles that are implicated in sciatica.

Start by finding a way to bring yourself to a seated position on the floor, hands free. Then, get up, also without using your hands. Repeat the exercise several times, finding as many different ways to sit down and stand up as you can.

When the exercise becomes too easy, add a weight. Hold 10-25lbs (or more, if you’re comfortable) at chest height while sitting and standing. This not only mobilizes but also strengthens the joints.

4. When choosing a chair for your computer desk set up, select a firm, flat surface over any padded and contoured seats. Most chairs are designed for an “average” or “standard” body, and anyone who has ever shopped for the perfect pair of jeans knows that one size does not fit all!

Flat surfaces make it easier for you to sit forward on your sitting bones – your ischial tuberosities. You should feel equal weight on both your right and left tuberosities. If not, try to center yourself as best you can without contorting your body. Just relax down onto the chair.

Sitting on your ischial tuberosities is much more stable than sitting on your sacrum. Your postural stabilizing muscles can easily relax and reduce the bracing along your spine, creating instant mobility for your back (this is absolutely key in resolving back and neck pain!).

5. Take extra deep breaths. With all the stimulus coming at us from all directions – television, internet, books, MP3 players, digital advertising, children, pets…. – it’s easy to forget to breathe.

When you cease breathing deeply, your diaphragm becomes tight. Anatomically, the fascia of your diaphragm connects directly to your hip flexors, so if your diaphragm is constricted, your hip flexors will be, too.

Take time each and every day to lie quietly on your back. Breathe deeply, relaxing your rib cage, spine, and abdominal muscles. Allow your internal organs to rest heavily into your back. As you become more relaxed, direct your breathing down deeper and deeper into your pelvis, relaxing all of the tension in your low back, sacrum, gluteus muscles, and thighs. As you become more skilled at conscious breathing, you can begin to direct your breath all the way out the bottoms of your feet.

6. Practice dynamic joint mobility – taking each hip joint through a series of repetitive movements designed to increase the range of motion. This kind of movement increases the flow of synovial fluid, which lubricates the joints. It also provides excellent neurological feedback. Range of motion is a use it or lose it proposition; the more your remind your body that you need to be able to make large, open movements, the more willing your nervous system will be to allow you to do just that.

7. Stretch your hip flexors, especially after long car or airplane trips. As mentioned previously, sitting shortens the anterior muscles of your hip and thigh. To keep them long and limber, stretch daily, or at least several times a week.

Any maneuver that causes a lengthening along the front of your hip and thigh will lengthen the hip flexors. Some of my favorites include lunges* (keep your torso upright – do not allow yourself to fall forward over your front knee) and bridges* (a full back bend with hands and feet on the floor – modify this to a shoulder bridge if you aren’t quite ready for this pose).

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Hemorrhoids and Enlarged Rectal Veins

Hemorrhoids, in the rectum, occur when the veins are not returning enough blood back to the heart. When this happens, the vein walls do not receive enough oxygen and release a substance into the blood that causes them swell and become inflamed. This swelling weakens them and their more likely to break when they are rubbed, like during a bowel movement.

If your stools are hard, you have a increased chance of breaking a swelling vein. For this reason getting your stools softer is one step in clearing your hemorrhoids. You can do this by eating a diet and using remedies that help relieve constipation.

Hemorrhoids, which are enlarged or swelling can exist,

* On the inside just above the muscle that closes the anus and into to the rectum. They are near the surface of the rectum mucus membrane

* On the outside, they occur on the skin that surround the anus and protrude or hang outward.

In a way, hemorrhoids can be considered varicose veins of the rectum. Just like varicose veins in the legs, the rectum veins become enlarged and come to the skin surface and bulge out.

Hemorrhoids occur when you are constipated for long periods, sit for long hours, lift heavy items, or are pregnant. If you’re constipated, you’re probably having a difficult time having a bowel movement. And when you do, your stools are usually small, hard, and dry.

If you have to push and strain or sit on the toilet for 10-15 minutes, then expect to have hemorrhoids at some point. Two to three minutes is all you normally need to have a natural bowel movement.

Over 85% of the population has hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are a sign that fecal matter is not passing through your colon like it should. Simple hemorrhoids are not dangerous to your health, but hemorrhoids that have been building for a while will cause you some discomfort, such as,

* Mucus discharge

* Bleeding showing up in your stools or dripping into the toilet water

* Itching on the outside of the rectum

* Pain in the rectum area and during a bowel movement

* Pain in the rectum area, when you sit

* Soft bulging area in the rectum or anus that give you a sensation that something is there.

