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4 Day Workout Schedule for Building Muscle – Organize Your Training For Maximum Results!

Are you struggling to figure out the best way to structure your weight training? Do you want to build slabs of dense muscle but don’t know how to go about it? Do you simply need the right advice to go along with your hardcore work ethic and training style? If so, read on! You’ll find that the best workout schedule for building muscle is not all that long, complicated, or time-consuming, but it is hard!

Strength Leads to Muscle!

If you pick up a bodybuilding magazine these days, chances are you’ll read a ton of useless advice about how many sets and reps you must do to build muscle, or how much of a “pump” or “burn” you’ve got to feel in order to get the best results. Getting a pump is great, and it sure is important to figure out how many reps you’re going to do, but these aren’t what really count! The only way to build thick, dense muscle is to get STRONGER! Therefore, the best workout schedule for building muscle is to focus on strength on the basic movements.

Day 1: Squat for Mass!

That’s right, the squat. It really is the king of all exercises, and if you’re not doing it, you’re not making the most of your time in the gym. Not only will focusing on squatting give you big, thick legs, it will produce hormonal responses in your body that will make all of your muscles get bigger!

On your squat day, start out by warming up as much as you need to with light weight or even just an empty bar. Then, work your way up to one top set of 4-6 reps. Take a rest, lower the weight, and do 8-10 reps. Finally, lower the weight as much as you need to do a lighter but totally grueling set of 15-20 reps. Don’t wimp out! You’ll amaze yourself with how many reps you can get if you really dig deep and work through the burn. After squatting, pick 2-3 movements that build your legs and lower body. Your best bets are the leg press, weighted sit-ups, and your favorite calves exercise.

Day 2: The Big Bad Bench Press

It’s true you need to focus on squatting first and foremost if you want to get big, but everybody wants a big bench! There’s nothing wrong with that either, as the bench press is the best movement for building a thick sets of pecs, shoulders, and triceps. Just make sure your form is on point! Feet on the ground, upper back tight, and a strong, medium grip on the bar.

For your bench day, follow a similar protocol to squat day. Work up to a weight that challenges you for 4-6 total reps, and then keep lowering the weight and performing higher rep sets. You should do 3-4 sets total, depending on where you start. Take as much rest as you need between these sets, and always use a spotter! The bench press can be a dangerous movement if performed on your own.

Follow up your flat bench pressing with some type of incline press. You can use dumbbells, a barbell, or even a machine if you’re really fatigued from the first exercise. Then, do 2-3 movements for your triceps and shoulders. Good choices for triceps are skull crushers and press-downs, and the best exercises for your shoulders are front, side, and rear dumbbell raises.

Day 3: Bring Your Physique to Life with the Deadlift!

It seems that when most people devise their workout schedule to build muscle, they completely ignore the deadlift. This is a huge mistake! After the squat, the deadlift is the best movement for overall muscle mass development. It will give you a huge, thick back from top to bottom and a massive set of hamstrings.

The best way to deadlift is HEAVY! If you really put your all into the lift, you’ll amaze yourself with what you can do. Take a narrow stance and a strong, alternated grip, and rip that weight off the floor! As with the other two lifts, perform your main, heaviest set for around five reps. Then, drop the weight enough that you can get 10-12 reps. After this, it’s up to you – if your lower back can take it, do another set with lower weight and even higher reps or call it a day. Honestly, those first two sets are going to put some beef on you as it is! After deadlifting, do the same exercises you would after squatting – leg presses, abs, and calves.

Day 4: Row to Grow

If there’s one body part that truly makes a lifter look big, strong, and powerful, it’s the upper back. Having a wide set of lats and thick, dense traps makes you a seriously imposing figure, and it even helps your strength in other lifts like the bench press. Just because you can’t see your back doesn’t mean you shouldn’t train it! Make this last day of your workout schedule for building muscle count.

Start your upper back workout with the basic barbell row. Using a belt and straps if necessary, warm up and work up to 2-3 sets of 10-12 reps. It’s okay to use a little bit of body English and swing in the movement as long as you feel your lats doing most of the work. This exercise is the mainstay of your back workout, so make sure you focus on getting stronger at it!

After your rows, do pull-ups, seated cable rows, and pull-downs. For pull-ups, pick your favorite grip and set a goal for the total number of reps you want to achieve that day. Once you’re getting 50-60 total reps within just a few sets, start adding weight. Heavy, weighted pull-ups will give you some seriously diesel strength in your back and arms!

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12 Healthy Prostate Tips

Nowadays prostate disorders growth is becoming a more and more serious problem for men’s health worldwide. Small prostate dysfunctions can cause more dangerous diseases and even prostate cancer. By the official statistics data, prostate diseases cases quantity has almost doubled for the last 20 years.

1. Minimize alcohol consumption – alcohol drinks neutralize both zinc and vitamin B6 (which works for zinc absorption).

2. Drink low fat level milk and eat lean meat dishes – some researchers believe that saturated fats from dairy products and meats are factors increasing the risk of prostate cancer development.

3. Eat more soy – clinical studies demonstrate that the increasing estrogen-to-testosterone ratio as a result of aging is one of the key factors that impacts badly on the size of prostate gland. At least 2 ounces of soy per day will decrease estrogen levels in your organism and reestablish optimal balance of the estrogen-to testosterone ratio that is getting imbalanced at men age of 60 and older. Rich of soy foods are: soy flour or powder, miso, tempeh, roasted soy nuts and tofu (soybean curd).

