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  • Exercise addiction

    We promote regular physical exercise because it is beneficial physically and psychologically. However, too much of anything is bad and excessive exercise can also have adverse physical and psychological effects. Exercise dependence, also known as exercise addiction, is a behavioural addiction, it is characterised by an excessive preoccupation with exercise. The prevalence of exercise addiction ranging from around 3% to over 40% of the population depends on the demographic of people tested. For instance, the prevalence of exercise addiction of people in a sports club is higher compared to that of in the entire population. Currently, there're still no universally recognised, distinct criteria separating exercise addiction to healthy habits or compulsory disorders. Researchers and medical professionals nevertheless constructed general guidelines to identify exercise addiction. Below is one of the more recognised ones as reviewed by Freimuth et al 2011 (International Journal for Environmental Research and Public Health).

    • Tolerance: increase the amount of exercise in order to feel the buzz and accomplishment;
    • Withdrawal: feeling anxious, irritable and sleepless in the absence of exercise;
    • Lack of control: unable to reduce the level or amount of exercise for a period of time;
    • Intention effects: exceeding the amount of time devoted to exercise beyond originally intended on a consistent basis;
    • Time: a great deal of time is spend on preparing, engaging in, and recovering from exercise;
    • Reduction in other activities: reduced or non-existent social, occupational and/or recreational activities as a direct result of exercise;
    • Continuance: continue to exercise despite knowing that it is exacerbating or creating physical, psychological and sociological problems.

    Remember, the purpose of this article is to raise awareness, it is not meant for self-diagnosis. See a health care professional if you feel that you might be addictive to exercise and it's affecting you negatively.

  • Weightlifter? 4 Reasons Why You Need Joint Supplements

    If you're a gym rat, this article is for you.


    Weight lifting is one of the most popular ways to stay fit and achieve the body you want. Every physical activity takes a toll on the body and weight lifting may place quite a high demand. From heavy weight to improper technique, the risk for injuring joints and connective tissue via weight training is high. One of the best ways you can protect your body is to supplement with joint support. Let's take a look at 4 reasons why joint supplements need to be right next to your whey protein.


    1. Compound Movements Take a Toll

    The classic bodybuilding movements (squat, deadlift, and bench press) are, without a doubt the most effective exercises in the industry. The problem is that these same exercises are also the ones that cause the most injuries. Sure, that may be the fault of the user sometimes as when someone tries to show off but many other times, it's not. The classic moves are triggering the greatest number of muscle groups at the same time. Add to that a great deal of weight and you are putting quite the strain on joints and connective tissue.


    Connective tissue takes three times as long as muscle tissue to recover. Considering joints and connective tissue make all of your exercises possible, it becomes a necessity to look after them properly. This is where joint supplements come into play.


    1. Reduce Soreness

    How many times have you had to go lighter on sets or skip the gym entirely due to muscle soreness?


    Muscle soreness is just a natural part of exercise but it can get to the point where you're not able to perform at your normal level and that's an issue. Joint supplements that contain glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM have been suggested in a number of studies to be very beneficial for recovery by alleviating soreness. (1, 2)


    1. Alleviate Inflammation

    In the case of muscle tissue, inflammation is the actual soreness that you're feeling in the muscle itself. When it comes to joints and connective tissue, the inflammation you feel in these areas can be uncomfortable to downright painful. Ever do too much with the barbell squat to find your knee clicking and hurting the following day? Inflammation is the body's way of signaling healing but too much inflammation can be problematic. Joint supplements, especially those with MSM, have been suggested to be powerful anti-inflammatory agents. This will provide you with a natural alternative to over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen, which can cause stomach issues. (1, 2)


    1. Proper Lubrication

    It's not something you think about but your joints and connective tissue need to be properly lubricated in order to function at maximum effort.


    Think of your elbows and knees like the internal mechanisms in a car. If you didn't place oil into your car, there would be no lubrication for the engine to work from. The result would be a gnashing and grinding of gears until the engine exploded.


