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      RIPPED ABS Q&A

      1) So crunches don't work?

      Yes, crunches work your abs but they are ton of better exercises to do for your core. People waste time doing a crazy amount of crunches when they should be doing more effective moves. For example, a study conducted by Peter Francis, Ph.D., and Jennifer Davis, M.A., at the San Diego State University Biomechanics Lab showed that the vertical chair knee raise stimulates up to 210% more abdominal activity than a regular crunch! What’s more, compared to crunches, deadlifts and squats are much more effective for your core and they burn way more calories giving you more bang for each rep you perform.

      2) How should I train for maximum fat loss?

      Go hard and go heavy. High intensity exercise training has been shown to stimulate lipolytic hormones, including growth hormone and epinephrine, which promote greater post-exercise energy expenditure and fat burning.1 This after-burn effect following intense exercise bouts is associated with a boost in metabolism and is referred to as EPOC or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. Studies show that high-volume, whole-body resistance training significantly elevates resting energy expenditure up to 72 hours post exercise in both trained and untrained subjects.2,3 As shown by Bo-Han Wu and Jung-Charng Lin in a study conducted at the National Taiwan Normal University, EPOC after training with heavier weights (75% of 1RM) is higher than after training with lighter weights (50% of 1RM). The study also demonstrated that the increased energy expenditure after heavier strength training is mainly derived from fat burning.

      3) Why is belly fat so hard to lose?

      Everyone is different, but in general your stomach is one of the top areas your body loves to store fat. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the last areas to go when you’re eating right and exercising hard. When I was competing in bodybuilding, my abdominals (lower abs to be specific) were the last body part to get etched out before a show. Changes in hormonal levels due to aging, stress and lack of proper sleep add more unwanted belly fat to your physique. There is no such thing as spot reduction and fat loss (in the abdominals and any other region) is a factor of nutrition, exercise and overall caloric expenditure.

      3 Muscle-Building Tips

      Focus on Complete Range of Motion (Full Flexion – Full Extension)

           Strength/weight training for muscle growth is most effective by implementing a complete range of motion for every exercise.  Studies done at the University of Rio Grande in Porto Alegre, Brazil have found that full range of motion and partial range of motion can both trigger muscle-growth, however full range of motion has a more positive effect on strength increases.  With these strength increases, more muscle fibers must be recruited to lift the heavier weight and in turn, more of these muscle fibers are left to be repaired, after training.  


      Reference:

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Effect+of+range+of+motion+on+muscle+strength+and+thickness.++Ronei+S+Pinto,+Naiara+Gomes,+Régis+Radaelli,+Cíntia+E+Botton,+Lee+E+Brown,+Martim+Bottaro



      Intake Carbohydrates with Protein after Training Sessions


           Although there are quite a few philosophies about enhancing muscle recovery for growth after training, recent studies support the ingestion of high-glycemic carbohydrates alongside protein, immediately post-workout for the most effective recovery.  Studies at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario demonstrated that carbohydrates will work to increase insulin response and replenish depleted glycogen stores in muscle and in the liver.  Meanwhile, the stimulated insulin response will work to shunt amino acids to damaged muscles for more efficient repair; consequently increasing muscle growth.


      Reference:

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19036894



      Maintain a Consistent Sleep Schedule, and Catch Plenty of Sleep


           I’m sure you’ve heard it before, “Sleep for growth”.  The truth is, there is much science to support this simple phrase.  In fact, lack of sleep is related to increased cortisol levels, improper glycogen storage, decreased growth hormone production, and impaired delta wave sleep.  This combination makes it difficult to increase muscle mass as high cortisol levels are related to muscle-breakdown, decreased glycogen storage is related to low energy and weakness in the gym, and decreased growth hormone production and delta wave sleep are directly related to inadequacies in wellbeing and the body’s ability to recover from intense exercise.  

           Scientists have found that 8-10 hours of sleep is the ideal amount of time to sleep, thus avoiding the negatives mentioned above.  Instead, proper amount of sleep will work to regulate hormone production, improve glycogen storage, and decrease cortisol levels.  The result is mood and energy enhancement, less fat gain, and an easier ability to pack on lean muscle mass.



