How Women’s Swimming Paved The Way For Equality

Photo Courtesy: ISHOF

By Erin Keaveny, Swimming World College Intern

Today, swimmers like Katie Ledecky, Natalie Coughlin and Missy Franklin are renowned for their accomplishments as athletes. Parents don’t think twice about whether or not their daughter should learn to swim, however it wasn’t always this way.

Until around 100 years ago, swimming was an activity exclusively for men.

The first female swimmers did more than pave the way for today’s Olympians. Women’s accomplishments in the water are deeply linked to how society viewed women as a whole. Advocates of women’s swimming not only changed the sport, but helped change society.

In the medieval time period there were no bathing suits or swimming garments. Swimmers only dove in naked. Due to the association between a women’s modesty and morality, which defined her as a human being, women could not swim. These attitudes in western society have persisted since the dark ages.

In 19th century Europe, there was a huge rise in the popularity of swimming as a men’s sport. Yet, in his 1838 book, Familiar Hints on Sea Bathing, William Smith commented that “English ladies in general will [never] take to the amusement of swimming, which however, may prove useful in an emergency.”

In 1875, Matthew Webb became the first man to swim across the English Channel. This feat of incredible athleticism turned Webb into an instant celebrity. Following industrialization in England, crossing the channel was seen as an incredible testament to man’s capabilities in the face of nature, and considered the epitome of Victorian manliness. Webb continued to perform aquatic stunts, growing in fame for his acts which showed off man’s physical abilities.

Five years after Webb swam the channel, Agnes Beckwith treaded water for 30 hours in a Westminster aquarium tank. Her time equalled the world record previously set by Webb.

Swimming is one of the few sports that can claim its place as an original Olympic event. The sport has been present in the games since the first modern Olympics in 1896, where women were not included. Yet in its premiere event, a woman known as Melpomene, determinedly swam the men’s course on her own.

The founder of the modern Olympics, Barron Pierre de Coubertin, commented “it is incident that the spectators should be exposed to the risk of seeing the body of a woman being smashed before their very eyes. Besides, no matter how toughened a sportswoman may be, her organism is not cut out to sustain certain shocks. ”

In the next Olympic Games, women were allowed to compete in three exhibition events. Nineteen women participated in tennis, golf, and croquet, sports deemed acceptable for the nature of women. In the next twenty years, women’s action drastically changed these perceptions.

Annette Kellerman gained fame as the first woman to enter a race against men in 1905. Afterwords, she became an international sensation as an aquatic performer. Her act consisted of high diving and underwater ballet, a predecessor to modern synchronized swimming. Kellerman not only became the highest paid female circus performer in America, but an incredible advocate for women’s swimming.

At the time, women were required by law to wear clothing in the water, which meant corsets, bloomers and full skirts and in many places were only permitted to wade, not swim. Where it was permitted, the burdensome clothing requirements more or less prevented women from swimming at all.

In Kellerman’s native Australia, it had become somewhat acceptable for women to appear in races wearing men’s one-piece suits. This only applied in the presence of other women during competition. This kind of attire was not allowed in her 1905 race or America. In order to compete, Kellerman creatively wore black stockings under a men’s one piece, effectively creating the women’s swim suit.

annette-kellerman

Photo Courtesy: Library of Congress

Kellerman was later arrested on Revere Beach in Boston for public indecency. She was wearing a suit with no skirt that revealed her thighs. In court, she defended herself on the premise that swimming was the ideal exercise for women. After winning her case, Kellerman designed one of the first lines of women’s swimwear, a huge breakthrough in women’s swimming as well as freedoms.

By 1912 Women’s swimming was finally introduced as an Olympic sport. Women could compete in three events, 100 meter freestyle, the 4×100 relay and diving. Still, due to the Amateur Athletic Union’s policy on women’s sports, American women were not permitted to compete.

Women from the United Sates finally got their chance in the 1920 Games. They were only permitted to compete in one sport: swimming. At the games American Ethelda Bleibtrey took gold in all of the races, while Aileen Riggin won springboard diving in its debut event at just 14 years old. The success of American women in swimming helped American female athletes across the board prove they could also compete on the world stage.

In 1926, fifty one years after Webb completed it for the first time, American Gertrude Ederle swam the English Channel. Not only did she do it successfully, Ederle complete the cross in 14 hours and 31 minutes. That time broke the previous record by two hours, making her the fastest person to cross the English channel ever. And, she did it wearing the first two piece bathing suit in public.

gertrude-ederle

Photo Courtesy: U.S. Library of Congress

Ederle’s crossing is to this day considered the breakthrough moment in women’s athletics. Her feat represented a physical accomplishment where a women not only equated but surpassed men, disproving anti-suffragists everywhere.

Three weeks after Ederle, another American, Clemington Corson, completed the crossing in fifteen and a half hours, the second fastest time to date.

Breakthroughs in women’s swimming created the perfect storm for much bigger changes. Through swimming, these women helped to fundamentally changed the way that women were viewed in public settings, and sexist ideas concerning what they can do and wear.

These ladies pushed the boundaries of what women were thought to be capable of, and against all odds found success.

All commentaries are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Swimming World Magazine nor its staff.

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How To Lose Body Fat Now: The Most Effective Methods Explained

Losing body fat is not the easiest of propositions; just ask anyone trying to lose that last ten pounds. It often seems as if the more persistent a person is, the harder this stubborn body fat is to lose. Whether your goal is to get into top shape for a bodybuilding contest or to look good for the beach, fat loss is arguably the biggest incentive to train.

But just how much body fat should be lost to achieve the kind of definition that accentuates the separation between muscle groups, and highlights that all-important abdominal area? It really depends on one’s goals.

An extreme level of conditioning is needed for bodybuilding purposes, while a smaller reduction is often all it takes to reveal a nice “beach body.” A certain amount of body fat is needed for survival purposes—around 3-4 percent for males and slightly higher for females—with higher percentages (around 10 percent for males and 15 percent for females) deemed within the healthy, acceptable range.

Losing the last 10 or so pounds of body fat is generally a hard thing to do, and the reasons for this are many and varied. Losing even more is, as would be expected, even harder. The best ways to lose fat are often dependant upon the level one is at, so it is best to plan accordingly.

Let us examine the most effective ways the severely overweight through to the advanced trainer can lose unsightly body fat.

The Most Effective Fat-Loss Methods

The following methods can be used together or separately, depending on the goals one has, or the fat-loss stage they are at. Guidelines will be given (see “What to Do and When” section below).


1

Exercise Moderately With Aerobics & Weights, Gradually Increasing The Intensity As Fat Is Lost

If you’re severely overweight, it is probably best to start your fat-burning phase with low-intensity aerobics and weight training, to ensure your body is not placed under undue stress at this early stage. When significantly overweight (over 25 percent body fat in males and 30 percent in females), it is best to work moderately as a way in which to gradually ease into a higher-intensity program.

Moderate aerobics are likely to burn a greater amount of body fat.

Moderate aerobics are likely to burn a greater amount of body fat.

Moderate aerobics are likely to burn a greater amount of body fat if the intensity is kept at around 70 percent of maximum heart rate, and taken beyond the 30-minute mark (with one hour being the eventual goal).

With weight training, high repetitions with moderate weights would work best for an obese client during the initial stages of training. It is important to remember that lower-intensity weight training and aerobics should both be done in the same program to maximize results.

Walking is a perfect, low impact aerobic activity for anyone who is obese. For weight training, all body parts should be targeted with basic exercises that work larger muscles.


2

Gradually Cut Back On All Bad Fats, While Strategically Cutting Back On Carbohydrates

It has been shown that fat intake of the wrong kind will result in increased fat gains. This stands to reason, as the body will typically burn carbohydrates for fuel and use protein for repair. Therefore, it makes sense to cut back on bad fat while increasing the good type.

Good fats such as the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids will actually have a fat-burning effect, as they enhance metabolic function (the metabolic rate is an indicator of how the body uses stored energy). Their use—as opposed to the saturated bad type found in meats and hard at room temperature—should be encouraged.

Complex carbohydrates will generally maximize the fat burning effect as they stimulate the metabolism.

Strategically cutting back on carbohydrates means eating specific carbs at certain times to achieve a fat-burning effect. Complex carbohydrates will generally maximize the fat-burning effect because they stimulate the metabolism without causing the outpouring of insulin, which causes greater fat storage.

Complex carbs include brown rice, beans, oats, and potatoes, and their use is to be encouraged. However, the short-burst simple-sugar carbohydrates are to be avoided during a fat loss phase, as they can cause a large insulin spike and resultant fat gains. They are also concentrated, and generally higher in calories.

A third type of carbohydrate, fiber, which can be found in high-wheat foods and certain fruits and vegetables, is an important one for fat loss because it increases feelings of fullness and pushes fat through the system to be eliminated.

Best times to eat complex carbohydrates for fat loss are at all meals before 6:00 p.m. Simple carbohydrates can be eaten directly after training, as the body will more readily store them as glycogen, not fat, at this stage. For general health, the recommended intake for fiber is 30 grams per day. For fat loss, an additional 10 grams is advised.


3

Mix Up Aerobic Sessions

For variety—to eliminate boredom and encourage adherence—it is worthwhile to do a range of aerobic activities. These various activities will also have differing fat-burning effects. Combined, they may stimulate the metabolism to greater heights, therefore enhancing fat loss on a larger scale.


4

Exercise Aerobically After Weight Training Or First Thing In The Morning

One school of thought has it that training aerobically directly after weight training, or first thing in the morning, will stimulate greater gains in fat loss. The idea is that glycogen stores will be depleted at this time and therefore fat will be used directly for fuel. In many cases, this strategy has worked. However, some feel it is not a valid method. It is worth trying though.


5

HIIT Training

HIIT (High intensity interval training) is an advanced form of aerobics designed to strip body fat at a faster rate.

HIIT (High intensity interval training) is an advanced form of aerobics designed to strip body fat at a faster rate.

HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is an advanced form of aerobics designed to strip body fat at a faster rate. Although not for everyone, as it can be very demanding, HIIT is one of the more effective fat-loss methods for the intermediate to advanced trainer.

As the name suggests, HIIT requires training at high intensity (near maximal) for a series of intervals, before backing off to a lower work rate. The interval can last anywhere from 10 to 30 seconds, and the entire session might last only 20 minutes, depending on the stage (both in terms of fat storage and fitness level) one is at.

An example of a HIIT session could be as follows:

Two minutes of walking followed by fast running for 30 seconds, for 20 minutes total.


