Saturday, 31 January 2009

Creatine Side Effects

Many people talk about the Creatine side effects so I thought it was time to put digital pen to digital paper and tell you all about my own view on this.

Currently studies have not been able to establish long term side effects from taking Creatine but it is deemed safe to take Creatine if your a healthy individual and take it in the correct dosage as set out on the product purchased.

Some people do experience side effects from taking Creatine, I myself being one, but not everyone has an issue. The side effect experienced is not a worrying one either, the side effect is mild dehydration.

I have warned many people that if they take Creatine they need to ensure a good level of drinking water to keep hydrated. The reason for this is that Creatine increases the water uptake in the muscles which takes water from elsewhere and can cause dehydration due to a water imbalance in certain areas of the body. If you drink water regularly to ensure you are well hydrated then this will not be an issue as the body will get the water it needs to carry on completing its other functions effectively.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

300 Workout

Now you may have heard of this workout but not seen what it actually entails. The 300 workout was created as a "Rite of passage" for the men who acted in the film 300.

While they did not complete this workout as part of their training regime week in and week out they did use this as a test of strength and endurance towards the end of their gruelling few months of trying to get ripped for the film.

The workout is called a 300 workout not only because the actors who carried it out were in the film 300 but also because the workout has 300 reps in total. The idea behind the workout is to complete it with no or little rest in the quickest time possible. From what I understand not all the actors managed to complete the full 300 reps but Andrew Pleavin who played Daxos in 300 completed the workout in eighteen minutes and eleven seconds.

The 300 workout

  • Pullups - 25 reps
  • Deadlifts with 135lbs - 50 reps
  • Pushups - 50 reps
  • 24-inch Box jumps - 50 reps
  • Floor wipers - 50 reps
  • Single-arm Clean-and-Press with 36lbs Kettlebell - 50 reps Pullups - 25 reps
This workout needs some practise to work up to the full reps. If your serious about getting in shape with muscle and fitness then I suggest incoorporating this routine into your regime once every week or two.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Arnold: Education of a Bodybuilder

When I first started out in weightlifting six years ago I was interested in bodybuilding, to gain an understanding in bodybuilding I bought many, many books and absorbed everything like a sponge.

The best book out of all the books I ever read was Arnold Schwarzeneggers book Arnold: The Education of a Bodybuilder. This book really gave me the knowledge I needed to start seriously improving in the gym while also giving an insight into Arnolds life and giving me inspiration.

Many people now follow the likes of Mike Mentzer for their gains, which is great because Mike is very knowledgable, but for me this book back in the day opened up a whole new world for me.

Arnold does really go to town in The Education of a Bodybuilder so it is important to be careful not to overtrain with his methods, although I can tell you I saw serious gains in my first six months of training using this book as my bible!

Monday, 19 January 2009

Spring Into Action

Well the new year has been upon us for nearly three weeks now and I am really buzzing about my training this year.

Already I have not only been pushing hard with the weights but I have also supplemented this with a cardio routine, something I have neglected for a long time...for my sins.

Yesterday saw me do a split training routine with jogging in the morning and weights in the evening. Today saw me jogging this evening and tomorrow will see me lifting weights. I have put together a plan for how I am training, this will see me training in some capacity nearly every day of the week with cardio one day and lifting the next near enough.

Its time to really push the boundaries of my body to achieve more than I ever thought I could, this year is going to be THE year for me!

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Weight Loss Regime

So you have entered the new year wanting to lose a few pounds? Well forget those celebrity fitness DVD's you see being advertised heavily on the television and concentrate on a real workout that will help lose weight, tone up and give you a better feeling of well being.

Here at Musclepowershop the aim is to give you the tools you need to achieve your goals, these fitness videos give you a workout that is okay for the beginner but dont really support your long term here we go...

Firstly before even starting a workout I wish to tell you about your eating plan. To lose weight effectively so you are not crash dieting and the weight wont creep straight back on you need to know your calorie intake and eating habits.

Calorie intake and eating

To lose weight take your calorie intake in pounds (for those who only know kilograms its your wieight in kilograms times 2.2) and times this by 12. This is your guidline calorie intake.

Next it is important to know that you DO need to eat fats and proteins. Your calorie intake should be made up of 60% carbohydrate, 20% fat and 20% protein. The fats you should eat though should be good fats called Monounsaturated fat and Polyunsaturated fat (collectively called Trans fats). These fats are essential for your body so check the labels of foods you eat to see that these are contained.