See your doctor if your hemorrhoids are painful, have excess bleeding, or stools have change in color from medium brown to dark brown or black.

Just be aware of any growth in the rectum, bleeding during a bowel movement, and a change in your stools color. Then take action to take care of these changes by seeing your medical practitioner.

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Tabata Anything – Four Minutes of Pain to Gain

The Tabata protocol is a high-intensity training regimen that produces remarkable results. A Tabata workout (also called a Tabata sequence) is an interval training cycle of 20 seconds of maximum intensity exercise, followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated without pause 8 times for a total of four minutes. In a group context, you can keep score by counting how many lifts/jumps/whatever you do in each of the 20 second rounds. The round with the smallest number is your score.

Credit for this simple and powerful training method belongs to its namesake, Dr. Izumi Tabata and a team of researchers from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo, Japan. Their groundbreaking 1996 study, published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports & Exercise, provided documented evidence concerning the dramatic physiological benefits of high-intensity intermittent training. After just 6 weeks of testing, Dr. Tabata noted a 28% increase in anaerobic capacity in his subjects, along with a 14% increase in their ability to consume oxygen (V02Max). These results were witnessed in already physically fit athletes. The conclusion was that just four minutes of Tabata interval training could do more to boost aerobic and anaerobic capacity than an hour of endurance exercise.

Although Dr. Tabata used a mechanically braked exercise cycle machine, you can apply this protocol to almost any exercise. For example, a basic Tabata workout can be performed with sit-ups. The more muscles used the better, so use full knees-bent sit-ups. Sit-up non-stop for 20-second intervals, followed by 10 seconds of rest. Repeat for a total of 8 cycles.

How effective can just 4 minutes of exercise be? … Very. You will be amazed at how intense the four minutes of exercise will feel. The intervals tax both your aerobic and anaerobic energy systems. To be clear, this isn’t “eight sets of eight,” although the goal of doing eight reps in each of the 20-second clusters is about right. Instead it’s “as many reps as I can get in” during the twenty seconds, followed by ten seconds rest.

It helps to be able to see a wall clock with a second hand during your four minutes of fun. Stop at twenty seconds, rest ten seconds, and go again. Watching the clock helps with your focus and also in keeping count of the eight cycles…

Here is a longer Tabata workout example. This workout consists of 4 separate Tabata Intervals, each 4 minutes. The total workout will last 16 minutes. Always begin with a moderate warm-up and cool down session. And if you are not already in good shape, check with a doctor before trying.

* Jump Rope

* Pushups

* Squats

* Chin-ups or Pull-ups

Note the 10-second rest periods in the Tabata workout are important, both physically and mentally. Not only do they allow partial recovery, they also provide psychological relief. Switching back and forth from work to rest makes the workout go quickly. Plus, it allows you to train at a higher level of intensity, which what intervals are all about.

Another good exercise for Tabatas is the “squat thruster.” The squat thruster is one of the great lifts being made popular by organizations such as CrossFit. Take two dumbbells and hold them at shoulder height. Squat down, pushing your rear-end back, keeping the dumbbells on the shoulders. As you rise up, press the bells to the overhead lockout position. You can either press as you rise or use the momentum to help “kick” the bells overhead. Keep your weight in your heals and go light! A 25 pound dumbbell in each hand is a very difficult thruster workout!

Pretty much any form of cardiovascular exercise that uses a large number of muscles can be tailored to fit Tabata interval workouts, so feel free to be creative. In addition to the exercises mentioned above, use them with sprints, burpees, a jump rope, the heavy bag, treadmill or rowing machine. Lessen the likelihood of injury by choosing a rate of intensity suited to your level of conditioning – be conservative. Incorporate variety into your Tabata workouts. A few sessions per week will offer plenty of intensity.

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The Function and Uses of L-Proline

L-proline is a derivative of the amino acid glutamine. It is a precursor of a type of protein called collagen, which functions to support tissues of the body like skin, bones, muscles, tendons and cartilages. The effects of L-proline can be mostly experienced in the parts of the body that contains collagen, and may also contribute to the healthy functioning of the immune system. It is contained within cartilages and is important for the proper functioning of joints and tendons.

It is an organic compound, a non-essential amino acid that can be synthesized in the body by healthy individuals. Like any other amino acids, L-proline can also be found on protein-containing sources like meat, eggs, and also dairy and poultry products. L-proline can also be from supplements in the form of capsules and tablets and also available in sports drinks for body builders and athletes.