6

Stagger Food Intake

At the smooth stage(a thin layer of fat—independent of water—covers the body) or in the shape stage (around six percent body fat), it is probably acceptable to stagger food intake so that high calories (1000 or so above normal) can be eaten for two days followed by lower calories for three days.

There are many variations on this practice, but the guiding principal stays the same: After a period of low calories, the body will tend to hold onto fat; on this basis it is thought that upping the calories will up the metabolic rate to burn more adipose tissue.

Generally the extra calories will not be stored as fat as long as the high-calorie days are limited to a certain period and are promptly followed by the lower-calorie days. The higher-calorie days are not open invitations to pig out on all manner of forbidden foods, but should be comprised of clean proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.

This strategy is best practiced when aiming to lose that remaining five to ten pounds of fat, and when a person is in reasonably good shape to begin with. If the client is overweight, the higher-calorie days could sabotage their weight loss due to a more sluggish metabolic rate.

A greater degree of excess fat would probably require consistency in terms of low-fat, low-calorie eating, as will be shown in the success stories featured later in this article.


7

Drink At Least One Gallon Of Water Per Day

In most of the weight loss success stories I have read, one common theme emerges: a higher than normal water intake is crucial for fat loss. Water intake is important for fat metabolism because it helps the liver perform the function of fat conversion for energy purposes.

Unfortunately the liver also has to work on behalf of the kidneys (if the kidneys are water-deprived), therefore lowering total liver productivity, which has deleterious consequences for the fat-conversion process. Therefore drinking enough water is an important step toward fat reduction. Drink at least a gallon of water per day, more if obese and/or living in a hot climate.


8

Weight Training

Weight training is a perfect activity for fat loss. Although it doesn’t directly burn a greater number of fat stores than aerobics, weights will build muscle, which in turn will increase the metabolic rate 24 hours a day. The more muscle you’re holding, the better your chances of losing body fat.

What To Do & When

Obese Stage

A combination of methods is needed for those who have a significant amount of weight to lose. These are the people who typically need to lose around 40 pounds of fat before they even consider achieving muscle definition. The best strategy for these people would be to lose weight slowly with a realistic, longer-term approach.

Crash-dieting and intense training probably would not be the best option. In the case of training, the amount of weight to be lost might present excessive strain on the vital organs and joints if the training is excessively intense and/or high-impact.

Crash diets—where calories are severely restricted—will likely result in initial losses in water weight and a failure to stick to the diet due to the restriction these kinds of diets place on total nutrient balance. Use the following approach for someone who is overweight:

  • Exercise moderately with aerobics (walking or cycling) and weights (12-15 repetitions, gradually increasing the intensity as weight is lost.
  • Gradually cut out all bad fats while strategically cutting back on carbohydrates.
  • Drink plenty of water to maintain feelings of fullness and help with fat mobilization.
  • Cut out junk foods.
  • Use a personal trainer for motivation.
  • Cut back on alcohol, or eliminate it entirely.
  • Make a plan.
  • Be consistent.
  • Use a fat-burning supplement.

Moderately Overweight Stage

At this stage one is visually overweight, but not obese. Typically they are holding around 20 pounds of fat and have a body fat percentage of around 17-18 percent in males and 25 percent in females.

The best strategy would be to gradually drop excess body fat through a combination of low-intensity and high-intensity training, coupled with a sensible eating approach. The following guidelines can be used:

  • Exercise moderately with aerobics (a combination of walking, cycling, and rowing) and weights (8-12 repetitions), while incorporating the occasional HIIT session after the first few pounds are lost.
  • Gradually cut out all bad fats while strategically cutting back on carbohydrates.
  • Drink plenty of water to maintain feelings of fullness and help with fat mobilization.
  • Cut out junk foods.
  • Use a personal trainer for motivation.
  • Cut back on alcohol, or eliminate it entirely.
  • Make a plan.
  • Be consistent.
  • Use a fat-burning supplement.

Smooth Stage

The smooth stage could be defined as a puffy appearance with a small amount of visible body fat (around 11 percent in men and 15 percent in women; about 10 total pounds to lose to become “in shape”).

This look would probably be regarded as normal and healthy, but there is an absence of muscle definition due to a thin layer of fat—the off-season bodybuilder is usually at this stage. To drop these additional 10 pounds to reveal a muscular physique, use the following methods:

  • Train aerobically with one moderate-intensity session and four HIIT sessions per week.
  • Weight train all muscle groups using 8-12 repetitions.
  • Gradually cut out all bad fats while strategically cutting back on carbohydrates.
  • Stagger calories (three lower-calorie days followed by two higher-calorie days).
  • Drink plenty of water to maintain feelings of fullness and help with fat mobilization.
  • Cut out junk foods.
  • Use a personal trainer for motivation.
  • Cut back on alcohol, or eliminate it entirely.
  • Make a plan.
  • Be consistent.
  • Use a fat-burning supplement.

In-Shape Stage

For those who only have three or four pounds of fat to lose in order to reveal a ripped, muscular physique, it is probably also best to do HIIT, as this should more effectively rev the metabolic rate while one is at an advanced fat-burning level.

For the out-of-shape beginner, HIIT might be overkill, but for the in-shape, advanced trainer, it could prove to be perfect because it’s an effective way of improving an already efficient metabolism. HIIT sessions can be done five times a week, independent from any other form of training. The following are additional ways to burn remaining visible body fat:

  • Train with weights using 8-12 repetitions.
  • Gradually cut out all bad fats while strategically cutting back on carbohydrates.
  • Stagger calories (three lower-calorie days followed by two higher-calorie days).
  • Drink plenty of water to maintain feelings of fullness and help with fat mobilization.
  • Cut out junk foods.
  • Use a personal trainer for motivation.
  • Cut back on alcohol, or eliminate it entirely.
  • Make a plan.
  • Be consistent.
  • Use a fat-burning supplement.

Additional Fat-Loss Tips


1

Cut Alcohol

One of the worst practices when wanting to lose weight, drinking alcohol will not only add empty calories but will reduce appetite and lower testosterone levels for up to 24 hours (testosterone helps to burn fat). Alcohol will also reduce the number of fat calories burned for energy.

After alcohol is consumed it is converted into a substance called acetate, which is used in place of fat for energy, thus helping the body to maintain its fat stores1. For the overweight person, alcohol is a definite problem on this basis alone.


2

Make A Plan

Making a plan will ensure fat loss is achieved with greater certainty. Having predefined goals and a progress diary will help your client stick to their plan, and allow for a greater degree of accountability. The first step is to determine exactly what their goals are.

The ability to do what is required every day without fail is the hallmark of a winner. For fat loss, all the right steps need to be taken at the right times to realize this goal. As will be shown in the following success stories, the individuals unwaveringly stuck to their plan and achieved their fat loss goals—they were consistent.


3

Use A Personal Trainer

A personal trainer can add help to motivate and inspire a person to lose body fat. Having someone on hand to lend support and expertise can really make the difference for those who are struggling with their weight-loss efforts. The best personal trainer is the one who has the right amount of knowledge and who knows how to plan a program for the specific needs of their client.


4

Use A Fat-Burning Supplement

Fat-burning supplements can have a thermogenic effect on the body, which causes fat to be burned at a faster rate. It is important to realize that these are supplements that can help if they are used in conjunction with an adequate diet and training regimen.

Fat-Loss Success Stories

The following stories show how fat can be lost to attain a specific goal. They serve as inspiration for those wanting to lose stubborn body fat.

Amer Kamra theHAMMER3

Before 233 lbs.

After 191 lbs.
Age: 22
Height: 6’0″
Weight: 233 lbs.
Body Fat: 30%
Age: 23
Height: 6’0″
Weight: 191 lbs.
Body Fat: 5%

Amer eviscerated 25 percent body fat and became a proud owner of striated abs. His story compels people to live in his image and follow his principles!

Johnathan Zamora fitchef1

Before 365 lbs.

After 195 lbs.
Age: 24
Height: 5’7″
Weight: 365 lbs.
Body Fat: 45%
Age: 29
Height: 5’7″
Weight: 195 lbs.
Body Fat: 18%

Simple day-to-day activities were painful for Johnathan at 365 pounds. See how he lost 170 pounds in 18 months and built a massive fitness following!

Aaris Wiggs wiggsaaris

Before 160 lbs.

After 122 lbs.
Age: 24
Height: 5’4″
Weight: 160 lbs.
Body Fat: 28%
Age: 25
Height: 5’4″
Weight: 122 lbs.
Body Fat: 18%

Aaris traded drive-thru convenience for weight room dominance. She added to the definition of motherhood and represents a growing movement toward healthy living!

Jennifer Hobbs Jenn2224

Before 275 lbs.

After 168 lbs.
Age: 24
Height: 5’4″
Weight: 275 lbs.
Body Fat: 57.8%
Age: 25
Height: 5’4″
Weight: 168 lbs.
Body Fat: 25.6%

Every time Jennifer lost 10 pounds, she gained 20 back. See why she committed to the hardest goals of her life, lost 32 percent body fat, and 107 pounds in one year!

References
  1. Siler, S.Q., Neese, R.A., & Hellerstein, M.K. (1999). De novo lipogenesis, lipid kinetics, and whole-body lipid balances in humans after acute alcohol consumption. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 70, 928-936.

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Bodybuilding.com's 10 Highest-Rated Biceps Exercises

They may not be the biggest or the strongest group on your body, but your biceps are arguably the best “show” muscles. Upon hearing the clarion cry, “sun’s out, guns out,” you don’t want to flee into the shadows like a vampire with flabby arms.

Functionally, the biceps are pretty straightforward—they just flex the elbow—yet humankind has come a long way since the days of hoisting a club. Today, there is a dizzying array of movements to bring out every vein, bulge, and peak.

To see the full array, check out the Bodybuilding.com Exercise Database, which hosts video demonstrations of hundreds of exercises with top models from the industry. Below are the top ten biceps exercises as rated by you—our users!

Exercise 1 Incline Hammer Curls

While you rate this No. 1, we give it mixed reviews. The incline bench position increases the stretch on the long head of the biceps, while the neutral grip increases emphasis on the brachioradialis and brachialis. But the “hammer” takes some of the tension away from the long head, negating the benefit you gain from sitting at an incline.

Test this yourself by simply placing your right hand on your left biceps. Move your left hand from palm up to palm sideways and you can feel the tension change in your biceps.

