Fitness Supplements 1 Reviews

Medically reviewed by Anthony Dugarte M.D.

Muira Puama bodybuilding

In today’s world, everyone is concerned about their looks. While some go to extreme measures, there’s a simple solution for some – fitness supplements.

Bodybuilding is one of the exercises adopted to pump up muscle and attain an admirable figure. Here is a look at the frequently asked questions regarding body building.

What is Bodybuilding?

When many people hear the word “bodybuilding”, they picture a man with biceps, a six pack, and an entirely muscular figure. This is no longer the case.

Bodybuilding is the use of resistance exercises to control and develop one’s musculature. It implies the use of the force of gravity to oppose the force of your body’s muscles through concentric or eccentric contraction.

Concentric contraction is where your muscles contract while generating force whereas eccentric contraction is where your muscles expand when under tension because of an opposite force greater than what the muscle can handle.

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Benefits of Strength Training

Muscle Mass

Bodybuilding changes the composition of your body in the long-term. When you embark on resistance training, your body grows leaner and stronger. Bodybuilding has proven to be very helpful as you age. As you age, you experience sarcopenia, a loss of muscle strength and mass.

According to the journal Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care, muscular decline starts at the age of 50 years and intensifies after the age of 70 years. Maintaining muscle strength and mass through strength training can help increase the quality of your life as you age.

Bones

Natural bodybuilding also contributes to increased bone density. During resistance training, a stimulus is triggered and your body, in turn, increases your bone density. Your body adapts to any strain on your bones by making them stronger. Aging is associated with a significant decrease in bone strength leading to a condition known as osteoporosis. When bones lose strength, they can easily break or sustain fractures.

If you engage in bodybuilding, you can expect an increase in bone density and a subsequent decrease or reversal of bone loss as you grow older. Weight training is thus helpful in avoiding conditions such as osteoporosis and arthritis.

Mental and Emotional Wellbeing

Bodybuilding helps boost your sense of mental well being while reducing anxiety, and stress. It also increases your self-esteem, confidence, and helps you handle negative emotions appropriately. According to the American Psychological Association, improving your sleep patterns helps fight fatigue and tension.

Risks of Exercise

Omitting Cardio Exercises

When pumping up, you need to have a strong cardio system to help your heart work harder to pump blood throughout the body.

Steroids also affect your heart and can easily result in high blood pressure or a heart attack. Aside from weight training, swim, jog, ride a bike or engage in some form of cardio exercise to strengthen the heart muscle.

Back Pain

Lifting excess weights can cause stress, strain and even back pain. Bodybuilding requires hard-core lifting which in turn stresses your joints and muscles.

Dr. Ben Weitz, a specialist in sports chiropractic, advises bodybuilders to vary the duration and amount of their workouts. The most prevalent bodybuilder injuries affect the knees, shoulders, and lower back. It is also important that you practice proper lifting techniques to avoid back pain or related issues.

Fitness and Exercise Myths and Facts

Getting Strong

Many people have the notion that getting strong only involves building muscle by lifting as much weight as possible in any given training session. However, Stuart Phillips and the research team from McMaster University in Hamilton, disagree with this line of thought. According to a study conducted by Phillips, men in their 20s were brought to lift weights with their legs.

The weights ranged from 30 to 90 percent of the maximum weights the subject was capable of lifting. Phillips compared biopsies from their legs muscles after and before each training session. Phillips found that the men who lifted the lightweights until they got tired and could not lift again, experienced a great increase in new muscle proteins as opposed to those who lifted the heavier weights. Hence, participants had no problem getting strong. According to Phillips, the best way of building muscle is to lift the manageable weight until you are exhausted.

Muscle Memory

Muscle memory is another topic that arises in the subject of bodybuilding. The notion is that when a person attains a certain level of muscle mass or strength for the first time, it is easier to do it again even after they take a break from weightlifting. According to Kristian Gundersen, from the University of Oslo (Norway), muscle goes through permanent change when one is training.

A study conducted by Gundersen and his colleague focused on mice. The synergist or leg muscles in one leg of mice were cut to increase the effort of the remaining muscles.

After a short while, it was noted that the nuclei in the fibers of the other leg muscles had increased significantly. Gundersen’s team later cut off the nerve supply of the bulked up muscle. A few months later, they found that the number of nuclei in the leg muscles was the same.

Gundersen’s team concluded that the nuclei of the muscle fibers are crucial in producing new muscle protein. They further claimed that after training for a while, the potential to increase muscle remains with you for life.

Nutrition for Exercise and Fitness

To attain muscle through bodybuilding, you have to combine weight training with good eating habits. Lifting weights involve breaking down muscle tissue. For you to repair and grow your muscles, you require nutrition. A diet packed with nutrient-dense foods and fat, carbohydrates, and proteins, is the key to attaining muscles.

Animal Protein

According to Harvard Medical School, the recommended amount of protein is about one gram of per pound of body weight. Although the recommended daily allowance for protein is half a gram for the average person; athletes and weight lifters may need more based on their goals. One of the best source of protein is lean animal protein since they provide the body with essential amino acids.

Carbohydrates

Some in the wellness community recommend 2-3 grams of carbohydrates per body weight. Carbohydrates are second to proteins in promoting muscle growth. Carbohydrates are reserved in your body in the form of glycogen and help keep your muscles packed. The best sources of carbohydrates are slow digesting foods such as beans, whole grain, oatmeal, and sweet potatoes.

Fats

Most diets state fats account for about 30% of your daily calorie intake. Fats are important in maintaining testosterone levels which consequently helps build muscle mass and strength. Red meat is a source of saturated fats whereas fatty fish are a good source of polyunsaturated fats.

