1. Using Your Gym Membership to Improve Body and Mood

    August 10, 2013


    Warning (from the editor) – Date: March 20, 2014: Recent studies demonstrated possible link between testosterone replacement supplements and prostate cancer. Please consult your physician before implementing any recommendations from the article below.


    Working hard at the gym is a great way for people to blow off steam and feel rejuvenated. Those who spend their time lifting weights, working muscle groups, and exercising are known to live happier lives. Through the use of creative routines, people are able to change up their gym workout and create an exciting and effective regimen that will yield more results over time. Utilizing different machines and routines can yield results that simply cannot be had anywhere else, promoting proper muscle growth and toning a body to look fit and in shape. Variety and change is highly important in the gym and allows the body to get a full workout that allows it to heal and become stronger in an all-encompassing way.

    Variety is also important in your nutritional intake as well. Talk with a personal fitness trainer, or a nutritionist if possible to establish a nutrition plan that will improve recovery time, and help you achieve your goals. Nutrition plays a key role in our mood while we are lifting too. For instance if your glutamine levels drop to low you can experience depression, or if you are exercising too regularly or too hard you may experience a spike in your cortisol levels that cause adrenal fatigue. Your nutrition plan should expect to encounter some of these issues and you should have a way to prevent them from happening just by planning on what food and supplements you are planning to consume. your nutritionist should be able to help you with meal planning and helping you select the right supplements for your body. Typically they will ensure that if you are trying to gain lean muscle mass that you take in at least 3 grams of protein for every pound of body weight and they will encourage a 1.5 grams of carbs per pound of body weight. If you are a male they will also have you take some form of Tribulus or Tonkat ali which are both scientifically proven to boost testosterone levels. Also if you are a vegetarian they may encourage you to take a protein shake. These are just some examples of ways, in which a nutritionist can help you put some health variety into your nutrition to balance out your workout routines.

    Tim Montgomery’s experience is a true testimonial of the benefit of differing workouts. Tim suffered from muscular dystrophy and had a hard time building a workout routine that stuck. The trainers at his local gym suggested variety that accommodated his health conditions on a day to day level. Acknowledging the need for a variety of work outs allowed Tim to get into shape. Tim’s trainers had him utilize machines and cardio routines such as running and jogging to shape and define Tim’s muscles. He became strong in stature, and more defined. Tim’s system allowed him to carry on living a productive and healthy lifestyle with higher levels of testosterone from his ingeniously developed workout routine. With variety, the body is always on its toes pumping out testosterone and becoming stronger.

    Creating a variety of workouts doesn’t allow for the body to become accustomed to a routine, which means constantly getting stronger and building muscle. Short intense workouts allow people to be involved in their workouts, build body mass, and spur on testosterone. Testosterone allows the body to become more masculine and ready for physical tasks. Variety is not just he spice of life but it is the spice of workout routines. Utilizing variety is a great way to maintain a healthy lifestyle that encourages body development and growth. Testosterone contributes largely to muscle growth and finding ways to encourage production will help a healthy workout process. Increasing testosterone will boost results, which ultimately allows men to perform better in the gym. Changing a routine is one of the best ways to boost testosterone levels and prepare yourself for the best workout possible.

    Switching between different exercise routines is a great way to build muscle and to stay healthy. Changing things up is a great and easy way for anyone to improve their health and overall fitness by trying new workout moves and equipment that improve strength. Doing this will not only tone your body but attract more social attention as well. Let’s face it, everyone loves positive feedback about their body, it’s a compliment and great encouragement to keep in the back of your mind as you workout. Toning a body by building testosterone and changing up routines is a highly rewarding experience that can easily be enjoyed through a large quantity of methods. Utilizing all of the information on hand properly is highly important and can lead to a great routine and healthy lifestyle like never before. Building a healthy body is as easy as changing it up!

    So What Muscles Should I Focus On?

    First, you need to break down the types of the three largest muscle groups found in the human body. The Skeletal muscles or striated muscle group are responsible for body movements. Skeletal muscles make up over 600 body muscles, in varying sizes and shapes, in addition to the cardiac muscles, and the smooth muscle groups. When we speak of the largest muscle groups in the human body, these muscles have to be larger muscles because each muscle group has a significant job.