Incline Hammer Curls

Incline Hammer Curls

EXERCISE 2 Incline Inner-Biceps Curl

The biceps brachii actually consists of two portions or “heads,” with differing attachment points. The “long” head actually attaches above the shoulder joint, which means that the position of the upper arm relative to the body can determine how much each head of the biceps helps during a curl.

This exercise gets your humerus behind your body, stretching the long head to the max. The more horizontal the bench, the more the long head will be stretched.

Incline Inner biceps curl

Incline Inner biceps curl

EXERCISE 3 Standing Concentration Curl

In contrast, concentration curls place the arm in front of the body with a rotation in the shoulder. While this decreases recruitment of the long head, it potentially increases biceps thickness and peak by better short head and brachialis recruitment.

I recommend placing your free hand on your off leg to support your body weight. When you hit failure using a supinated grip, switch over to a hammer grip and burn out a few extra reps.

EXERCISE 4 EZ Bar Curl

Many find the EZ bar significantly more comfortable than a straight bar. It shifts a little bit of the load from the biceps brachii to your other elbow flexors, so an argument could be made that the EZ bar curl is the best all-around biceps builder.

EZ bar curl

EZ bar curl

EXERCISE 5 Wide-grip standing barbell curl

Taking a wider-than-normal grip will cause you to externally rotate at the shoulder, so your humerus changes its position. This prompts more involvement from the short head of the biceps. For this and all barbell curls, avoid cheating reps by leaning back. If you want to overload the top, use bands, chains, or a partner for forced reps.

wide-grip standing barbell curl

wide-grip standing barbell curl

EXERCISE 6 Zottman Curl

Are you having trouble deciding which biceps exercise to do? Choose the Zottman. In this movement you have a palms-up (supinated) grip on the way up and a palms-down grip (pronated) as you lower the weight. All of your elbow flexors get hit in one swoop. The brachioradialis and the brachialis take heat on the negative, and during the curling motion itself, the biceps brachii bears the load.

My recommendation would be to rotate the wrist as you come up instead of just doing it at the bottom before the rep starts. Some of your elbow flexors act as supinators as well, and rotating the wrist during the curl instead of at the bottom will load up that function.

zottman curl

Zottman curl

EXERCISE 7 Barbell Curl

The classic! If you did only this movement for biceps, you would still come out ahead. Since the amount of wrist rotation helps determine how much work our biceps brachii work, it makes sense to maximize supination in a movement where we can load fairly heavy.

Play around with your grip width. It may reduce discomfort that some experience with a barbell, as well as emphasize a different part of the biceps. A narrower grip will emphasize the long head; a wider grip, the short head.

EXERCISE 8 Dumbbell Biceps Curl

A dumbbell curl is a basic movement that seems to be the icon of fitness. Don’t believe me? Just nose around our site; it seems like half of our banners have someone doing a dumbbell curl! Dumbbells allow the wrists to move freely.

Most people will adopt at least a little bit of wrist rotation as they curl—just try to keep as much supination as is comfortable.

EXERCISE 9 Hammer Curl

The “hammer” or neutral wrist position will typically be our strongest curl. This is because all of our elbow flexors are actively involved; the brachialis is worked the hardest. I would recommend doing this movement like a concentration curl or on a preacher bench. This should minimize cheating and maximize recruitment.

Preacher Hammer Dumbbell Curl

Preacher Hammer Dumbbell Curl

EXERCISE10 Overhead Cable Curl

This movement is a great way to practice your front double biceps pose as you train. With our arms in this position, brachialis recruitment is maximized. The higher your elbow, the more isolated the brachialis is from the biceps brachii.

A good variation is to do one arm at a time, getting the arm straight up (against the head), curling behind your head.

Overhead cable curl

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Fat-Loss Hope Or Hype: The Truth About Garcinia Cambogia

Garcinia cambogia, also known as the Malabar tamarind, is a small, sweet tropical tree fruit shaped like a pumpkin. In the late 1960s, scientists discovered an acid in the fruit somewhat similar to the citric acid found in fruits like oranges and lemons.

That acid—called hydroxycitric acid, or HCA—has ridden a rollercoaster ride of popularity over the last 20 years. It is alternately touted as a miracle weight loss supplement and derided as effective only in rats.

So where is the ride at now? Since late 2012, HCA has taken a steady ascent, and people around the world chat about “garcinia” like that’s the name of their new personal trainer. (For the record, garcinia cambogia, hydroxycitic acid, and HCA all refer to the same thing. I’ll stick primarily to HCA here to keep it simple). It can feel like anyone with even a passing interest in supplements has gotten asked by a small army of friends, loved ones, and cab drivers: “Is garcinia legit?”

So … is it? Knowing what I know now, this question sounds a little like asking, “Is a hammer legit?” It depends on the hammer and the person swinging it, right? So here’s the deal: HCA isn’t a miracle; it’s a tool. Anyone who has ever suffered the indignity of smashing their finger with a hammer can attest that tools only work when you know what to do with them and then follow through on that knowledge.

Luckily, in recent years we’ve learned a lot about not only what HCA supplements do in the body, but also how you can make the most of them. Here’s what you need to know about this blockbuster fat-loss supplement.

HCA’s Early Promise

HCA got its first taste of widespread popularity back in the ’90s, after a number of studies concluded that it caused weight loss in animals. One thing we know is that HCA blocks a portion of an enzyme called citrate lyase, which helps turn sugars and starches into fat.

Block that enzyme, and carbohydrates get diverted into energy production rather than accumulating as body fat. Then, when you burn fat through effective training, there’s less to replace it, and your overall fat level goes down.

HCA also seems to have an ability to help suppress the appetite, but not in the same way as a stimulant-based diet pill. Rather, it increases the level of satiety—satisfaction you receive from food—making it easier to eat less. The mechanism by which it achieves this isn’t entirely clear yet. The late great nutritionist Shari Lieberman suggested that a metabolic change brought on by HCA may send an appetite-suppressing signal to the brain via the amino acid 5-hydroxytryptophan, which is a direct precursor to the so-called “happy hormone,” serotonin. Given that subsequent studies have shown elevated serotonin levels in subjects who took HCA supplements, she was likely on to something.

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With these two impressive bullet points in its favor, HCA seemed on the verge of the big time, but the buzz faded quickly after a large study published in 1998 in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that it had “no effect” on human subjects.[1]

End of the line, right? Not quite. Subsequent research has produced some very different conclusions and helped convince me, among many other previously skeptical people, that HCA has real potential as a weight-loss supplement.

It’s All About How You Take It

A few years after the lackluster results in the JAMA study, I had the opportunity to talk about HCA with Harry Preuss, a researcher and pathologist at Georgetown University, who saw enough to like about HCA to keep researching it after its popularity had waned. Preuss, a past president of the American College of Nutrition, told me he thought the previous studies were discouraging but not conclusive.

He decided to take a closer look. “You have to take the right dose of the right product, and you have to take it properly,” he told me. “In the JAMA study, they used whatever the dose was at the time, and they never even mentioned the type of citrate they used. You have to give enough so that it reaches the sites in the body that it needs to reach.” In recent years, Dr. Preuss has continued to hammer on the idea that maximizing bioavailability with HCA is crucial for its success. Fail to prioritize it, and you set yourself—or your study, in the JAMA’s case—to fail.

It’s an old story. Vitamin studies are often done by people who use the wrong dose or the wrong form, and then seem almost gleeful when they’re able to proclaim that the supplements “don’t work.” Prejudice confirmed; case closed.

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Dr. Preuss, who went on to lead the most promising human studies into HCA, points out that there are three different forms of hydroxycitrates: those which are blended with calcium, potassium, or magnesium salts. The reason to add these salts is to decrease the degradation of free HCA into HCA lactone, an inactive form of the compound. These salts, which are added at a 1-to-1 or higher ratio in most commercial HCA supplements, also help your body more easily absorb the hydroxycitrate.

“If you have almost a pure calcium hydroxycitrate, it’s just not going to work,” he told me. He said he prefers hydroxycitrate that is bound to both calcium and potassium; he says the bond dramatically increases the absorption and effectiveness of HCA.

Dr. Preuss and his colleagues put this premise to the test in a study where they followed 30 healthy but overweight people ages 21-50 over an 8-week period.[2] All of the subjects consumed a diet of 2,000 calories per day and walked for half an hour five days per week. One group was given Super CitriMax, a patented form of HCA bound with both calcium and potassium. The other group was given a placebo. At the end of the study, the placebo group had lost an average of three pounds, but the HCA group had lost an average of 12 pounds—a whopping 400 percent more weight. Their average BMI fell by 6.3 percent; in the placebo group, it fell only 1.7 percent.

To top it off, the HCA group experienced an almost double boost in serotonin levels compared to the placebo group. Higher serotonin levels are associated with fewer cravings, as well as a greater sense of calm. In a second similar study, Preuss and his colleagues tested 60 people, and this time, the HCA group lost an average of 10.5 pounds compared to the placebo group, which lost an average of 3.5 pounds.[3]

“Perhaps the most remarkable result was in appetite control,” Preuss says of the second study. “The placebo group had no change, but the HCA group had a 16 percent reduction in the amount of food they ate per meal!”

The Right Way To Supplement With HCA

It’s far too easy to view supplements purely from the perspective of either “I take it” or “I don’t take it.” With some supplements, that’s precise enough to see an effect. But the lesson here is that how you take HCA matters. As such, Preuss has taken the new wave of HCA popularity as an opportunity to remind us all about how to get the most out of this supplement, most recently in a paper he co-authored for the Alliance for Natural Health in 2013 titled “Garcinia Cambogia: How to Optimize its Effects.”[4]

Here are Preuss’ recommendations:

  1. Choose a preparation that is at a minimum 50 percent HCA and is not composed wholly of calcium salts: Make sure potassium (K) and/or magnesium (Mg) is present. If the product has a low lactone content, that is even better.
  2. Be sure to take an adequate dose. For a Ca/K preparation used successfully and reported in a peer-reviewed publication, the dose of extract was near 1.5 g, three times per day before meals. In this 60 percent HCA preparation, that approximates 0.9 g of HCA prior to each meal.
  3. Take the preparation on an empty stomach, i.e., 30-60 minutes before each meal.
  4. Remember, “If you don’t comply, don’t complain.” Take the right dose at the right time.

Note that he says “near” 1.5 g three times daily. Why not exactly 1.5? Given that HCA supplements come in a range of potencies and mixtures, it can be hard to be exact. Aim for the 1.5 g benchmark, but don’t be obsessive.

