All posts by Body Building Guide

How To Build Muscle Mass And Cut Fat

“Lose fat gain muscle” is the mantra of the bodybuilding crowd. So, if you want healthy and toned physique it is time to lose the ugly fat and learn how to build muscle mass.

Why do you want to lose fat and gain muscle? Do you want it for health reasons, or is it for a holiday, for a competition or just as a challenge to yourself? People choose to lose fat for a variety of reasons but you can’t take up this challenge half-heartedly and hope to build muscles.

Achieving a low body fat percentage is not at all easy. The body has evolved over thousands of years trying to store fat for a bad day and it is not going to change it habits just because you want to. Your life henceforth will revolve on achieving your low body fat goals.

It is crucial to get yourself and those close to you involved in this long drawn out process. This step to decide to start gaining muscle, with a 100% committment to do all that is needed, is the key to your success.

Before you start planning you need a goal.

* What is the aim of your build muscle lose fat program?
* How much fat do you want to lose?
* What is a realistic number to achieve in say 3-4 weeks?

Don’t aim for something like “lose 15 percent fat in 3 weeks”. That is impossible. Instead set ambitious but realistic targets. Pin your goals all around you – in your car, on your bathroom mirror, on your bedroom wall where you will see it the first thing in morning. Post pictures of people who have gained the body they dreamed off from fitness magazines. Post pictures of amazing transformations both the before and after pictures. All these will help to keep you focused on the goal.

Nutrition is key to good health and proper weight loss. Trying to reduce calorie intake does not work as your body kick starts its safety mechanism to start hoarding fat by producing more of lipase which is a lipoprotein that stores fat in the body by slowing down metabolism. During this phase the body also sacrifices its muscle tissue for its energy needs.

You will show amazing weight loss results but the body is actually losing muscle tissue instead of fat. You will gain back all the weight you lost in a few weeks time as body stores all the lost fat and some more in case you pull this stunt once again.

Your aim is to lose fat while gaining muscle. So, don’t reduce your calorie intake. Instead look around for muscle building tips that will help you build muscle but slowly lose fat.

Advice for those wishing to know to how to build muscle mass and also lose weight is to eat 6 meals a day spread out through the day. So if you start off at morning then at regular intervals you should consume 250-300 calories/ meal depending on your calorific needs, spread over 6 meals.

Here’s a sample plan, if you eat at 6.30 am in the morning, plan to eat meals at 9.30 am, 12.30 am, 3.30 pm, 6.30 pm and 9.30 pm. This requires careful planning so you eat a balanced meal consisting of all food groups of fruits, vegetables, proteins and carbs.

Essential fats, omega3 and omega-6 fatty acids found in fish, proteins about 1.5 gm/kilo body weight and whole grains with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables will keep your body well-supplied with nutrition and lead to fat loss while you gain muscle. Of course you need to do strength training to gain the muscles you wish for.

5 Secrets To Muscle Growth Using Any Program

Over 90 percent of the people who dream about building big muscles never ever achieve their dream simply because they lack certain key requirements. There are 5 secrets to achieving success with any muscle growth program you choose. Instead of obsessing over what program to adopt or which is the best system for you, choose a program that appeals to you and then apply these secrets to get the results you want.

Secret To Success In Building Muscle Is Consistency

If you consistently and without fail perform your routines as laid out in any proven system and stick to it you will see results. For some the results can be noticed sooner while others have to wait years. But those who never miss a session, who always pump the weights to the point of exhaustion will see their muscles developing. If you notice that you are missing more than a few workout sessions per month and several over the course of year then choose a program that suits your lifestyle. Ensure that you put in the required time at the gym no matter what your schedule or life demands. Those who are serious about building muscle mass don’t look for excuses not to workout. In fact they find ways to hit the gym.

You have to make a commitment to stick to your strength training program for years. It is not something that you can do for 4 months, 6 months, 12 months and then take time off and return 6 months later. You lose momentum and interest. Also, the gains made during the time you worked out are lost over time.

Find a program that you know is most suited to your needs and stick to it. Building muscle mass takes years of training and yet many folks want to see results in a few weeks or months and give up if they don’t see much progress.

Build Muscle Mass Through Patience

That’s right patience is another secret to effective muscle growth. Plan on training consistently for 3-4 years to gain the look you really want. That sculpted and toned physique is work of hours of training at the gym pumping weights, swallowing protein shakes, eating enough calories to fuel the muscle growth. It takes even more effort to simply maintain that look. Yes, don’t think even for a minute that you can work out for a few weeks, gain the muscles and sit out for the rest of your life enjoying the physique. No sir, it doesn’t work that way. You need to first put in years of effort to get those muscles. After 4 years you might finally be able to show off your body, if you stop at this point, a few years down the line you will simply lose your muscles, strength and all the hard work you put in. It is life-long commitment that you need to stick to. Choosing a program that you can stick to and enjoy doing is key to your long-term success.