The most vital function of L-proline is the development and protection of skin and connective tissues. L-proline produces a type of protein called collagen which serves as an important role in keeping the body together. Some people even call it the component that glue that holds the body as one. It also helps in repairing wounds, damaged tissues, skin and muscles. It is also important in wound healing since the substance produced by L-proline, collagen, plays a major role in helping wound recovery.

The benefits of L-proline supplements are mainly directed to the structure and maintenance of the body. It proves to treat conditions such as osteoarthritis, soft tissue trains and chronic back pains. When people grow older, natural levels and intake of L-proline may be diminished, therefore causes bone deficiencies like weakening of bones and joint disorders that are notable in older individuals. Intake of L-proline supplements are recommended in order to restore fluidity in joints and bones. In fact, L-proline also helps in reducing sagging and wrinkling.

L-proline deficiency is indicated in people who have very slow healing ability. Individuals having frequent tears in the tissues and joints of the body also indicate such. The most effective way of avoiding L-proline deficiency is to maintain a healthy and balanced diet. Athletes that undergo intense and vigorous exercises and workouts may be advised to take L-proline supplements to avoid L-proline deficiency and losing muscle mass since it is said that the body uses its muscles for energy.

The recommended therapeutic dose of L-proline supplements ranges from 500 to 1000 mg daily. Since L-proline is not considered toxic, taking high doses of it has shown no major side-effects. Though the body is able to produce enough L-proline for its sustenance, people experiencing arthrosclerosis, blood pressure problems or slow healing rate are suggested to take L-proline supplements with their physician’s advice.

For more information on this supplement, please log on to: http://purebulk.com/l-proline

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Facial Muscle Exercises and Face & Neck Exercises to Help You Get a Chiseled Jawline!

In this article we will take an in depth look at the facial muscle exercises and also face neck exercises out there that can truly help you achieve great looking facial features to help you get a chiseled jawline and look your most ultimate best!

First of all, did you know that the human face has over 56 muscles in it? It would be pretty naive to think that you could work out pretty much every muscle in your body such as your arms, chest, abs, or legs and not your facial muscles, right?

The simple fact alone that you can actually enhance and create a chiseled jawline by simply doing oblique side oblique crunches daily alone should be enough to tell you know that you really CAN enhance your looks and feel your best! But how is it that simply doing oblique side ab exercises can help assist in helping you to create a chiseled jawline?

It’s because when we perform these basic side ab crunches, we are actually working the muscle linings that make up the jawline/jawbone area also.

So, you really want to know how to get a masculine jawline? Here are some steps that you can do NOW to start helping you to notice a true difference!

TIPS TO HELP YOU BUILD A REALLY CHISELED JAWLINE:

The following tips should be considered ‘lifestyle changes’ that you should do in order to help you achieve the look that you want and deserve.

1. Workout! Lose weight! Just a simple thing such as exercising for at least 20 minutes each and everyday can ultimately help you get a chiseled jawline! And by performing interval cardio training, you are also helping to speed up your metabolism by these intervals. And we all know that when we speed up the metabolism that we are actually stimulating the fat burning reserves within our bodies that can help us to shed any unnecessary extra fat around the neck area. And it’s this unnecessary fat around the neck that can make us look fat and give us chubby cheek syndrome. This is exactly why I highly advocate doing simple interval cardio training for at least 20 minutes each and everyday, so that you can actually help shed and remove any fat that you may have around your neck area.

2. Work up a sweat! Using a steam room or sauna, you can also help to eliminate extra water from around your neck and face. This can ultimately come in handy many times over, especially when you are trying to get your cheekbones and jawline to come out.

3.Start doing some oblique side crunches. Performing about 100 side oblique crunches on each side is enough to help you start noticing your chiseled jawline.

4. JUMP ROPE- This simple workout/exercise equipment can literally transform your life! Just doing 10 to 15 minutes a day of jump rope can burn up to 300 calories! And the jumps is what actually make any saggy skin under your chin to get more tight and firm.

5. Do the small foods diet. This includes eating 5 or 6 small,fist sized meals a day. This way you will feel satiated more throughout the day. And also, this will greatly help to rev up your metabolism and stoke your fat burning fuels-metabolism!!

6. Perform interval cardio training. This is a great method for burning fat and losing any extra excessive weight that you may have around your jawline. These short 20 minute workouts can actually equate to a full 40 minute workout since interval training is considered THE new way to successfully help you lose weight and get in shape.

SOME ADDITIONAL TIPS:

1. Take some fasting days. Not eating after 8 pm would be ideal for losing weight and getting rid of any fat around your face.