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Why on an empty stomach? It takes advantage of the appetite-curbing effect of the supplement, but even more important, HCA needs some space to work its magic.

“In the presence of food, the hydroxycitrate salt can bind to some of the components in the meal and be inactivated,” Preuss writes. “This is called the ‘food effect’ and can seriously reduce the bioavailability of a number of supplements, not just HCA.”

Follow these guidelines, and HCA can be an addition to your arsenal. Side effects are rare at the kind of reasonable doses that Preuss recommends, and since it’s not a stimulant, you don’t need to worry about it affecting your sleep or mood. If you’re looking to control your weight and are committed to eating right and working out, don’t be afraid to add this popular supplement into the mix!

References
  1. Heymsfield SB, et al. Garcinia cambogia (hydroxycitric acid) as a potential antiobesity agent: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 1998 Nov 11;280(18):1596-600.
  2. Preuss HG, et al. Efficacy of a novel, natural extract of (-)-hydroxycitric acid (HCA-SX) and a combination of HCA-SX, niacin-bound chromium and Gymnema sylvestre extract in weight management in human volunteers: a pilot study. Nutrition Research. 2004 Jan; 24(1); 45-58.
  3. Preuss, HG, et al., Effects of a natural extract of (-)-hydroxycitric acid (CHA-SX) and a combination of HCA-SX plus niacin-bound chromium and Gymnema sylvestre extract on weight loss. Diabetes Obes Metab. 2004 May; 6(3): 171-80.
  4. Preuss, HG and Dallas Clouatre. Garcinia cambogia: How to optimize its effects. Available from: http://www.anh-usa.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/garcinia-cambogia2.pdf


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What Are The Top 4 Supplements For Faster Muscle Gain?

Take a stroll through the store section on Bodybuilding.com and you will see tons of supplements geared toward building lean muscle and restoring the body after a strenuous workout. For the most part, these supplements work well for people, but not all supplements work for all people. Due to the unique nature of our bodies, some athletes will respond differently to some supplements. Despite those differences, there are a number of supplements that show the greatest benefit and the most return across the board. Here are the five I feel work best with muscle growth.

1 Creatine

Creatine is a naturally occurring substance within our muscle cells, primarily around the skeletal muscle tissue where approximately 95 percent of the body’s creatine supply can be found. The remainder is stored throughout the rest of the body.

This naturally occurring metabolite has been reproduced as creatine monohydrate for dietary supplement purposes. It’s used for cellular energy production and modulation.

The perks of creatine supplementation:

  • The promotion of lean body mass
  • Increased muscle cell volume
  • Faster post-workout recovery
  • Increased glycogen storage
  • Increase high-intensity muscle performance

Athletes typically prefer creatine when weight training and bodybuilding because of the rapid pace at which muscle mass is built. Likewise, for many it’s easy to stop taking creatine because it’s naturally produced by the body. When an athlete stops taking this supplement, the creatine levels in the body return to normal within 3-4 weeks.

Recommended Dosing: 5-10 grams. Take half of your daily serving with your pre-workout meal and the second half of your daily serving with your post-workout shake.

2 Beta-Alanine

This is a naturally occurring non-essential amino acid that comes into the body through foods that are rich in protein such as poultry. The performance enhancement in beta-alanine (BA) is due to its ability to increase intra-muscular levels of carnosine. This increase in beta-alanine through supplementation suggests carnosine levels are raised by over 60% in as quickly as four weeks.

This is significant because during high-intensity exercise our bodies accumulate a large amount of hydrogen which causes our pH to drop (whereby we become more acidic). This acidification (lactic acid) can cause severe fatigue, decrease muscle performance, and shut down the neural drive which can force muscle failure. By maintaining increased levels of carnosine through BA supplementation a bodybuilder is able to delay the accumulation of hydrogen and the resulting acidity which can, subsequently, delay muscle fatigue and failure.

During high-intensity exercise our bodies accumulate a large amount of hydrogen which causes our ph to drop.

“During high-intensity exercise our bodies accumulate a large amount of hydrogen which causes our ph to drop.”

Additional benefits of beta-alanine supplementation:

  • Elevated endurance
  • Improved force output
  • Delayed fatigue
  • Improved repeated sprint ability
  • Works synergistically with creatine

Recommended Dosing: 2-6 grams per day, taken in smaller doses throughout the day to reduce the skin-tingling sensation.

3 Whey Protein

It’s been systematically surmised that body builders and trainers can improve performance and gain muscle mass when consuming whey protein shakes or supplements. Whey protein supplies the body with a high amount of protein that helps to jump-start the muscle-growing process.

Whey protein supplies the body with a high amount of protein that helps to jump-start the muscle-growing process.

“Whey protein supplies the body with a high amount of protein that helps to jump-start the muscle-growing process.”

Whey is typically consumed before and after a workout to increase protein synthesis and to improve muscle recovery and restoration. Whether you are trying to add lean mass or drop body fat, adding a whey protein supplement to an exercise routine can speed the gain and loss process. Here are some key benefits to whey-protein supplementation.

Easily Digested

Weight trainers and athletes on the go can save time by consuming a whey protein shake right after their workouts to gain the benefit of the nutrients that are rapidly absorbed. Whey is a fast-digesting milk protein that acts almost immediately to help deliver amino acids to the skeletal muscle.

Lactose Intolerant

Anyone who is lactose intolerant knows the cramping and discomfort of trying to take everyday dairy shakes. Rather than suffering through GI distress, consider supplementing with a whey protein isolate, which contains a higher percentage of pure protein and can be virtually lactose-free.

Improved Muscle Repair

When you complete an intense weight-lifting workout or sporting event the body needs to repair itself. In order to do that it needs specific nutrition. Protein is the essential building block for muscle repair and comes packed in whey protein shakes and supplements. When taken immediately after a workout the protein triggers rapid muscle recovery.

Natural Appetite Suppressant

Eating a high-protein diet can stave off hunger, making it easier to consume a low-calorie diet without suffering from severe hunger. Whey protein supplements and shakes can be used as a meal replacement or as a snack between meals. Just make sure to look for ones that aren’t packed full of carbohydrates and fats.

Amino Acids

Our bodies need a substantial amount of quality protein and amino acids in order to function. Whey protein supplements contain very high concentrations of the essential amino acids that provide assistance in protein synthesis.

Improved Metabolism

Consuming a large amount of protein is fuel for the furnace. When consumed throughout the day, it serves as a great source of energy to keep the fire lit for metabolism. With improved metabolism you get a higher calorie burn throughout the day.

Recommended Dosing: Consume 20-30 grams of whey protein at a time. It’s best used pre- and post-workout, but is also a convenient way to get in the necessary amount of protein when whole food is not an option. Never rely on shakes; while having a whey protein shake is ideal post-workout, at all other times in the day do your best to get in whole food sources.

4 Branched-Chain Amino Acid (BCAA)

Another common supplement that weight trainers and bodybuilders turn to are branched-chained amino acids (BCAAs) to improve workout results. Of the 20 amino acids in the body, three are referred to as BCAAs: leucine, isoleucine, and valine. These are the key amino acids that stimulate protein synthesis and help regulate protein metabolism.

The body uses BCAAs to help muscles recover. Like a whey protein supplement, BCAAs drive nutrients to the muscle tissue, allowing for improved workout recovery. In the muscle, BCAAs serve as an energy source during exercise, so taking a supplement can help restore the same nutrients lost during intense exercise. This supplement also reduces pain from muscle fatigue and improves metabolic recovery.

There is also some measure of proof that BCAAs can help improve endurance by keeping muscles fueled—something that is of interest to long-distance workouts such as backpacking or long-distance running (marathons), distance swimming, or any other prolonged workout.

The body will burn off BCCAs as you work out, so taking a supplement can help restore the same nutrients lost during intense exercise.

“The body will burn off BCCAs as you work out, so taking a supplement can help restore the same nutrients lost during intense exercise.”

Recommended Dosing: 3-5 grams upon waking and 3-5 grams pre- and post-workout.

Shop For Aminos In Our Store

5 Glutamine

Glutamine is touted for its ability to slow muscle-tissue breakdown during intensive exercise which may improve strength thresholds and elevated endurance. Those weight training will find that they can lift heavier weights for longer periods and train more often. Pushing the limits of the muscles inspires the body to produce greater lean muscle to compensate.

Glutamine also has a number of other benefits associated with taking it in supplement form:

  • Preservation of muscle tissue allows your body to burn additional fat; the more lean mass your body has, the more effective your metabolism is. When training to lose weight, the body will also shed muscle mass, so it’s important to slow this muscle loss.
  • Glutamine has shown positive results with the improvement of the immune system in many who take this supplement. When you’re under intense training, it places stress not only on the muscles but on your entire immune system. Glutamine restores the health of the muscle tissue, and it feeds into the immune system as well, ensuring rapid recovery for the body as a whole.
  • Glutamine has been cited for its ability to enhance plasma growth hormone levels in the body. This is a major draw for those who want to focus on building muscle, as one study has suggested that just 2 grams of glutamine supplementation can increase growth hormone.

Recommended Dosing: 5 grams upon waking, 5 grams post-workout, and 5 grams before bed.

Conclusion

Of course results can always be achieved without supplements, but the process is always going to be slower. My advice to you is get your diet in line first and foremost. You will be very surprised by how much better your body will respond to weight training when your diet is in line. Then if you decide to take the supplements I have recommended, you should see better results.

The results you gain from supplementation are going to vary, specifically because each person will have a different workout utilizing different levels of intensity and length. If your diet is in line and you are working out with the utmost intensity, these supplements may help you get to the next level.

With Three Forms of Creatine for Boosting Strength and Muscular Endurance* Go Now!

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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“Synchro Sisters” Follows Two Rival Teams, Premiering on Olympic Channel

Photo Courtesy: R-Sport / MIA Rossiya Segodnya

Taking viewers behind the scenes for an up-close look at the dedication, precision and athleticism required to make an Olympic team, Synchro Sisters shows you the sport of synchronized swimming like you’ve never seen it before. The four-episode docu-drama series premieres this Thursday, 13 July, and will be available worldwide exclusively on the Olympic Channel digital platform at olympicchannel.com and on its mobile apps.

