Build Muscle Fast by Activating Your High Threshold Motor Units

Okay, you are probably mumbling to yourself right now… “What the heck are high threshold motor units?” Well, they are your best friend if you’re looking to build muscle, strength and power fast. Your muscle fibers work together in groups or units to perform movements. Like an Army platoon, these groups of muscle fibers band together in tight formations to perform their duties. High threshold motor units (HTMU’s) are the strongest groups of muscle fibers in your body. They lie around waiting to be used for only the most difficult of muscular tasks.

But here’s the problem… Many weightlifters and muscle building enthusiasts don’t engage these motor units properly, if at all. They go to the gym or workout at home, rarely pushing themselves to the level of intensity needed to recruit these high threshold muscle fibers. Or, if they do engage them, they do so in a haphazard way without the consistency or planning needed to build real strength and size.

Remember that…consistency and planning. In order for muscles to grow, they must be repeatedly challenged by the same training stimulus for a specific period of time until an adaptation has been made. Consistency and following a long term plan for your training is the key… Not jumping around from workout routine to workout routine like most people do. So, make the training regimen I describe below part of your annual plan.

How to blast your HTMU’s to increase your strength and size in the shortest time possible… Lift for several weeks with maximum weights for all your multi-joint exercises like the barbell squat, deadlift, barbell bench press, barbell shoulder press, lat pulldown, bent-over barbell rows, etc. The best schedule for this training is working out Monday, Wednesday and Friday or Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday. Be sure not to workout more than two days in a row. For this kind of training it’s best to do an upper body/lower body split.

If you split upper and lower body, try an AM/PM split on the SAME DAY. For example, on Monday morning you could do a 30 minute upper body routine. Then in the late afternoon or early evening, do your lower body exercises. If you can’t fit that split into your schedule, then just do 3 intense sessions a week, alternating upper and lower body sessions. Be sure to alternate between doing two upper body sessions (and 1 lower body) one week, and the following week, doing two lower body sessions and one upper body. This will ensure you’re hitting upper and lower body equally over each two week period. You can also do the above upper body, lower body split workouts on Monday (upper body), Tuesday (lower body), Wednesday (rest), Thursday (upper body) and Friday (lower body).

Loads, Sets, Reps and Rest Periods… Start with 80% of your one-rep maximum in week 1, then use 85% of your one-rep maximum in week 2 and finally in week 3, use 90% (or more) of your one-rep max. Do 4-5 sets of each lift, resting 3 minutes between sets. For this kind of training you need full rest between sets. With regard to repetitions, you should be doing approximately 8-10 reps for 80% of your 1 Rep Max; 5-7 reps for 85% of your 1 Rep Max; and 3-5 reps with 90%+ of your 1 Rep Max.

Each week, you will be engaging more of your high threshold motor units as the weight increases and your body responds by recruiting more fibers and thickening existing ones to handle the loads. In less than a week, you will notice a definite increase in strength. For example, by your third workout (on Friday), the weight used on Monday should “feel” lighter than when you lifted it on Monday.

This is the adaptive response of your body becoming more efficient at lifting a specific weight for a specific exercise. Over the coming weeks, you’ll see strength increases again and your muscle mass will increase as well due to your increases in strength. Keep in mind that gains in muscle mass lag behind strength gains. So once you’ve increased strength it will take a little time for muscle mass to develop.

After this 3 week cycle, do the whole thing over again — except this time, use dumbbells for all your lifts except the squat. This will really challenge your high threshold fibers because they will be forced to stabilize the heavy weights more than you do when using a barbell. Don’t be surprised if you make some personal bests in your big lifts like the squat and bench press. Of course this strategy assumes you’re eating right and getting an appropriate amount of rest and sleep. If not, your hard work will be in vane and you won’t gain anything except muscle soreness and a lot of disappointment.

The Benefits of Activating Your High Threshold Motor Units… Scientific research and lifters who perform this type of training have proven that you can increase your strength in a matter of days, and your mass in Weeks… not months! And with strength increases come increases in muscle fiber thickness and the number of muscle fibers, both of which make you bigger and stronger.

Strength and size are closely associated with one another, although the relationship is not 1 to 1 (meaning that for some strength increases, you will not have a corresponding size increase). These gains can only occur if you engage your HTMU’s in a methodical and consistent way. Don’t do this type of training without a good plan or you could end up doing more harm then good. After 6 weeks of this type of training, you can take some time off, 5-7 days, to let your body fully recover and grow, grow, grow!
Source by Robert Thomson

How To Get Rid of Cellulite!

This article will explain the three reasons why kettlebells work to get rid of cellulite. So you’re probably wondering what these kettlebell things have to do with cellulite. Well I’m glad you asked!

OK so let’s go through the reasons why kettlebells get rid of cellulite. Now in all the research that I’ve done I’ve come to the conclusion that there are 3 main reasons why kettlebells can quickly reduce and get rid of cellulite.

The first reason is that heavy weight training reduces cellulite. You can grab a can of peas and do bicep curls all day and I guarantee if you continue to do that every day (demonstration) day in day out you will see little if any improvement on your arms. Now something is better than nothing so if you want to sit at your desk at work and bicep curl a can of peas – feel free… however if you want fast results in the shortest amount of time, you need to lift heavy weights. So you may be now asking why not just go to the gym and lift weights, why use kettlebells?

Well this brings me to the second reason that kettlebells get rid of cellulite. The shape of the bell (if you have a look at it closely – bring close to camera) it has a handle and a “ball” like weight. The weight of the kettlebell is distributed unevenly so when you are using it and doing the movements you are actually using more muscles than you would be using when doing machine weights or other forms of weight training at the gym. This is because you have to use different muscles (ones that would not normally be used) to stabilise the weight. The more muscles you use, the more likely it is that you will trim down and get rid of that unwanted cellulite. You will be burning extra calories 24-48 hours after your workout!! The more calories you burn the greater your fat loss, the more you will reduce your cellulite!