2. Try chewing gum daily. This will help the muscles around your face get really firm over time.

I’ve personally known some guys that have successfully done facial exercises and have quite literally become addicted to them after seeing outstanding results from their face and neck exercises alone!

The feeling you can actually achieve and get from doing these face exercises are pretty amazing. So much, in fact in the first 2 weeks alone you will see and notice a remarkable difference. The amazing and profound results you can get from such face and neck exercises alone will make a huge difference in your external outlook on your own life. Don’t you think that you deserve to live a life of living to your fullest potential?

Well if you do, then you should definitely give facial muscle exercises and face and neck exercises a shot.

And just imagine how much better you will start feeling about yourself when you are walking into a room with your head held high, since you know that you look great!

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Could Your Health Issues Be Caused by Neurotoxins

Neurotoxins are minute compounds that may come from exposure to pathogens such as bacteria and fungi – in these cases they are known as biotoxins. Neurotoxins can also be free radicals. They create problems in the body which can lead to disease and premature death.

Free radicals are small damaging particles that can result from exposure to chemicals and heavy metals such as lead, cadmium and mercury. It is also believed some free radicals may be overproduced internally by the body when certain bodily systems go wrong, such as free radicals produced by chronic inflammation. In Chronic fatigue syndrome, poor mitochondrial function and chronic inflammation are two processes which are believed to increase free radical stress on the body. The key point to understand is that these internally or externally produced toxins are:

* Fat soluble, so they are not flushed out with water

* They dissolve into the fats and move through fatty tissue of the body

* They have a highly disruptive toxic impact on the body’s cells

The body is made up of around 50 trillion cells. Every single cell membrane of your body is made of fats. Hence neurotoxins can wreak havoc on the body by:

* Causing lipid derangement which disrupts cell membrane function in terms of what moves in and out of cells, effectively preventing them from breathing properly

* Attacking enzyme reactions which disrupts energy production in cells

* Stimulating certain enzymes which cause cell membranes to uncouple

* Disrupting DNA function resulting in part in increased inflammation in the body. Inflammation is where the immune system is in a highly active state and can do more harm than good to the body when it becomes chronic disease states now associated with neurotoxins include CFS/ME, Fibromyalgia, Lyme’s disease, Sick Building Syndrome and other diseases like MS, Parkinson’s and Autism.

Symptoms of neurotoxicity include:

* Deep, persistent fatigue Weakness Chronic muscle aches

* Cramping Memory impairment Impaired cognitive function

* Disorientation Confusion Sinus congestion

* Shortness of breath Red eyes Headaches

* Blurred vision Tingling Abdominal pain

* Diarrhea

* Vertigo

* Numbness

* Swollen painful joints Light

* Touch sensitive Anxiety

What are Neurotoxins?

To understand how to treat neurotoxins, it is important to understand where they go in the body. Fat soluble neurotoxins move through the cells of the body from the gastro-intestinal tract to the sinuses, to the lungs, to the eyes, to muscles, to joints, to nerves, then they eventually enter the liver, are then pumped into the gall bladder, then they move back from the gall bladder into the lower intestines as bile. Once neurotoxins unite with bile, they are reabsorbed through the intestines poisoning the body over and over again. For this reason, ensuring toxins in bile are actually flushed out through the colon in fecal matter is very important in cleansing and clearing the body.

The key to treatment is to stop the neurotoxins re-entering the body from the bile by clearing out the biliary tree (liver, gall bladder duct) to clear out the neurotoxins from the fats in the body, manage any immune dysregulation, and prevent the rise of enzymes which cause cell membrane uncoupling. This is done through fat flushing or exchanging cell membrane fats using supplemental phosphatidyl choline.

Interestingly fasting, or low fat diets, high carbohydrate diets and exposure to pathogens can cause biliary stasis, which promotes and increases the reabsorption of neurotoxins. High carbohydrate diets also trigger cell membrane uncoupling because the insulin increases these uncoupling enzymes.

Lifestyle Instructions:

* Avoid exposure to all external sources of neurotoxins (e.g. black fungus in sick buildings)

* Avoid consuming large body predator fish that may be contaminated with neurotoxins or heavy metals including amberjack or other jack species, grouper, swordfish, tuna, shark, barracuda, mahi mahi, red snapper, sea bass, largemouth bass, tilefish, oysters, pike, marlin, walleye, king mackerel and halibut

* Avoid exposure to chemicals, pesticides, solvents in the home or work place, i.e. go organic and switch to home cleaning products

* Check water supply and consider a water filter

* Avoid fluoridated toothpaste

* Avoid supplements including spirulina, blue green algae, green drink mixes, chlorella other than those grown in glass tubes.