Synchro Sisters follows the day-in and day-out of the athletes and coaches of the Aquamaids (Santa Clara, Calif., USA) and Aquanuts (Walnut Creek, Calif., USA) in the weeks prior to competition with National Team selection on the line. Known internationally for their success in the pool, the reality-driven series delves into the fierce rivalry between these two esteemed clubs from California’s Bay Area who use each other to push themselves to excellence in search of Olympic Gold.

Coached by International Swimming Hall of Famers Chris Carver (Aquamaids) and Gail Emery (Aquanuts), who served as co-coaches for the U.S. National Team that won gold in the inaugural team event at the Olympic Games Atlanta 1996, the athletes take viewers on their journey through their mental and physical preparations, and also how their families and the game of “bingo” play an important role in their success.

“It is all based on the desire to pursue excellence,” said Carver. “On a national level, Gail and I were fierce competitors. I wanted nothing more than to beat her. And she set the bar very, very high.”

The two coaches encourage a friendly rivalry between the two clubs not only to raise their teams’ performances, but also in efforts to return the U.S to the top of the podium as the sport continues to grow in popularity across the nation.

“We have athletes at the National Training Centres from all over the U.S. and from very small clubs who are as good, if not better, as these two clubs,” according to USA Synchro CEO and High Performance Director Myriam Glez.

Olympic Channel Episode Guide: Synchro Sisters

Episode 1 – Synchro Sisters

The world-class rivalry of Aquanuts and Aquamaids. Dive into the historic rivalry of two of the elite synchronised swimming clubs in the U.S. as they prepare to compete at nationals.

Episode 2 – Synchro Sisters

How two of the world’s best synchro clubs strike a balance. Members of Aquanuts and Aquamaids reveal the sacrifices — both inside the pool and out — required for elite synchronised swimming.

Episode 3 – Synchro Sisters

Synchro’s big backers will shock you. Learn about the surprising multi-million-dollar businesses that keep the two synchronised swimming clubs afloat.

Episode 4 – Synchro Sisters

A cruel twist threatens one squad’s dreams. In the final episode, the Aquanuts and the Aquamaids go head-to-head as they compete at the most important synchro competition of the year.

Synchro Sisters was produced exclusively for the Olympic Channel by VICE Media.

The Olympic Channel is a ground-breaking global platform where fans can experience the power of sport and the excitement of the Olympic Games all year round, and is available worldwide via mobile apps for Android and iOS devices and at olympicchannel.com.

About the Olympic Channel

The Olympic Channel is a multi-platform destination where fans can discover, engage and share in the power of sport and the excitement of the Olympic Games all year round. Offering original programming, news, live sports events and highlights, the Olympic Channel provides additional exposure for sports and athletes 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The Olympic Channel was launched in August 2016 in support of the IOC’s goal, set out in Olympic Agenda 2020, of providing a new way to engage younger generations, fans and new audiences with the Olympic Movement. Founding Partners supporting the Olympic Channel are Worldwide TOP Partners Bridgestone, Toyota and Alibaba. The Olympic Channel is available worldwide via mobile apps for Android and iOS devices and at olympicchannel.com.

Editor’s Notes

A short trailer for Synchro Sisters can be watched HERE.

The series will be available with subtitles in one of 10 languages in addition to English by selecting the “CC” button found on the lower right of the episode videos.

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5 Best Bodybuilding Programs To Pack On Serious Muscle!

For anyone looking to pack on some serious muscle mass, one of the top priorities will be to determine what the best bodybuilding workout to follow is. There are a wide range of different workouts available, so choosing the one that will suit your needs best is important.

It’s also essential that you understand which factors contribute the most to gaining lean muscle mass. A program that utilizes these principles will often fare better than one that doesn’t.

Let’s take a brief look at some of the more popular bodybuilding workout set-ups and identify the pros and cons of each.


1

The 5 X 5 Program

The five-by-five program is one that is quite popular among those who are looking to gain a high amount of strength and muscle mass.

The set-up of this program is to perform three main exercises that target the main muscle groups in the body (both lower and upper body in the same workout), performing five sets of five repetitions. At the end of each workout you can add in a few sets of isolated exercises if you like, but it’s not required by the program.

Pros

One of the biggest advantages of this set-up is going to be an increased frequency of training. Since you will stimulate so many muscle fibers every other day, you will see a very high release of testosterone, promoting a good degree of muscle mass growth.

Most individuals also find that they become hungrier while following this program, which is representative of the intense nature of it.

Cons

The drawback to this program is that it’s one that a beginner likely shouldn’t jump into as it will be intense and could lead to overtraining if you’re not careful. It’s best to have a 3-6 month lifting history behind you so you can be sure your body is ready for this stress load.

The second con to this set-up is due to the fact that you’ll be lifting heavy three times a week – it doesn’t lend so well for a lot of other activity, such as heavy sports training. If you’re involved in high-level athletics, it may be better to choose a slightly less demanding program so you don’t become overly fatigued.

Sample Workout

You’ll want to aim to perform the 5 X 5 protocol for the core exercises as described above and then cut back on the volume for the accessory lifts.

If you know going in you’re someone who tends to have difficulty recovering, then you may want to attempt a 3 X 5 set-up first and see how you do. It can be easy to overtrain on this program if you’re not careful.

Alternate between workout A and workout B three times a week with at least one day off between sessions. Aim to rest for 60-to-120 seconds between sets of the core exercises and 30-to-45 seconds between sets for the accessory exercises.

The Workout



2

German Volume Training

The next higher volume muscle-building program is German Volume Training. This one is quite similar to the 5 x 5 program in that it too is going to call for a higher set number, but it differs in that it takes the rep ranges much higher to ten reps for each set.

The design of this program is to focus on two main muscle groups per day, alternating between them over the course of three days a week.

Pros

For someone who has some training behind them, this type of workout can allow you to build muscle mass at an incredibly high pace provided you’re following a proper nutritional protocol with it as well.

Some individuals will make the mistake of not looking after their nutrition on this program and it’s those people who are at a much higher risk of burning out after a short period of time passes.

If you want to get good results with this program, eating a higher calorie diet will be a must to support the volume.

Cons

Similar to the 5 x 5, if you’re planning on doing a lot of additional activity with this program – sports training, cardio, or otherwise, you may run into some problems. Typically you will need to reduce everything else you’re doing so the body can have enough time to recover and progress … be sure you factor this in as well.

The other con of this program is that if you are interested in maximum strength development, it may not be the absolute best idea either. The reason for this is that pure strength gains typically require you to lift in a lower rep range, while this program pushes it a bit further.

There are advanced variations with German Volume Training that bring the rep range lower to allow for more weight. If this is an important issue for you, think about looking into that.

Sample Workout

For this workout protocol, you are to select one compound exercise for each muscle group and hit it hard with ten sets of ten reps. Once those have been completed, then you can add a few isolation exercises if you wish but bring them down to only 2-3 sets of 10-15 reps.

Aim to keep up the pace of the workout by keeping your rest to 60-90 seconds. Remember that since you are shooting for the higher rep range of 10 reps, you will not be using as high of a weight as you would on a 5-6 rep protocol, so be sure you adjust your load accordingly. 50-60% of your 1 rep max would be a good place to start.

The workout is broken up into three different days: chest and back, legs and abs, and then shoulders and arms. Take one day off between workouts and have the full weekend for solid recuperation.

workout 1

workout 2

workout 3



3

The FST-7 Training Program

The third type of volume training program that’s catching on rather rapidly is the FST-7 Training Program. This training program doesn’t specifically lay out all the exercises you need to perform in a given session nor does it specifically state that you must divide the body up into a certain protocol (upper body and lower body or chest/back, legs and shoulder for example), but rather gives you guidelines as to what you should be doing on the last exercise for each body part worked that session.

The FST-7 name stands for Fascial Stretch Training, which indicates that one of the primary objectives this program attempts to achieve is to stretch the fascia tissue, which is the soft connective tissue that is found surrounding your muscles as well as throughout the rest of the body.

It is primarily responsible for helping to maintain the structural integrity of the body, provide support and protection, as well as work as a shock absorber when you perform activity throughout the day, both in the gym and out.

When this tissue is stretched you will see increases in muscle growth. There will be a higher deliverance of minerals, amino acids and oxygen to the tissues.

With this set-up, perform seven sets of 15 reps for the last exercise you do for each muscle group. It’s important to keep your rest periods between these sets shorter – right around 30 seconds total.

Note: it will be common to adjust the weight downward from what you’d normally use for this particular exercise due to the fact that you are using a much higher total number of sets and the longer rep range will demand that you’re not lifting as heavy.

Pros

The pros to this program beside the obvious (better fascia health) are that it still allows for a great deal of flexibility on your part with overall structural design.

If you want to specialize in certain body parts you can definitely do so or if you prefer to keep the rest of the program lower in total volume because you don’t have the best of recovery rate, you can certainly do that as well.

Another pro to this approach is that the higher rep and set range for that one exercise will stimulate the metabolic rate considerably, so whether your goal is muscle building or fat loss, provided you’re eating the correct accompanying diet, you can see a boost in results through that manner as well.

Cons

Potentially the one con you may see with this approach is, if you struggle with recovery, you may not be able to work out as frequently as you’re accustomed after performing this protocol. After time you will likely find that your body adapts, so try not to abandon the program too quickly if this is in fact what you find.

Stick with it and make sure you eat properly and stretching in between sessions without adding too much cardio training to the week overall and you’ll likely start seeing results and improvements with the level of fatigue you feel.

Sample Workout

This is another extremely intense training program so you must always monitor recovery between sessions.

Some people may choose to only employ the FST-7 principle in one of their workouts for a particularly lagging muscle group, while others may try it through all workouts during the week.

Do expect more soreness from this program than you may have experienced before and be prepared to adjust and adapt your own schedule based on this. Here’s a sample FST-7 program that you could use that applies the principle to all muscle groups.

Note that you’re best off doing an isolated exercise for your set of 7, which is why the exercises are chosen as such.

Take between 60 and 120 seconds of rest on the exercises apart from the exercise where you are to perform seven sets. Here the rest period needs to be shorter and kept around 30 seconds for maximum muscle pump.

Day 1: Biceps, Triceps, And Calves

Day 2: Legs

Day 3: off

Day 4: Chest And Triceps

Day 5: Back And Calves

Day 6: Shoulders And Biceps

Day 7: off


4

Upper/Lower Split Training

Moving on, the fourth type of workout to think about is an upper/lower body split. This set-up is typically performed on a two on, one off schedule and allows you to hit each muscle group twice per week.