Progressively Lift Heavier Weights

The next secret to greater bodybuilding success is to progressively increase weights. You need to keep adding weights and getting stronger. There is absolutely no way you are going to get big muscles if you don’t lift heavier weights. Strength is important to bodybuilding success so, don’t believe anyone who says that strength does not matter in this field. If you see natural body builders they are some of the strongest people you will ever meet. Build strength to build bigger muscles.

Eat More Than You Burn Off

Folks don’t pay attention to their nutrition needs when working out. They spend hours and hours lifting weight but baulk at the very idea of consuming enough calories to help those muscles to heal and develop. When you work out like crazy and exhaust your muscles it needs proteins, carbs and fats to rebuild and heal itself. Instead of providing it with quality proteins you give it salad and water. Naturally it refuses to bulk up. How can it? There are no building blocks to grow. Muscles can not grow on air and water. They need solid food laden with 30 gm of protein per meal, whole grains, fruits and veggies. You also need to eat more often for the muscles to get uniform energy. Aim for 6 meals a day. If you eat only healthy food the calories will help bulk up your body, you might gain a few grams of fat but on the whole it will be mostly muscles. So don’t worry about eating more.

Change According To Your Needs

Evolve and modify your training, diet and other routines based on feedback from your body and mind. Some things like more number of reps with lower weights work for some people, while for others heavier weights with lower reps is the key to gaining muscles. Some people respond well too certain types of food while others might not find any benefit in it. So modify and change your training to suit your body needs.

7 Best Supplements For Gaining Weight

Gaining weight is possible with a mix of weight lifting and eating right. Experts opine that to get maximum benefit from your efforts you should also include some supplements in your diet. There are thousands of these products on sale both online and offline. So it gets rather confusing when you can spend only limited amount of money on your supplements.

Which are the best supplements for gaining weight?

Here in order of priority are listed some of the best supplements that are most effective in gaining weight fast. People on a tight budget can pick from the first few but those who can splurge can choose more products.

Whey Protein Powder

A must-have supplement in your gaining weight food cupboard is Whey Protein Powder. It tops the list because it contains large amounts of branched chain amino acids which are crucial for protein synthesis and peptides that helps in increasing blood flow to the muscles. It digests really fast and reaches your muscle to start helping in building and repairing process.

Whey protein shakes are recommended immediately after a training session to shore up the depleted energy levels and kick-start muscle growth. Start with 20 gm about half-hour before your work-out, take another 40 gm soon after your workout session. Some people take it first thing in the morning, before a workout, after a workout and just before going to bed. Choose whey powder that contains hydrolysates or isolates for best results.

Casein Protein Powder

Number two on your list of best supplements should be Casein Protein Powder. It digests slowly and makes up as a good bed-time snack. It works slow and steady while you sleep. Casein doesn’t make you feel full and helps you put on muscle mass. It is as good as or in some cases even better than whey. Experts recommend that you should consume casein soon after a workout to boost synthesis of muscle proteins. Consuming a whey and casein protein shake soon after a training session works better than just plain whey. Add this to your pre-bedtime drink. You can add it your between-meals shakes too.

Creatine Powder

Creatine make its at number three on list of best supplements. It is made of arginine, methionine and glycine. These amino acids help in gaining weight dramatically and also help increase strength in individuals. When taken pre-workout it helps in supplying fast energy needed to perform the reps in the gym. Availability of this energy means you can do more reps with a given weight. More reps leads to bigger and stronger muscles. Creatine also helps retain more water in the muscle cells stretching them and helping them grow bigger in the longer term. Creatin also boosts insulin in blood with releases the growth factor needed to stimulate growth. Take 2-5 gm of creatine just before a workout to boost your energy levels and consume a similar quantity post workout.

Branched chain amino acids

To repair and rebuild muscle tissue you need branched-chain amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine. The most critical is the first one leucine. This amino acid alone is enough to stimulate muscle protein synthesis but it is recommended to take all three. The three work in tandem to help increase energy levels during workouts, increasing muscle growth, blunting the effects of cortisol and reduces any delayed muscle soreness. About 5 gm to 10 gm of this powder with breakfast, with your pre-workout drink and with your post workout drink is all that is needed.

Beta Alanine

The amino acid beta alanine combines with amino histidine to form carnosine. Carnosine increases the strength and endurance in muscle fibers. The ability of the muscle fiber to contract is also considerably increased by Beta Alanine. They contract better and do not get tired soon. Studies show that athletes experience better power when they consume beta alanine. They also lost more body fat while gaining body weight in muscle.