4. Improve your circulation – use Kegel exercise workouts to improve a better blood flow for your prostate and urogenital organs. To perform the Kegel workout pull up all your muscles around scrotum and anus, keep them strained and then release. 10 exercises by 5-6 workouts per day will maximize the blood flow to your prostate gland tissue.

5. Follow healthy diet. Eat more fruits, berries and vegetables to provide your body with needed natural antioxidants and vitamins. Exclude from your diet saturated fats, sugars and cooked foods. Meals containing high levels of fat like meats or dairy products can raise testosterone levels that can cause enlargement of prostate gland and abnormal cells growth. Consume different vegetables, especially like cabbage, brussels sprouts, sauerkraut, broccoli and coleslaw. Consuming just 3 servings of vegetables per day can lower the prostate cancer risk by up to 45%!

6. Increase Selenium consumption. Selenium is highly needed to keep your prostate healthy. The foods containing good levels of Selenium are: eggs, cashews, brazil nuts, garlic, kelp, wheat germ, tuna, herring and other shellfish and seafood, cashews, onions and mushrooms, sesame and sunflower seeds, beef liver and kidney.

7. Have two or more meals with oily fish weekly, such as wild salmon (do not consume farmed salmon which is being fed with artificial feed).

8. Increase Zinc intake. Zinc consumption in amount of 15 mg per day helps for proper and healthy prostate functionality. Excellent Zinc sources are pumpkin seed in shell, oysters, nuts and beans.

9. Two portions of tomato sauce per week reduces the risk of prostate cancer. Cooked tomatoes break down their cell walls, allowing your organism to absorb antioxidant lycopene from tomatoes, which is very important for your body.

10. Use nutritional supplementation. Consume a quality multivitamin supplement containing the next microelements and vitamins to keep your prostate healthy: Vitamin A (25,000 IU), Lycopene (10 mg), and Vitamin E (1,200 IU).

11. Respect healthy lifestyle. Provide your body with sufficient amount of rest and regular physical activities. Regular exercising has been proven to ensure improvement of immune and digestive systems, body circulation and cleansing of body toxins and waste. These activities also act for prevention of obesity, as an obesity is considered as one of bad factors increasing risk of cancer and other diseases. Systematic exercising can also reduce the risk of prostate gland getting enlarged.

12. Reverse body damages. Following a stressful lifestyle for years causes many damages to your body. To help stop and reverse these harmful processes use Ayurstate – proven ayurvedic herbal supplement for prostate health. Ayurstate contains more than 2 hundreds of natural ayurvedic phytonutrients that act on molecular level to restore and heal damaged body tissues, provide rejuvenation of your prostate gland, decrease levels of prostaglandin and polyamines. This herbal remedy also effectively stimulates your urogenital system’s smooth muscles and reduces uretra and prostate gland inflammation. Developed basing on ancient Ayurveda medicine principles, Ayurstate causes no clinically known side effects and treats not only just symptoms, but deep inner causes of prostate disorders.

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Inner Thigh Exercises For Women

Here are some quick and easy inner thigh exercises for women that’ll tone, shape, and basically give you sexy legs. Warning: You may actually start to enjoy working your legs.

Inner Thigh Exercises For Women

1. Wide Stance Squats

Take a barbell and put it across the back of your shoulders (you can also take a dumbbell and hold it between your legs). Then just squat down until your upper thighs are parallel to the ground. Doing 5-6 sets of 8-12 repetitions is ideal to bring out nicely toned inner thighs. I recommend you do this twice a week.

2. Jumping on a mini-trampoline

Jumping on a mini-trampoline works your whole thigh, but if you jump with your legs farther apart you’ll focus more of the exercise on your inner thighs. Simply jump on a mini-trampoline for 20 minutes a day.

Wait, you’re thinking, great I don’t have 20 minutes a day. Ok, fair enough. Do this then… jump on the mini-trampoline during tv commercials. A typical 1 hour tv show has 20-22 minutes of commercials. So there you go.

3. Wall Squats

This version of squats allows you to squat without having to go to the gym and without having to use weights. Find a wall and place your feet about 18 inches from the wall (from your heels). Place your feet about 30 inches apart, a wide stance. Now just squat down until your upper legs are parallel to the ground.

I recommend that you do as many repetitions of this as you can in less than 5 minutes. So this will have a good cardio weight loss effect to it.

Give these inner thigh exercises for women a try for a few weeks and you’ll notice that your legs will look a lot more toned and slimmer.

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How Many Calories Does Zumba Burn?

Have you tried to lose weight recently? Are you tired and confused by all the different “CARDIO” styled dance classes?

Well there’s hope for you yet! Meet Zumba Dance…

Zumba Dance is a blending of Latin and International music dance themes creating a vibrant, successful fitness system! The routines feature aerobic/fitness interval training with a combination of fast and slow rhythms that tone and sculpt the body.

ZUMBA utilizes the principles of interval training and resistance training to maximize caloric output, fat burning and total toning.

It is a blend of body sculpting dance movements and easy-to-follow dance steps.

So how many calories does Zumba burn?

An average class can burn from 500 to 800 calories! You can of course burn more or less depending on your intensity and fitness level. Your Zumba instructor will work with you to get the maximum results… fast. Hows that for different! Better than exercising at home listening to some boring cd … right?

Along with the Zumba dance classes it is important to follow these fat loss, fool-proof nutrition tips that will maximize the amount of calories you burn:

* Eat veggies – Mix and match fresh veggies for variety. They are full of fiber and will help you burn more fat.

* Snack – Go ahead just snack on good stuff, like nuts (especially almonds) veggies fresh and dried fruit.

* Nuts – Almonds, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, walnuts and pecans are great for you. Spice up that yogurt and salad by throwing a few in.

