Login / Register   

Amino Z

  • Common Questions about Whey Protein

    Here are answers to 5 of the most common questions we get about whey protein. Understanding your supplements will help you make the best choices for your goals. Perhaps you’ve had these questions before as well!

    Q: Is this the best protein for gaining weight?

    All proteins are good for gaining muscle. Choosing the right one will depend on your goals. Post workout, a concentrate or blend will work perfectly; containing whey isolate, concentrate and sometimes other protein sources, including egg albumin and/ or colostrum.


    Q: How often should I be taking whey protein?

    Whey protein is ideal for immediately after a workout. Whey isolate and concentrate are both absorbed quickly in the digestive tract, making them perfect for a recovery protein. Protein intake in general (regardless of supplementation) should be steady and continuous throughout the day. Use the supplement post workout, and between meal or before bed, whenever your intake is low.


    Q: Is it okay for women to take?

    Absolutely! Protein is a macronutrient essential for all people, men and women. Not only is it “okay”, it is necessary for healthy body function! Whey is a pure form of milk protein, and with the exception of those with dairy allergies, it is recommended for all people. It has no negative effect on hormones or healthy body function.


    Q: What is the difference between isolate and concentrate ?

    Both of these proteins are derived from the same form of milk. They are very low in lactose, making them options for people who are lactose- intolerant. The main difference is the quality, or purity of the protein.

    Isolate is a more refined, yielding a lower fat version. It is more expensive to produce, and the most expensive protein you can buy.

    Concentrate is slightly higher in fat, 10 to 15% less “refined” and usually tastes better (due to fat content).


    Q: How can I tell if it is a good quality and worth the price?

    Check the label and read the reviews!

    Look for words like “100% whey protein isolate/ concentrate”

    Check the ingredients, compare the prices, and avoid artificial sweeteners. Avoid extra calories from carbs if you are cutting, or look for a recovery blend with some carbs to help with refueling.

    Check out the amino acid profile and compare numbers and variation. More variety is better, but you’ll also need plenty of BCAA’s, leucine, Isoleucine, and valine!

  • Why the Fat Burning zone is Garbage

    Have you been wasting your time worrying about targeting “the fat burning zone” during your workouts? I want you to know the truth, what all fitness gurus and personal trainers are trying to spread the news about… the fat burning zone is garbage…

    It’s a classic myth. Manufacturers of aerobic equipment slap a label onto their products in a mediocre effort to help their consumers figure out how to work the machine. Unfortunately, to make a dent in your figure, you’ll have to work a lot harder than they’ve presented to you.

    Here’s why:
    - Firstly, when it comes to fat loss, diet is responsible for 80% of your results while exercise is responsible for the last 20%. That means that every moment of the 20% has to be used as efficiently as possible!

    - While your body can burn fat for energy, it is the slowest, most complex way of metabolizing energy. The “fat-burning zone” is at a low-intensity effort, and may or may not kick in after 30 minutes of exercise!

    - The body would rather use sugars/ carbs for energy. Therefore, it always depletes the available carbohydrate stores first… this can actually take over an hour to complete!

    - When the body does burn fat for energy during exercise in that low-intensity zone, it is a minute number of calories; about 0.4 kJ in 30 minutes. When 1kg of fat contains 32.2 kJ of energy…

    - By doing the simple math, one can see that this is not nearly as efficient as we want to burn fat and actually see results!

    This is how you REALY target your body fat!
    - Cut down sugars and carbohydrates from your diet. Eat only low-glycemic carbs, including nuts, whole grains and seeds.

    - Spend 20 minutes on your favourite cardio/ aerobic machine doing HIIT (high intensity interval training). Make your 20 minutes really count! Switch between 1 minute of low intensity (slow jogging or minimal resistance) and 1 minute of high intensity (running and maximal resistance).

    - Start lifting weights to get a real burn on. Your muscles use up a huge amount of energy. A comprehensive weight training program should take longer than the aerobic workout. If you are in a cutting phase, be sure to use compound body movements. Keeping sets intense enough to maintain your mass without exhausting yourself.

    - In a shorter amount of time, you’ll find yourself depleted of energy. While the body has used carbs during the workout itself, it boosts the body’s ability to burn fat outside of the gym.

    - Continue these workouts regularly while keeping intake of carbs lower and you’ve just become a daily fat-burning machine!

    Don’t get caught up in the glossy idea of the easy- to – target fat burning zone. Losing fat takes hard work and discipline, but at least you’ve got the tools and knowhow to get it done!

  • How to correctly perform a Clean and Jerk


    With this checklist and video, I’ll show you how to perform a Clean and Jerk. This is one of the Olympic-lifts; requiring strength, speed, agility and coordination. It is ideally used as a part of a strength and conditioning program.

    The Clean& Jerk is a full body, dynamic movement. It should be a part of a strength and power cycle. Depending on the intensity (weights being lifted) it can focus on strength and muscle endurance or power.


    The set up: This is where the lift is really made. If the set-up is off, it causes a chain reaction through the rest of the clean.

    -          Feet about shoulder-width

    -          Back tight, flat, shoulder blades set tight, pulling down your back

    -          Barbell placed against the shins

    -          Arms in a vertical line, perpendicular to the floor

    -          Use hook grip to hold the barbell (thumbs under the fingers)


    The Pull: this is where the bar is starts moving off the floor, until it passes the waist. Think of it as a wind up for a big throw. It should be precise, measured and you should always be in control.

    -          Gradually press your heels into the floor

    -          Maintain the angle of the back to ensure shoulders are over the bar

    -          Sweep bar into the thighs


    The catch: This is where the bar is caught on the anterior deltoids

    -          Move the elbows quickly around the bar into place

    -          No bicep curling the barbell up!