      Reference:

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Sleep+and+muscle+recovery%3A+Endocrinological+and+molecular+basis+for+a+new+and+promising+hypothesis

      Fat loss support with Intermittent Fasting

      What is Intermittent Fasting?

       

      The body is designed to store fat for later use, and when we don’t eat the body accesses this storage as a source of fuel. Research shows that fasting for at least 16 hours will result in increased energy expenditure and improved nutrient utilization and will start to level off after 30 hours.

       

      How Do You Use Intermittent Fasting?

       

      TRY THIS - perform a daily fast of 16 hours followed by an 8-hour feed. For example, start your fast at 8pm and your feed at 12pm the next day. During your 8-hour feed your goal will be to consume your target daily calories and macros.

       

      What Can You Expect?

       

      Weight loss will result at the normal rate of 1 to 2 pounds per week, although you may weigh less during your fast because your body has shed excess water, or food in your system. A recent 8-week study on male bodybuilders compared eating normally during the day versus eating during an 8-hour window daily. The group that restricted their eating to 8 hours (intermittent fasting group) lost significantly more body fat!

       

       

      TOP RATED GREENS SUPPLEMENT

      TOP RATED GREENS SUPPLEMENT

      MAKING GREENS A PART OF YOUR DAILY RITUAL

      Not a fan of vegetables? You should be! Vegetables are full of all the good things you need to stay healthy including fiber, vitamins, minerals, enzymes and phytonutrients. If you have been missing out on vegetables you could be preventing your body from making a full recovery, not to mention reducing your performance in the gym. The nutrients in vegetables can help cleanse and detoxify your body, but getting them in can be tough if you’re not a fan.  PHARMAFREAK’s GREENS FREAK is loaded with superfood phytonutrients; you’re getting the benefit from not just one or two vegetables but from multiple, all in a convenient single serving scoop!

      WHAT’S IN GREENS FREAK?

      A better question might be, what’s not in it.  This high potency powdered greens supplement combines nine different high potency, superfood blends including a variety of unique ingredients such as Spirulina, Chlorella, Alfalfa, Barley Grass for high amounts of natural vitamins and enzymes and Wheat Grass for detoxification.  It also contains antioxidants, digestive enzymes, liver supporting milk thistle extract, probiotic cultures, immune and adaptogen support ingredients.

      WHY DO YOU NEED A GREENS SUPPLEMENT?

      If you workout regularly and are following an intense workout routine, then you’re muscles are no doubt experiencing a build up of acidity. Add on a high protein restricted diet, that can also cause acidity and you’re dealing with an overload on your system, making it harder to recover from your workouts.  GREENS FREAK helps reduce acidity and brings back balance, putting the body in an alkaline state. GREENS FREAK can also help detoxify the body by providing it an array of phytonutrients that help combat oxidation brought on by free radical damage in the body from an intense workout. More about phytonutrients. 

      HOW DO YOU USE GREENS FREAK?

      GREENS FREAK is easy to use, simply mix 1 scoop with about 8 oz of cold water and enjoy.  This greens supplement can also be mixed with a scoop of your favorite protein powder such as VEGAN FREAK.

      WHAT ELSE CAN I DO WITH GREENS FREAK?

      Not sure what to do with your GREENS FREAK? Try making it into a smoothie.  Here is a simple smoothie recipe to blend up with your GREENS FREAK.

      GREEN SUPERFOOD SMOOTHIE

      1 scoop of GREENS FREAK

      ½ apple chopped into chunks

      ½ banana

      1 cup chopped kale

      ½ cup cold water

      ice

      Protein Boost – Add 1 scoop of VEGAN FREAK Plant Protein

      Blend all ingredients in a blender on high until smooth!  Enjoy!