Now to get rid of cellulite you need to do heavy weight training but you also need to do cardio. Now I don’t know about you but if there was a machine in this world that would help me multi-task to do these two movements together (so I can do it all in half the time) I would rather use that than 2 different machines and have to double my exercise time!

To give you a little insight about my own experience – when I first started exercising – I did what everyone else does – went to the gym, jumped on the treadmill, followed by the crosstrainer and a little bit of bike, then went on and did all the weights I could figure out how to use on the gym floor – and ended up spending 2 hours exercising – and most weeks I would be doing this 3-4 times a week. Add those hours together and I’d be spending 6-8 hours (almost an entire day) at the gym. Even though I noticed changes in my body – I still had cellulite and to be honest – I had no social life!

So the third reason kettlebells get rid of cellulite is because it combines both cardio and weight training – this means you can exercise for a less amount of time, kill 2 birds with 1 stone and get far better results than using any other form of exercise. This can be achieved in 1 hour a week! I couldn’t believe that I could reduce my 6-8 hours down to 1 hour and have better results! That’s amazing!
Source by Fabiola Curavic

Top 6 Supplements to Get You Faster & Stronger For Football

When trying to get faster, bigger, and stronger for football, you need to use every weapon in your arsenal. Your football strength and speed training program needs to be excellent, your diet 90% on point (at least) and your mental training and football skill building all need to be constantly improving.

For those of you who fit this description, supplements can help. There are certain supplements that can help you get faster and stronger for football…if all the other factors are in place!

I’m always hesitant to talk about supplements for football training. While there is a short list of products that can really help your football training, they are not magic bullets. And, as any coach reading this will know, we’ve all had “the conversation:”

Player: Coach what supplements can I take to get bigger?

Coach: Well, what are you eating every day?

Player: Well, I had some cheerios, a Red Bull, a burger and a snickers bar today.

Coach:…head explodes.

So, before we get into the subject of how to use supplements to get faster and stronger for football at all, first realize that they are, as the name implies, supplements. As in, they supplement your normal eating, they don’t replace it. If you’re not eating correctly, start. Then, when you have that down, you can worry about supplements.

Second, some of the best supplements for football players are both very cheap and not very well hyped. It’s hard to justify rolling out a major ad campaign for a $5 bottle of something…that’s better saved for the $75+ bucket-o-worthless-chemicals.

When it comes to supplements to improve football ability both in the weight room and on the field, go:

Simple
Cheap
Effective
Know why you’re taking what you’re taking

Here are the Top 6 Supplements to help you get faster, bigger, stronger and more explosive for football.

1. Protein

Five of the 6 supplements in this list are what we consider “base supplements.” They’re not exciting, but they work and they are necessary. Protein powders being the base of the base.

Can you train without taking a protein shake? Yes, of course. But, why would you? I know some guys use this as a badge of being “hard core,” whatever the hell that is…but, really, do you want to be that guy sitting in the gym eating chicken out of a Pyrex bowl, stinking the place out?

Protein is excellent for football training, especially to high school and college players because it is so easily carried around. You can quickly drink it in the halls, on the way to class or at your locker. You can try, as I did in vain, to eat actual food in class, but, most teachers get mad when you pull out giant roast beef sandwiches (no, I don’t have enough for everyone, damnit)

It’s also very cheap. While it may seem that putting out $25 – 35 up front is expensive, the truth is most protein shakes, made at home with two scoops in water, come out to around $1.77. For 50+ grams of protein and minimal carbs and fat, that’s impossible to beat.

And, its ideal post workout. You train hard so get the nutrients into your system as quickly as possible. This helps you recover faster. Recover faster – train harder – get bigger, stronger and faster on the field. Simple.

But, let’s clear one thing up…protein is just food in liquid form. No more, no less. All the bells-and-whistles and marketing hype is just that. Don’t expect to start drinking a few shakes and wake up looking like Arnold.

Start off with two shakes per day. One between breakfast and lunch and one post workout. A lot of experts are suggesting you drink 1/3 pre workout, 1/3 during, and 1/3 of your shake after lifting. This is fine as long as your stomach can handle it. In the summer, it can be tough so test it out and see how you do. Your shake does no good for you if its coming out instead of going it.

Favorites around here are IronTek’s Whey, Muscle Milk, CytoSport Gainer, and Optimum’s 100% Whey

2. L-Tyrosine

L-Tyrosine is one of the most exciting supplements I’ve ever come across for football. It is an absolute life saver on those days where no matter what, you just can’t seem to get your brain right for the game. This isn’t a base supplement but it’s a staple around here. Most people have never even heard of this amino acid, so what’s the big deal?

Again, it’s tough to hype up a supplement that costs less than 10 bucks.

L-Tyrosine is a precursor to adrenaline and blocks the movement of Tryptophan (the stuff in Turkey that makes your fat uncles fall asleep after Thanksgiving dinner) across the brain. This gets you “up” without becoming jittery or cranked out like Ephedrine used to do.

This is huge for both training and football games. Combined with some caffeine it is an unbelievable pre-game/workout supplement…capable of waking you up, firing up the CNS and getting your brain right.

Don’t over use this stuff. Like everything else on Earth, the more you use it, the more the body adapts. In-season, save it for game day. In the weight room, save it for the big P.R. days.

About 45-mins pre lift or pre-game, take 3 – 4 L-Tyrosine caps. You can combine these with a caffeine tablet for maximum effect. You can also use one of Joe DeFranco’s “DeFranco Energy Bars,” if you need a pre-training meal, as these have a lot of quality protein and a nice dose of Tyrosine and caffeine.