    -          “catch it high, ride it down”


    The Jerk: getting the bar from the shoulders to an overhead position without pressing the bar out

    -          Keep the elbows high

    -          Set your back tight and relax your fingers and wrist

    -          Inhale and hold, using the air pressure of your lungs to brace your core and spine

    -          Dip slowly from the knees

    -          Push upwards against the bar and split the feet

    -          Bring the feet to center to complete the lift


    This is a relatively complex movement requiring a lot of technique and practice. We recommend taking it easy to start.

    Your program should consist of light weights, starting with the 20kg barbell, performing 6 to 10 sets of 3 to 5 repetitions. Add weight only when you’ve mastered the lift at a given weight.

    Progress like this:

    20/5 25/5 30/4 35/4 40/3 45/3 47.5/3 50/3


    Check out our instructional video for more information!

  • Top myths about Supplements

    The supplement industry is essentially self-regulated. Manufacturers of dietary supplements and sport supplements have the freedom to put together products which are not necessarily as effective as they claim to be. We’ve outlined 4 myths our clients need cleared up!

    Issues with labeling, quality and quantity of the supplements are all concerns which require a keen eye to see through. For example, a calcium supplement seems simple enough. Many people would choose their calcium supplement based on price. There is an assumption that what you read on the label is exactly the same from one brand to the next. In reality, the dosage, and type of calcium varies from one to the next. A thorough inspection of the label usually clears up the differences.


    1. All Supplements are the same


    Generally, no 3 supplements are the same! In many cases, generic brands copy the exact ingredient list and dosages as the brand name products, offering an identical option for a cheaper price. Beyond this, supplements which say the same words on the label are rarely identical. The same goes for vitamin and mineral supplements as well as protein, pre-workout and post workout supplements. The dosage and quality of each ingredient can vary greatly.

    The quality of pre and post workout supplements is dependent on the ingredients, how they were refined, extracted and processed. No two products are the same, even if they appear to be identical!


    2. Newer is Better!

    Watch out for “buzz words” of new and exciting research on newly discovered extracts and plant substances. The shock value that is used to report on these often present new discoveries as the best thing for health, wellness or whatever else they profess to have learned via a research study.

    This just isn’t the case! Sometimes, the old, tried and true supplements are really the best option. Unlike new products, older ones have been backed by dozens of agreeable research studies. One or two or three studies is not considered enough for an agreeable scientific assumption about the health benefits of new products.

    Be careful about trying new products and be as objective as possible when doing your research!


    3. More of a good thing is better!

    Most macro and micro nutrients have an upper tolerable limit! Just because something is good for you, more if it is not better. The upper tolerable limits for each nutrient is a guide to avoid toxicity in the blood and tissues. Taking huge doses of vitamins and minerals does not improve health.

    Likewise, just because protein is good for building muscle and good health, excessive quantities are not better for health. Too much protein can cause liver problems. Too high an intake of carbs causes weight gain.


    4.   Supplement fillers are useless and possibly harmful to health


    Not true! Most supplements require some level of minute filler for one or more reasons. Sometimes, fillers are used to keep the product preserved. They may also be necessary to bind the product, like in tablets, or to keep the other ingredients from binding, as in powders.

    There are rarely harmful and are present in such small quantities that they pose no risk to the user.



    Always read the label and do your research to find out how much you need of a supplement to reach your goals!


  • The Glycemic Index Explained

    Not long ago, we received some pamphlets in the mailbox from the Australian GI Institute to distribute. So this has prompted me to blog on this very important topic - the glycemic index explained.

    The Glycemic Index (or GI) rates various foods on how quickly their carbohydrate component is broken down and absorbed into the body. Whilst the "actual" time will vary from person to person, this scale allows us to compare foods in a relative fashion. In other words, one food may be quicker or slower absorbing than other foods.

    The scale ranges from 0-100, with glucose having a GI of 100. There are actually a few simple sugars that are absorbed quicker than glucose and they subsequently have a GI of greater than 100.

    The GI index is broken down into three categories:

    • LOW GI: 55 or less
    • MEDIUM GI: 56-69
    • HIGH GI: 70 or more

    What's important to note here is that the higher the GI, the faster the carbohydrate will be absorbed into your body. Whilst this has serious ramifications for diabetics, let's focus on fat loss and gain (considering this is a general health and fitness blog). In order to lose fat, under normal circumstances, it is highly advantageous to consume LOW Glycemic Index foods which take 2-3 hours to absorb (as opposed to high GI which take about an hour). Why? Well this is how I explain it to my clients:

    Imagine you have a funnel and are pouring water into it. If you pour the water in slowly, all the water will go through the funnel without spillage. However, if you speed the pouring process up, water will spill over the edge because you are pouring in too much water for the funnel to handle at any one time. The same is true for our bodies. Our body (the funnel) can only handle so many carbohydrates (the water) at any one time. If you pour in too many carbohydrates simultaneously, your blood sugar levels soar, insulin is secreted and all these additional calories overflow, contributing to fat gain.

    You can see here that with GI, we are considering the rate of carbohydrate absorption, not the amount of carbohydrate. When rested, your body is far more equipped to handle 50g of carbohydrate over 3 hours than 50g of carbohydrate in 1 hour.

    Following an intense workout, you may need additional carbohydrates to facilitate recovery. Carbohydrates are a nutrient and are vital for muscle repair. So it is generally recommended that you consume HIGH GI foods within 2 hours of your workout because that's when you need a sudden surge of carbs. During the remainder of the day, try to keep your food's glycemic index relatively low as a general rule.

    Dr Steven Gao PhD has produced a video for us to further explain the concept:

1 2 3 4 5 605