* Removed processed oils, hydrogenated fats, margarine, canola oil, peanut oil or peanut butter, commercial mayonnaise or salad dressing with trans fats

Avoid the Following Foods:

* Grains (wheat, rice, barley , millet, rye, oat, corn)

* Pasta, bread, crackers, cookies, muffins, cereal

* Starchy vegetables such as potato and parsnip. Sweet potato, carrot, beetroot and radish are OK

* Fruit juice

* Caffeine

Permitted Foods:

* Protein at each meal, organic meat, poultry eggs, fish

* Raw organic nuts and seeds

* Organic butter, cream, homemade kefir, with lactic acid bacteria

* Oils – cold pressed only (do not heat) including sunflower and safflower oil, grapeseed oil mayonnaise, walnut and rice bran oil

* Oils for cooking at high temperature include butter (organic) oil, palm oil, coconut oil/butter

* Homemade salad dressingsï 

* Limited sweet and new potatoes, beetroot, carrot, radish – always eat with protein and vegetable/greens

* Limited beans and legumes – always eat with protein and vegetable/greens

* Three pieces of fruit daily

* Vegetables

Green leafy vegetables and salads everyday

* Fresh herbs/spices

* Vegetable juices

It is very important to have up to 2 liters of fresh pure water daily

Frequently Asked Questions:

Is it safe?

Yes! This diet is not that dissimilar to the a Paleolithic or the Stone Age diet – the kind of diet man ate all the time before the time of agriculture, Âand many chronic disease did not appear until the appearance of agriculture!

How long do I have to stay on this plan?

Stay on it until your VCS test is clear and symptoms are relieved. This is usually after a minimum of 3 months

I am worried about losing too much weight?

Speak to you practitioner, but if weight loss is a worry, place a little more emphasis on the beans and legumes and some of the starchy vegetables. There are other hormonal and digestive factors which you should discuss with your practitioner

I am worried about putting weight on?

Very unlikely to occur. It is insulin which is a fat storage hormone – and you are going on an insulin holiday. Talk to your practitioner if you are still worried.

I have gallstones – can I do this diet and cleanse?

The answer is no, you need to have these gall stones professionally removed. Starting this diet and cleanse could move a stone and get it stuck more, which is potentially dangerous and very painful.

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8 Exercises to Create an Athletic Physique

More and more people are becoming tired of the “Bodybuilder” look. Let’s cut to the chase. Most people want to look good to attract the opposite sex. It’s really that simple. What kind of body does that? The answer is in multiple magazines, on tons of websites as well as in many playing arenas. The “Athletic Body” is the answer!

If you compare the bodies of today to that of the late 80’s and 90’s that are “attractive or desirable”, you will see that men are Athletic/Natural Muscle and women are curvy with good muscle tone. Gone are the days of the no-neck, roid-raging, waddling bodybuilder and the stick figure no-ass having bleach blondes with crazy crimped bangs. We have entered the hot athletic body era.

How do you develop the Athletic Body that the opposite sex wants to see on you? There are of course many ways. Let me be clear and mention I do NOT want to discount the importance of Traditional Weight Training. There are many benefits to weight training. However, for now I want to focus strictly on the Athletic Look. An athlete can do what? They can perform! In order to perform they must be able to use their body as a vehicle to respond to their every whim. Would you agree?

So doesn’t it make sense that in order to get your body to respond to your athletic desires (as is the necessity of the athlete), you should do workouts which incorporate body movements? Remember that “form follows function.” In other words, if you force your body to perform a function the form that is necessary for that function will follow. You are probably asking, “What are these functions that will create the form we want?” The answer is bodyweight exercises, and derivations of them.

Yeah I know! I love the weights and talk a lot about them; but, we can’t deny the results from good ol’ pull-ups, push-ups, and lunges, et cetera. You must perform these types of exercises to tie all the weight training together to create the ultimate athletic physique. Do you perform these exercises already or are some too difficult or boring?

If you find them too difficult or boring I have a couple ideas to help you out with that. Finding a way to make the exercises easier or more exciting can help you get to where you are able to push past that plateau. A great way to accomplish this is to add assistance, thus reducing your effective bodyweight in a given bodyweight exercise. If you already do many of these exercises with full bodyweight and find them too easy, I have a couple ideas to take them to a completely different level. This is accomplished by performing variations that spice up these basic exercises and stimulate the kind of results your workouts may currently be lacking. A great way to add structure and variation simultaneously to your workout plan is my using the right equipment for your body movement exercise.

