The top Post workout drink!

Featured Model: Virginia's own- Pham "Keepittite04"

Drink A Pint of Chocolate milk & Get Ripped!

Could chocolate milk be the new cheaper alternative to all of the expensive protein shakes on the market? I've been coming across it a lot lately and found out why it may do the job just as well if not better.

Protein shakes are very popular, especially among people who lift weights. Protein aids in the recover of the muscles because when we lift weights, we are basically causing rips/tears in the muscles. When they repair, they grow bigger. Protein helps to speed up the muscle recovery. At least that is what I get from reading about it.

Benefits of Chocolate Milk as a Recovery Drink

* Milk's mix of high-quality protein and carbohydrates can help refuel exhausted muscles.
* Research suggests it may reduce exercise-induced muscle damage.
* Helps reduce lactic acid levels in the blood.
* Milk also provides fluids for rehydration and minerals like calcium, potassium and magnesium that recreational exercisers and elite athletes alike need to replace after strenuous activity.

It seems like a good alternative if you want to save money and have no preference in your sport drinks.


Milk contains many good nutrients like protein, calcium and other minerals. Milk contains two types of protein ie: casein(80%) and whey(20%). We get those whey protein powders from processing of milk & cheese, whey is extracted and collected. The difference in casein and whey is casein protein is slowly digestible whereas whey protein digests faster, perfect for before and after training.

After a strenuous workout, your muscles need a fast recovery drink and whey is highly favored due to its fast absorption into our digestive system and its release of amino acids in the muscle cells for fast repair of muscle fibers and growth of muscle tissues.

Milk is a good drink but I think after a workout, it might not represent the best kind of recovery drink, but might still help a bit because it still contains some whey protein.

Before bedtime, when your body will be without nutrients for several long hours, casein protein is recommended. milk is the better drink choice compared to a whey protein shake. The slow release of casein proteins from milk into the digestive system will ensure your body does not get into muscle catabolism.

Creatine For Real Results!

I don’t usually like to write whole articles about supplements because I believe diet and training to be far more important than any combination of supplements. However there are a few supplements that work, creatine being the most notable of all of them.

It is the best selling supplement ever, period. Creatine sales totaled over 100 million dollars in last year alone! These sales were to everyone from middle scholars to the elderly. With this recent rush of creatine madness there has also been a wave of misinformation. I cannot believe the things I hear people say about creatine’s effectiveness, about how it works, and about it’s safety. There is some information floating around out there that is just untrue, well never fear, I am here to combat misinformation so here it goes.
What is it?

Creatine is a combination of three different amino acids, glycine, arginine, and methionine. That’s it, it is nothing more than a combination of amino acids. I don’t know how many people I hear talk about creatine and call it a steroid! I almost flip my lid when I hear it. Steroid? If that were the case it there would be a lot more 200+ pound people out there. No creatine is not a steroid, it is totally different and works in a different manner.

Creatine is also produced by the body and found in high protein sources of meat such as fish and red meat. It is NOT a lab synthesized compound, it is natural.

How Does it Work?

After creatine enters the body (or after it is produced by the body) it firsts binds with a phosphate molecule to form Creatine phosphate. Now here is where I’m going to lay a bit of biochemistry on you so I’ll do my best to keep it simple. ATP (Adenine Tri-Phosphate) IS the body’s energy source. When your body oxidizes carbs, protein, or fat it is doing this process in order to produce ATP. ATP is responsible for driving almost every body process there is. Hell ATP is even involved in creating ATP. ATP works like this… Energy is needed to drive bodily process. ATP provides this energy by hydrolyzing a phosphate group.
The Process

When a phosphate group is hydrolyzed, energy in the form of heat is given off and this energy is used to drive whatever process is being performed, for example muscle contraction. Because one phosphate has been lost from the ATP it is now called ADP (adenine Di-phosphate). The reaction is as follows ATP (hydrolysis)=ADP + Energy. Now you have free ADP as a product from the ATP hydrolysis. ADP is pretty much useless in the body unless it is converted back into ATP. Now this is where creatine comes into play. The phosphate bound creatine donates it’s phosphate group to the ADP to re-form ATP! I assume you see where this is going now.

By allowing you to return ADP to ATP creatine will increase your ATP stores, thus allowing you to train harder and longer.Creatine is a combination of three different amino acids, glycine, arginine, and methionine.