* Steel cut oats – Cook a ¼ cup with 1 cup of rice milk (trust me its delicious and you wont need sweetener) for breakfast

* Protein – Protein is a fat burner. How you ask? Well your body burns more calories digesting protein than eating any other type of food. Eating protein also prevents muscle loss when dieting.

* Yogurt – Will help you lose weight and at the same time protect your muscles. Yogurt is also a simple & convenient snack. It is also high in protein.

Follow these tips attend as many Zumba classes as you can and you will quickly maximize your calories burned.

So how many calories does Zumba burn? Follow these tips and you will burn enough to have that body of your dreams!

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Kettlebell Exercises – A Workout For Weight Loss Training

The kettlebell is a primal piece of workout gear. It’s a cannonball with a handle, plain and simple. There are a variety of weights and sizes to choose from, and there are even a few lines of “rubberized,” colorful kettlebells due to the growing popularity of kettlebell workouts in southern California.

But what are kettlebell exercises good for? Strength and weight loss training to begin with. Kettlebell training incorporates fluid, intense motion to work the core, lower back, lower body, and shoulder muscles. It combines the endurance of a cardiovascular workout with the power of strength training. It requires concentration and body control. A kettlebell workout can be a rewarding training method for weight loss and strength, but it is not for the “casual gym dweller.” Following are three basic kettlebell exercises to get started.

The Swing

Every activity has a basic move. The yoga beginner learns the downward dog, the tap dancer learns the single time step, the boxer learns the straight right, and the kettlebeller learns the swing.

Lower your body to a squat position: feet at shoulder width, weight on heels, shoulders back, kettlebell between legs.

Grab the kettle bell with both hands. Rise upward while pushing your hips outward. Use your core to swing the kettlebell out and upward. Assist with your lower body and shoulders, but do not use your arms or rely on shoulder strength to swing the kettlebell. Legs and hips are the driving force of the motion.

Once the kettlebell reaches its zenith, now you can actively use your shoulders to return the kettlebell to the beginning position.

Clean and Press

Once you’ve got the swing down, this is the next kettlebell exercise to master. Perfect for weight loss training, the “Clean and Press” begins with the basic swing, but then transforms into a press once you bring the kettlebell to your shoulder.

Start with a basic swing, but keep your elbows tucked in as you bring the kettlebell up.

Once the kettlebell reaches shoulder height, drop back to a half squat. Bring your elbows underneath the kettlebell as you dip down.

Now press the kettlebell above your shoulder, rising to a stand, and finish with the kettlebell raised above your head.

Slowly lower the kettlebell and swing back to the squat position.

Turkish Get Up

This kettlebell exercise is for the advanced kettlebeller. It’s basically a complicated way of standing up. But it utilizes a wide variety of muscles, more strength than weight loss training, but definitely a great addition to the oeuvre of kettlebell exercises.

Lie on your back, and hold the kettlebell straight up with your left hand, elbow locked.

Prop yourself up with your right hand. And pull your left foot toward your buttocks.

Plant your right knee on the ground. Follow through by placing your left foot on the ground. You should be halfway into a kneeling position at this point.

Finally, stand up. Keep in mind, your elbow should be locked for the entire exercise and you should keep your eyes on the kettlebell the entire exercise as well.

Mastering the Turkish Get Up can take some time, but it can drastically improve your weight loss training regiment.

Videos!

For videos demonstrating the correct methods for all of these kettlebell exercises, take a look at this kettlebell workout article.

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Lose Weight With Cardiovascular Exercises

Cardiovascular exercises target the heart and the lungs, and that’s why it is considered one of the most important workouts. It effectively makes the heart stronger and the lungs better, so as to stray away from possible diseases.

There are different cardiovascular exercises you can do, not just to be healthy, but to lose weight as well. To guide you properly as to which cardiovascular exercises you can perform, read on below:

1. Breeze walking

Walking is the easiest and the simplest way to optimize the body and lose weight. All you need is a comfortable set of clothes, a fine pair of shoes, and the motivation to cover miles.

Walking also builds your endurance for a heavier workout ahead. That’s the concept followed by treadmill, which is commonly used as warm-up exercise equipment.

2. Working out on a stationary bike

Stationary bike routines promote cadence. And that enables you to attain the proper heartbeat necessary for weight loss. A stationary bike produces less impact, which inevitably means more workouts.

Most of the models released today have a digital display showing users of their pulse rate, the speed they are going, and the amount of calories burned in a session.

In a stationary bike, your legs do the job. You have both your hands free to do other activities maybe to read a book. You can also choose to watch TV programs while cycling.

3. Using the elliptical trainer

The elliptical cross trainer is the latest and very popular exercise equipment found in home and fitness clubs all around. Its elliptical motion produces a low impact workout but a highly intensive cardiovascular routine.

Even people who have problems with their joints, back, hips, and knees can use it. Some models provide an upper body workout with the inclusion of moving handles.

These are just several of the most common cardiovascular exercises you can do for a healthy lungs and heart. And doing at least one of these regularly will surely allow you to get the optimum body frame you’ve always wanted.

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Chad Waterbury’s 10-10 Transformation Training and Nutritional System

Are you looking for a complete body transformation but you aren’t sure what to do for workout and diet? Do you have 12 weeks to commit yourself to something that will change the way you look forever? If you want to turn that pear shape into a V-shape with 6 pack abs I recommend you check out my experience with Chad Waterbury’s 10/10 Transformation.

The first thing I have to say is that I am a big fan of Chad Waterbury. He puts out excellent workout programs with his state of the art theories on muscular development and recovery. He’s been the new guy on the block for the last couple of years but has been gaining notoriety quickly because his programs do something very important. They produce real and noticeable results!