Below is a list of foods that you can gain your essential fatty acids from

  • Fish (Tuna, Herring, Mackerel among others)
  • Cereal
  • Whole grain wheat
  • Nuts (Peanuts, Walnuts, and other nuts)
  • Oils (Olive oil, Sunflower oil and Safflower oil)
  • Bananas
  • Seed (Hemp seed and Flax seed among others)
Next its important to know when to eat, lets have none of this skipping breakfast malarkey, its important to eat your meals. In fact to lose weight its better to eat five or six meals rather than three, to do this you need to eat five or six meals spaced about three to three and a half hours apart. By eating small amounts regularly you are keeping your metabolism at its highest rate so your body is working at its most effective and expending its most amount of energy while also reducing the size of your stomach by eating smaller meals.

The workout

You should wokout four times a week, this should be for 30 to 40 minutes each time. Below is a sample of workouts you can mix and match to suit you, plus there are many others available which can be found here on Musclepowershop or elsewhere on the Internet..

  • Workout 1 - Jog for 30 - 40 minutes
  • Workout 2 - Cycle for 30 - 40 minutes
  • Workout 3 - Boxing - 10 x 20 punches with 60 second rest between each set (gloves, pads and partner required)
  • Workout 4 - Squats, lunges, calf raises, press ups, star jumps, situps (complete 3 x 15 of each)
  • Workout 5 - Fast walk 45 - 50 minutes

Losing weight can be fun, you dont need to eat just greens you can eat anything within reason as long as you eat healthier and watch your calories a bit more. Fitness will come in time and you will feel better in yourself so please do try to complete your workouts three to four times a week.

Saturday, 10 January 2009

neuromuscular facilitation

Neuromuscular facilitation, also known as muscle memory, is where your body remembers the motor skills you perform.

the normal context of muscle memory would be your body refining your movements that it is used to carrying out daily such as cleaning your teeth. Your body knows straight away without thinking how to hold the brush, how to move the brush and how much pressure to apply without thinking.

In the weight lifting world the meaning of muscle memory is where you may take a break from training and find your body lose some mass, but when you start training again the body remembers the movement from previous training. This means that the muscle memory gets the body to regain its previous mass very quickly so the hard training needed to gain the muscle mass in the first place is not required.

There is debate whether this is true or not but I can say that I myself have had this happen to me. I stopped training for three months and lost 7 kg in mass. When i started again I found my body only needed 6 to 8 weeks to return close to the size I was previously.

If you have trained in the gym before and are thinking of starting again then you may have the luck to have Neuromuscular facilitation (muscle memory) on your side so you return to peak fitness quite quickly.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Strongman - The Strength Athlete

Strongman competitions have been around for for hundreds of years but the stongman competitions of today are totally different than those of yesteryear.

Unlike weightlifting competitions or bodybuilding the strongman competition is a test of strength athletics rather than a pure test of power like weightlifting or powerlifting or to look like physical perfection like bodybuilding.

The most famous and well known of all the strongman competitions is the "World's Strongest Man" which takes the top strongman from all countries to compete for the crown of the worlds strongest man.

The strongman competitions usually consist of many different movements such as flipping cars over, lifting very heavy concrete balls (The atlas stones), flipping large metal poles (Fingals fingers), holding heavy weights at arms length from the body (Crucifix) and many more.

Those that compete in strongman competitions have to have a great deal of cardiovascular fitness to support their strength. They also tend to train using workouts that involve running while pulling a sled or flipping tractor tyres....a little more than the normal weight workouts that you and me complete.

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Killer Home Back Workout

Today is the killer home back workout, the last workout for those wishing to get in shape from home to battle the economic slump the world is in. To carry out this workout you need dumbbells and, a bench or chair and thats about it!

This time we are working on four exercises of four sets with twelve repetitions for each set.

Exercise One

Wide hand press ups.

Take a press up position with a wide grip to utilise your back rather than your chest then take three seconds to move down and one second to push back up.

Exercise Two

Shoulder shrug

Using dumbbells stand with your legs shoulder width apart and dumbbells by your side then shrug your shoulders upwards towards your ears then return to your normal stance and repeat.

Exercise Three

Dumbell bent over row

Using dumbells put your right hand and knee on a bench keeping your back straight. With your arm straight towards the floor lift the dumbbell towards your rib, under your chest and repeat.

Exercise Four

Lower back lift

Lie flat on your front and with your arms behind your back just above your bottom, lift your chin off the floor so your facing forward while keeping your body still, return to your starting position and repeat.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Happy New Year

Today I am not posting about anything fitness or weightlifting related. Today I just want to wish you all alot of luck, love, health and happiness for 2009.

I hope all your new years resolutions come true, especially those that are related to getting in shape!

Roll on 2009!!