Fuel Source

Another benefit of creatine is that creatine itself is a fuel source. In fact your body’s first choice of energy when performing anaerobic activity (such as weightlifting) is your creatine phosphate stores. By supplementing with creatine phosphate you will increase these stores, thus giving you more energy for your workouts. There is another anabolic property that creatine holds and this is it’s ability to hydrate muscle cells. When muscle cells are hydrated a few things happen. The most notable being an increase in protein synthesis. The second being an increase of ions into the cell. Since the cell is holding more water, it can also hold more ions since the ions will follow water into the cell in order to keep the concentration the same.

When more ions are present in muscle cells (the most important being nitrogen) muscle protein synthesis also increases.

How Safe is Creatine?

Since creatine has only been recently introduced to the market it is hard to determine whether or not there will be long term health effects from it’s use. However it must be noted that to date there is not one, I repeat not one reputable study that shows creatine has any dangerous side-effects. After eight years with no severe side effects I believe that one can begin to assume that creatine is relatively safe.

I find it funny that most people I meet that are concerned about creatine’s safety are also people who like to go out and drink and smoke on weekends… try to find the irony in that.

Is it Necessary to Load on Creatine?

No it is not necessary to load but it can help you see results faster. You see to get the full benefit of creating you must saturate your muscle cells with it. Using a small dose (5g), this will take up to thirty days depending on the individual’s lean body mass.

However using a loading dosage of 15-25g per day for 5 days, one can quickly saturate the muscle cells in this time period and then use a maintenance dosage (3-5g) for the remainder of their time taking creatine.

Is it Necessary to Cycle Creatine?

Once again it is not necessary to do so but it can help. Your body has an internal equilibrium which you can swing in your favor for a duration of time, but over time that equilibrium will eventually swing back. Meaning taking excess creatine for a short period of time (4-8 weeks) may temporarily increase your creatine phosphate stores but after awhile your body’s feedback mechanisms will likely place some time of control on creatine phosphate storage to bring the levels back down to normal. This mechanism may be to decrease your body’s own production of creatine or to downgrade the number receptors that admit creatine into the cell. Taking time off from creatine can help bring your body’s equilibrium back into a state where in taking excess creatine will be beneficial again.

I would like to make clear at this point that I know of no studies to back this theory up with, it could be right or wrong, I am just merely applying my knowledge of biochemistry to a frequently asked question to which there is no good answer to yet.

What is the Best Time to Take Creatine?

There has been much discussion on this but I believe taking creatine post workout is the most beneficial time for several reasons.

1. Insulin helps drive more creatine into muscle cells, if you are a smart bodybuilder then in your post workout meal you should be eating foods that help spike your insulin, if this is the case, then taking creatine with this meal will help it’s uptake into muscle cells.
2. The body absorbs many nutrients better after a workout.
3. Creatine will help refuel your body’s low creatine phosphate stores.

Will Taking Creatine Before a Workout Give Me More Energy?

No, not exactly. Once again for creatine to work your muscle cells must be saturated with it. This takes at least a week to do, so doing it once before a workout will not make a difference. Now if your cells are already saturated with creatine then it will still not make a difference if you take it before you workout. Your body must process it first and that takes time. The creatine your body will use in the upcoming workout will come from the creatine phosphate stores already in the cells, not from the creatine you just ingested.
Does Liquid Creatine Work?

Most certainly not. Creatine degrades over time in water into it’s waste product creatinine which is useless in the body and will simply be excreted. Companies who claim that they have stabilized creatine in a liquid are flat out lying to you. One of these companies (I believe Muscle Marketing USA) had a lab assay done on their liquid creatine and the assay found that it only contained 15% of the creatine on the label claim. I would like to further de-credify these companies by noting that one of the reasons they claim their product is so good is because their creatine does not make your retain water.

WHAT? As I have stated earlier, this is one of the biggest benefits of creatine, this clearly shows their eagerness to prey upon the ignorance of the public.

What is the Best Type of Creatine?

Well if you want the most bang for your buck do not buy the creatine transports! These are enormously overpriced and you can make them yourself at half the price by buying your own dextrose online! A little tip… a mix of 50g whey protein and 50g dextrose has been shown to elicit the same insulin spike as a serving of Cell-Tech, and it is much cheaper I might add.

What happens to your body after a weight training set?

The Aftermath of the "set".