Nitric Oxide Boosters

The molecule nitric oxide is found in multiple locations performing different functions in the body. It is responsible in dilating blood vessels which allows more blood flow to muscles. This enhances oxygen supply to muscles along with nutrients, useful hormones and water. This enhances your ability to work harder and longer. It also improves your recovery from the workout. The Nitric oxide boosters consist of arginine an amino acid which readily converts to the nitric oxide in the blood. People who took these supplements experienced better muscle strength and lost excess body fat.

Glutamine

An amino acid found in plenty in the body it has been a favorite among the bodybuilding community. It is at the core of muscle function. It provides several benefits increasing muscle growth, reducing muscle breakdown, improving immune system and so on. Glutamine consumed before workouts decreases muscle tiredness and also improves hormone levels.

The above are the best supplements needed to help in increasing body weight and improving muscle growth. Depending on your budget choose the supplements in the order of priority listed above.

Best Exercise To Lose Weight

If you want to exercise to lose weight, it’s best that you learn some unvarnished facts about it. The first is that it takes a lot of exercise to lose weight.

Now, this may not be what you like to hear. Maybe all the marketing and media hype about the latest weight loss miracle cure has conditioned you to believe that fitness and a flat tummy can happen like magic overnight. Well, wake up to reality.

Best Exercise To Lose Weight

As long as you stay rooted in a logical and practical approach to lose weight, you will succeed at it. The best exercise to lose weight is the one which can produce repeatable results for everyone who does it regularly. We’ll talk about some of the best methods which are also fun and enjoyable.

1. Jogging

Your entire body exercises when you go jogging. It is cheap (almost free, all you need is a pair of shoes), universal and convenient. You don’t have to go to a gym or be in a specific location to be able to jog. Just step out of the door and get going.

Even if you jog a few kilometers daily, you will notice a boost in your metabolic rate, better fitness and a loss of weight. Jogging burns off calories better than most other forms of aerobic exercise. Unless you have serious medical conditions like heart disease or joint problems, you can probably jog at a modest pace for around half an hour or longer.

The only problem with jogging is the strain it places on your knees. By building up your intensity gradually, you can make steady progress and jog longer distances. Do not try to simultaneously increase both your distance and speed. Given a choice, it is better to jog longer distances than to run faster.

2. Walking

Some people prefer a fast walk to jogging. This is true for those with joint problems affecting the knees or elderly folks. Walking at a brisk pace carries almost identical benefits as jogging. It is also easier than jogging and you can make it a group activity by combining your walks with friends or family.

It has been shown in many studies that walking is the best exercise to lose weight, better even than jogging in terms of weight lost over a comparable time frame. It is also safer and easier to begin. With a walking group to keep you company, you are more likely to continue exercising for a long time without getting bored or giving up.

What speed is right for walking? Well, your benefits are greatest when you walk as briskly as you can. This means you should walk as rapidly as you can, while still being able to conduct a regular conversation without running out of breath.

3. Weight Training

Another great way to burn off extra calories is through weight training. Not only does weight training consume energy during the exercise session, it also continues to keep your body’s metabolic rate higher for a while longer – an effect called the “after burn” – which further uses up calories. Since these calories come from burning up excess stored fat, weight training is among the best exercise to lose weight.

Weight lifting seems counterintuitive when one is thinking about losing weight. After all, when you do weight training, you’ll build muscles – and that will actually increase body weight! But if this misconception is holding you back from going to the gym for weight lifting, change it. The benefits in terms of fat burning and reducing weight are significant indeed.

Also, when you build more muscle, it continues to burn fat for two days after you stop exercising. This means each workout keeps on melting away extra fat for a long time.

4. Cycling

The best exercise to lose weight is bicycling, according to some fans of aerobic workouts. There is little question that cylcing is among the best cardiovascular exercises.

By taking a bike to work, you can avoid traffic jams while enjoying the breeze in your face, burning off calories all the while. Cycling can also be a competitive sport and you can lose weight when you workout by training for contests.

5. Swimming

Swimming is excellent exercise for weight loss and building endurance. Though it may appear effortless, swimming can burn off hundreds of calories. By exercising many large muscle groups, you build strength while melting away surplus fat stores around your waist.

Just doing a few laps around the pool daily will make a significant difference in your level of fitness and tighten your waistline by a few inches. It is also less stressful on your knees and ankles, making it an ideal exercise for people with joint problems and arthritis.

6. Aerobics

Aerobic exercise can be heart healthy and also burn off calories. Exercising for 20 minutes 3 or 4 times in a week can help with weight loss. You can pick from a range of aerobic exercise workouts.