3. ZMA

ZMA might be the most underrated supplement in the world when it comes to recovering from training. Studies have shown that athletes, especially football players, are deficient in magnesium. The harder you train, the more the minerals are burned up.

This can lead to poor sleep quality and achy joints.

By taking ZMA (Zinc, Magnesium and vitamin B6) you get a much more restful, deep sleep. This alone makes it almost anabolic in nature. Studies have shown that simply by supplementing with ZMA you can increase your testosterone levels.

You spend a ton of time training, lifting, running, practicing football – you have to balance that with an equal amount of recovery and there’s nothing better for recovery than sleep.

Biotest’s ZMA is probably the best out there, you should definitely go with that to start.

4. Caffeine

This one is tricky. If you’re under 18, I’d stay away from this one. I realize most high schoolers drink coffee and those femme latte-crap drinks, but, something about putting caffeine in pill form causes problems. Plus, you’re young, you should be wired through the roof anyway.

For the more mature football player, caffeine tablets can be a life saver. They get you focused, get the nervous system fired up, and wake you up. This is especially helpful after a long day of classes, work, or playing PS3.

Most guys just drink coffee but this can be problematic. Most convenience stores water down their brew to the point that you’re essentially drinking acidic, brown water. Even places like Startbucks and Dunkin Donuts can be inconsistent in how much caffeine per cup you’re getting.

Best bet is to but a bottle of caffeine tablets. They’re super cheap and safe. One tab is equal to a cup of coffee. And, all you need is one. They are much more potent than actually drinking your caffeine.

Take one tablet 45-minutes prior to a big workout, practice or game. Again, save it for the big ones…if you keep hammering away, it’ll lose it’s effectiveness. You should take a week off of caffeine every 8-weeks or so. That means completely; no tablets, no coffee, no diet soda. If you are really suffering during that week then you’ve been over-relying on the stuff.

If you really want to have a huge day, combine one caffeine tablet with 3 – 4 L-Tyrosine tabs. If you can, drink this down and take a very short nap (15-minutes). As you wake up, the cocktail will start kicking in and by the time you hit the gym or the field you’ll be ready to kill.

5. Fish Oil

This is another base supplement and something about it just bores the hell out of most football players.

Who cares about heart health? Don’t you know high school football players are Unbreakable like Bruce Willis?

Even if we put the heart-health benefits aside, Fish Oil is still extremely useful for football because of it’s anti-inflammatory properties. Every time you lift, every time you practice, and especially when you play a game, you are creating inflammation. The longer you stay this way, the longer you’re sore, tight, and unable to train at 100%. The quicker you squash inflammation, the faster you can get back to training or the field at full strength. This alone is invaluable.

Back when I played in High School, I was much stronger than anyone, setting school records by my junior year. Everyone would break my chops and ask what special supplements I was taking, steroids I was jabbing in my butt, or some special creatine water I’d drink. Truth is, and this is disappointing to most people, that I got that way because I was absolutely obsessed with recovery. I’d go crazy to sleep extra, eat right and kill inflammation as quickly as possible. Because of this, I could train more than everyone.

Think about that next time you have an extra 20-bills in your pocket. Are you going to buy some faux testosterone pill and pee out your money or are you going to do the smart thing, make the boring choice and get some Fish Oil so you can recover faster and train harder than everyone?

6. Multi Vitamin & Mineral

Another boring, base supplement that is absolutely indispensable. If you want to perform at the highest possible level, every cell in your system has to be functioning properly. Taking a good multi vitamin & mineral can help ensure that your body is replacing the nutrients that your burning up in your training. And, despite what most know-it-alls will tell you, you do need extra vitamins and minerals. Maybe the average American fat-ass who sits on the couch playing video games doesn’t need them, but, a football player does.

Even if you eat a ton of different protein foods and “eat the rainbow” in vegetables, there’s no way you’re getting in all the minerals you need. The fact that most football players are woefully deficient in magnesium, zinc and copper should tell you why you need to supplement.

But, you have to get a good product. Taking Centrum will get you no where. A good multi product will require you to take 2 – 3 pills per day to get the full dose. Take one with breakfast, one pre-workout, and one at night. This ensures that you get a nice, steady flow of nutrients and you replace anything you lose quickly.
Source by Steve Morris

12 Healthy Healing Foods From the Bible

Why does our society seem to seek every way to overcome sickness and disease other than looking in the best Instruction Manual that’s been around for thousands of years? Why do we avoid the simplicity of the basics when it comes to our health? The “basics” I refer to are eating healthy foods, getting regular exercise and adequate sleep.

Of course, the best instruction manual I am referring to is the Bible and there must be hundreds of books out there educating us on the importance of adequate exercise and sleep. Yes, there are scads of books on what to eat, too, but if they tell you to eat something that seems to contradict what the Bible says is OK, you probably should do some serious research before incorporating it into a regular eating plan.

There are actually some diet/eating plans being promoted that in the long run, may not be very healthy. What a shame if you lose weight, for example, and then have a heart attack because you were eating way too much meat or didn’t get adequate nutrition.

Do I even need to mention some things you should obviously avoid if you want to experience optimum health? Folks, as much as I hate to list anything, this is what I see around me in abundance: fried foods, sugar in just about everything it seems, artificial sweeteners, meals heavy in meats with few vegetables and fruits, almost all cooked, (very little raw foods), and diet drinks.

The foods listed in this report are by no means all the “healthy” foods mentioned in the Bible. They should, however, provide you with some guidance in your food choices.

