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Bodybuilding

  • If a standard WPI powder has amino acids in it, why do we need creatine (an amino acid) as an additional supplement?

    An amino acid is any class of compound of the general chemical formula RCH(NH2)COOH.  The term "amino" refers to the nitrogen component of that molecule.  Only around 20 different amino acids are found in proteins in organisms - there are many amino acids that do not compose protein molecules.

    WPI powders are derived from dairy and will contain the amino acids naturally found in proteins.  However creatine does not form part of a protein molecule.  Whilst it conforms to the general chemical formula of an amino acid, it is not a part of your standard WPI powder (unless of course it has been added in during processing).

    We don't need creatine as an additional supplement, however creatine monohydrate has been well researched as an ergogenic aid for over 10 years.  Personally I rank creatine monohydrate as one of my top 5 supplements.  There are many other creatines on the market, but stick with your basic creatine monohydrate since every other creatine has next to no research to back it up.

  • Why is breathing properly important when lifting weights?

    Whenever exercising, you need to find a normal breathing pattern - particularly with your weight training.

    By holding your breath (otherwise known as the Valsalva manoeuvre) your blood pressure can reach dangerous levels.  You may notice this when you are lifting heavy weights and are struggling.

    Normal systolic blood pressure is about 120 mmHg.  Gotshall et al (1999) performed an experiment whereby the participants performed 3 sets of 10RM on the leg press.  The average systolic blood pressure was 238, 268, 293 mmHg for sets 1, 2 and 3 respectively.  On the leg press, systolic blood pressure has been recorded up to 480 mmHg - 4 times the normal pressure!

  • If I were to perform a weights and cardio workout in the one day, when should I perform each workout?

    Whether you are seeking to build muscle or lose fat, I beleive it is essential to perform one workout in the morning and the other at night time.  This will allow optimal recovery in between your workouts and thus allow you to hit each session with passion and intensity.

    Personally I prefer to wake up and begin my 40 minute weights workout around 2 hours after jumping out of bed (excluding warm-up).  By this time I am fully awake and ready to hit the weights hard.  Then I will wait around 10 hours until I perform my HIIT cardio.

    First thing in the morning after a good nights sleep your testosterone levels will be right up there - perfect for a weights session.  Also, since building muscle is a much slower process than losing fat, it's preferable to perform weights first thing when you are fresh.

    That said, some of us just like to do weights in the evening.  If you are one of these people and enjoy doing weights later rather than earlier, stick to this.  The more you enjoy it the higher your intensity and the better your results will be.

  • I started a 12 week challenge and after 2 great weeks I ate one bad thing and I gave up. I have no idea why I do this, because after 2 weeks I was feeling great and already getting comments on my progress. Now, I'm eating badly and not exercising - I can't see the point if I can't stick to it. I really want this to be a lifestyle change.

    You're not alone Shae - a lot of people seem to do this sort of thing.

    The thing is, you need to figure out why. There will be a reason or reasons. Ask your self some questions and give it a bit of time to come up with the answer:

    • Do you REALLY want to do the challenge?
    • WHY do you want to do the challenge?
    • Do you honestly believe that you CAN transform yourself?
    • Also, what obstacles are you likely to come up against, and how can you get around those?

    All this sort of stuff is important to understand - sit down with a pen and paper, and write down your reasons for taking this on, and come up with some goals to strive for - make them realistic, but challenging.

    Once you have this sorted out (and it may take you some time - several days even), you need to make sure that you're ready to start. This means meticulous planning, so that everything is in place to make it easier for you to stick with it. All the practical stuff like food shopping, planning workouts, preparing some meals in advance, etc.

    Make sure that your plans for both food and exercise include things that you enjoy, or you'll never stick with it. Who wants to spend 12 weeks feeling miserable?

    And as you say, it needs to be a lifestyle change - so make your program and diet a base that you can build on, something that only needs a little adaptatation to become the way you live your life.

  • Congratulations Jay, not only on your transformation but your new website. Are you able to provide a snapshot of one of your days, the meals you have and training done all together. I am in week 9 of my first challenge; I am making progress but nothing to write home about. I believe I am going wrong with the eating, you mention 14 meals. Working full time with 3 kids I always like to know how people incorporate eating/training in their lifestyle.

    Hi and thanks for your question!

    Yep I consumed up to 14 meals a day - some people call me crazy but it's all worth it in the end.  A "meal" is what I referred to as each time I consumed something - whether it be supplements and/or food.  Such a diet initially was a bit hard to adjust to, but eventually it was like clockwork - I didn't even think about eating, it was automatic.  Each meal was fairly small, quick and easy.

    Being self employed, an eating plan like mine suited my lifestyle perfectly.  If you're working full time, 14 meals a day might be a bit of an obstacle - depending upon your training, 5-6 meals a day can still be very effective.

    Now during my challenge I varied the diet up quite a bit, depending upon how my results were going.  For example, if my fat loss slowed down, I could eliminate calories across the board.  Below is my diet from week 4 where I was performing a weights session in the morning and a cardio session in the evening.

     

    Time Weight (g) # Food
           
    7.30 AM 50   Oats
      200   Skim Milk
      30   WPI (Protein powder)
      100   Strawberries
      4   Flax
      5   Creatine
      5   L-Glutamine
       

    1

    CLA
       

    1

    Proflex
       

    1

    Vitamin C 1000mg
       

    1

    Vitamin E 400 IU
       

    1

    Multi Vitamin
           
    9.30 AM (PRE) 5   L-Glutamine
      20   WPI
      25   Dextrose
      5   Creatine
      3   GABA
           
    10 AM (TRAIN) 500   Gatorade
           
    11:00 AM (POST) 28   WPI
      25   Dextrose
      5   L-Glutamine
      5   Creatine
       

    1

    1000 mg Vit C
       

    1

    400 IU Vit E
       

    1

    Glucoamine
           
    11.30 AM 28   WPI
      25   Dextrose
      5   L-Glutamine
      5   Creatine
           
    12:00 PM 35   Lean Meat (Tuna/Chicken)
      130   White Calrose Med-Grain
           
    1:00 PM 25   Oats
      20   WPC (Protein Powder)
      200   Skim Milk
      4   Flax Oil
           
    3:00 PM 80   Meat
      90   Kiwi Fruit
          Vegetables
       

    1

    CLA
           
    6:00 PM (POST CARDIO) 28   WPI
      15   L-Glutamine
           
    7:30 PM 80   Meat
          Vegetables
      4   Flax Oil
          Multi Vitamin
           
    10:00 PM 200   Cottage Cheese
       

    1

    CLA
           
    10.30PM 3   GABA
           
    10:45 PM  

    1

    Glucosamine
      5   L-Glutamine
           
    3:00 PM (IF AWAKE) 28   Protein Powder Mix
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