Look around to see which exercise routine might work best for you. By visiting a few websites and watching video recordings of aerobics, you’ll be able to choose the best exercise to lose weight. Try it out and see if you are comfortable with it. Then keep going.

7. Sex

Sex is a great form of exercise, which also bonds partners closer together emotionally and improves the quality of family life.

Regular lovemaking burns off calories, makes your heart healthier and even improves emotional balance. You’ll feel energized, confident and relaxed after sex. That’s why many fitness coaches advocate frequent sex as a desirable form of exercise.

8. Dancing

Dancing is another way to exercise major muscle groups energetically. Dancing increases your heart rate, boosts your metabolism, and makes your muscles stronger. The frequent changes in rhythm and routines keeps you from becoming bored.

There are a wide range of different dances and you can pick your poison. Choose a dance style that fits your physique and lifestyle.

Any one of these can be the best exercise to lose weight, provided you do it at least 3 times in a week and keep each session around at least 20 minutes. These fun ways to lose weight will make you healthier and happier in short order. Enjoy!

If you would like to learn more about a structured program designed to help you lose weight and bulk up with muscle, click here to read about “Muscle Gaining Secrets 2.0”

Essentials About Dietary Supplements

Vitamins, herbs, minerals and several other products qualify as dietary supplements. These come in the form of powders and pills, capsules or energy bars, and even readymade drinks. While supplements have an impact on health, they are not required to undergo the rigorous testing process involved in manufacturing and marketing drugs.

dietary supplements

Many dietary supplements have benefits for health and fitness. Calcium and Vitamin D are good for your bones. Folic acid supplements are important during pregnancy in preventing nervous system birth defects. However, taking dietary supplements can sometimes have harmful effects on your health. That’s why you should be informed about any supplements you are taking or are thinking about adding to your diet.

What Benefits Can Dietary Supplements Offer?

Dietary supplements are an addition to a regular balanced diet. They make sure that your daily requirement of nutrients and minerals is met. Some essential nutrients like trace metals or vitamins may not be present in adequate quantities in the food you typicall eat. Under those conditions, a dietary supplement can make up the shortfall.

Supplements are not meant to treat or prevent diseases. Any manufacturers who make tall claims that indicate that dietary supplements reduce pain or treat a disease condition are in violation of guidelines and should be taken with a pinch of salt.

Do Dietary Supplements Carry Risks?

Many supplements have active ingredients that impact various biological systems in your body. Be it enzymes involved in important cellular functions or the release of native hormones in response to their ingredients, supplements have the potential to alter your body’s internal mileu and disturb the status quo.

Some potential dangers and risks from dietary supplements can result from:

* using supplements along with over the counter medications
* replacing prescription drugs with “equivalent” supplements
* overdosing on supplements like vitamin A, D or iron

Whenever other treament options like surgery are being considered, supplements can have serious effects. That’s why you should make it a point to inform your care giver that you are taking supplements.

Ensuring Safety of Dietary Supplements

There are various regional laws and guidelines in effect in different countries to safeguard the population against the harmful effects of dietary supplements. In most countries, governments will not approve these supplements for safety or effectiveness. Whenever a supplement based on a new ingredient is introduced in the market, it will have to undergo approval by the regulatory authorities before it can be sold.

Manufacturers are required to maintain minimum standards that ensure adequate concentrations of active ingredients are available in the formulation, and contaminants or impurities are kept to a minimum. Labels that represent the ingredients of supplements are also carefully scrutinized for accuracy.

If any adverse reaction or side effect is reported by the public who uses the supplement, regulatory agencies like the FDA may take the dietary supplements off the market. In case you experience a side effect from taking a supplement, you should report the incident to the agency’s helpline for prompt investigation and intervention.

How To Research Dietary Supplements?

To find out details about the supplement you plan to take, ask the manufacturer or distributor for information.

* What proof can they show to support claims made about it?
* How safe are the ingredients?
* Have any side effects been reported and who should not take it?

In general, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is not! Be skeptical to an extent. Generally, “cure all” supplements aren’t really effective. Any claims about curing or treating disease are likely to be false.

‘Natural’ isn’t always ‘safe’. And do not take the line that even if this supplement won’t help you, at least it won’t harm you. Some of them might. Research the supplement online, relying on trustworthy sites for data rather than the manufacturer’s own website. Keep abreast of scams and fraud by checking on directories maintained by the regulators.

If you still are in doubt about the safety or efficacy of a dietary supplement, ask your medical practitioner or health care provider for help. They can help you distinguish between legitimate supplements and questionable ones. Your safety should be the first consideration, so exercise due caution while selecting a supplement.

Dietary supplements have a role to play in promoting health and fitness. Before you decide to take one, consult your doctor or dietitian for advice on how to balance your regular diet with the supplements you plan to take.