Saturday, 30 May 2009

Time Training Per Workout Session

The poll on the time taken to train per workout session has finished and the results are interesting.

In total we received 36 results for this time training per workout session poll, 3 more than the previous one which is great. Im hoping the number of results will increase more over the next few polls, anyway I digress lets get back to the results of this poll.

The Results:

How long do you train per workout?

One person did say they trained for between 0 to 15 minutes, I do hope this was a result born from boredom or a joke! The majority of people train for 60 to 90 minutes, this is shown through the 14 results that equate to 38.89% of all results.

Those that train for 45 to 60 minutes came a close second at 30.56% with 11 results. 6 people said they train for 30 to 45 minutes at 16.67% of the results and 4 people advised they train for 90 minutes or more resulting in 11.11% of the total.

No one advised that they trained between 15 to 30 minutes and I mentioned earlier that 1 person said they train for 15 minutes or less.

The majority of people said they train for 60 to 90 minutes and this result is also the median in workout times but the average time people train was 45 to 60 minutes. Both of these results are a good outcome because Strength training tends to be in the 45 to 60 minute category while bodybuilding sits more in the 60 minutes to 90 minutes category.

Friday, 29 May 2009

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Monday, 25 May 2009

May 2009 Journal

My weight has gone up to 92kg which is great, well it fluctuates between 92kg and 93kg so Ill stick with the lower amount.

My training has been going really well, some days I have been able to train twice a day by completing a cardio session in the morning and weights session in the evening which has been really helpful.

I have found that my strength has increased quite alot on my chest area in the past four weeks and I feel my cardio has supported these gains.

In the past four weeks my running has improved immensely, in fact the distance I am running has nearly doubled and my heart rate is recovering extremely quickly. This is really supporting me as I can feel my lung capacity has increased and my recovery between sets is much quicker than previously.

The biggest difficulty Im currently having is eating enough! I currently eat 6 times a day with the aim of eating roughly 3,500 calories a day. My meal times are as follows:

Meal 1 - 0730
Meal 2 - 1100
Meal 3 - 1400
Meal 4 - 1700
Meal 5 - 1845
Meal 6 - 2030

These times are not exact but are roughly when I am eating, by doing this I can get the calories I need while also sustaining a high metabolic rate.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Are Protein Shakes Halal?

I have noticed a great many people using the keyword phrase of protein shakes and Halal to find Muscle Power Shop so I thought it would be a good idea to write an article about this subject.

Now Whey is a by product of making cheese, in fact whey is the milk plasma left after the milk has been curdled. It sits on top of the curdled milk and is skimmed away.

In the process of creating Cheese and Whey the producers use something called Rennet. Rennet (actually called Rennin) is an enzyme chemical found in the stomach of animals and is used as part of the preparation to make cheese and whey so doesn't sound Halal at first.

Even thought Rennet is used in the process it is still Halal as long as it is not derived from Pigs. The reason why rennet is Halal is because no blood passes through Rennet thus it is rendered as not living so cannot die which means it does not need to go through the Halal process. Please see the SunniPath online Islamic Academy article for confirmation by clicking here

So to confirm, yes Whey protein shakes are Halal as long as the Rennet is not derived from pork and from my understanding no companies use pork products in their Whey protein shakes. The rennet used in Whey protein shakes is nearly always generated from the stomachs of Calves (Young cows).

Friday, 22 May 2009

The Elusive 6 Pack - Core Training

Everyone aspires to getting that elusive 6 pack of rock hard abs that the ladies seem to love so much yet the many "Get amazing abs in 6 weeks" routines you pay for never seem to live up to the hype.

The truth is that to get an amazing 6 pack of rock hard abs it takes a lot of time and effort that is not just concentrated on ab workouts but also strength training, cardiovascular exercise and eating correctly.

My point about building rock hard abs to have a 6 pack is that you should not just work the abs, you should also work the whole trunk of the body, this is called a core workout rather than an ab workout. You also need to complete core exercises at least twice a week to achieve a physical change to your mid section.

Today Im going to give you a 6 week plan that will help towards building rock hard abs and a strong core, but wont necessarily give you the 6 pack you wont straight away (you may need to keep repeating for a while!).

Firstly strength training is very important, for this I mean the 5 x 5 workout that I have mentioned previously. This is because the workload in the 5 x 5 workout builds strength through lifting heavy weights in compound movements. While lifting these heavy weights in the compound movements you will always be engaging your core muscles to give you stability and added strength thus giving them a workout also.