Pros

The pro to this type of workout program is that it is a good option for beginners weight lifters looking to build mass. Since it still allows enough rest over the entire week and breaks the body up so each workout is slightly less stressful, it’s a good place to start.

Advanced trainees can also intensify the workout through the total set number, exercise selection, and rest periods used, allowing for increased muscle gains at any level.

Another big advantage to this type of set-up is the fact that it will allow you to include more isolated exercises. If you want to specifically target one of the smaller muscle groups (biceps, triceps, lateral deltoid, etc), you can do so more easily.

Cons

Because this type of bodybuilding program is so versatile, there really aren’t a great deal of cons with it. You can change it around a great deal to meet whatever your individual needs are, making sure you get what you’re looking for from your workout program.

The one con you may find with this workout is due to the fact that since it is made to be a 4-day program, it should be performed four days of the week. If you have scheduling conflicts, that may be a problem for you.

Even this could be overcome by doing one week of lower, upper, lower training and the next week of upper, lower, upper training – and continually alternating as such.

Sample Workout

There is an endless amount of exercise-selection choices for this type of workout plan and you should format the program according to how much volume you can handle, any muscle groups you want to focus on and whether you primarily focus on strength or size.

The following sample program is a good combination of compound and isolation exercises. It will target both the strength and size aspects of your fitness level.

Aim to take about one minute of rest between the first group of exercises and then shorten the rest period to 30-45 seconds for the second.

Perform Workout A and Workout B one after each other and then break for a day before moving to Workout C and Workout D to round out your training week.

Workout A

Workout B

Workout C

Workout D


5

Full Body Workouts

Lastly we come to full-body workouts. The 5 x 5 program could also be considered a full-body workout program to a degree, since you work almost all the major muscle groups with the three exercises you choose. But, true full-body programs will provide one direct exercise for each muscle group – quads, hamstrings, chest, back and shoulders (arms are worked when doing chest and back).

In addition to those lifts, you could also throw in a few isolated exercises if you want to hit the smaller muscles individually.

Pros

One big pro of this program is again that it can be appropriate for a beginner, provided they use a lower total set number for each exercise and watch the volume.

It can certainly be used by advanced individuals as well. Since it has the high-frequency aspect working for it, it typically proves to be successful.

There are a number of different combinations you can create a full-body workout with and can utilize different principles within the workout to add variety and keep progressing.

Cons

One main con of the full-body workout program is that it’s not as good if you’re looking to specialize in a certain body part since you have to perform some exercises for each body part in the same session.

Typically with specialization workouts you’re going to want to dedicate two or three lifts to the body part you’re specializing in, making the workout slightly crowded once you fit everything in.

Sample Workout

For each full-body workout, you’ll hit all the major muscle groups while using as many compound exercises as possible to keep overall volume under control.

The few isolation exercises are added toward the end of the workout to help further bring out muscle definition and increase the muscle pump you experience.

Aim to complete the following workouts alternating between them over the course of two to three days per week with at least one day off in between for rest.

Take 60-90 seconds of rest between the sets of the first grouping of exercises and 45-60 seconds of rest between the sets of the second grouping of exercises.

Workout A

Workout B

Keep these four different types of workouts in mind as you make the decision which will be the best bodybuilding workout program for you.

Keep in mind that you can and should switch programs after so long to keep experiencing results and avoid a plateau so don’t think that once you choose one program, it’s written in stone that’s the workout program you have to follow for a long period of time.

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FINA World Championships Predictions: Women’s 100 Breast

Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

Editorial Coverage provided by Suit-extractor-logo

This one will get plenty of attention: Lilly King and Yulia Efimova will have their long-awaited rematch in the women’s 100 breast at the FINA World Championships.

King got the better of Efimova at the Olympics in Rio, but Efimova will arrive in Budapest as the top seed for the event. She’s also the reigning World Champion in the event, while King has never competed at a long course World Championships.

Read below to see what Swimming World’s trio of experts think will happen in Budapest. David RiederJohn Lohn and Andy Ross will each offer their predictions for who will finish on the podium.

Women’s 100 Breast

Current Records:

World Record: Ruta Meilutyte, LTU (2013) — 1:04.35
Championship Record: Ruta Meilutyte, LTU (2013) — 1:04.35
American Record: Jessica Hardy (2009) — 1:04.45

2015 World Champion: Yulia Efimova, RUS — 1:05.66
2016 Olympic Gold Medalist: Lilly King, USA — 1:04.93
2017 World No. 1: Yulia Efimova, RUS — 1:04.82

Swimming World Predictions

David Rieder’s Picks:

Gold: Lilly King, USA
Silver: Yulia Efimova, RUS
Bronze: Katie Meili, USA

John Lohn’s Picks:

Gold: Lilly King, USA
Silver: Yulia Efimova, RUS
Bronze: Katie Meili, USA

Andy Ross’ Picks:

Gold: Yulia Efimova, RUS
Silver: Lilly King, USA
Bronze: Katie Meili, USA

Previous Events

Day One:

Day Two:

Day Three:

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Eight of the Most Hyped Races in World Championships History

We are just under two weeks from the swimming portion of the 2017 FINA World Championships in Budapest. I have always looked at these World Championship as the “encore Olympics,” since all the main story lines will revolve around what happened in Rio. This is what happens at every World Championships held the year after the Games. It is always a chance for swimmers to show that their Olympics were not a fluke, or a chance for them to back up their shocking Olympic swims and prove their dominance in their respective events.

In honor of the approaching World Championships, I decided to take a look back at some of the most hyped up rematches in a post-Olympic year. Since FINA decided to stagger the meet to every odd year after 2000, this is a short list. It does not include any World Championships in the 90s and earlier because FINA held them every four years at this time, pinning them in the halfway point between Olympics.

This list is primarily focused on highlighting the races that I distinctly remember being very hyped up about in post-Olympic years, as they were all pitted as “official rematches.”

Ian Thorpe vs. Pieter van den Hoogenband; 200 Free, 2001

In 2000, Pieter van den Hoogenband stunned Aussie Ian Thorpe in his home country in the 200 free final in Sydney. Van den Hoogenband tied his own World Record from the previous night and handed Thorpe his first loss in a major meet in his career. There was talk that Thorpe was already the greatest swimmer ever and looked unbeatable leading into the 2000 Olympics. Van den Hoogenband posted a formidable challenge in the 200 final and shocked “the Thorpedo.”

In 2001, Thorpe took his world record back at the Aussie nationals earlier in the year. The rematch was set as the two swimmers were in the same lanes they swam in a year prior. Even Australian commentators Ray Warren and Duncan Armstrong hyped the race as “revenge night” in Fukuoka.

“How long has he been aching?”

“It’s been coming for about 310 days, so about 311 sleeps (since Sydney).”

Thorpe stayed with the Dutchmen for 150 meters and ran away with the race the last 50 as he smashed his own world record with a 1:44.06, over a second faster than what van den Hoogenband went in Sydney (1:45.35). He split a 25.80 on the last 50 to blow away the Dutchmen and the world record as well. That record did not get broken until 2007 when Michael Phelps went 1:43.86 at the World Championships in Melbourne.

Brendan Hansen vs. Kosuke Kitajima; 100 Breast, 2005

Brendan Hansen broke the world record in the 100 breast at the 2004 US Olympic Trials in Long Beach and entered the 2004 Athens Olympics as the favorite. Hansen broke the record that belonged to Japan’s Kosuke Kitajima who entered Athens as the reigning World Champion. Kitajima ended up winning the final just ahead of Hansen. Video replay after the race showed Kitajima snuck in a dolphin kick on his pullout on the start and the turn, an act that was illegal at the time. Kitajima let out a couple screams in the water when he saw he was the winner in the final. Hansen took these screams personally and wanted to get his own personal revenge on Kitajima in future races.

Just like Thorpe and van den Hoogenband, Hansen and Kitajima entered the final in Montreal in 2005 in the same lanes they were in the previous year. Hansen took the lead early from Kitajima in the final and held off the Olympic champion. You could see the satisfaction on Hansen’s face when he won the race as he hit the water. It was clear that this one was personal and he wanted that one badly.

Ian Crocker vs. Michael Phelps; 100 Fly, 2005

Before Milorad Cavic, there was Ian Crocker. Crocker was Michael Phelps‘ kryptonite in the 100 fly leading into the Athens Olympics. Phelps ran Crocker down in the final in 2004 in a very similar fashion to what he did in 2008. A year later in Montreal, Crocker gave Phelps one of the worst defeats in his career.

Crocker was the heavy favorite in Athens but slipped up in the final. He was going to make sure that did not happen in Montreal in his first year as a post grad. Crocker went out under world record pace, with Phelps seven tenths behind. Instead of running him down, Phelps actually split slower than Crocker on the back 50 as the latter smashed his own world record set at the previous summer’s Olympic Trials. Crocker swam a 50.40, a record that stood until Phelps broke it in 2009.

Federica Pellegrini vs. the British Girls; 400 Free, 2009

A lot of people forget that Italian Federica Pellegrini was the heavy favorite in the 400 free going into Beijing. She was the world record holder and the top seed going into the final after she posted a quick time in the prelims. In the final however, the pace was painfully slow and Pellegrini never had control. American Katie Hoff took advantage of the slow pacing and pounced on the lead at the halfway point. Hoff extended her lead to the 300 but was ultimately caught by Brit Rebecca Adlington. Pellegrini was never in contention and ended up fifth in the final. Her time from the heats would have won the final by over a second.

A year later in her home country, Pellegrini had revenge on her mind over Adlington and fellow Brit Joanne Jackson, who broke her world record earlier in the year. Pellegrini snatched it back leading up to the Worlds but it was a grudge match in the 400 final in Rome.

Pellegrini took the lead early and never relinquished it. She split a 1:59.73 on her second 200 and became the first swimmer to break four minutes in the event. It had to be extra sweet for the Italian as she did it in front of her home crowd in Rome. Her world record lasted until 2014 when it was broken by American Katie Ledecky.

USA vs. France; 4×100 Free Relay, 2009

Let’s be real, every swimmer alive in 2008 remembers where they were when Jason Lezak chased down Alain Bernard over the final 25 of the 4×100 free relay at the Beijing Olympics. But not very many people remember the rematch in 2009. France was a huge favorite leading into the Olympics, but they were out swam that morning in China.

Just one year later, the French were again heavy favorites. They had Fabien Gilot, Bernard, Gregory Mallet and Fred Bousquet behind the blocks in Rome against the Americans who had Michael PhelpsRyan LochteMatt Grevers and World Championship rookie Nathan Adrian. There were other strong countries in the final as Brazil and Russia put up good fights, but the hype was all going to be around what France and the US were doing in lanes five and six.