After your set, the acidic environment caused by lactic acid is buffered mainly by bicarbonate, thus rapidly diminishing or eliminating pain before your next one. Simultaneously, fat is burned to produce ATP, which donates a phosphate to creatine and restores creatine phosphate levels, giving you quick energy for another set. The spike in lactic acid levels at the end of your set signals your body to release GH, which enhances fat burning and initiates muscle regeneration and growth. Likewise, testosterone levels have risen during the set, which will further aid the process of muscle regeneration and muscle building.

Cellular damage has also caused the muscle to flood with proteins which further break down the damaged structures.

This starts an inflammatory cascade of white blood cells that serve numerous functions, such as the removal of broken-down muscle tissue so that new and stronger tissue can be built up in its place. That process takes a few days to complete; 24 to 48 hours after your workout, if you suffered enough damage, you will likely feel the effects of calcium and prostaglandins, which build up in the muscle fibers, sensitizing nerve cells that signal your brain and thus providing the lingering ache known as delayed onset muscle soreness.

Boost Tactic

Postworkout, consume 40 g of whey protein and 60-100 g of fast-digesting carbs to enhance muscle recovery and blunt DOMS. Taking 5-10 g of glutamine can help increase GH levels. A massage may speed recovery, as can low-intensity activities (such as walking, cycling and swimming).

Sergio Martinez Middleweight Champion of the world.

According to Goossen Tutor Promotions, ticket sales for the Nov. 20 middleweight
title fight between Sergio Martinez and Paul Williams are off to a great start.

Tickets went on sale this past Friday and already over $450,000 in tickets have been sold. There are still seats available in the $100, $200, $100 and $50 range.

The fight will take place at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey and tickets can bee picked up at the box office or via Ticketmaster.

"Paul and Sergio, two of the best fighters in the world today, fighting each other on the Jersey shore is the biggest fight in boxing this year," stated Dan Goossen. "We've always said, give the fans fights they want to see and they'll be there."

Intercostals & Obliques....

Well-defined and tight abs are the most sough-after body part, because a hard midsection is associated with being in good shape. In order to design a program that will properly stimulate the abs, we first need to take a small anatomy lesson.

When I train my abs I break the abdominals down into four main muscle groups:

1. The Rectus Abdominis (composed of upper and lower abdominals)
2. The Oblique Muscles
3. The Intercostal Muscles
4. The Serratus Anterior

Oblique Muscles Function & Exercises

The external obliques are the muscles at the sides of the waist. The external oblique complex actually consists of three layers of muscles: the internal obliques, the transverse obliques and external obliques. Together, these muscles contract to tilt the torso, as well as twist it, from side to side.

While a bodybuilder would not want massive obliques as this would take away from symmetry and give the illusion of a thick waist, these muscle do need to be trained in order to maintain ideal postural alignment. A great exercise for these muscles is the side bends performed on a swiss ball. Another exercise that also needs to be performed for these muscles in order to exercise its rotating capabilities are the Russian Twists.

The Intercostal Muscles

The intercostals are the muscles of breathing that lie between the ribs and show as bands of muscle angling downward in the sides of the rib cage and the upper abdomen. The intercostals come into play by flexing the torso and causing it to twist, so doing any type of twisting crunch on a swiss ball will stimulate this group maximally.

The Serratus Muscles

The serratus anterior muscles are the finger-like strands of muscle on the rib cage between the front abs and the lats. Their job is to depress the rib cage and also assist in bringing the upper arms from a position pointing directly up from the shoulders to one pointing directly below the shoulders. A good exercise that will stimulate these muscles is the one-arm cable crunches (using an overhead pulley).

How Much, How Often?

Since we have now identified which exercises should be present in our specialized abdominal training routine, let's now figure out how much will we do of each and how often.

Believe it or not, the abdominal muscles are composed mainly of fast twitch fibers. These fibers (as opposed to the slow twitch, endurance type ones), are composed of the strongest types of muscle fibers and are thus designed for short bouts of explosive hard work. Because of this, fast-twitch fibers respond best to heavy weight/low repetition work. Therefore, performing more than 15 repetitions per set on your abdominal exercises will be largely a waste of time!

So for abs, lets keep the repetitions from as low as 5 to a maximum of 15. As far as sets, if you perform days of lower repetitions, you can do as much as 5 sets per exercise, while on higher repetition days you can get away with 3 sets. For abs, you want to mainly concentrate on the intensity of the contraction and you really want to feel the movement. However, ensure that you choose a tempo that allows you to finish all of your repetitions within a time span of 40 seconds.