Nuts contain monounsaturated fat which is essential for muscle building. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, most nuts have 50 percent fat and between 4-6 grams of protein per ounce. Nuts promote hormone production and heart health. Almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, pistachios, and unroasted nuts should be included in your bodybuilding meal plan. Alternatively, you can eat peanut butter or almond butter.

Vegetables

Brightly colored and dark green leafy vegetables are essential for bodybuilders since they contain phytochemicals which protect them against illness. Greens are a good choice to add to a post-workout shake or meal to help with muscle repair. Include a variety of vegetables in your meal.

Creatine

Creatine is generally considered a safe and effective supplement. Use between 3-5 grams of creatine with your workout drinks. Creatine supports lean muscle growth, improve your strength in the gym, and produce significant results during workouts without any side effects.

Fitness and Exercise Schedule For Men

Most bodybuilding workout timetables are split into five days, in which a person trains one part of the body each day for five days a week. This strategy ensures you give each muscle group enough attention, allowing it a whole week to recover before you exercise it again. There are different ways of grouping your muscles for a five-day training timetable. One common method is setting aside a day for legs, chest, back, shoulders, and arms.

Warming Up

The average adult should put in 150-300 minutes of aerobic exercises every week. You can exhaust some of this time during your bodybuilding session. Warm up your muscles with some aerobic exercises to make your training easier.

Legs

Experts recommend that you start your training session with leg exercises. The main reason is that leg training is the hardest workout; therefore, it should be done when you have high energy levels. Begin with five sets of heavy squats. Many are wrong to believe that squats are bad for the back or knee.

When done in proper form, squats are very effective in strengthening and growing leg muscles. Next, leg press, calf raises, and hamstring curls, for a few sets each of between 8 and 20 repetitions. Both leg press and squats are ideal for building muscle mass and promoting lean muscle growth. Getting strong involves exceeding your leg press goals and goals for squats.

Chest

According to bodybuilder and strength coach John Meadows, it’s best to start your chest workout with dumbbell presses. After the dumbbell presses, move to the machine press, then do the dumbbell flyes, and finish with the bench presses. Meadows advice is doing bench presses last because the joints are warmed up and you are less likely to suffer from elbow or shoulder injuries.

Back

After the chest workout, rest on day three then train your back the following day. Begin with a deadlift. This exercise is effective in building strength and muscle around your middle and lower back. According to Jim Smith, a strength coach, you need to maintain perfect form when you are deadlifting. You need to ensure your abdomen is tense, your back is arched, and bar remains close to your body. Perform, 3-5 reps. After that, perform barbell or dumbbell rows, and finally, do some chin-ups.

Shoulders

Start with the standing military press. Do a few lateral raises, barbell shrugs, and reverse flys. In each of these exercises, ensure your tempo is slow, your weights are between light and moderate, and each repetition remains in the top position for between 1-2 seconds.

Arms

The arm workout is the least demanding exercise; therefore, it should be performed at the end of the week. Combine biceps and triceps exercises for best results. This means interchanging a set of biceps exercises with a set of triceps exercises. Perform hammer curls or traditional curls for the biceps/forearms, close grip bench press for the chest, and push downs for the triceps.

Fitness and Exercise at Any Age

Fitness and exercise is not restricted by age; however, weight training puts enormous strain on the body which reacts differently depending on one’s age. Body changes that affect how you react to body building occur between the ages of 20 and 50 years.

Children and Teenagers

It is recommended that children do not begin bodybuilding until they reach the age of 20 years, at which time their skeletons and muscles are fully grown. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, medical evaluation is necessary for weightlifters under the age of 20 years before they embark on a strength-training regimen.

Some research recommends young weightlifters perform cardio exercises and avoid intense weightlifting until their bodies mature. Some young, inexperienced bodybuilders suffer from lower back muscle strains injuries.

Young Adults

The ages between 20 and 30, when most people are full grown, is the perfect time to engage in fitness and exercise. During this time, you can lift the most weight within the shortest recovery time. Young adults should exploit this opportunity to bulk up.

An adult aged 20 years recovers from an intensive workout after two days while a man aged 30 years recovers from the same workout after four days. Although these recovery periods vary depending on an individual. According to Livestrong.com, beginners who lift lighter weights take only two days to recover whereas those heavy lifting weights may take up to seven days regardless of the age of the individual.

Adults Aged Between 30 and 49

At the age of 30, muscle recovery and strength starts to diminish because of aging. According to Exercise Prescription on the Internet, muscle mass starts to decrease by 10 percent at the age of 20 and afterward continues declining at the rate of 1 percent every year.

As a result, muscle recovery time after intense weightlifting increases from four days at the age of 30 years to seven days by the age of 50 years. Forcing your body to work out as it did during your younger years may result in injury. This is the perfect age for focusing on strength and health and not muscle mass. An ideal solution for adults aged 30-49 is training crossfit. Crossfit incorporates total-body exercise; while focusing on proper nutrition.

Adults Above 50 Years

As you continue to age, bone, muscle, and connecting tissue decrease with hormone production. Bodybuilding slows down this effect. There are professional bodybuilders who are beyond 50 years and still competing. Bodybuilding benefits for older people include youthfulness and strength.

Bottom Line on Fitness Supplements

There are many benefits to adding nutrition, fitness and exercise to your weight management regimen. Many people think about huge personalities with perfect bodies when the word bodybuilding comes up. There is more that goes into bodybuilding than meets the eye. Apart from improving your physical appearance, weightlifting has psychological and emotional advantages.

However, weight training is not without its risks and anyone willing to engage in this practice should consult a doctor or training expert. Furthermore, for best results, weight training should be performed with the considerations of diet and age in mind.

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