    Your joints need proper lubrication for function AND protection. This is to ensure that cartilage doesn't start grinding against cartilage. The best way to support proper lubrication of joints? Supplements that are heavy in glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM. Studies suggest that these three ingredients, working together, can promote better lubrication, thereby alleviating the symptoms mentioned above while protecting the tissue. (1, 2)


    If you're ready to start supporting your joints, click here to take a look at one of our top sellers.



    1. National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine. The NIH Glucosamine/Chondroitin Arthritis Intervention Trial (GAIT). J Pain Palliat Care Pharmacother. 2008;22(1):39-43.


    1. Usha PR, Naidu MU. Randomised, Double-Blind, Parallel, Placebo-Controlled Study of Oral Glucosamine, Methylsulfonylmethane and their Combination in Osteoarthritis. Clin Drug Investig. 2004;24(6):353-63.
  • The best Russian training secrets: 5 Kettlebell exercises to get ripped!

    Simple old-school Russian training is making a come back. This ultimate workout focuses on the core and posterior chain. That includes the hamstrings, glutes, lower and upper back. The shoulders, calves, and entire core work as stabilizers throughout the movement. With one or two moderately weight kettlebells, you'll be amazed at the workout you can get!

    Imaging a wrecking ball. The principle with a kettle bell is generally the same. The force of the action comes from the base of the structure and not the lever (arms). The ball is attached to a chain (arms), which is attached to the machine. With the hips snapping to apply force, the kettlebell responds. There are several basic movements which you can use. This is ideal for those looking to improve overall fitness, muscle coordination, strength and condition of the back and core, and as a way to break up a typical workout once per week without resting! 2-arm swing: the Classic beginner movement Using two hands on the kb, let your hips fall back. Remember to keep your back in a tight straight line. Create a forward momentum on the bell by snapping your hips back into full extension. Remember not to hyperextend your back or hips during this movement. Try not to "dip" into a quarter or half squat. 1-arm swing: Classic Russian swing Start with the right side or your dominant arm to get comfortable swinging with one arm. Remember to hold on tight! Keep the other arm up at your side. Avoid twisting at your hips. Be sure to keep the kb moving down your center line, not to one side or the other. 1-Arm Clean If you are familiar with a clean, then you'll know where we want this one to finish. At the top of the swing, pull the kb in towards your upper chest. At the same moment, "catch" the bell with your arm, using the top of your elbow and forearm. Confused? Check out the video! Loop each clean by dropping the bell quickly into it's original swing path. You'll have to work on coordination with a lighter kettlebell before this becomes comfortable and natural. The Windmill Ideal for those with poor flexibility and weak abdominals. 10 of these beats 100 sit ups any day! With the kb in a fully extended position, keep your knuckles facing the ceiling. Reach out with the other arm for balance. Place your feet comfortably apart, then point your toes away from the arm with the kb. (If your right arm is in use, you'll be dipping to the left, so point your feet that way!) keep the elbow locked and slowly reach towards your opposite foot. Keep your eyes on the bell! Snatch Getting used to the kb snatch takes time. Starting with a classic 1-arm swing, the bell finishes fully extended, overhead. It should be resting on the back of the wrist, having flipped around at the last moment. Use a powerful high pull on the kb during the swing. In one sweeping motion: - Pull the elbow to bring the kb towards the side of the head - Open up the hand and elbow, extending the kb upwards - Allow your hand to travel the handle, placing the bell portion on the back of the wrist Pause for a moment at the top of the snatch as the kb stops its flight. Then resume the entire swing from the very top position again! Use these techniques to perfect your strength and conditioning. Expect a stronger back, glutes, hamstrings, and a tighter, stronger shoulder girdle. Master each technique with the help of my video examples!

  • LL Cool J: Fitness Personified

    The first mention of the name "LL Cool J" makes people think about his bulging muscles and ripped body. He's not only a rapper and actor. He's also a fitness enthusiast who inspires people to make health and exercise a priority in their lives.