At this point you’re probably wondering, “how is using this piece of equipment going to enhance body movement exercises?” The best way to describe this is to take the simple exercises, explain what they will do to help you reach your maximum athletic appearance development and give variations for each. Without any further ado the exercises for the ultimate athletic physique and their variations depending upon fitness level or fatigue.

Upper Body

Pull-Ups / Chin-Ups

Look at most athletes from behind and you will see an awesome V-taper. That is the result of a great set of Lats. What is one of the top ways to develop Lats? What else, but none other than Pull-ups and Chin-Ups! The problem is that many people can only do a few reps, if any. That is not enough to elicit the kind of changes needed to create the Athletic Physique. How do we overcome this? You can opt to use an assisted-pull up with the help of a plate-loading machine that will provide a counterbalance on your body weight, which allows you to work with less than our full bodyweight. The result is more reps and more results.

Now if you are already extremely strong, you can actually do 15 or more good reps! So now what? How about you try using ONE ARM! Most people can’t do TRUE single arm pull-ups (not the grab the other wrist kind, but true single arm pull-ups). With the assisted pull-up you can add some weight to counterbalance your own body weight and do single arm work. This is the perfect twist to a basic exercise to push your body to the next level.

Oh and let’s not forget that pull-ups and chin-ups are perfect for developing the biceps and rear delts, when done right!

Push-Ups

What can I say about push-ups? They are a staple for chest and triceps development. By placing your hands at a higher level you decrease the difficulty. By planting the feet higher you increase the difficulty. You can try single arm push-ups as well. If you want to mix the two ideas, you can come up with some serious chest development. An example would be to plant the hands at an elevated level and use only one arm. This reduces the load on that arm via the angle you are at and allows more reps. The result is a variation sure to challenge your body to adapt.

Dips

Many would consider dips one of the best exercises for triceps, lower chest and front shoulder development. If you are having trouble knocking out 10 reps then assisted dips are the key to getting past that plateau and getting the results you are looking for. If you easing knock out 20 reps then a drop set is an idea to take it to the next level. “A drop set on a bodyweight exercise?” That’s what I said! By adding weight to the counter-lever on the Dip-Assist on successive sets one after the other you are essentially doing a “drop-set.” As you know, drop sets are highly effective.

Lower Body

Squats / Lunges

Developing the total Athletic Physique means getting those legs going too! Often neglected by many TALKERS, always done by DOERS! Do you talk or do you do? If you are a doer and looking to get the balanced physique, it’s hard to beat squats and lunges. If you have difficulty performing squats or are coming off of an injury, assisted squats may be the perfect option. This allows you to work with less than your body weight to build up the necessary strength.

If you already do tons of squats this is a great way to work until failure and then hit additional reps with assistance to push to a new tier. Another way to use the machine to take this exercise to a new level is to be able to perform Single Leg Squat with the assistance. I don’t care how good of shape you are in. Single leg squats are very challenging. This apparatus gives you the chance to do massive numbers of reps with single leg for the extreme athlete for incredible changes in the Athletic Physique.

Lunges are another good exercise for the legs. To enhance the lunge or build up to it you can do Single Leg Press Downs on the Assistance Pad. Whether you are trying to build strength to lunge or push to a new level all you have to do is adjust the amount of resistance you add.

Abs and Lower Back

Crunches and Hanging Leg Raises

It doesn’t get much simpler than crunches to work the abs. Lie down on the floor and crunch away. Let’s say you want to take it to a new level. On a pull-up bar or using a plate-assisted machine, you can perform knee raises. This is a simple exercise. Just grab on to the bar and lift your knees being sure to tilt the pelvis for maximum abdominal engagement. If you find this easy you can keep the legs straight throughout the movement and do traditional Leg Raises. Whichever you choose, you are sure to hit the abs and lower back.

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Iron – Benefits, Deficiency Symptoms And Food Sources

Iron is a vital component of hemoglobin, which transports oxygen to the various tissues of the body. Life and iron are inseparable: with the sole exception of lactic acid bacteria, all living organisms require iron as an essential element for growth and multiplication. Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional problem in the world.

Free ionic iron hardly exists in the body. All the intracellular iron is either in hemoglobin or in the iron-storage protein ferritin.

ABSORPTION

Iron is rather unique in that nature regulates its absorption, because there is no mechanism that enables excretion of excess iron1 The precise mechanisms and control of iron absorption are not clear.

The duodenum is the main site of iron absorption. Small intestinal iron absorption is by a process of diffusion. The amount of iron absorbed is 1%-5% of the dietary iron in a normal man, studied using a radioactive isotope.