1. Apples. Song of Solomon. Apples are considered to be the “all around health food.” They are high in flavonoids, fiber and Vitamin C. Some of the apple’s healing powers include:

A.      They lower both bad cholesterol and high blood pressure

B.      The juices in apples are highly effective virus fighters

C.      They help stabilize blood sugar, an important factor in controlling diabetes

D.      They suppress the appetite without robbing the body of necessary nutrients

E.       Depending on the need, they prevent constipation or help treat diarrhea

One caution: conventionally grown apples may be highly sprayed with pesticides and coated with wax. Purchase organically grown apples when possible.

2. Barley. Deuteronomy 8:8, Ezekiel 4:9. Barley’s high fiber content can help keep us regular, relieve constipation and ward off a wide variety of digestive problems. It also may help block cancer. Barley is full of beta glucans, a type of fiber that can lower the risk of heart disease by reducing the levels of artery-clogging LDL.

3. Coriander (Cilantro). When the children of Israel wandered in the desert and received manna from the sky, they described it as looking like coriander seed. Since then coriander has been called “the healer from heaven.” Coriander is recommended for indigestion, flatulence (excessive gas) and diarrhea. Externally, it’s used to ease muscle and joint pain. Recently, scientists began looking at coriander as an anti-inflammatory treatment for arthritis. Other research has demonstrated that it reduces blood sugar levels, an indication that it may prove to be a useful sugar management tool for diabetics.

4. Fish. Luke 24:42-43. Fish is low in cholesterol and contains healthy polyunsaturated fats. Fish is a rich source of protein, potassium, vitamins and minerals with only a moderate amount of sodium. Eating fish:

* Thins the blood

* Protects arteries from damage

* Inhibits blood clots (anti-thrombotic)

* Reduces blood triglycerides

* Lowers LDL blood cholesterol

* Lowers blood pressure

* Reduces risk of heart attack and stroke

* Eases symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis

* Reduces risk of lupus

* Relieves migraine headaches

* Fights inflammation

* Helps regulate the immune system

* Inhibits cancer in animals and possibly humans

* Soothes bronchial asthma

* Combats early kidney disease

The key to the healing powers of fish lies in the omega-3 fatty acids. These are particularly concentrated in cold-water fish such as anchovies, bluefish, herring, lake trout, mackerel, sable fish, whitefish, flue fin tuna, salmon and sardines. Note: in deciding between “healthy” and “unhealthy” fish, you can get specific instruction from Lev. 11:9. Eat only fish which have both fins and scales.

5. Garlic. One of the world’s oldest healing foods. By the time of Moses, garlic was already being used as an anticoagulant, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor agent, as well as a relief for flatulence, a diuretic, a sedative, a poultice and as a cure for internal parasites. Research suggests that garlic may help protect against heart disease and stroke by lowering blood pressure. It contains allylic sulfides, which may neutralize carcinogens. In fact, garlic has been linked to lower rates of stomach cancer, too. It is heart-friendly, with scores of studies showing its astonishing ability to fight hypertension, prevent blood clots and lower cholesterol.

6. Fruits, Berries, Grapes. Numbers 13:23, II Samuel 16:1-2. Grapes were the first thing Noah planted after the flood. Grapes were eaten fresh, dried and eaten as raisins just as we do today, and pressed into cakes. However, most of the crop of the vineyards was made into juice, wine and vinegar. A cup of raw grapes contains only 58 calories, 0.3 grams of fat, zero cholesterol and vitamins A, B and C. Grapes also contain important minerals such as boron, calcium, potassium and zinc.

Grapes may be helpful in preventing osteoporosis, fighting tooth decay, heading off cancer and fighting off viruses. Other health-giving fruits include figs, melons, and pomegranates.

7. Legumes. 2 Samuel 17:28-29, Genesis 25:34. As reported in the book of Samuel, beans were among the highly nutritious foods sent to feed King David’s hungry army and restore their strength for the hard times ahead. Beans have a lot of soluble fiber, which helps lower LDL and reduce blood pressure. The fiber also helps keep blood sugar levels stable, stave off hunger, and even reduce the insulin requirements of people suffering from diabetes.

Beans are a great source of protein as well as being packed full of vitamin C, iron and dietary fiber. Beans help lower blood pressure and reduce the “bad” cholesterol that today’s research has shown to be the cause of so much devastating heart trouble — a rarity centuries ago. Beans contain chemicals that inhibit the growth of cancer. They help prevent constipation, can stop hemorrhoids and other bowel-related problems from developing, and help cure them if they do.

8. Nuts, including almonds, pistachio nuts and walnuts. Song of Solomon 6:11, Gen. 43:11. Botanists today believe that Solomon’s “garden of nuts” referred to in Scripture was a rich grove of walnut trees. At the time, walnuts were prized for the oil they produced, which was regarded as only slightly inferior to olive oil. The fact that walnuts were a delicious treat and highly nutritious was an added bonus. Nuts contain the right mixtures of natural ingredients whose benefits include cancer prevention, a lower risk of heart disease and help for diabetics. The oil found in walnuts is considered helpful because it is one of the “good guy” polyunsaturated fats and tends to lower blood cholesterol levels. Note: it’s best to avoid roasted nuts since they have been found to carry carcinogens, which could lead to cancer growth, so buy your nuts raw.

9. Olives. The olive was one of the most valuable and versatile trees of biblical times. It is mentioned frequently throughout the Bible. Probably the most famous reference to olive oil and its healing powers is in the parable of the good Samaritan, in which the Samaritan cares for a beaten and robbed traveler, treating his wounds with oil and wine. Olive oil, mixed with wine, was even used to soften and soothe bruises and wounds. Known benefits of olive oil include:

* Lowers blood cholesterol

* Reduces LDL (bad) cholesterol levels

* Retards cancer growth

* Reduces the wear and tear of aging on the tissues and organs of the body and brain

* Reduces gastric acidity

* Protects against ulcers and aids the passage of food through the intestines, helping to prevent constipation

* Reduces the risk of gallstones

* Aids normal bone growth

One CAUTION: olive oil has a slight laxative effect, so add it to your diet gradually.