Before I continue let me give you a quick bio from his website so you know this isn’t another run of the mill trainer:

Chad is a neurophysiologist and author.

His training methods are used by a wide range of athletes, bodybuilders, models, and fitness enthusiast.

Chad is the director of strength and conditioning at Rickson Gracie Int. Jiu Jitsu Center in LA.

Chad is a regular contributor to the T-Muscle bodybuilding website.

Chad has a master’s degree in physiology from the University of Arizona.

Chad’s focus there was on the neurophysiology of human movement and performance. This lead him to make radical changes in the way he trains competitive athletes. His workouts are now shorter and faster, producing superior results in strength, power, and muscular development.

His eBook, the 10/10 Transformation, is a remarkable triumph of new muscle technology put to work. It’s designed to have you gain 10 pounds of muscle and lose 10 pounds of fat in 12 weeks. Your body weight will be exactly the same but you will look completely different by shedding a few inches off of your waist and adding 10 pounds of pure muscle to your physique. If you can shrink the waistline while beefing up the upper body you will be amazed at the difference you can make in your appearance.

The 10/10 Transformation has several elements that appealed to me. As a fitness enthusiast I am always looking for a great routine that will give real visible results. Standard routines and diets are just plain boring. The 10/10 mixes everything up with challenge and change throughout. It includes a daily diet, daily workout routine, supplement regime, and tips for success. It is a very easy program to follow but you must be ready to commit yourself to some grueling workouts. The program divides itself into four separate three week programs. Your body will not be able to fully adapt to this which means you will get steady results for the entire 12 weeks. The first three weeks is fat loss, followed by 3 weeks of muscle gain, 3 more weeks of fat loss, and a final 3 weeks of muscle gain to add the finishing touch to your body.

By focusing exclusively on either fat burn or muscle gain during each 3 week period you can maximize your results, keep your body off guard, and keep your mind fresh without getting bored. During the 3 week body fat phases you will do 3 full body workouts during the week which vary the rest, rep, and the load of the weight. I did those on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. They only take about 35 minutes but you will be in a full sweat and exhausted at the end. These workouts build muscle and burn fat. You do need to have a bit of conditioning under your belt to tackle these workouts because they will kick your butt. The other two days of the week you do a 20 minute HIIT cardio session. Total time spent in the gym is about 3 hours during the entire week. That’s not much time to drop 5 pounds of fat and get stronger at the same time! During my initial 3 weeks I was a bit loose on the diet having 3-4 cheat meals per week rather than the prescribed 2 (yes you get to eat cheat meals, pizza for me!) At the end of the first 3 weeks I lost 1 inch off of my waist while gaining 2 pounds on the scale. I have found that every inch off my waist equates to 4-5 pounds of fat so I lost about 4 pounds of fat and gained 6 pounds of lean body weight. The difference in my physique was dramatic. You might be thinking that is a lot of mass to gain but I started using creating during that 3 weeks and typically my muscle cells volumize and I gain exactly 6-7 pounds once it is in my system so it was right on target. I lost close to 5 pounds and my muscles had more volume from the creatine.

I went right into the muscle building phase which is a nice change of pace. Waterbury uses something very radical called HFT or High Frequency Training. I trained each muscle about 5 times per week. The weight, reps, sets, and rest periods are changed up each workout so it keeps your body guessing and allows the separate pathways in the muscles time for recovery. I gained a stunning 8 pounds in 3 weeks. I was really sore the first week but got used to it. Part of my success was sticking very close to his diet which recommended a heavy amount of BCAA’s during the entire 3 weeks. High protein, supplemented BCAA’s, and rigorous workouts for 3 weeks put slabs of muscle on quickly. There are no cardio workouts during the 3 weeks because the body needs all of it’s time for rest.

After those 6 weeks I already had a big transformation in my body so the book was already well worth the price. I completed the transformation and can tell you it lives up to its name. The initial 3 week fat burning program is so effective that I have used that segment alone 3 more times during the course of the year when I want to drop 5-6 pounds quickly and gain some muscle.

If you’re looking for something that is extremely effective for fat loss and muscle gain then I highly recommend the 10/10 workout. The diet plan is simple to follow and easy enough for someone that doesn’t have any time to cook or prepare meals. It lays out every detail in this 1 simple book and leaves nothing to chance. The other thing I liked was you will now have 4 routines that you can use at anytime. If you want to lose fat you can pull out one of the two fat burning workouts or on the flip side gain muscle with one of the two 3 week muscle gaining routines.

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Cardio Kickboxing Top 10 Questions

1. What is Cardio Kickboxing?

Cardio kickboxing is a hybrid of boxing, martial arts and aerobics done rhythmically to music. Cardio kickboxing is also known as aerobic kickboxing or fitness kickboxing. Offering an intense cross-training and total-body workout it utilizes the training routines used by martial artists in the sports of boxing and kickboxing. The objective is not to make a “fighter” out of you, but rather to give a balanced overall program that combines a cardio aerobic workout with the techniques for self-defense. There is no physical contact in the class – it is offered as an alternative to conventional aerobics.

Unlike a traditional martial arts class, the music adds to your stimulation and motivation. Unlike an aerobics class, there are numerous techniques you can learn beyond the basics to maintain your interest level. Classes go by fast because there is so much going on.