    When he started out in the music and movie industries, LL Cool J (James Todd Smith in real life), wasn't all that committed to fitness. He would get a workout in every now and then, but didn't really pay attention to what he ate.

    Suddenly, there was urge that came over him. This urge was to become the fittest and healthiest he's ever been, and that involved a tenacious commitment to working out and eating right.

    LL Cool J combines strength training, plyometrics, boxing workouts, callisthenics and endurance training. He uses this combination to build muscle, burn fat and improve physical fitness. For his regular exercise regimen, he resorts to circuit training. Since he's an actor and rapper with numerous commitments, this circuit training routine is advantageous because it allows for a quicker workout. Not only that, the routine also maintains his heart rate in the fat burning zone and stimulates his muscles to promote the growth he's aiming for.

    Each circuit involves several exercises and LL Cool J doesn't stop until he completes them all. Once he's done with one circuit, he moves on to the next one. An example of his circuit training regimen involves three mini-circuits (two for the chest and one for the biceps). The chest circuit is done twice while the biceps circuit is done thrice. This workout adds up to a total of seven circuits with 20 sets of exercises and it takes around 45 minutes to complete.

    "Working out is a huge investment in yourself and it builds equity in your body," LL Cool J says. "It helps in all your decisions. It helps you negotiate. It clears your mind. It gives you strength to overcome obstacles."

    In 2006, LL Cool J co-authored a book with his trainer Dave "Scooter" Honig entitled LL Cool J's Platinum Workout: Sculpt Your Best Body Ever with Hollywood's Fittest Star. In this book, he also emphasised the importance of eating correctly when trying to achieve your fitness goals. "You simply cannot get the body you want unless you eat the right way. Period," he says. He advises to clear your fridge of junk food such as ice cream.

    LL Cool J's nutritional focus is more on whole grains such as whole-wheat pasta and quinoa as well as lean portions of protein. He even mentioned that he ate up to as many as seven times daily! This is, of course, taking in smaller amounts of food while feeding your body on a regular basis. In terms of drinks, he especially reiterates the importance of chugging on green tea with all of its antioxidant qualities.

    Four years after the release of his first fitness book, LL Cool J released a follow-up entitled LL Cool J's Platinum 360 Diet and Lifestyle. Here are some of the precepts he adheres to and how you can incorporate them into your quest for a healthy life:

    1. Set your goals and stick to them-have a specific strategy or goal to conquer each day. This also applies to your fitness.

    2. Cultivate your imagination-if you can dream it, you can be it. Imagination is a powerful tool as well as a gift. By imagining yourself to be the healthiest you've ever been in your life, as well as following through with a dedicated exercise and eating plan, your dream won't be far-fetched.

    3. When you love what you do, it's not a job-do what you love. The same is true of your regimen at the fitness centre. Do exercise routines that you find enjoyable.

    4. Limitations are a figment of your imagination-"If your ultimate goal is to bench press 200 pounds, find out what you can realistically do right now, and set your first goal at 10 pounds more than that. Once you master that level, reset your goal and repeat the process until you achieve your goal of bench pressing 200 pounds," says LL Cool J.

    5. Face your fears-LL Cool J says "Sometimes life requires you to step away from what's familiar to you, from what's safe, in order to go after what you truly desire." With that, you don't have to settle for flopping on the couch all day, munching on fries and sipping on sodas. Conquer your fears and live your fitness dreams.

    To sum up, LL Cool J goes on to say that "The four quadrants are health (exercise and diet), business (going after your dreams and working toward them), family and friends (spending time with them and enjoying them) and the spiritual (giving to charity and being grateful). It's like a scale."

    Finally, the next time you feel discouraged in achieving your goals, LL Cool J has one thing to say.

    "Dreams don't have deadlines."

  • Caffeine and Sprint Performance

    Use caffeine to improve performance during your workout? Researchers examine the effect of caffeine on sprinting performance.
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