One TIP: the more pure the olive oil, the better, so spend a little extra and get Virgin Olive Oil.

10. Onions. Numbers 11:5. Like its cousin, garlic, the onion is noted as a cure-all. And the folk healers hold it in high regard as far back as 6000 years or more. At least 3000 years before the birth of Christ, onions were treasured both as food and for their therapeutic value — particularly in the treatment of kidney and bladder problems. Some facts about onions:

* Taken internally as a tonic to soothe intestinal gas pains

* Taken internally to alleviate the symptoms of hypertension, high blood sugar and elevated cholesterol

* Some people attribute their long life to a diet that includes high concentrations of onions and yogurt

* The juice of an onion and a syrup made from honey has been used to treat coughs, colds, and asthma attacks

* A tonic of onions soaked in gin has been prescribed for kidney stones and to eliminate excessive fluids

* Modern herbalists recommend onion syrup as an expectorant (it helps eliminate mucus from the respiratory tract)

* Onions can raise the good and lower the bad cholesterol

* Onions can slow blood clotting, regulate blood sugar, break up bronchial congestion and possibly prevent cancer

* Onions possess a strong antibiotic that kills a variety of bacteria

* Have been used externally as an antiseptic and a pain reliever

11. Wheat. Jeremiah 41:8, Ezekiel 4:9. Wheat was the “staff of life.” Biblical people ate their grain boiled and parched, soaked and roasted, and even ate it green from the stalk. It was pounded, dried or crushed to be baked into casseroles, porridges, soups, parched grain salads and desserts. Ezekiel’s bread was intended to be a survival food during the dark days of the Babylonion conquest because it contained wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet and spelt. Wheat bran is high in insoluble fiber. The fiber protects us against constipation. It helps prevent intestinal infections, hemorrhoids and varicose veins. It also improves bowel function and guards us against colon cancer.

12. Wine. I Timothy 5:23. John 4:46. Making wine from grapes is one of the most ancient arts and the beverage of choice in the Bible. According to Genesis, one of the first things Noah did after the flood was plant a vineyard so he could make wine. Researchers are now rediscovering what the physicians of the Bible knew centuries ago. In moderation, wine has a profound impact on our health and healing. Just a single glass of wine a day may be enough to raise the good cholesterol by 7% and help the body put up a barrier to a variety of cancers.

Wine appears to help stop heart disease and cancer. A study at the University of Ottawa in Canada concluded that there is a clear link between wine consumption and lower rates of heart disease. Countries where more than 90% of alcohol is consumed in the form of wine have the lowest rate of heart disease deaths.

A British study of 100 men and women discovered that a single glass of wine or sherry everyday increased the HDL or good cholesterol. When the group abstained from drinking wine, the HDL level decreased.

Red wine also seems to increase the body’s defenses against cancer. White wine may carry some of the same therapeutic benefits, but research so far seems to indicate that red wine is the most effective cancer blocker. Note: be sure to drink only in moderation. Ephesians 5:18.

As you can see, the Bible lists a lot of foods, foods that are actually available to us today, that we could be consuming to prevent illness, serious diseases and many trips to the doctor. Good health is not that difficult, but you do have to work at it a bit. It’s a balance of what you eat, exercise, sleep, avoiding stress, taking vitamin supplements. And strange as it may seem, the Bible is actually a complete instruction Manual for all of this.

In conclusion, the 12 healing foods listed here are only a partial list of healing foods found in the Bible. However, this report provides abundant evidence that God has placed on this earth, many health-giving foods for our consumption. A person who makes a serious effort to daily eat some of these health-giving foods, while avoiding health-destroying foods, certainly can expect to reap the benefits of a healthier body.
Source by Judy Thompson

10 Awesome Bodyweight Exercises for Judo

There are literally hundreds and hundreds of exercises out there. But which ones are will improve your performance on the mat. Here is a list of 10 fantastic body-weight exercises that will build strength, power and explosiveness for all Judokas.

Body-weight squats

Body-weight squats will develop strength and stability in the lower body. Strength in the legs is something the Japanese pride themselves on. That is one reason why they develop so much power when they execute a technique. Make sure when you are squatting that you get low enough so that your thighs are parallel to the floor. Drive through your heels, don’t fall backwards and maintain your balance.

Burpees

One of the hardest and best body-weight exercises on the planet. Burpees develop leg power and upper body strength and when done as part of a circuit or in a Tabata interval will dramatically increase your fitness levels. Simply squat down, extend your legs out into a push up position, perform a push up, bring your legs back to a squatting position and proceed to explode upwards jumping as high as you can.

Pushups

Whether it is traditional, close grip, wide grip, box, or scooping pushups the fact of the matter is that push-ups will give your upper body a strength boost. Having a strong upper body will result in you being able to create really good reactions when you fight which can assist in your throwing your opponent.

Chin ups

One of the hardest but most beneficial exercises in not just the bodyweight exercise category, but in strength training as well. The ability to pull your chin above a bar will greatly improve your strength and overall success on the mat. Whether it is close, wide or alternate grip chin ups, if you make chin ups a part of your regular gym programs you will not only get a stronger back but also have a greater strength when it comes to pulling your opponent off balance.

Rope climbs

Similar to chin-ups, the rope climb is one of the most beneficial exercises for judokas. The rope climb is utilized by all top level judo players due to the fact that it not only increase your arm, back and core strength but also increase your lactic acid buffer in your forearms and arms. This is a great attribute to have in the last few minutes of a judo match. If you are constantly climbing the rope week in, week out you will see an increase in your ability to not only grip fight hard, but grip fight for longer.