2. What are the benefits of Cardio Kickboxing?

These classes give you a full body workout and improve your physical fitness, flexibility, coordination, and balance. If you do the punches with precision and power, you will strengthen your upper body and eventually see more muscle definition. The kicks will strengthen your legs. And kneeing moves (a strike in which you thrust your bent knee upward) will firm your abdominal muscles; in fact, all of the moves, when done correctly, will make your torso into a solid base that lets you do day-to-day tasks more easily. Many cardio kickboxing classes also include bagwork that provides additional fitness and strength training benefits because of the “resistance” when punching or kicking the heavy boxing bags.

Your cardiovascular system will benefit, too. Cardio kickboxing is a truly aerobic workout – it keeps you bobbing, weaving, and jumping amidst the punches and kicks, so that your heart rate stays elevated for most of the session. A good class will leave you drenched in sweat and energized. And your increased conditioning will be accompanied by an increased metabolism meaning you will burn more calories even when you aren’t exercising.

A lot of people find cardio kickboxing a great way to release stress. The stress relief and the channeling of aggression can be as beneficial as the actual physical workout itself. The physiological difference between this workout and other cardiovascular workouts such as running or participating in an aerobics class can’t be explained with just the simple “release of endorphines”. A natural high is experienced after a class that lasts for hours. Civilized, as we’ve all been not to hit each other (which is, of course, a good thing), we’re still equipped with some natural aggression. You may find that planting your heel in the torso of a phantom foe 10 or 20 times leaves you feeling wonderfully tranquil.

3. Who should take a Cardio Kickboxing class?

Anyone who wants to get in better shape. Although primarily designed for adults, cardio kickboxing classes can benefit teens too. Student athletes can train to improve their physical fitness and conditioning. And the resulting boost in self-confidence gives a mental edge when it comes to getting more playing time and performing well during actual games.

Students who are home-schooled or who do not like to participate in conventional athletic programs can derive health and fitness benefits too. Exercise is important. And, because of the added self-defense benefit that comes as a by-product of the program, it improves a student’s self-esteem, channels aggressiveness, and enhances assertiveness.

It’s recommended you check with your health-card provider before taking the class if you have not exercised regularly recently, and come in and talk to a teacher and watch part of a class if you have other questions or concerns.

4. What should I expect in a Cardio Kickboxing class?

A typical class is a little over an hour-long. If you are going to hit bags, prior to the class, participants wrap both hands with cloth handwraps to help protect the knuckles and support the wrists (the instructor will show you how). Then with everyone facing the mirror, a teacher leads the group through specific punches and kicks, to the beat of dance-club music. The class starts with a warm-up period, moves to fast shadowboxing and kicking drills, then to heavy bag work, and ends with some strength building exercises and a cool-down stretch. Intermixed with this are aerobic conditioning drills such as high-knees, grapevines and jumping jacks.

Be prepared to feel a little clumsy and lost at times – but don’t let yourself feel discouraged. Even if you’re a highly conditioned runner or you’ve been doing step aerobics for years, these moves may be new to your body. Pay attention to what feels right to you. Don’t do a move that hurts, and take breaks if you feel tired. Your muscles need time to develop their “memory”, and your reactions as the teacher calls out what to do (“jab, cross, hook, roundhouse”) will be slow at first. By the second or third class, the awkwardness will start to dissipate.

5. What will I learn?

The first thing you’ll learn is the stance — a way of standing that maximizes balance and puts power behind your moves. Your feet are about shoulder-width apart and at a slight angle, one foot set back from the other. Your fists are up around your cheek-bones to guard your face (Don’t hunch your shoulders). This is the position you’ll return to after every punch and kick.

You will also learn how to move, which is important because you use your momentum to generate power. This involves keeping in motion while staying up on the balls of your feet, which enables you to act or respond much more efficiently. The general rule for a powerful strike is to use your body’s weight and momentum, not just your arms. Engage your abdominal muscles and exhale the breath as you rotate and punch.

The punches generally taught are the jab, cross, hook, and uppercut. The kicks will include the front kick, side kick, back kick, angle kick and roundhouse. But punches and kicks just don’t come in multiples of one. You will learn kickboxing sequences, how the jab sets up the cross, sets up the hook, etc. Each strike sets up the next so you can generate much more power by combos of two or more. The torque of your body helps to create this momentum. The individual moves are worked into swiftly executed combinations (for example: jab, cross punch, hook, uppercut, front kick).

Different instructors have different takes on what they teach and the subtleties of techniques, but the basics that you learn from one teacher will hold up in all the classes.

6. What should I wear?

Sweats, shorts and a T-shirt, an aerobic-dance outfit — whatever keeps you comfortable and cool. Wear well-made athletic shoes that aren’t too worn. Running shoes aren’t ideal because they’re not constructed for side-to-side movements. Basketball, tennis or other shoes designed for pivots and lateral movements are better. It is also very important that your shoes are clean. Barefeet are OK too.

7. Could I hurt myself?

Yes. If you’re not careful, you could end up with a sore elbow or wrist, a pulled muscle, or one of the injuries that commonly occur in aerobics classes such as a sprained knee or twisted ankle. So adopt a protective attitude toward your body.

If you can spare the time, arrive a few minutes early to get your handwraps on and warm up by gently stretching your legs (especially the fronts and backs of the thighs) and shoulders. Make sure you are and stay well hydrated.

During the class, make sure that you stop the motion of each punch or kick before the joint is fully extended. Never kick or punch so far that you lock the elbow or knee joints. Also, start out focusing on kicking low and with control. Respect your body’s limits. Sure, you can change those limits — but it’ll take time, dedication, and a realistic attitude.

