I think you probably can’t guess which muscle in your body is the number one muscle that eliminates back and joints pain, anxiety and looking fat. This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked. If this most powerful primal muscle is […]
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The latest anabolic innovations to your favorite supplement.
By Adam M. Gonzalez, PhD, CSCS, CISSN
Protein powder continues to be one of the most effective and well-established supplements for building muscle, burning fat, and improving overall health. Consumer demand and painstaking research has lead to several innovations in the last few years. Some modest tweaks simply reflect the attitude of the buyer and a desire for convenience, while other developments represent years of scientific discovery and hard-earned lessons from the trenches. Together, these new innovations in the protein-powder market are a good indicator of the future of sports supplements.
Native Whey Proteins
All proteins start as long strands of amino acids constructed into highly specific three-dimensional shapes. A protein in its native state has a properly folded structure and the protein integrity is fully conserved. This is in contrast to the denatured state, in which the structure is disrupted and the strands of amino acids begin to unravel. Most whey protein powders undergo two processes of filtration and pasteurization. Native whey protein eliminates the second filtration process in effort to provide the pure native proteins from milk.
Several high-quality whey protein supplements are now manufactured as primary products of milk rather than as a by-product of cheese manufacturing. Native whey protein comes from milk rather than cheese. The filtration process can affect protein structure by altering the molecular interactions in the native proteins, which could potentially alter the digestibility of the protein. All whey protein sold in the United States needs to first be pasteurized, which means the whey protein will be exposed to a level of heat that may cause changes in some of the proteins. However, native whey only goes through one high-heat pasteurization process (other types of protein are pasteurized twice). All of the remaining processing steps to native whey proteins are
For the last several years steady-state cardio has been the redheaded stepchild of the fitness community, with most people rallying around high-intensity interval training for its purported benefit of burning more calories in a shorter period of time. A new study published in The Journal of Strength And Conditioning Research shows that HIIT might not be the magic calorie-burning bullet everyone thinks it is.
Researchers examined the number of calories burned during exercise and the three hours afterward when a group of recreational athletes performed three separate workouts: Steady-state cardio for 30 minutes, HIIT (four four-minute intervals with three minutes between), and sprint training (six 30-second efforts.) At the end of the experiment, the researchers found that even taking into account the much-hyped “afterburn effect” that comes with HIIT, the steady-state group burned just as many calories as those who participated in more intense cardio.
With all of the health-promoting and restorative effects of submaximal cardio, it might be time to start going long and slow(ish) a few times a week.
Scientists are discovering that short bouts of intense laziness are almost as bad for you as some sessions of HIIT are good for you. Research presented at the meeting of the Sedentary Behavior Research Network in Sydney, Australia, shows that subjects who sat for five consecutive hours took an immediate hit to their metabolic health.
Circulating insulin and glucose levels were 20 percent higher in those who stayed in their seat for the equivalent of one and half average NFL games, compared to those who got up and took a light walk one to two hours into the couch session. Elevated insulin levels prompt the body to store fat while chronically pumped-up levels of glucose can lead to increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and more. The good news is, just three two-minute walks an hour can stop a lot of that metabolic damage.
This relatively painful intensity technique can lead to rapid gains in size.
By Vince Del Monte
This month I want to talk about a technique I’m currently employing inside my eight-week training cycle that has me doing—wait for it—just one all-out set per workout, per bodypart.
The technique is called “mechanical advantage drop sets” or MADS (which is a great acronym I thought I invented until I did a quick Google search). Before diving into MADS, let’s define drop sets so we’re on the same page. A drop set is when you perform a given exercise to the point of concentric failure, and then change a variable in a way that allows you to extend the set into what I call “The Hurt Box.”
You are likely familiar with drop sets that include decreasing the weight once you hit fatigue so that you can chase some extra reps with a lighter load. This is a good technique in my opinion, but not a great technique. Drop sets are also known as “strip sets,” and it’s likely one of the first mass-gaining techniques you’ve experimented with during your early days of your muscle-building journey. However, as the years go on, the “gains train” starts to slow down and we start looking for more advanced methods to continue our quest for a bigger and stronger body.
That’s where MADS comes in, and in a moment I’ll give you my own MADS upper-body training program so you can put this bad boy to the test. The “mechanical” in MADS refers to a change in body position, which applies to increasing or decreasing leverage. For instance, you’ve likely noticed it’s easier to do a squat with your feet wider versus narrower. It’s easier to perform a bench press on a decline instead of incline. It’s easier to perform a
Expert advice to your questions about training, nutrition, recovery, and living the fitness lifestyle.
Chris: Is there an ideal length/method for fat-burning cardio? I’ve been mixing basketball, biking, and walking for 30 minutes a day. Should I be doing more or something different?
Alexander Juan Antonio Cortes: Over the course of a fat-loss phase of dieting, I’d generally recommend refraining from using cardio as means for fat loss for as long as possible. Once you begin using it, though, cardio for burning body fat is a question of sustainability more than it is any single method of cardio being “best.”
If you’re using cardio to sustain a calorie deficit, then aerobic cardio is generally going to be the most manageable. It’s low impact, can be done a variety of ways, and is the least depleting energy-wise.
If you’re trying to rapidly increase body fat loss however, and want to tap into stored fat in the most time-efficient way possible, then interval training or high-intensity interval training would be your best options. Intervals and HIIT can create a powerful metabolic effect, but these workouts are very draining and generally can’t be done more than three times a week.
Thomas: Are there any supplements that I can take help to burn body fat, other than caffeine?
AJAC: Yes, absolutely there are. While fat loss is a question of diet, it would be short-sighted to say that there are no supplements that can speed up the process. As a disclaimer, there is no quantifiable way to say “how much” any of the following supplements increase fat burning in the real world, but they definitely work. This is also not medical advice of any kind. That prefaced, the following are very effective fat burners.
Yohimbine—Yohimbine done with fasted cardio can be a powerful fat-burning tactic, but be aware: Yohimbine