Because of the multiplicity of factors affecting iron absorption, it is not possible to make a valid estimate of iron absorption from a meal. The absorption varies with foods, being higher with a rice-based diet and lower with millets. Germination and baking increase absorption, while it is reduced with tannins, tea, tamarind, phytate and cereals. Food analysis reveals considerable tannin in cereals, pulses, soybeans, and condiments like tamarind, turmeric and chillies. Absorption from soybean is enhanced when taken with meat or vitamins. Prolonged warming of meals decreases their vitamin C content, and hence, iron absorption. The amino acid cysteine enhances iron absorption from vegetables, animal foods, and iron salts.

Iron in meat and liver is better absorbed than that in eggs and leafy vegetables. With animal foods, the mean iron absorption ranges from 7% from ferritin to 22% from veal muscle, with intermediate values of 11 % from fish and 13% from liver. Animal protein in beef, pork, chicken or fish (but not egg and milk) increases absorption of non-heme iron from vegetable sources. On a rice-based diet, iron absorption increases with the addition of 40 g fish.

Iron absorption on a cereal diet is decreased because phosphate and phytates precipitate ionised iron. Soya protein is a major inhibitory factor of iron absorption due to its phytate content.4Fiber in wheat and maize decreases iron absorption. Tea and coffee form insoluble iron tannate that is not absorbed. Coconut milk, used extensively in cooking in Thailand and southern India, inhibits iron absorption.

Iron absorption increases with iron-deficiency anemia, low plasma iron, increased red blood cell activity in the bone marrow, pancreatic deficiency, and in women. Increased iron absorption occurs in normal persons during menstruation, pregnancy, puberty, and after blood loss. Iron absorption is increased if iron body stores are depleted.

Inorganic ferrous and ferric salts are both absorbed, but ferrous iron is absorbed better. There is no difference in the absorption of the inexpensive ferrous sulphate and the more expensive slow-release iron tablets. Hemoglobin iron is absorbed intact as heme, even at neutral pH, and is not affected by dietary phosphate or phytate.

Gastric acidity maintains the solubility of inorganic iron, which aids the formation of small molecu les with ascorbic acid, citrate, fructose, and amino acids. Citrate and ascorbate, being soluble, are more easily absorbed, while tannate (from tannic acid in tea), phytate and phosphate are not so readily absorbed.

Vitamin C reduces ferric iron to ferrous iron which. remains soluble even at neutral pH and is better absorbed. Even when the diet is poor in iron, vitamin C supplement with each meal enhances iron absorption.? Vitamin C taken in divided doses with each meal will increase iron absorption to a greater extent than a single large dose with breakfast.

Calcium inhibits iron absorption. Radio-iron absorption tests in human volunteers show decreased absorption with cimetidine and antacids.

BLOOD LEVELS

PLASMA IRON :- Normal plasma iron level is 60-160 micrograms per 100 ml (10.74-28.6 micromol/l); the total plasma iron-binding capacity (TIBC) is 280-400 microgram per 100 ml (50.1-71.6 micromol/l), of which about one-third is normally saturated.

The iron-binding proteins are transferrin (siderophilin), lactoferrin (found in milk, tears, saliva, bile, seminal secretions, and cervical mucus), and desferrioxamine (a fungal product). Mucosal transferrin binds iron in the lumen of the gut to transport it across the brush border of the intestinal mucosa. Plasma transferrin transports protein and binds two atoms of iron; its half-life is eight days, but varies widely because iron deficiency itself is a stimulus to transferrin formation.

STORAGE

The total body iron is 3-5 g (54-90 mmol), the bulk of which is in hemoglobin. The sites of storage are the liver, spleen, and bone marrow, where iron is stored as ferritin or hemosiderin.

Ferritin, derived from the reticuloendothelial tissue of the liver, spleen, and bone marrow, is a spherical storage iron protein which binds up to 4000 atoms of iron per molecule. It has 24 subunits arranged in a cluster like a raspberry, and contains 20% iron. Ferritin represents the soluble, readily mobilizable fraction of storage iron; its estimation, by radioimmunoassay, helps in diagnosing iron deficiency or overload. This estimation is less expensive than that of serum iron and TIBC. The normal values range from 12 to 250 micrograms per litre; values less than 10 micrograms per litre denote iron deficiency.

One microgram per litre of serum is equivalent to 80 mg (1.4 mmol) storage iron. Storage iron is about 980 mg (17.5 mmol) in normal men and 450 mg (8 mmol) in women. In iron overload, the values are higher; in acute liver cell damage, too, release of ferritin gives abnormally high values.