8. Will Cardio Kickboxing give me skills to defend myself?

Since you will be working out anyway, learning basic self-defense skills at the same time is an added benefit. Over time you will develop strong kicking and punching abilities and learn the practical application of techniques practiced in the air on the heavy bag. It takes bagwork practice to gauge distance and effectively landing your punch or kick flush on a target. You just can’t just shadow-kickbox, you need the feedback of hitting something. Be aware though that the focus is on conditioning and not on self-defense, if you really want to learn self-defense tactics, take a martial arts or self-defense classes.

9. How can I get the most out of the classes?

As with any other exercise, if you want to improve your cardiovascular condition or trim an inch here and there, you’ll have to do it regularly. Two to four sessions a week is probably optimal; in between classes it is good to mix things up. For example take a brisk walk or run, do some stretching or yoga to increase your flexibility, or simply take a day to rest.

10. How can I learn more?

Go to a class!

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The Best Workout Routine to Build Muscle – Get Results Fast!

Ask almost any bodybuilder, powerlifter, or other big, strong dude, and he’ll tell you there’s no one way to train for building muscle and strength. Even so, I constantly get guys asking me “what’s the best workout routine to build muscle?” “What’s the one way to train that will really get me the best results?”

Truth is, most of these guys aren’t really looking to learn any valuable information or put in any serious work at the gym. They’re looking for a magic bullet, that “secret” workout that will get them a big chest, strong arms, and washboard abs by yesterday. That’s not going to happen!

But then again, you’re not that kind of trainee, are you? You really do want to know exactly how to build muscle, and you’re willing to put in the work to make it happen. You just want to know what the best workout routine to build muscle is so that you can maximize the time you put in at the gym! Truth be told, there is no single, best routine, but there are a few rules you MUST follow to make quick progress. Tailor your training to these principles, and you WILL get bigger and stronger faster than you ever thought possible…

1. Squatting for Size

Many an old-timer, washed-up meathead will tell you that squats are the king of all exercises. Don’t ignore them just because they aren’t in their prime – they’re right! Squats are truly the best overall mass-building exercise you can do, but they have unfortunately gone by the wayside as companies have developed new and fancy leg press and hack squat machines. Those have their place too, but they will NEVER replace the good ol’ squat.

You can spend years perfecting your squat technique and routine, but here are a few tips that will put you head and shoulders above 99% of the other gym rats. First, take a medium-width stance, slightly wider than your shoulders. Don’t buy into that “close stance to work the quads” crap, your quads will get bigger as long as you squat big weights.

Next, place the bar low on your upper back, pinching your shoulder blades back as tight as possible to create a “shelf” for the bar with your shoulders. Take the bar out of the rack in a controlled but firm manner, KNOWING you’re going to dominate that weight. Once you’ve taken a couple steps back, fill your belly with air (not your chest!), and sit BACK and down into the squat.

That backwards motion with your hips is essential for bringing your hamstrings and glutes into the equation and allowing you to lift some serious weight. You’ll never squat big if you just worry about your quads! Once the crease of your hip is at the same level as your knees (this is called parallel), explode back up to the starting position.

As far as actual routines go, there are tons of ways to train the squat. For a beginner or intermediate, I would recommend a routine where you’ve got one “lower body” or “legs” day where you focus on squatting as your primary exercise, working up to one or two heavy sets of 4-6 reps. You should strive to increase the weight on these sets week after week. Follow up your squatting with other leg exercises like lunges and leg presses, and you’re good to go. Remember, your legs have as much or more muscle mass than your entire upper body, so get them big!

2. Strength? Size? It’s all the Same!

If you read any conventional bodybuilding “wisdom” these days, you’ll see most guys talking as if size and strength are two totally different goals, and that you have to focus on one or the other. What a bunch of crap! Stereotypes of the “all show and no go” bodybuilder aside, have you really ever seen someone who was massively muscular and NOT strong? No way!

The thing is, your muscles grow in response to certain stimuli. There are a number of ways to stimulate this growth, but the only one that can work in the long term is getting stronger. Think about it – if you increase your bench by 100 pounds, do you think you’ll have bigger pecs? If you take your max on the squat and get strong enough to rep it 10 times, do you think your legs will be bigger? Of course!

I don’t care what kind of workout routine to build muscle you end up doing. Traditional bodybuilding split, powerlifting workout, 5 x 5, it all works. The thing that really matters is that you get stronger! If you train your heart out but don’t worry about actually getting stronger, I guarantee that you will be the same size as you are now, six months or a year from now. Now THAT is wasted time.

There are tons and tons of ways to go about getting stronger, but the main thing you should worry about is gradually adding weight to the bar, week after week, for sets of 4-6 reps. Fewer or more reps is alright if you really want to, but the important thing is to always focus on the weight. Don’t get too eager, either. A five pound increase per week on the squat or bench may seem like next to nothing, but if you did that for a few months, you’d have made over a 100 pound increase in your strength!

3. Massive Food for Massive Gains

Hopefully you already know this, but just in case it’s not drilled into your head yet, I’ll say it again – nutrition is THE most important aspect of bodybuilding. You can have the perfect routine and stick to it like a champion, but at the end of the day, your body still needs enough nutrients to repair damage muscle tissue and build it bigger than it was before.

Proper bodybuilding nutrition is actually somewhat well-known these days, so I’ll just give you the quick and dirty on how to eat for lean muscle gains. First, you want tons of protein. If you get one gram of protein per pound of your own bodyweight per day (not counting the incidental amounts in grains), then you’re on the right track.

Second, you’ve got to get extra calories from fats and carbs to have the energy to train and grow. Don’t bother getting out calculator or counting calories, though. Just make sure you eat most of your carbs before and after training and eat fats with your proteins during the rest of the day. For carbs, eat nutritious foods like oats, other grains, and potatoes. For fats, take in plenty of olive oil, nuts, avocados, and some red meat.