Secondly you need to carry out cardiovascular training two or three times a week. One of these times should be a full blown run for around 20 - 30 minutes minimum (no longer than 45 minutes though) while the other sessions can be a fast walk or light jog for at least 30 minutes each. This will help burn the fat to build that lean physique.

Thirdly finish at least two of your workouts with a core session, these sessions should have about three to four different core exercises such as crunches, plank, Oblique v-up or leg raises.

Finally ensure you maintain a healthy diet and each little and regularly. I suggest eating a small meal 5 to 6 times a day at 3 to 4 hour intervals, this will give you the nutrients you need and will maintain your metabolism at its highest rate.

Below is an example of building your workout

Comlpete 2 compound movements with 5 sets of 5 reps on each, rest about two minutes between sets.

Add additional weight lifting exercises here to make up your full workout making sure these are carried out in quick succession to get that burn and feel the sweat. These exercises should be carried out in sets of 3 with 10 to 12 reps.

Finish off with 3 or 4 different core workout exercises, keep mixing them up every week to blast your core muscles into growth. When completing the core exerises try 3 sets of each exercises with at least 15 reps for each exercise.

Monday, 18 May 2009

Calisthenics - Increase Muscle With No Equipment

I got asked a question today and thought it would make for a good article, the question was "How to get in shape without any equipment?". My answer was simple, Calisthenics.

Calisthenics actually means an exercise where you carry out movements without weights that will increase muscle through strength while also improving your bodies flexibility. To complete these movements you use your own body weight as the force against you in the movement.

Although it is important to understand that you will not become Arnold Schwarzenegger by using Calisthenics you will find that you strength will increase, your flexibility will increase and finally your muscle endurance will improve greatly.

Did you know that many boxers use calisthenics as a way of conditioning and improving their strength and flexibility?

So what exercises can you do....

Upper Body -

Press up (close, narrow and wide stance)
Triceps dips
Pull ups/Chin ups
Lying back extensions
Wrestlers Bridge (Crab)
Sit ups/Crunches

Lower Body -

Box Jumps
Split Squats
Duck walk

Ideally its best to carry these out in sets of 12 to 15 to get the most out of your routine. I would suggest carrying out an upper body workout as one routine and a lower body workout as another routine leaving 48 hours between each session.

I will post exercise videos to show how to complete these exercises in the coming weeks. Please find a video of me completing press ups below.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Big and Powerful Shoulders

We all want big and powerful shoulders that are boulder like in size and powerful in strength but it may seem strange to some of you to learn that big shoulders does not necessarily mean powerful shoulders.

For bodybuilders the shoulders are an important and integral part of achieving that X frame physique that all bodybuilders dream of achieving. While for powerlifters and olympic lifters the shoulders play a big part in helping to power their way to winning competitions as a secondary muscle group in some of their lifts.

The first part of building big shoulders is to ensure that you dont overload the weight your lifting so you keep good form and to ensure you train all muscles in the shoulder, including the rear Deltoid as mentioned previously in my bodybuilders big shoulders post.

The next part in building big and powerful shoulders is knowing what the different shoulder exercises achieve for you, some will build size while others will build power.

Building Shoulder Power

Using the heaviest weight you can to achieve the full sets with 5 reps minimum.

Barbell Shrugs (3 to 5 sets of 5 to 8 reps)
Barbell Upright Row (3 to 5 sets of 5 to 8 reps)
Standing Military Press (3 to 5 sets of 5 to 8 reps)

Building shoulder size

Use a lighter weight that will allow you to achieve the full amount of sets and minimum reps set out below, this would usually be around 65% of your one rep max.

Dumbbell Shrugs (3 sets of 10 to 12 reps)
Dumbbell Front Raise (3 sets of 10 to 15 reps)
Dumbbell Side Lateral Raise (3 sets of 8 to 12 reps)
Bent Dumbbell Lateral Raise (3 sets of 10 to 15 reps)
Military Press (3 sets of 8 to 12 reps)
Seated Arnie Press (3 sets of 8 to 12 reps)
Barbell Shrugs (3 sets of 8 to 12 reps)


I would suggest starting your shoulder session with the shoulder power exercises then moving to the shoulder size exercises to blast your shoulders into submission to promote size and power.

For me a typical workout would be 2 Power exercises followed by 3 Size exercises, this may be too much for you so find what is most comfortable. I suggest completing 1 power exercise and 3 size exercises to begin with.

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Times Per Week People Weight Train

So the results of the first poll for research have come in, this poll was to find out how many times per week people weight train.