The structure of hemosiderin is not well understood, but it is believed to be a degradation product of ferritin. Hemosiderin iron is not readily released.

Desferrioxamine is a chelating agent that binds iron and excretes it in the urine. The urinary excretion of iron is thus easily measured, and this method is utilized to estimate iron stores. Injection of desferrioxamine in patients with decreased iron stores results in diminished urinary iron excretion.

Transferrin is a glycoprotein synthesized mainly by the liver. It can bind two ferric iron molecules and is responsible for the total iron-binding capacity of the serum, which is 250-370 micrograms per 100 ml.

EXCRETION

Absorbed iron is tenaciously bound to protein. The little excretion that occurs, as with shedding of the inner lining of the digestive tract (desquamation of the epithelium of the mucous membrane), cannot be correctly assessed. Iron passed in stool is mostly unabsorbed dietary iron; some iron is also -lost through the bile. Desquamation of the skin increases iron loss with sweating in the hot, humid climate of the tropics. The urinary loss of iron is negligible.

IRON Loss IN WOMEN

A woman loses additional iron during her reproductive life: (i) during each menstrual cycle 30-60 ml of blood is lost, which involves a monthly loss of 15-30 mg (269-537 micromol) iron; (ii) during pregnancy the fetus, placenta, and loss during parturition drain the mother of over 500 mg (9 mmol) iron, which would require an increase in the daily absorption by 2 mg (36 micromol); and (iii) during lactation, there is an additional daily loss of 1.5 mg (27 micromol) iron. Owing to such losses, women–even in Western countries-have low iron stores.

DEFICIENCY

Anemia are the most common and widespread nutrition problems. A vast majority of cases are due to iron deficiency. On a global basis, 2.15 billion persons are anemic or iron-deficient.

Iron is also utilized by the brain. Iron uptake is maximum during rapid brain growth in the fetus 15 Iron-deficient infants are below par in mental and physical development. Iron intervention can reverse these development delays.

A post-cricoid web is often associated with iron deficiency; when followed up, some of these developed cancer in that region. Lowered levels of intestinal disaccharidases occur with iron deficiency anemia; this’ is corrected by oral iron supplement.

Serum ferritin radioimmunoassay is the most reliable test for iron-deficiency anemia. Little additional information is gained from other noninvasive tests.

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How I Finally Got Bigger Arms

Ever since I was born I was small. All through elementary school, I was above average height, but still small. At 12 I started lifting a little and my chest began to grow a little, but I was still small. It was until age 15 a friend of mine showed me how to do some body-weight exercises and my arms grew a little, but they were still only 13 inches. At age 15-18, they were maybe 14 inches. For the next six years I think my arms increased about only 2 inches.

I wasn’t in any Gym, but nearly every day I would do body-weight exercises and gradually increase my reps. However, at that point, I had above average arms, but they were no where near to where I wanted them to be.

Then in my 26th year, I learned about the pull-up bar. My cousin was moving to another province and I was helping him to move. He had a pull-up bar there and asked if anybody wanted it. One of the other helpers said he wanted it but that couldn’t happen, I took the pull-up bar and immediately put it in my car.

What happened next was magic. I brought that pull-up bar home and immediately went to work on it. Day after day or night after night, I worked at it and gradually built up my strength until I was over 100 reps per session, then 200, then 500+. My strength increased incredibly and with strength, so did my size. Everywhere I go, people would see me and make some kind of comment. “Do you take steroids?” “What do you eat?” “What kind of exercises do you do?”

I even joined my first Gym a few years ago and to do this day, people admire my physique and what I can do in the gym. Now, it is almost a daily routine for somebody who I don’t know to come up to me and say hello or even ask me how to do a certain exercise. And I think that this is all because of the muscle that I’ve gained using the pull-up bar.

Now I don’t have the biggest arms in the world, but I sure am noticed anywhere in the world partly because of them. The last instance being on a resort in Jamaica wearing a tank top trying to enter into a buffet before being stopped by a waiter proclaiming that, ” no guns are allowed in the buffet.” Or even the next day on my way to that same buffet being stopped by three women who crowned me as “the best looking man on the resort”, while my wife was standing next to me.

This is just my story, but I know it can also work for you, because doing pull-ups on the bar is scientifically proven to raise your testosterone level. And we all know what testosterone does to muscle, it builds it. So if you are lacking in your upper body and need a big boost that will begin to get you noticed. Start doing pull-ups and do a lot of them. Until next time!

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