Typically, as you lower the repetitions and increase the resistance, the lower the tempo should be and the higher the repetitions, the faster the exercise should be performed. Also, as you get stronger, you may want to start adding resistance to your exercises except for the ones that target the obliques. Oblique exercises should be executed with no weights even as the repetitions get lower. On lower repetition days, just concentrate on holding the contraction longer at the peak of the movement.

As far as how often, beginners need to keep in mind that fast twitch fibers take long to recover. Therefore, we need to train these muscles like we train any other muscles and give them the rest they need. Experienced trainers can vary because they understand their bodies...

You think you know, but you dont!

In 1985 I was a 15 year old gym rat. Although I had been boxing since I was nine years old the hardcore bodybuilding gym was a brand new world to me. Dynamic fitness, that was the gym I belonged to all those years ago back in my home town of Edison NJ. around the same time Local boy Rich Gaspari was the number two bodybuilder in the world just behind Lee Haney, he was also a frequent visitor at our gym. So the story goes here I am rowing away probably looking like a fish out of water when next thing I know this monstrous world champion body builder took a few minutes out of his own training to offer me instruction and some positive feedback. a blip in the day & life of that man but those few moments left a lasting impression on me.

I have trained in both boxing gyms & fitness gyms all throughout this country as well as Africa and I have always kept the mind frame of offering help & instruction. THE OTHER DAY I offered my help to a chubby kid in his early twenty's, he laughed at me and told me if he wanted advice he would ask the big guy in the squat rack! I smiled and understood his thinking, as wrong as I think it is. What does a small ripped man with 7% body fat at almost 40 & still boxing & sparring, pushing weight harder, heavier and with more intensity than ever.....what would I know?

I wondered on the ride home what if I had turned away from the hundreds of athletes, gym rats, doctors, nutritionists, fighters, trainers & body builders that I have been privledged to train with, learn from and listen too. What if I had the attitude bigger is better and I don't need anybody? The answer was easy, I would be a ALMOST 40 year old fat guy! So when you think you know, take a minute to listen, we never can stop learning about our fitness, nutrition and supplementing and if you do know, how about a little humility... maybe just maybe a lasting impression could be made. Live fit, be fit!!!


Start heavy and progressively decrease resistance, to shock the muscle.

FIT TIP: Breaking plateaus....
Every other week, pyramid your weight down every set, starting with your heaviest weight on your first set (after a sufficient warm-up) and progressively decreasing your weight and increasing your reps through your last set. In addition, perform a session of drop sets once a week for a month do an exercise to failure, decrease (“drop”) the weight, then keep going until you fail with that weight; continue in this fashion until you’ve finished all sets.

Fat-Burning: The Strongest Clinical Research From around the world

Whatever your doing must not be working. Why else would you be reading this?

You swapped fried chicken for grilled and your treadmill is finally getting more attention than your TiVo. But your body isn’t quite where you want it to be. Don’t worry: Your bag of fat-burning tricks isn’t empty yet. We’ve collected 50 comprehensive tips, all backed by more science than a NASA shuttle launch. By the time you’ve incorporated these fat-burning gems, we’ll have 50 more for you. But by then, you probably won’t need them.

What You Eat
Getting lean obviously relies heavily on a solid nutrition plan. So it should come as no surprise that what and how you eat can have a big impact on your success. Use these 11 food rules to amp up your fat-burning potential.

1. Go Pro
A high-protein diet not only promotes hypertrophy but also enhances fat loss. Researchers at Skidmore College (Saratoga Springs, New York) found that when subjects followed a high-protein diet–40% of total daily calories from protein–for eight weeks, they lost significantly more bodyfat, particularly abdominal fat, than those following a low-fat/high-carb diet. One reason eating more protein may work is that it boosts levels of peptide YY, a hormone produced by gut cells that travels to the brain to decrease hunger and increase satiety.

2. Slow Down
When you reach for carbs, choose slow-digesting whole grains such as brown rice, oatmeal and whole-wheat bread, which keep insulin levels low and steady, and prevent insulin spikes from halting fat-burning and ramping up fat-storing.