Elastic band open shuts

Judokas are constantly gripping and flexing the forearm and wrist muscles and as a result most have a muscle imbalance in forearms. This imbalance can lead to injuries such as RSI and tendinitis. Elastic band open shuts will slowly strengthen the opposing muscles (wrist and forearm ex-tensors) creating a muscle balance in the wrists and forearms. Simply wrap an elastic band around your fingers and open and close them for 50 reps a day for the first week and slowly increase week after week.

Core hold

Ab brace, prone hold, plank or bridge. This exercise has so many names and most the time it is performed incorrectly. To perform a Core holds properly assume a push-up position but rest on your elbows instead of your hands. Your hips should be parallel to the floor, do not drop your hips or raise them too high. Concentrate on your abdominal and lower back muscles and slowly bring your shoulder-blades together. Hold for desired time limit. If this becomes too easy slowly raise an arm and leg off the ground. This will make your core have to adjust slightly to compensate for the hips tilting.

Hanging leg raises

This seems like a simple exercise but is actually very difficult. Hang off a chin up bar and let your legs hang slightly off the floor. Contract your core muscles, slightly bend your knees and raise your feet as high as you can towards the bar. Try to avoid any excess swinging. If this is too difficult then raise your knees to your chest instead. Perform 4 sets of 15 repetitions.

Squat jumps

Similar to a bodyweight squat but once you reach the bottom of the squat explode upwards and jump slightly off the ground. Be sure to land on your toes and repeat for desired number of repetitions.

Clapping push-ups

Another exercise that seems easy but after two or three repetitions becomes quite difficult. Perform a push-up and instead of pushing your body back to the starting position explode upwards, getting some airtime long enough to clap your hands. Land and repeat for desired number of repetitions.

I recommend performing 11 seconds on and 9 seconds off for as many rounds as you can handle.

If you add any of these exercises to your strength and conditioning programs you will find that your Judo will improve. All of the above exercises are fantastic for Judo. Remember that Judo players should be training like Judo players so it is vital that the exercises you are performing in the gym are catering specifically for Judo.
Source by Matt D’Aquino

Weight Loss Shakes – The Best and Worst Weight Loss Shakes

Weight loss shakes can be the best tool to help you lose those unwanted pounds. If you have been trying to lose weight for the longest and you have not been able to stick to any diet for more that a couple of days, weight loss shakes can be the key to your success.

The problem with most diet plans is that they require a lot of extra effort and preparation which is very hard to do when you have a busy lifestyle. Preparing 3 or 6 meals a day (depending on the diet plan you are following) is extremely hard. I can barely manage to prepare one and that is on a good day. Most often we end up giving up on the diet not because we couldn’t handle the foods or we were too hungry, but because it is 8:30PM we just put the kids to bed, we haven’t really had any time to cook anything, and we are starving.

So here is where weight loss shakes come into place. It is a lot easier to open a can or whip up a smoothie than it is to go to the store, get the ingredients, cook the meal and hope that we like it. Meal replacement shakes or weight loss shakes are super convenient and they actually help you change your eating habits. They are a lot easier to stick with and that is the key to losing weight.

Now, have you ever been to a health food store or the diet section of your regular grocery store looking for one of these shakes? If you haven’t you are in for a real treat. There are dozens of products out there that have the same claims: “easy to use”, ‘nutritious”, “filling”, “satisfying”, “will help you lose weight”. So which one are you going to choose? Here are a couple of the ones that I recommend and a couple of the ones that I would stay away from:

  1. Slim Fast: Run the other way! There is nothing to Slim Fast that a cup of chocolate milk cannot cover, plus the tin taste is very prominent. Ok, maybe it has a couple more vitamins, but seriously, you drink a cup of chocolate milk plus a multivitamin and you have surpassed Slim Fast nutritional value. If you don’t believe me go to the store and look at the first four ingredients: Fat Free Milk, Water, Sugar, and Cocoa.
  2. Right Size Smoothies: I have heard these smoothies advertised on the radio like crazy. I finally went to the store and looked at their ingredient list hoping to see some decent ingredients… and I was disappointed again. Right Size smoothies have not one but two kinds of artificial sweeteners, Sucralose (generic for Splenda) and Acesulfame K. If a product has anything other than a natural sweetener, I pass. There have been way too many studies to prove that artificial sweeteners have no rightful place in anyone’s diet.
  3. Medifast Shakes: Medifast has become one of the most popular diet plans lately mainly because they make it super easy for you to follow their plan. I will not take credit away from them, they have helped so many people to lose weight and I hope they help many more. However, their shakes don’t really contain enough nutrients to be meal replacement shakes and they have Acesulfame K.
  4. Vega Complete Whole Food Health Optimizer: Now we are talking! These shakes are amazing. I couldn’t believe it when I saw them. They are all natural and all vegan too. Don’t get me wrong I am NOT vegan but the quality of this product is amazing. The only reason I didn’t choose them as my very best shake is because most of us are not looking for a vegan product, due to the quality of the protein. I usually look for something with whey protein which is a lot better in terms of body absorption and usage than any vegetarian protein.
  5. Shakeology: This is the best of the weight loss shakes that I have tried so far. It is all natural, it has whey protein (which is the only ingredient that prevents the whole shake from being vegan) and it has a ton, and I mean a TON of great nutrients. Probiotics, digestive enzymes, antioxidants, supergreens… If you can think of something healthy, it is probably in Shakeology. And, they don’t even advertise it as a weight loss product but as a complete, nutritious, healthy meal.