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Polynesian Diet Strategies – 7 Tips to Help You Lose Weight Permanently

I am constantly amazed when I hear stories of Polynesians who suddenly passed away from heart attack, diabetes, and even colon cancer, at such a young age. My grandfather was very young when he died from colon cancer. My mother who is now 62 has suffered from a long history of chronic illnesses, arthritis, stroke, and now has diabetes. Outside of my immediate family, I see other Polynesians suffering from diet induced diseases, and I fear they will not live to see their grandchildren. So what is happening to our people, and what can we do to stop it?

I am going to give you seven of the best tips you can implement to lose weight, and get back your health starting right now, but first I want to tell you a little about myself.

I am a Polynesian male in my late thirties. I was born and raised in New Zealand to loving parents of six children. I came to the United States in the late nineties to attend school. After the first year of College, I had gained some extra weight, about 15lbs. No big deal right, wrong. As each year passed I was gaining more and more unsightly body fat.

This was extremely abnormal for me, since I was fairly active and played a great deal of competitive sports, such as rugby, basketball, tennis and volleyball. I have always had a good sense about being in shape and was growing frustrated at the elusive body fat accumulating day to day. I ignored it for a long time until one day I was flipping through some photos I just developed. I saw a shot of myself where my back was facing the camera. For a brief moment I was confused as to who that was. I didn’t even recognize myself. I was embarrassed and ashamed to realize that the way I thought I looked, and how I actually looked were completely different. Is this what people were seeing?

At this point I bought a pair of scales to assess the damage. After three years of denial I weighed a hefty 246lbs. I was stunned. This wasn’t the worst part. I was beginning to have bad chest pains, and experienced dizziness and shortness of breath. I felt tired all the time. I was also becoming more and more depressed. So what was going on? Well, in a nutshell, I was eating the wrong foods, at the wrong times, and way too much of it.

I decided I was going to embark on a mission, to lose 30lbs, after all how hard can that be right. I mean I am a hard worker, should be a snap. So I did what most people do, head out to the local gym, sign up for a membership and personal trainer, bought all the protein bars, shakes and supplements they recommended. I even subscribed to a fitness magazine and purchased products they recommended. All in all I had spent a small fortune in order to get started, but this was fine because I was really committing myself.

I spent the next 3 months working out with my trainer twice a week, and on my own four times a week, with only Sunday off. My workouts consisted of 35-45mins of cardio six days a week and weight training for 60 Min’s 5 days a week. At first I started to lose weight by 4-5lbs a week. I was really excited, then slowly but surely, it started to drop to 2lbs a week, then not even one. My trainer told me ‘we need to tweak your diet a little, and work a little harder’. Believe me when I tell you I was busting my butt to get in shape. There were days when I was the only one in the gym at 1.30am doing cardio. The cleaners would joke around saying I needed to pay rent I was there so much.

And then it happened, at my next weigh in day I had actually gained 2lbs. My trainer assured me this was muscle gain, and not to worry as the scales don’t distinguish between muscle gain, and fat gain, or muscle loss and fat loss for that matter. I was skeptical because I felt so much weaker. I couldn’t bench or leg press what I could 3 months earlier, and if I was really gaining muscle, shouldn’t I be stronger. It didn’t make sense to me. Nevertheless I continued on to the end of our scheduled training program. When all was said and done I weighed 227lbs. I had lost 19lbs, not bad, but a far cry from my goal of 30lbs.

The worst thing about it, was that I didn’t look much different, just smaller. It was discouraging to me to think I had worked so hard for 3 months and was still not happy with the way I looked. I was still flabby, still undefined, and still felt tired all the time, some days even more tired than when I was heavier. Then it dawned on me, the trainers at the gym had taken specific courses and certifications to help their clients get into better shape. Perhaps they were not specific enough for me. I started to pay a lot more attention to the things I ate, the types of foods, as well as how they affected me, even the foods recommended by my trainer which I had taken as gospel. Here is what I found.

1. Many of the carbohydrates I was eating, even the healthy fibrous carbs, had an adverse affect on me.

2. I could stuff myself with veges and fruits all day long and still be hungry.

3. I would eat less then 36g of fat a day for weeks and still be flabby

4. Eating the forbidden red meat made me feel strong and induced powerful workouts

5. Eating coconut, a food rich in saturated fats curbed my hunger, and accelerated my fat loss

6. Eating larger meals less often, gave me unbelievable energy, despite the accepted idea of eating smaller frequent meals.

7. Healthy grains, such as oatmeal, and wheat bread slowed my weight loss.

8. Cardio sessions left me feeling weak and depleted, and you guessed it, still smooth, not cut

9. Weight training energized me

10. All the protein shakes I was using were making me fat

11. White rice surprisingly did not

12. Although yams were sweeter than potatoes, they helped my progress, where potatoes hindered

13. I could eat a lot, and I mean a lot of fish, and still get lean

I realize now that there is a uniqueness to the Polynesian body and how many of the accepted laws and practices of the fitness industry do not apply to us.

Last year I travelled to Cambodia. While I was there I couldn’t help but notice how slender and healthy the people of that culture were, despite being a third world country, or perhaps due to it. Obesity was practically non existent, and I thought to myself there must be something to the way they eat. I really doubt the average Cambodian has a membership to Golds Gym, and I didn’t see them out running all the time. Many of them where just sitting around on the streets.

