Thursday, 26 February 2009

Weightlifting and Dehydration

Dehydration has a direct impact on performance when weightlifting in the gym. Surprisingly many people dont realise that those "Off days" they sometimes experience can be due to mild dehydration.

If you dont ensure you are well hydrated when weightlifting then you can expect to see a huge dip in performance. Firstly you will find your strength reduced so you cannot lift as heavy as normal, after this you will then notice that you cannot lift for long so your muscle endurance is affected also.

To ensure you are fully hydrated drink water before and during your training session.

For a typical adult you should ensure you drink 1.5 litres to 3 litres of water a day, if you are on a training day then an extra 500ml to a litre will help keep you hydrated throughout the day.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Weightlifting and Islam

There are quite a few men down the gym I go to who follow the religion of Islam, this made me interested in posting about weightlifting and Islam for the purpose of nutrition.

Those who know about Islam will understand that there are some restrictions on eating meat which is the main staple of any weightlifters diet whether it be chicken, turkey or beef.

Islam requires all land animals (fish and most sea life are exempt) to have a swift incision to the neck cutting the jugular veins and carotid arteries of both sides but leaving the spinal cord intact. This will let the animals body of blood. When killed Gods name must be pronounced over the meat. Islam also does not allow eating pork.

The problem with the fact that Islam does not allow pork to be eaten is that many food stuffs actually carry pork derivatives such a Gelatin even if they are not meat products. Did you know that even Whey protein powders cannot be taken unless certified as Halal if a person follows Islam?

So for a Muslim carrying out weightlifting it is harder for them to ensure they get the correct daily intake of proteins. To ensure the correct level of protein is taken a Muslim weightlifter requires to maintain a strict diet using Halal foods where ever possible and when not available fish and pulses need to be taken as an alternative.

I have a lot of respect for my Muslim brothers who train because they not only have a difficult time because of nutrition, there is also the issue of Ramadan where in the ninth month they fast from dawn until sunset every day, this includes not even drinking water.

If you follow Islam and you are weightlifting in any way I would be very interested in your diet so please do make a comment below.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Power to Weight Ratio

To better understand how well your strength is increasing there is a simple, yet effective math formula to find out. This formula is the power to weight ratio.

As you train you will build muscle and lose fat, this will see your strength increase while your weight will lower or stay the same dependant on your physique and diet. By using the power to weight ratio fomula you will be able to tell whether yuor strength is increasing in two ways.

One that your weight has dropped due to fat lose but you can still lift the same weight increasing your power to weight ratio.

Two your weight stays the same or increases slightly through muscle but you are lifting heavier so your power to weight ratio increases.

So what is this mythical power to weight ratio formula?

Simple, the formula is to divide the weight you lift in an exercise by your body weight. If your lifting in kilograms divide this by your weight in kilograms, if your lifting in pounds then divide this by your weight in pounds.


A 90kg man lifts 160kg in the deadlift, this gives him a power to weight ratio of 1.77 in this exercise (160 divided by 90). If you do the same formula using pounds it comes out with the same ratio.

For those who are new to powerlifting and wish to compete I would say use a power ratio of 2 for each of the three lifts as your target. By using 2 as your benchmark you will put yourself in a good position to compete well in amateur tournaments.

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Ignore the Body Mass Index BMI

The Body Mass Index is a basic measurement that works out if someone is underweight, within normal weight ranges, overweight or obese by using just height and weight.

The measurement is very simple, take your height in metres and times by two then divide your weight in kilograms by this number as shown.

The thing is that if you ask any body builder or powerlifter they ignore the BMI index and so should you even if fat loss is your target.

The problem with the body mass index (known as the BMI) is that there are too many shortfalls in the equation. The BMI does not take into account someone who has a very muscular frame so someone like me is borderline overweight because of the extra weight I carry in muscle (My current BMI is 24.8).

In a short time period when I have added more muscle mass through training I will be overweight even though I have an average waist size and have a good diet.

If you are serious about finding out how well you are achieving whether it be in weight loss or increasing muscle mass then I suggest speaking to your gym and asking if they could measure you body fat percentage.

To do this calipers are used to measure the fat on different areas of your body and this then translates to a body fat percentage, this can then be used to see whether you are in the normal range dependant on your age. Please see the body fat guidelines below for both males and females.

Its important to note that women always carry more fat than men, this is natural and this is why women have a normal fat percentage level that is higher for the normal range.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

The Daily Plate

For those interested in bodybuilding and for others who want to watch their weight I am going to give you a little helping hand with watching those pounds/kilograms.

There is a great website on the Internet called The Daily Plate where you can monitor your training activity levels and your calorie intake from proteins to carbs and fats. This is a great and FREE site that will allow you to use their huge database of foods to keep account of the food you eat.

The daily plate even tells you exactly what percentage of carbs etc you need to take in each day and how much you have eaten accounts towards this...or goes over this on a bad day!

I used to use this site religiously but have not used it for a while...and I feel this is part of the reason a few pounds have gathered around my midriff which I am currently working off!!

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Triceps brachii muscle

The Triceps brachii muscle, more commonly referred to as the Triceps is a large muscle located on the rear of the upper arm between the elbow and the shoulder.

The function of the Triceps are the extension of the elbow joint, this means that they straighten the arm. This means the Triceps complete the opposite function to the Biceps.

The word Triceps means three headed muscle (Tri meaning three). These three heads are:

  • The long head running from the shoulder blade (Scapula at the infraglenoid tubercle)
  • The lateral head runs down the posterior shaft of the humerus, lateral and superior to the radial (spiral) groove (finishing half way down the upper arm).
  • The medial head runs down the posterior shaft of the humerus, medial and inferior to the radial (spiral) groove (finishes at the elbow).
The Triceps account for about sixty percent of the muscle mass in the upper arm. Because of this you will find many bodybuilders working the Triceps just as much, if not more than the Biceps to add size and width to the arm.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Lifting Body Weight Literally!

A gym in London called Gymbox health club is taking training equipment to the extreme. Gymbox not only let you use a multitude of resistance machines and free weights, they are now allowing people to lift HUMAN WEIGHTS.

The idea is that they have humans of varying weight that you can lift on various machines, these people that are your weight to lift also talk to you and give encouragement as you lift them.

By doing this it takes out the monotony of lifting metal weights and replaces it with something visual and interesting to push you that little bit further.

The human weights on offer vary in size dramatically from a svelt dwarf at 66 pounds (30 kilograms) to a whopping 342 pounds (155.45 kilograms).

Gymbox is really pushing the boundaries of training with its unique training equipment!

Why not see for yourself by watching the video below.