    • The Gluteus Muscles are responsible for hip extensions and lateral rotation. If not for the Gluteus Muscles, you would not be able to stand upright. The Gluteus Maximus and Gluteus Minimus are the muscles with the most density and thickness.
    • The Latissimus Dorsi, another large muscle group, is responsible for keeping the arms attached to the trunk of the body. The Latissimus Dorsi starts at the spine and stretches from the thoracic vertebrae to the sacrum, wrapping around the back. This muscle attaches to the upper arms.

    Running from the outside of the hip to the upper leg, to the inside of the knee is a muscle called the Sartorius. The Sartorius Muscles allow the legs to cross and connect the pelvic area to the inner part of the knee by stretching around the front of the thigh. Without the Sartorius muscle, you could not flex your legs or walk. This muscle controls your leg movements and needs to be strong.

    The testosterone hormone works to build harder muscle, increases stamina, mental alertness, immunity, improves mood, energy, libido, strength and self-confidence. Weight lifters all need testosterone supplement to achieve their goals. Another nutritional supplement would be an appetite stimulant. A weight lifter has to increase their caloric intake of protein, fresh vegetable and fruits. If your appetite is not up to par, this supplement will give you the desire of increased and required food intake, especially proteins.

    If you are a fitness fanatic, you must read about these muscle groups, the importance and function of each group, and the natural way to build new muscle mass. You must supply the body with the right natural foods and supplements in the right amount to achieve healthy goals. Whether your fitness goals are to lose weight, gain weight, build a leaner body, build harder muscle, tone muscle groups, increase your stamina and strength, increase energy, tone up mental alertness, refurbish immunity, improve your mood, and self-confidence, it makes no difference. Everyone has different goals; however, there is only one pathway towards these goals.

    Image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jduty/3778676832




  2. Core Fitness Principles – Arousal

    March 16, 2013

    by Jake Norton

    exercise and fitness

    Image Credit: Marcos Vasconcelos

    When most people think of arousal, the mind immediately reverts to something sexual. The truth is that, put simply, arousal is the amount of attention the mind or body is giving to a particular stimulus.

    For all activities there is an optimal arousal level and this directly affects decision making speed or focus level. A high level of arousal will increase blood flow and therefore oxygen flow into the brain, neural and muscular systems and stimulates adrenaline production. This is commonly known as getting nervous or being ‘stressed’. In sports performance it is often a case of knowing what to concentrate on and focusing attention on these factors. Concentration can vary in both intensity and focus.

    Some people have high arousal levels prior to performance or competition and this can positively or negatively affect sporting performance as muscular tension, decision making ability, concentration, rhythm and coordination are affected by arousal levels.

    Arousal is important at all levels of competition; it can be the difference between winning and losing an event. A golfer or darts player would do better reaching their optimal arousal levels while lower on the scale where the muscles are more relaxed and the player is able to take a narrow focus. In competitive team and individual sports like squash or football the optimal arousal level would be higher.

    An individual with low arousal levels may exhibit concentration levels similar to someone who has just woken up. Their movements may be sluggish and inaccurate, reaction times slow and they may display poor decision making. With muscular tension and concentration too low, delayed reactions and low force production are the result because the performers have less capacity to respond to relevant sensory information.

    Even though increased muscular blood flow is beneficial to sporting performance, excessive muscular tension can cause stiffness and effect general movement and reaction times and force production in the performer. Excessive arousal may also lead to hypersensitivity to irrelevant stimuli and the performer led to distraction and this can reduce rhythmic ability and coordination in performance.

    A performer is able to prepare for high ‘stress’ situations by identifying relevant cues and practicing scenarios or producing a plan of what to do in particular situations. Debriefing with a coach or team-mate following an event may assist in seeing where performance may be improved. Video analysis is also very useful in seeing where a player may need to work on arousal levels.

    Emotions (anxiety and excitement) play a large role in an athlete’s performance. anxiety can be characterised as feelings of nervousness and tension with excitement displaying as liveliness and optimistic thoughts of success. Both can have positive and negative effects on performance as excessively high arousal can cause both relevant and irrelevant cues to be ignored and performance to deteriorate as a result.

    Goal setting and routine can be beneficial to athletes as they can assist in maintaining concentration through an event. These goals may relate to points scored, defensive play or technique. Word cues can also be used by athletes to stimulate (“run harder”) or calm (“breathe”).