Weight loss shakes have become so popular that you can find them everywhere. However, make sure you do your own research before actually purchasing any product that you are going to consume.
Source by Cyn Ajoy

How to Get Rid of Stress and Tension With a Self Face Massage

We all live in a sometimes if not constantly stressful world, deadlines, appointments, errands, work, school, kids, pets, traffic, relationships; whatever it is we all face stressful times. But there are ways of dealing with it and self massage techniques that can get rid of the stress in a positive healthy way. This article will teach you to relax enjoy being with yourself and how to give yourself a relaxing head and face massage.

The first and highly important piece to you getting to relax unwind and let go into relaxation is your environment. Find a spot, any spot were you can get comfortable maybe alone or near a silent partner. If you live in a very crowded loud space learn to get creative in ways to escape. Your parked car is always an option if you have noisy kids, pets or roommates. Sometimes in the shower with the water turned off is an option. Where ever your place is make it yours. This is all about you making a deeper connection with yourself, taking time out to relax and give yourself the love you need. Just like a meditation practice lay sit or rest in a comfortable position laying on your back is preferred because it allows most of the muscles in your body to let go of tension and relax.

Start lying on your back on the floor on carpet or a rug or soft blanket close your eyes and focus only on breathing in to a count of 4 and breathing out to a count of 4. Slow steady breaths in wave crashing on the shore, breath out wave going back to the ocean, steady slow and consistent. Effortless breathing, let go of all thoughts and send yourself positive energy.

Place your thumbs underneath your eyebrows just below the ridge of your forehead bone or frontal bone under the eye sockets. Feel a sensation as you press firmly but still soft on the pressure points. These points when massaged regularly detox the body and get rid of stress very quickly. Press and circle with counts of 3. Press and circle 3 times repeat until any slight pain or sensation fades away into relaxation. Follow the under part of the eyebrows pressing and circling 3 times until you come to the sides of your eyes by your temple. Press and circle your temple 3-6 times. Next move to the sides of your nostrils, using your index fingers press and circle 3 times. Follow the under part of your cheek bones pressing and circling until you reach your ears. Continue pressing and circling your masseter or jaw muscle all the way down following your mandible or jaw bone until you reach your chin. Move around your mouth with larger circles massaging the cheeks in bigger circles. Move back to your temples circling 3-6 times in forward and backward circles. Next move to your forehead; massage in small circles moving your hands towards each other meeting at the center of your forehead. Move your hands up a little bit starting at the center with both hands and moving towards your ears. Continue back to the center part of your forehead massaging with small circles. Move your fingers to the top of your head at the front of your hairline. Massage the skull in small circles with strong but not stiff hands. Next move to the ears circle around the ears then focus on the earlobes and ear itself. Follow the underneath part of your jaw line end with pressing and squeezing your thyroid and parathyroid gland underneath your Adams apple.
Source by Erik Jacobson

The Top High Intensity Swimming Routine: A HIIT Workout Routine For Burning Body Fat

You probably already know that swimming may be one of the best activities to work your entire body. When it comes to swimming, the health benefits are virtually endless. There is a lot of swimming routines out there that can help you burn calories and keep you in shape, but which one is best? In all reality you can’t go wrong with any swimming programs, but did you know that you can dramatically increase your fat burning potential by implementing high intensity interval training? By adding “HIIT,” it turns a regular swimming into a high intensity swimming routine that burns fat like crazy!

What Does A HIIT Workout Routine Consist Of?

If you are not already familiar with high intensity interval training, then you will be amazed how quickly and efficiently your workouts will become. Commonly referred to as HIIT, these types of workouts require short periods of maximum exertion combined with recovery periods of less effort. Sprinting for 30 seconds with a 1 minute walk or jog is a normal pattern for intervals. Cardio done in this way is extremely beneficial. Not only does it burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time, but post workout calorie burning is maximized more than traditional cardio.

What Happens When You Combine HIIT With Steady State Cardio

Steady state cardio is when you perform an activity at a constant speed for a much longer duration. Because it may take a couple hours to achieve the same calorie burning capabilities as a HIIT workout, it doesn’t make sense to go down that route. But if you combine HIIT with steady state cardio, an amazing thing happens. HIIT will actually cause fat cells to be released into the blood stream as free fatty acids. So the moment HIIT is finished, we will introduce steady state cardio to burn up the free fatty acids. To recap, short bursts of energy releases the fatty acids in the bloodstream while steady state cardio burns them up.

What Your High Intensity Swimming Routine Will Look Like

HIIT

1) Warm up briefly by swimming a couple laps

2) Freestyle swim(sprint) for 30 seconds

3) Light swim or paddle(rest) for 1 minute

Note: Do this for 15-20 minutes. 30 second sprint(swim) followed by a 1 minute jog(paddle). If you are completely gassed from HIIT, you can extend the rest period to 2 minutes.

Steady State Cardio

1) Swim laps at an easy to moderate pace for 15-30 minutes

Note: The entire workout shouldn’t be any longer than a total time of 45 minutes. This workout can be done 3-4 times a week.

A Natural Increase In HGH Levels From High Intensity Swimming

HGH is short for human growth hormone.HGH is a powerful hormone that is involved in burning fat and even preserving muscle mass. Increased levels of HGH doesn’t have to come from an illegal drug or injection, but can naturally be produced by the body. There are a few ways to increase HGH but we’ll stick to how it can be done with intense swimming workouts. High intensity exercise and fasting will naturally increase HGH levels. So to optimize the benefits we can combine the two for maximum fat burning effects.

1) Begin your swimming routine in a fasted state. This means that you won’t consume a single calorie 3-4 hours leading up to the workout. Train on an empty stomach.