Times Per Week People Weight Train

In total 33 people kindly took the poll over a two week period so we got a small but significant sample on how many times per week people weight train, so without further adue please find the results below.

The results are:

No one trains less than three times a week and as you can see the majority of people train three times a week with 12 results which is 36.36% of the total results.

Seven people train 4 times a week and 5 times a week which breaks down as 21.21% for each amount. Three people train six times a week at 9.09% of the total results and 4 people admit to training 7 or more times a week at 12.12%.

I am surprised at the amount of people that train for 7 or more times a week as this is what I would perceive as someone who is professional in their field. I used to train twice a day some days in the week when I was going through my fanatical stage not long after first starting weight lifting and this may be another reason.

Although the majority of people train for 3 times a week, the overall average is that people weight train for 4.39 times a week, to me this is the perfect number of times per week to train.

I see the average number of times people train per week as a good outcome as I expected the average to be around 4 to 5 times a week as bodybuilders do tend to train around 5 times a week and powerlifters tend to train around 4 times a week.

Friday, 8 May 2009

Brad Gillingham Interview

Today is a very special day as we have an interview with one of my powerlifting idols, yes its none other than the powerful Brad Gillingham. For those of you who don't know of Brad Gillingham (there cant be many of you!) then his achievements speak for themselves:

  • 4 time IPF World Champion
  • 4 time IPF World Silver Medalist
  • 2001 IWGA World Games Silver Medalist
  • 5 time North American Champion
  • 9 Time USAPL National Champion
  • IPF Hall of Fame
  • North American Powerlifting Hall of Fame
  • 65 competition deadlifts over 800 Lbs
Now its time to get on with the interview and find out what makes Brad Gillingham the amazing strength athlete he is.


What made you start out in Powerlifting and how old were you?

My father Gale Gillingham is in the Green Bay Packer Hall of Fame. He played 11 seasons with the Packers and played in Super Bowl I and II. He did all of his off season training at our home located in the small town of Little Falls, Minnesota.

There were no health clubs or gyms to train at in rural Minnesota in the 1960's and 1970's when he was playing pro ball. All of his weight training was done at home in the garage or the basement. My brothers Karl and Wade and I grew up around weight training and began training with weights at an early age. We all played Basketball in high school and I was in track and field.

After high school Karl was the first to compete in Powerlifting and eventually Wade and I followed. Karl and Wade eventually turned into Strongman Competitors, and I have mainly concentrated on Powerlifting. I have also competed in 2 Arnold Classic Strongman competitions. Karl has become one of top Professional Strongmen in the World and Wade has become well known as having one of the strongest grips in the World.

How did you become professional?

I became a professional in the strength training industry when I signed my first contract with GNC Pro Performance in 2001. I am now working under contract with GNC in my 9th year. Karl and Wade have also signed on with GNC and we do several shows every year promoting GNC Pro Performance products. GNC has opened up doors for me that I never envisioned would happen though their support and the travel and work that I do for them.

I have also become a much stronger and healthier athlete by taking GNC Pro Performance products. All three of us attend the Arnold and the Olympia each year and run a grip contest called the GNC Grip Gauntlet in the GNC Pro Performance booth. It has been allot of fun to be able to continue to travel and hang out with the family promoting GNC and participating in strength events together.

What is your favorite exercise in the gym?

Partial Deadlifts out of the power rack. The weights that I use have continued to increase over time. It is a real mental rush to lift heavy weights out of the Rack. I pulled 1135 from just above the knee this past year with straps. This was prior to the 2009 Arnold Classic GNC Deadlift Championship. I knew I was ready for the 881-400KG pulled based on my PR out of the rack. Partial deadlifts have always been a great indicator of my strength level.

What are your personal bests:

Most of my lifting has been done in the USAPL and IPF. The IPF has very strict requirements to complete a successful lift, and a stringent drug testing program which now follows the WADA Code. I have been drug free my entire powerlifting career.

Squat- 870 lbs (395.5 kg)
Bench Press - 633 lbs (288 kg)
Deadlift- 881 lbs (400 kg)

What does your weekly training schedule consist of?

Monday- I train my deadlift and back movements. This also includes a light squat workout consisting of front squats or box squats. I may also do power cleans and pressing movements. I typically alternate my deadlift movement every other week with either full deadlifts or partial deadlifts out of the power rack.

Wednesday-Heavy bench training. I follow bench with biceps and triceps movements along with other assistance exercises and abdominal work.