A study conducted by researchers at Pennsylvania State University (University Park) found that subjects following a low-calorie diet with carbs coming only from whole grains lost significantly more abdominal fat than those following a low-calorie diet with carbs from refined sources.

3. Get Fat
Not only will certain fats–particularly omega-3s –not lead to fat gain, but they can actually promote fat loss. Eating fat to lose fat seems counterintuitive, but if you keep your fat intake at about 30% of your total daily calories by choosing fatty fish such as salmon, sardines or trout as well as other healthy fat sources such as olive oil, peanut butter and walnuts, you can actually boost your fat loss compared to eating a low-fat diet.

4. Egg You On
Eggs are packed with protein and have been shown to promote muscle strength and mass, and research shows that subjects consuming eggs for breakfast not only eat fewer calories throughout the day but also lose significantly more bodyfat. We recommend eating eggs for breakfast daily, scrambling three whole eggs with three egg whites.

5. Unforbidden Fruit
A study from the Scripps Clinic (San Diego) reported that subjects eating half a grapefruit or drinking 8 ounces of grapefruit juice three times a day while otherwise eating normally lost an average of 4 pounds in 12 weeks, with some test subjects losing more than 10 pounds without dieting. The researchers suggest the effect is likely due to grapefruit’s ability to reduce insulin levels. Try adding half a grapefruit to a few of your meals such as breakfast, lunch and preworkout.

6. Milk It
Dairy products are rich in calcium, which can help spur fat loss, particularly around your abs. This may be due to the fact that calcium regulates the hormone calcitriol, which causes the body to produce fat and inhibit fat-burning. When calcium levels are adequate, calcitriol and fat production are suppressed while fat-burning is enhanced. Adding low-fat versions of cottage cheese, milk and yogurt (Greek or plain) to your diet are great ways to boost protein intake and aid fat loss.

7. An Apple A Day
Apples are a great slow-digesting carb that contain numerous beneficial antioxidants. One group of compounds known as apple polyphenols has been found to boost muscle strength, endurance and even fat loss, especially from around the abs. While apple polyphenols appear to directly decrease bodyfat by increasing the activity of genes that enhance fat-burning and decrease fat production and storage, the boost in endurance and strength can help further fat loss by allowing you to train harder longer.

A typical large apple provides about 200 mg of apple polyphenols and about 30 grams of carbs.

8. Spice It Up
Hot peppers contain the active ingredient capsaicin, a chemical that has been shown to promote calorie-burning at rest as well as reduce hunger and food intake. Its effects are particularly enhanced when used with caffeine, and research also shows that it boosts fat-burning during exercise. Try adding crushed red pepper, hot peppers or hot pepper sauce to your meals to burn extra calories and fat. If you can’t stand the heat, try supplements that contain capsaicin.

9. Go Nuts
A study from Loma Linda University (California) reported that subjects following a low-calorie, higher-fat diet (40% of total calories from fat) with the majority of fat coming from almonds lost significantly more bodyfat and fat around the abs in 24 weeks than subjects consuming the same calories but more carbs and less fat. So be sure to include nuts such as almonds, Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts and walnuts in your diet.

10. Be Multi-Organic
Sure, it’s pricier, but organic beef and dairy are worth the extra bucks. UK scientists found that organic milk had about 70% more omega-3 fatty acids than conventional milk, and a study published in the Journal of Dairy Science found that grass-fed cows produced milk containing 500% more conjugated linoleic acid [CLA) than cows who ate grain. Meat from organically raised cattle also contains higher levels of CLA and omega-3 fats. Since omega-3s and CLA can help you drop fat as well as gain muscle, it makes sense to shell out the extra cash for organic cheese, cottage cheese, milk and yogurt as well as grass-fed beef.

11. Add Some GUAC
Avocados are full of monounsaturated fat, which isn’t generally stored as bodyfat. They also contain mannoheptulose, a sugar that actually blunts insulin release and enhances calcium absorption.

As mentioned earlier, keeping insulin low at most times of day is critical for encouraging fat loss, and getting adequate calcium can also promote fat loss. Try adding a quarter of an avocado to salads and sandwiches.

What You Drink
Beverages can play an important role in your ability to drop fat. Consider sipping or passing on these eight beverages to get extra-lean.