Gilot had just out-touched Phelps on the leadoff leg. The French put world record holder Bernard in the second spot to give themselves a lead at the halfway point. Bernard split a 46.46, one of the fastest splits ever, and gave the French the lead halfway through. Lochte had split a 47.03, not bad for a 400 IMer. Grevers had clawed his way up to Mallet and put the US in front of France. Grevers split 47.61 to Mallet’s 48.28. (Russia actually had the lead at this point, but no one really seemed to notice). It was up to 20-year-old Adrian against Bousquet. Adrian had ran away from Bousquet on the last 50 as he split a 46.79 to Bousquet’s 47.42. It was a surprisingly slow split from Bousquet, but the Americans had triumphed again, backing up their win at the Olympics.

This time it wasn’t a 30+year-old veteran, it was a 20-year-old newcomer that was the hero here. Adrain earned the nickname, “little Lezak” for his performance in that race. The US won the race with a 3:09.21. Russia was second at 3:09.52 and France was third at 3:09.89.

Michael Phelps vs. Milorad Cavic; 100 Fly, 2009

In perhaps one of the most famous and hyped up races in World Championship history, Michael Phelps silenced all of his doubters by running down Serbian Milorad Cavic in the 100 fly in Rome.

This race was not just a rematch from Beijing. Cavic had frequently stated leading up to the 09 Worlds that he believed he touched first in Beijing, and he could do it again in Rome. Phelps had also been beaten for the first time in four years in the 200 free final by Germany’s Paul Biedermann who beat Phelps in a new and shiny Arena X-Glide body suit. Phelps refused to wear the plastic suits as he wanted to stay loyal to his sponsor Speedo and wear their LZR suit at the championships. Cavic had even offered to race the 100 fly final in briefs, but Phelps was not having it.

The race played out similar to Beijing with Cavic bolting to the front. Cavic took it out in a blistering 22.67, the same time that he swum to win the gold medal in the 50 fly earlier in the week. It did not matter as Phelps tracked him down the second 50 and out-swam the Serbian once again. Phelps became the first swimmer to break 50 seconds as he swam a 49.82 to Cavic’s 49.95.

One of the most telling images of that race was when Phelps got on the lane line and showed off his Speedo suit like he was a basketball player showing off his jersey. It was one of Phelps’ most iconic moments and will certainly go down as one of his greatest races in his career, not just because of the fast time, but the way he responded to the pressure saying he could not beat Cavic again with an inferior suit.

France vs. USA; 4×100 Free Relay, 2013

France got its revenge on the US in the 4×100 free relay in London. We know that much. But the race in London was mainly about Australia not showing up, rather than France getting revenge back on the US. Australia was the heavy favorite there. The US actually swam out of their minds and put themselves in a great position to win the gold medal, but they were chased down by Yannick Agnel and France.

In Barcelona a year later, it was expected to be between the US, Australia and Russia, with France a dark horse. Nathan Adrian took the lead with a 47.95 lead-off ahead of Russia’s Andrey Grechin (48.09) and Australia’s James Magnussen (48.00). Australia’s Cam McEvoy actually gave them the lead at the halfway point with a 47.44 split ahead of Ryan Lochte (47.80) and Nikita Lobintsev (47.91). On the third leg, Anthony Ervin (47.44) and Vlad Morozov (47.40) pulled away from the Aussies and it looked to be a Cold War over the anchor leg. But all of a sudden, Jeremy Stravius had kicked out even with Russia and the US. Stravius was in the race with Danila Izotov and Jimmy FeigenFabien Gilot‘s 46.90 split almost went un-noticed as France crawled its way back into the race.

It was a three-team race over the final 50 between Stravius, Izotov and Feigen. In a mad dash to the wall, Stravius (47.59) helped upset Russia and the US in the 4×100 free relay for the second straight year as France won the world title with a 3:11.18. The US was second (3:11.42) and Russia was third (3:11.44).

James Magnussen vs. Nathan Adrian; 100 Free, 2013

American Nathan Adrian famously out-touched Australian James Magnussen in the 100 free in the 2012 Olympics beating the heavily favored Aussie. Adrian had gone into the London Olympics seeded almost a full second behind Magnussen as the Aussie looked to be unbeatable in this event. Adrian had accomplished the upset and was looking to repeat that in Barcelona in 2013.

The race itself was hyped up because of the presence of Adrian and Magnussen, as well as Fabien Gilot, who was the only swimmer to break 47 in the 4×100 free relay. It also featured young stars Cameron McEvoyVlad Morozov and Jimmy Feigen who had stellar 2013s and were looking for a breakthrough win.

It was a heavily hyped race between Adrian and the young guns that Magnussen was almost an afterthought, despite being the Olympic silver medalist and the defending World Champion.

Morozov bolted to the front and split a 21.94 on his feet to lead Adrian and McEvoy. Morozov started to come back to the field as Adrian was catching him. The field started to bunch up and Magnussen was closing fast. As five guys came crashing to the wall, Magnussen’s name popped out of his lane as the winner. Feigen and Adrian had gotten silver and bronze. Magnussen had been through a lot in the preceding year, after he was criticized for losing the 100 free gold medal, as well as failing to medal in the 4×100 free relay. He had put all that outside pressure aside to come through and win the gold medal he was expected to win in London.

Leading into Budapest, the big rematch I am most looking forward to is the women’s 100 breast between Lilly King and Yuliya Efimova as well as the women’s 100 free between Penny Oleksiak and Simone Manuel. The men’s races that will be the most intriguing include Joseph Schooling’s run at Phelps’ 100 fly world record with Laszlo Cseh and Chad Le Clos in tow. The men’s 200 fly will be an exciting rematch even without Phelps. Cseh along with Le Clos, Masato Sakai and Tamas Kenderesi will be favorites for the 200 fly in Budapest. Also, keep an eye for a sneaky exciting race between Chase Kalisz and Kosuke Hagino in the 400 IM.

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Bodybuilding.com Supplement Company Of The Month: MuscleTech, Part 1

For the last 17 years, MuscleTech has been cementing its position as a leader in the supplement industry. The company experienced incremental growth and never cut corners and never threw in the towel. Today, they sponsor both the reigning Mr. Olympia and Arnold Classic champs. Don’t take our word for it; Phil Heath and Branch Warren will say it better than anyone!

In an industry where companies sometimes rise and fall like the tides, it’s comforting to know that some organizations are reliable over the long haul. Company spokesman Vito Sanzone let us in on how Muscletech has stood the test of time and its plans to continue thriving. Congratulations to Muscletech, our January 2013 Bodybuilding.com supplement company of the month!

Please tell our readers how your company started.

Name: Iovate Health Sciences International Inc.
Website: www.iovate.com
Facility Locations: Oakville, Ontario, Canada
In Operation Since: 1995
Prizes/Awards:
GNC Vendor of the year (Best Product Innovation Award & Outstanding Partnership)
3 Vitamin & Health Vendor of the Year Awards
2 Vitamin & Health Partnership Awards
2 Vitamin & Health Innovation Awards
5 Consumer-Voted Product of the Year Awards
Only sports nutrition company warehoused within the U.S. Military
U.S. Navy sports nutrition category captains
Product List: MuscleTech Performance Series and Concentrated Series

MuscleTech began as a direct-to-consumer mail order business in 1995. We started off with three products—Creatine 6000-ES, Acetabolan, and the original Hydroxycut formula—which were sold individually, or as a stack. Word started to spread that our formulas worked, and more and more people experienced success with our products. As the buzz grew about our products, so did our company.

Just a year later, due to significant consumer demand, we launched our Wholesale Retail Division. Shortly thereafter our products started flying off the shelves of some of the biggest vitamin and health retailers across the country. The rest, as they say, is history.

What was the initial motivation to start MuscleTech?

We felt that there was a significant gap in the industry when it came to quality, research-driven products and so we saw the opportunity to fill that gap. We wanted to create a supplement company that was committed to producing quality, science-based formulas with scientifically proven ingredients.

It’s hard to believe that here we are, 18 years later, and we still follow that same philosophy. It’s helped make us a major player which leads the way with scientific breakthroughs and innovative products that continue to dominate the industry.

Tell us a little more about yourself and your background in the industry.

I can remember copies of Muscle & Fitness in our home since I could first read. My father is a fitness and healthy living pioneer and made it a part of our lives. Even now, at 82, my father claims he “could handle” most 20-year-olds. I was a baseball and track athlete through high school. I ran five marathons by age 23, and today regularly lift to support my tennis and snowboarding habits.

There’s something powerful about a personal transformation. Everything about a person’s life can improve with the discipline and commitment to changing their physical appearance. I love this industry and the opportunity to help people change through the innovation and testing of great new products. We never release a product to the public that we have not used ourselves with great results.

What are some of your top products right now?

We launched a number of new products in the last year that have been huge for us. Even more are on the way in 2013, but some of our top products right now are our intense new pre-workout, NeuroCore, and the new formulation of our flagship Hydroxycut Hardcore Elite—an intense new super-thermogenic that people are reviewing well.

We have a few new products hitting shelves that I’m really excited about: Push 10 and Phase 8. Push 10 is a new, one-of-a-kind pre-workout formula that delivers a powerful strength and performance boost without stimulants, creatine, or any WADA-banned substances.

Phase 8 is a new multi-phase, sustained-release protein formula that combines six different proteins with different digestion rates so that it breaks down slowly to supply muscles with protein and amino acids for eight full hours.

Who are your sponsored athletes, and how do they impact the industry?

Top athletes give your company recognition and credibility, and we have two of the top guns in bodybuilding: the reigning two-time Mr. Olympia, Phil Heath, and the reigning Arnold Classic Champ, Branch Warren. We easily have one of the most impressive pro athlete rosters in the business.

Let’s say a customer is just starting a fitness regimen, can only afford one product, and he/she comes to you. Which one supplement do you recommend? Why?

That depends on what they’re trying to achieve. If their main goal is building muscle, I recommend Nitro-Tech, which combines ultra-pure whey protein isolate with the strength and performance enhancing abilities of creatine.

If they want to tighten up, then I definitely recommend Hydroxycut Hardcore Elite. If their main goal is sports performance or just getting in better shape in general, then I recommend either NeuroCore or new Push 10 pre-workout products to help them get better overall results out of their gym sessions.