Friday-Heavy Squat training. Squats consist mainly of training a 5x5 scheme with no gear other than knee sleeves. I also train a heavy shoulder workout and/or light benches after squatting.

There are various workout templates and training advice on our gym website. Please check these out on

Where do you see your future as you have already achieved so much?

I would like to keep competing and try to get stronger as long as I can. After I can no longer make strength gains then my focus will be to try and stay strong for life. I never envision quitting lifting weights. I may have to concentrate my efforts towards a different style of lifting eventually, but I will always will lift.

Do you have any words of motivation for our readers?

Find a good program that will work for you and make adaptations to work your weak areas as necessary. Train like an Animal! Don't set any limits on how strong you can become. Stay Drug Free! Use GNC Pro Performance products to get the most out of your strength training.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

20 Tips to Fat Loss and Muscle Gain

There are many articles out there on fat loss and muscle gains so today I thought I would post the 20 simple tips, well rules you could say, to achieve fat loss and muscle gains.

Some of you may see these as simple tips but I am sure many of you can see some of these that the guys in the gym never actually do!

  • Motivation is key - Set yourself realistic target and push yourself
  • Eat breakfast - It raises your metabolic rate for the day
  • Eat little and often - Keeps your metabolic rate raised throughout the day. The best times to eat are every four hours, have you ever heard of the saying "Eat little and often built like a race horse, eat alot and not often built like a bear"
  • Walk instead of using your car or public transport for short journeys
  • Eat a good balance of carbs, proteins and fats (not from saturates) at every meal....fats are very important
  • Eat one gram of protein for every pound you weigh (thats 2.2 grams for every kilogram) EVERY DAY
  • Ensure that you eat a hearty breakfast, it is THE most important meal of the day
  • Weight train a minimum of three times a week
  • Leave 48 hours between sessions where you train the same muscle group
  • Eat healthy, this means whole meal bread, pasta and rice...oh an fruits and veg!
  • Train each muscle group at least once a week
  • Incooporate CV sessions into your training week
  • Try to get 8 hours sleep per night for muscle recovery
  • Weight train for no less than 30 minutes but no more than 1 hour per training session
  • Ensure core training (abs, obliques etc) are part of your routine - Try adding three sets of core training at the end of each weight session
  • Carry out at least one leg weight training session a week.....yes you do need to train your legs!
  • Mix it up - Change the intensity of your training, or some of the exercises your doing every 8 weeks or so to ensure you keep shocking your body into new muscle growth
  • Stretch properly before training to reduce risk of injury
  • Eat, eat oh and eat some need fuel to train properly
  • Finally, and most importantly, keep strict form even if it means lifter a lower weight. By doing this your body will actually see more growth as you utilise the right muscles correctly

Monday, 4 May 2009

Cottage Cheese - Protein While Sleeping

We all know that protein is an extremely important part of nutrition when trying to build muscle. Because of this how many of you are willing to eat cottage cheese just before bed so your muscles can carry on feeding on protein while you sleep?

Many weight lifters and bodybuilders understand that sleeping for 8 hours is very important for the muscles to repair but so is ensuring a constant supply of nutrition. You may have heard about many people who are serious about gaining muscle eating every four hours, well this doesnt just stop in the evening and start again in the morning.

To ensure a good and constant supply of proteins while sleeping there is nothing better than cottage cheese.

Why is cottage cheese so good?

Well cottage cheese is high in protein while being low in fat and carbohydrates and is also light on the stomach so gives no ill affects to eating right before going to sleep. Also the protein in cottage cheese is Casein protein which is a slow digesting protein so your body gets a slow release of protein into the muscles throughout the night.

Cottage Cheese Pictures, Images and Photos


If your looking to build your muscles properly then I suggest buying cottage cheese and eating 100 grams before bed every evening, your muscles will thank you for it and you will reap the benefits.

Cottage Cheese Nutritional Values

1% cottage cheese contains:

Per 100g
72 calories
12.39g protein
1.02g fat
2.72g carbohydrate

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Take the Poll!

From now on I will be posting a poll (on the right handside under the categories) every week or two to build up research data on those that train in the gym.

Initially the polls will be simple questions such as how many times a week you train or how long do you spend in the gym while there, but over time these will become more complex and will talk about supplements, exercises and much more.

The idea behind this is that with as much data as I can compile on gym users I can create a profile that may help you all with training, this data will be found here in the research data section.

Please take the time to answer the poll whenever you get the chance so we can really compile a large and effective amount of research data to support your training!