When I flew back to the US my first stop was San Fransisco Airport, and there was no mistaking being back in America. Eight out of ten people I saw were either overweight or obese. I thought more about the Cambodian culture. What did they eat so ordinarily that kept them in shape? Then it came to me. They eat the foods their bodies have evolved to assimilate. It was an epiphany of mass proportion. Once I realised this I could apply it to myself right. Well, I couldn’t have been more right.

I began to research more and more about my heritage. Where did I come from? Who are my parents? Where are they from? What did the people from that region of the world eat before the introduction of commercially processed foods? Now I was getting somewhere. It all led to genetics.

I researched several case studies from the early sixties concerning cultures from the isles of the sea. It was amazing to see the differences in what they ate and how they obtained their food. It was also sad to see how their health has plummeted as they have strayed from that food. It has long been understood that in order to discover truth, you must go to the source. Unchanged and untainted, it is the wellspring from which all knowledge will flow. Cheap imitations may mimic the truth, but from their fruits, they will be revealed.

What I am speaking of are fake foods, fake fats, fake sugars, engineered additives, harmful chemicals, and unnatural preservatives, powders, shakes, and meal replacements to name a few. All in all they eventually reveal themselves through unsightly bodies, crippling health issues, and the loss of quality of life. As soon as I started eliminating all processed foods, refined sugars, and all so called health foods, my fat loss skyrocketed. In just a few weeks, I had lost 14lbs, and the weight continued to come off. My energy levels were very high, and this made me more excited and motivated to exercise. Over the next 3 months I had lost a significant amount of body fat and a total of 38lbs not including the 19lbs I had lost working my butt off. Funny thing was that I was working out half as much as I was to lose those 19lbs, as I did to lose the 38lbs. I was really onto something. All in all I had lost a total of 57lbs.

One day at the gym, a trainer was blown away by how I looked. He had the audacity to ask me ‘what happened?’, as if I had survived a life threatening disease. He then asked ‘what’s your secret’, and I found myself caught in the irony of telling a trainer that my secret was diet and exercise. This was the same advice I had paid over $900 for three months earlier. If only that advice were the right diet, and the right exercise for a Polynesian. Well, back to genetics.

I discovered something very interesting about my heritage. My parents are from the Polynesian islands. My father was born in Lotopa Upolu, and my mother in Suva Fiji. Genetic mapping shows that these cultures have strong links to the indigenous people of Taiwan, and that they are more closely linked to this culture than any other. I thought, hm, seems plausible; Polynesians love chop suey, eat a lot of rice, love their fish, even eat it raw like the Asian cultures. All I did was eat more of the foods they would have eaten on those islands fifty years ago, and why, because these are the foods my body has evolved to assimilate, despite the fact that my diet can contain as much as 60% saturated fats. Yep, you read it right. I can eat a lot more fat and be lean and healthy if they are natural fats, but I cannot eat a small amount of sugar and get away with it.

I went on to discover many important aspects of health that are specific to Polynesians, which cannot be addressed in the scope of this article, but here are some guide lines to help you lose weight safely and permanently.

Tip #1 You must lower your carbohydrates and eliminate processed foods

Before the white man showed up on the islands, organic foods were called ordinary foods. Nothing was processed, and the work effort alone to provide food for your family would be enough to keep anyone lean.

Tip #2 Increase your fiber intake

Tip #3 Drink more water

Get rid of sodas, sports drinks, alcohol, diet beverages, and caffeinated drinks, with the exception of green tea. Polynesians can benefit a great deal from green tea as it has been used by their ancestors (Asians) for medicinal purposes for more than 2000 years. Can’t be wrong.

Tip #4 Eat more protein

Eat whole foods in the form of organic pork, organic beef, and fish. Hey this is the best part. It’s what we love and our bodies are designed for it.

Tip #5 Replace your olive, vegetable and corn oils with coconut oil

Although olive oil is highly recommended and a mainstay of most diets, last time I checked no islanders descended from Italians. Again believe me when I say, our bodies have evolved to assimilate coconut oil better than any other. Various studies show that although there is little nutritional value in coconut oil, many people lose weight by eating it.

In the islands coconut and coconut cream is used in everything. Sixty percent of the normal diet is comprised of saturated fat compared to the typical western diet of thirty five to forty five percent fat, yet the islanders had less heart disease and less blood cholesterol. Diabetes, and colon cancer were completely absent before the introduction of processed foods. Problems arise when you combine these high natural oil diets with refined sugars, and processed foods containing chemicals, additives and preservatives that wreak havoc on the typical Polynesian body type. Things like spam, and canned corned beef that use fake fats are dangerous, and should not be eaten.

Tip #6 Avoid these foods at all cost

High Fructose Corn Syrup

Refined sugar

Fake fats such as trans fats and partially hydrogenated oil

Artificial sweeteners and diet foods

Dairy

Soy products

If you are eliminating all processed foods you will not have a difficulty with most of these. Also avoid processed meats, such as bacon and deli meats as they can contain modified salts, sugars and dangerous nitrates.

Tip #7 Keep a food journal

You may be surprised at how much you eat, or how little. If you keep a journal, you will have an accurate record of how your body is affected by different foods. This is a very useful tool.

Obviously there are so many things you can learn that break down the very specifics of dieting techniques, but trust me, these simple techniques will work for you as they have for me. I have kept the weight off for six years now, and feel terrific. I do recommend that you do more research as I did, to learn everything you can about successful weight loss, and how it relates to you specifically. Don’t be disheartened by all the information that is available out there. A lot of the diet strategies and work out programs won’t work for us, but some of them will. Educate yourself, for knowledge is power. Nothing is more important than investing in your own health, and that of your family.

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