Muscletech Nitro-tech
What do you believe are the best and worst things about the supplement industry?

Best: We help people transform their lives for the better; truly terrific and positive people in this industry; and the chance to help athletes raise their game.

Worst: Not all companies are equal; some provide great formulas clinically backed with human research, some do not; we have not yet convinced every person on earth to supplement daily.

How important are the trade shows and expos to the growth of your company?

Trade shows are critical for us globally. Any chance we have to interact with our fans and consumers is a golden opportunity. That’s why we always bring our popular team members like Mr. Olympia Phil Heath, Branch Warren, and Jon “Bones” Jones to meet the fans.

In 2011 we initiated our MuscleTech Sample Station at the Arnold and Olympia expositions with a simple concept: Get the best sample package in the industry and get your picture with your favorite athlete. The feedback has been phenomenal. We’ll continue to give the folks what they want!

What separates your company from all the others in the industry?

We are committed to continually evolving so that we deliver the most innovative, effective, science-based products available. That is what sets us apart. We always look for new ways to improve our existing products and seek out new supplement technologies and ingredient advancements to remain on top of the industry. People always want the latest and greatest new ingredients—in this business, if you’re not evolving, you’re done.

What does your company do to ensure ethical standards?

I believe ethics begin with a better quality of product, and we do everything possible to ensure our product quality. If you remain committed to quality, ethical standards have to follow suit, and all of our ingredients are thoroughly tested to ensure the highest standards of quality and purity.

We also have industry-leading quality assurance and manufacturing practices to ensure that the purity and quality of our products are stringently maintained. Each of our manufacturing locations follows and is compliant with current Good Manufacturing Practices. We also have an exhaustive series of industry-leading internal and external quality assurance procedures conducted on our raw materials as well as our finished products.

Does MuscleTech perform its own research? How will science guide your future?

I take pride in Iovate’s state-of-the-art scientific capabilities and I believe that our Scientific Affairs Division is in a class by itself in the supplement industry. We invest heavily in the company’s product development activities.

Our research and development team is a highly experienced group of people whom hold degrees in nutrition, biomedical toxicology, pharmacology, chemistry, biotechnology, human biology, and human kinetics, performing in-house research, and quality-control activities.

Our products are built on legitimate science and we use a combination of in-house research, third-party research, and strong partnerships with many renowned and respected institutions, universities, and laboratories throughout the world. Compare our facilities and methods to other companies, and our superior dedication to research is easy to see. That’s why we’ve got the most cutting-edge science in the industry and a legacy of breakthrough innovations.

Advanced scientific research is what built this company, it’s what took us to the top, and it’s the secret to our future success.

Is there anyone you would like to thank or give a shout out to?

First, I’d like to thank Bodybuilding.com for being a great partner to our company and for honoring us with this feature. Second, I have to thank the fans of our brands for their continued support and trust in our products. Third, I have to thank each and every employee at Iovate. Without their passion for the industry and their dedication to our company, its products, and our consumers, we wouldn’t be able to help people around the world improve their health and their lives.

Interview with Phil Heath

How long have you been sponsored by MuscleTech? What made you join the team?

I signed on with MuscleTech about two-and-a-half years ago. I wanted to take my career to the next level, and for me, MuscleTech represented that step because it’s one of the brands that helped make our industry what it is today. They’ve actually been around for a long time.

When I first got into bodybuilding, MuscleTech was a company that was already established as one of the big players. It has always been an innovative company that uses science and research as the foundation for its products. I’ve known a lot of people over the years who used their supplements and got good results, including myself.

Much like me, they strive to be the best. So for me, it seemed like perfect fit. I only go with what I trust, and I trust MuscleTech.

Why do you think it’s important for athletes to earn sponsorships?

First, I think it’s important because it helps legitimize bodybuilding as a sport. Company sponsorship is part of any major sport, so for our industry to grow and become more accepted into the mainstream, I feel we need to have more bodybuilders given sponsorships and widespread exposure. This will help drive more people into it to help it grow, which will consequently also elevate the level of competition.

Second, bodybuilding is unfortunately not a lucrative sport, which means that many bodybuilders depend on sponsorship just to get by. Professional bodybuilders work extremely hard to get to where they are, and it can be an expensive lifestyle. Unless you consistently place near the top or have company sponsorship, you’re going to have people who just scrape by and eventually just quit.

Why would a young person want to stop playing something like football or basketball to face hardships like that, when they can have big money and fame elsewhere? We need more supplement brands like MuscleTech to help promote not just the athletes, but the industry itself.

When training, what is your favorite MuscleTech supplement? How do you use it?

There are a number of MuscleTech supplements I use in my training regimen. This question also depends on what my goal is at the time. So for example, if I’m trying to bulk up, get cut, get stronger, I always tailor my supplement regimen to match the type of program I’m on.

Muscletech Nano Vapor

However, the one MuscleTech supplement I can say that is my overall favorite is definitely Nano Vapor. The taste is good, but the results I get are great! All my workouts are grueling, challenging and super-intense, so I need every edge I can get to help keep me going and push me to the next level.

Nano Vapor gives me insane energy and razor focus. I take three scoops about a half-hour before training, and I’m jacked up and ready to go. I can easily say this is the best pre-workout that I’ve tried.

How do you know MuscleTech’s products work?

For starters, MuscleTech built its reputation on developing products that are based on real research and development. When I first started training, long before I ever became part of Team MuscleTech, I used some of their products because they came highly recommended by friends who experienced good results with them, and I found that they worked for me too.

After I joined Team MuscleTech back in 2010, I got a chance to meet the people behind the company. I saw how serious and committed they were to developing only cutting-edge products that worked—and I was impressed. They maintain their high standards for quality to this day, and I still use their products. I can still tell you firsthand: I know for a fact that their products work.

How has your performance in the gym improved using MuscleTech’s supplements?

I can’t just attribute it solely to MuscleTech products, but I’ve definitely noticed a difference with them. I mentioned how much I love Nano Vapor, and that it gives me amazing energy heightened focus, but I’ve also gotten some good results with some of their other products, like last offseason when I was bulking up and used Mass-Tech. Not only did it help me pack on the pounds, but I noticed I had more strength than normal than last time around.

Muscletech Mass Tech

I used Hydroxystim, and that stuff was pretty insane. I’m a pretty big guy, so there aren’t many supplements out that can knock me on my ass, but that hit me pretty hard. Intense energy, laser focus, and some crazy sweating. I needed two towels for those workouts.

My favorite workout tends to change, depending on when you ask me. I like to keep modifying my workouts, constantly changing it up and throwing new elements to make sure my body never gets used to anything. I’m in the off-season right now, so at the moment, I say quad days are my favorite. Ask me again in about five months, and I’ll probably have a different answer for you.

Phil Heath’s Quad Routine
How has being sponsored by MuscleTech helped your career in the industry?

To begin with, it’s helped give me more exposure than ever, and provided me with many new experiences. I do a lot of shows and events with them that have taken me to places around the world I thought I’d never visit, like recent trips to Russia and India. Those great experiences go beyond the world of bodybuilding. I’ll always remember and be thankful for them.

From a career perspective, I’ve found that the sponsorship helped reinforce my drive to be the absolute best there is. MuscleTech signed me because they believe in me and my abilities, and I don’t ever want to let anyone down that puts their trust in me. The company strives to be the best in its field—just like me.

As a representative of the company, I want to live up to those standards. I find that teaming up with MuscleTech helps push me to want to keep getting better, so I can prove to them that they made the right choice standing by me. I’m proud to be a member of Team MuscleTech.

Is there anything else you care to share about MuscleTech?

I’ve had a lot of great experiences at trade shows and special appearances with MuscleTech, and I know there’ll be a lot more to come, but the best appearance I’ve had so far is the visit to the Military Base in Fort Hood. I’m a big supporter of the brave men and women who help protect this great country of ours. So for me and my stepson Mike to get a chance to spend time with the troops at Fort Hood was a great honor.

We spoke with some fantastic people, got to see the lives they lead firsthand, did some MMA training, and even took part in some of the training drills. Mike has always wanted join the military and this experience helped reinforce his desire to be a part of the service. It was a great experience for the both of us and made me proud of the fine people who continue to serve America.

Interview with Branch Warren

How long have you been involved with MuscleTech? What made you join the team?

I first signed on with MuscleTech in 2003. I joined the team because it is a quality company with a solid reputation. They’re incredible—the best team out there, with the best supplements. I take a lot of MuscleTech products and they definitely made a big difference.

Why do you think it’s important for athletes to earn sponsorships?

Sponsorships help you get noticed and drive you to be better. Plus, when you sign on with a reputable company, you almost automatically gain credibility in the industry which is hard to come by for a lot of up and comers.

When training, what is your favorite MuscleTech supplement?

My favorite has to be the new Nitro-Tech, because it tastes great and it has the high-quality protein I need. I take two scoops, twice per day. In my opinion, it’s the best quality protein on the market.

How do you know MuscleTech’s products work?

I think what sets Team MuscleTech apart from the rest out there is that they actually do their research in-house. They do it themselves. A lot of the supplement companies out there outsource and hire outside firms to do their work for them.

If you’ve ever been to the MuscleTech Head Office, you’ll see that they’re a group of hard-working people with a real passion for this industry. After talking with them, I found they were well-informed and practice what they preach. They help create products that can help us in the gym and most importantly, on the stage.

Has your performance in the gym improved using MuscleTech’s supplements?

MuscleTech supplements played a major part in my getting into the shape I’m now in. Hydroxycut Hardcore Elite was one product that I love. I stack it with the new Cell-Tech and Nitro-Tech in my training program and I notice great results. I think I’ve improved all over. My strength has gone up, and this year I was in the best condition I have ever been in.

Branch Warren’s Hardcore Leg Routine

Superset

Resume regular sets

How has being sponsored by MuscleTech helped your career in the industry?

I don’t know how to answer that one. They’ve been great to me, and I’ve gotten incredible results using their products over the years. I’ve remained with them for 10 years now.

There have been other companies that have approached me, and times when I could have signed on with someone else, but the fact is that I’m still here, still getting great results and still reppin’ MuscleTech. They helped me get where I am.

Is there anything else you care to share about MuscleTech?

Team MuscleTech is the world’s leader in bodybuilding supplements and they’re well-established. You see a lot of competitors here today but gone one or two years later.

Team MuscleTech has been around for a few years and they’ll be here for many more to come. After trying their products I can say they have superior quality products and do the research to back them up.

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