      Calories:  211 Cal Protein 33 g Carbs 26 g Fat 1.2 g

       

      FREAKMODE VOLUME TRAINING

      FREAKMODE VOLUME TRAINING

      By ALEX SAVVA

      GVT is not for the weak. This program is for experienced athletes only that wish to shock their muscles and shift into a hypertrophy phase like no other. This training protocol originated in Germany and hence the name “German Volume Training”. I’ve used this workout program many times over the years and I found it particularly useful at gaining muscle and getting ripped while preparing for bodybuilding competitions. This program is what comes to mind when I hear the phrase “pain and gain”.

      Weekly workout schedule:

      Monday
      Chest/Back Workout
      Tuesday
      REST or 20min of Intervals
      Wednesday
      Shoulders/Arms Workout
      Thursday
      REST or 20min of Intervals
      Friday
      Leg Workout
      Saturday
      REST or Light Cardio/Cross-Train
      Sunday
      REST or Light Cardio/Cross-Train

      CHEST/BACK WORKOUT

      Exercise
      Sets
      Reps
      Tempo
      Bench Press
      10
      10
      4-0-2-1
      Cable Back Row
      10
      10
      4-0-2-1
      Bicycle Crunch
      10
      10
      1-0-1-0

      SHOULDERS/ARMS WORKOUT

      Exercise
      Sets
      Reps
      Tempo
      Dumbbell Shoulder Press
      10
      10
      4-0-2-1
      Neutral-Grip Chins
      10
      10
      2-0-2-1
      Dips
      10
      10
      2-0-1-1
      Reverse Crunch
      10
      10
      2-0-1-1

      LEG WORKOUT

      Exercise
      Sets
      Reps
      Tempo
      Squat
      10
      10
      4-0-2-1
      Lying Hamstring Curl
      10
      10
      2-0-2-1
      Vertical Chair Knee Raise
      10
      10
      2-0-1-1

      THE WORKOUTS

      There are 3 weight-training workouts that you’ll be performing each week to hit every major muscle group. Each workout includes basic, compound movements to stimulate maximum muscle fibers and that’s why you are only performing 1-2 exercise per body part. You will notice that Friday is leg day and there are 2 days of REST or Light Cardio/Cross-Training that I recommend following that workout. If you do this program properly, your legs will be fried and light cardio or rest is about the only thing you’ll be able to manage during the days after. Also, the light cardio will help speed recovery and reduce stiffness after your brutal leg session.

      I’ve added a core exercise to each workout. Stick with one exercise only so you don’t fatigue the core muscles to the degree that they’ll compromise your strength and technique during your compound lifts. The core exercise will also serve as some active recovery between each set.

      LOADS & REST

      For the compound exercises (that are the focus of this program), stick with 50 to 60% of your one rep max. Your goal should be to get 10 reps out of each set without going to complete failure. Perform the exercises listed back-to-back and rest for 1 minute between each set. Once you can complete a full workout with all the reps prescribed, increase the weight by about 5%.

      TEMPO

      It’s very important to control all movements and follow the prescribed lifting tempo for each exercise in the program. The lifting tempo used in this program is written in a sequence of four numbers (i.e. 4-0-2-1). The first number represents the eccentric phase, the second number represents the stretched phase, the third number represents the concentric phase, and the fourth number represents the peak contracted phase. The number assigned to each phase of the tempo represents the number of seconds you should take to complete each phase.

      A recent study conducted at McMaster University showed that slower tempo training elicited greater responses in protein synthesis when compared to faster tempo training.1 Another study showed that longer time under tension per set resulted in greater EPOC and energy expenditure.2

      Example of 4-0-2-1 Tempo:

      4 = 4-second eccentric contraction (negative part of the movement)

      0 = no pause at the “stretch” portion of the movement

      2 = take 2 seconds for the concentric contraction (the actual pushing/pulling of the weight)

      1 = take 1-second pause at the peak contraction of the movement

      References:

      1. Burd N.A., & Andrews R.J., et al. (2012). Muscle time under tension during resistance exercise stimulates differential muscle protein sub-fractional synthetic responses in men. J Physiol. Jan 15;590(Pt 2):351-62.
      2. Scott, C.B. (2012). The effect of time-under-tension and weight lifting cadence on aerobic, anaerobic, and recovery energy expenditures: 3 submaximal sets. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. Apr;37(2):252-6.