2) Wait 1-2 hours after your workout to eat. Waiting to eat will maximize the HGH release after an intense workout.

3) Fasting 1-2 separate times a week will also increase HGH levels which helps burn more fat and helps preserve muscle mass.

Amazing Fat Loss Results In A Short Amount Of Time

Sticking to a high intensity swimming routine like the one above will do wonders with fat loss but it is also gentle on your joints. Since swimming is a non impact exercise, you can do as much as you want without the risk of injury. Another great reason to use a HIIT workout routine in the pool is that it keeps you cool without all the sweat.
Source by Adam M. Johnson

Legs, Legs, Legs – The 5 Best Exercises For Beautiful Sculpted Legs

While a lot of people dread leg day, I’ve always loved it! I look forward to the burning that I feel when I’m training my quads really hard and I love the look of strong, toned legs. Another benefit to leg day – if done right, it can double as cardio since training legs usually turns aerobic at some point.

There are so many great leg exercises to pick from too. That’s another great thing about leg day – you can use all kinds of variety to mix things up and keep your workouts interesting. Some of my favorite leg exercises are listed here…these aren’t all of them, just a few of the really good ones! Enjoy.

Leg Exercise #1 – The Squat

This classic leg builder is arguably one of the best weight lifting exercises ever…period. The squat is a compound exercise that can be done using several different techniques to train your muscles from different angles. Different variations of the squat include the back squat, the front squat, plie’ squats, sissy squats, close stance squats, wide stance squats, Smith Machine Squats and Hack Squats just to name a few (if you aren’t sure how to do some of these, please let me know – I’ll be happy to break it down for you). So, you see, squats alone can do a pretty thorough job of training your legs.

Leg Exercise #2 – Walking Lunges

Talk about a butt kicker…literally! Walking lunges are often overlooked by bodybuilders because they will wear you out. This exercise targets your glutes as well as your inner thighs and your quads. When I first started doing walking lunges I woke up the next day and I could barely stand up. My inner thighs and my glutes were more sore than they had been in a long, long time. While some people think I’m a little weird for loving this burn, those gym junkies out there will understand the love hate relationship you’ll develop with sore muscles.

Leg Exercise #3 – Stiff Leg Deadlifts

It’s so important to keep a good balance between training quads and hamstrings. One of the most common causes of knee injuries in athletes is an imbalance in these two muscle groups. That’s why I love a good hammy exercise! Stiff leg dead lifts, done correctly with the weight kept in close to your body, your back kept flat and soft (not bent) knees these babies will build a beautiful hammy – glute tie in and they’ll help keep you in balance and decrease your risk of injury.

Leg Exercise #4 – Extension Drop Sets

I’ve never done an exercise that made me want to cry like these ones. Leg extensions done in the traditional fashion, one set at a time hurt bad enough, but using a drop set absolutely burns out your quads, Which is excellent since you have to break ’em down to build ’em up. To do leg extension drop sets you start with a heavy weight. Before you begin you should know how many reps you’ll do and what increments you’ll decrease the weight by.

For example you may start with 100 pounds and work your way down to 10 pounds using 10 pound increments to decrease the weight. At each weight you’ll do five reps, rapidly decrease the weight, do five more reps, rapidly decrease the weight…you get the point, right? By the time you get to 10 pounds 5 reps will feel like you’re lifting the entire stack! If you want sleek, chiseled thighs, these are a great exercise to get you there.

Leg Exercise #5 – Lower Body Stretching

Okay, this isn’t a specific exercise, but I couldn’t let a leg article go by without talking about stretching. If you want to have lean, strong legs; if you want to lift hard and heavy; if you want to avoid injury while achieving these goals, you absolutely need to stretch your leg muscles. I’ve seen people tear their hamstring so badly that it balled up in the back of their leg – it’s not pretty, it will side line you for many months and it hurts…BAD! So, if you can, stretch your legs often.
Source by Steve Mathews

Recommended Nutrition and Diet For a Speed and Agility Training Program

When starting a speed and agility training program many of today’s athletes ignore one of the most important aspects of achieving desired results, and that is diet and nutrition. Too many young athletes tend to eat too much fast food and not pay attention to what they are eating throughout the day.

To get the most out of a speed and agility workout the best place to start when it comes to nutrition and diet is a well balanced meal. All meals throughout the day should contain food from all four food groups. If this is not possible then make sure that throughout the day your diet has contained portions from all four food groups.

To enhance your diet to deal with the sufficiently high physical demands of sports training, which requires a high rate of energy production, you will need to increase your carbohydrate intake. Whatever sport or training you are participating in, this type of energy production can only be achieved by the breakdown of carbohydrates. This means that players should pay particular attention to this aspect of their diet – more especially when considering the notorious drills of speed and agility programs, especially when athletes are given no guidance about what to eat. The heavy training schedule that most speed and agility training involves, only serves to increase the need for carbohydrate intake.

When discussing this subject, it is usual to express the form of the energy consumed as percentages (proportions) eaten as carbohydrate, fat and protein. While the typical diet for the general population is about 40% carbohydrate, 45% fat and 15% protein, the recommended dietary proportions for a soccer player (who training is very strenuous and well rounded) would be roughly 65% carbohydrate, 20% fat and 15% protein, according to Peak Performance Newsletter.

The ingestion of essential amino acids immediately after exercise increases protein synthesis, meaning greater muscle and (provided you’re training ‘properly’) more power. A very important point in protein ingestion is the timing – if you’re taking any protein shakes or bars, take it asap after exercise.

Provided you’re eating a well balanced, energy sufficient diet, creatine supplementation has also been shown to improve repeated sprint ability as previously discussed in the Vitamins and supplement article.

Some information used in this article was gathered from the Peak Performance newsletter.
Source by Michael Seno