12. Go Green
The main ingredient in green tea, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), inhibits the enzyme that normally breaks down the neurohormone norepinephrine. Norepinephrine keeps the metabolic rate up, so preventing its breakdown helps you burn more calories throughout the day. Drinking green tea is a great way to stay hydrated during workouts, as a new study in The Journal of Nutrition reported that subjects drinking green tea and exercising lost significantly more abdominal fat than those drinking a placebo.

13. In The Black
Green and black teas all come from the same plant, but different processing causes black and oolong teas to lose their green color and turn brownish/black. Oolong tea has been shown to enhance metabolic rate due to polyphenols other than EGCG. Black tea may also aid fat loss: Researchers from University College London reported that black tea consumption can help reduce Cortisol levels, which encourages fat storage especially around the midsection.

14. Be Aqua Man
German researchers have shown that drinking about 2 cups of cold water can temporarily boost metabolic rate by roughly 30%. The effect appears to be mainly due to an increase in norepinephrine.

15. Get Energized
Certain energy drinks have been shown to boost fat loss. University of Oklahoma (Norman) researchers reported in a 2008 study that when 60 male and female subjects consumed a diet energy drink containing 200 mg of caffeine and 250 mg of EGCG from green tea extract for 28 days, they lost more than 1 pound of bodyfat without changing their diets or exercise habits.

16. Whey Lean
Drinking whey protein as a between-meals snack is a smart way to enhance not only muscle growth but also fat loss. UK researchers found that when subjects consumed a whey protein shake 90 minutes before eating a buffet-style meal, they ate significantly less food than when they consumed a casein shake beforehand. The scientists reported that this was due to whey’s ability to boost levels of the hunger-blunting hormones cholecystokinin and glucagonlike peptide-I.

17. Say Soy-Anara To Fat
Soy protein is a proven fat-burner. In fact, in a 2008 review paper University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers concluded that soy protein can aid fat loss, possibly by decreasing appetite and calorie intake. The scientists also found that subjects drinking 20 grams of soy daily for three months lost a significant amount of abdominal fat.

18. Get Thick
When you whip up a protein shake, consider making it thicker by using less water. It could help you feel less hungry while dieting. In a study from Purdue University (West Lafayette, Indiana), subjects drank two shakes that were identical in nutritional content, and reported significantly greater and more prolonged reductions in hunger after drinking the thicker shake.

19. Not So Sweet
Even though artificially sweetened drinks are calorie-free, drinking too many can actually hinder your fat-loss progress. It seems that beverages like diet soda mess with your brain’s ability to regulate calorie intake, causing you to feel hungrier than normal so you eat more total calories.

Other research suggests that the sweet taste of these drinks can increase the release of insulin, which can blunt fat-burning and enhance fat storage.

What Supplements You Take
While whole foods are the key element to getting lean, supplements can provide a potent fat-burning stimulus. Consider using these six supps.

20. Go Even Greener
The majority of studies showing the effectiveness of green tea for fat loss have used green tea extract. One study confirmed that the EGCG from the extract was absorbed significantly better than the EGCG from the tea. Take about 500 mg of green tea extract in the morning and afternoon before meals.

21. See CLA
You’ll also want to add the healthy fat CLA to your supplement regimen. CLA can significantly aid fat loss while simultaneously enhancing hypertrophy and strength gains. Research shows it can even help specifically target ab fat.

22. Go Fish
As mentioned in tip No. 3, the essential omega-3 fats in fish oil promote fat loss, which is enhanced with exercise. This is also true for fish-oil supplements containing omega-3 fats. Take 1-2 grams of fish oil at breakfast, lunch and dinner.

23. You Bet Your Astaxanthin
Japanese researchers reported in a 2008 study that mice supplemented with astaxanthin combined with an exercise program for four weeks saw accelerated fat-burning, greater fat loss and enhanced endurance compared to mice that just exercised. The scientists determined that astaxanthin protects the system that transports fat into the mitochondria of muscle cells where it’s burned as fuel. Take 4 mg of astaxanthin with food once or twice per day, with one dose taken with your preworkout meal.

24. Go Commercial
A 2009 study reported that lifters taking the fat-burner Meltdown by VPX (containing caffeine, synephrine, yohimbine and beta-phenylethyl-amine, to name a few) burned 30% more calories and had a more than 40% increase in markers of lipolysis (fat release from fat cells) for the 90 minutes afterward when researchers measured calorie burn compared to when subjects consumed a placebo. Regardless of the brand of thermogenic you choose, follow label instructions and take the other five supplements mentioned here as well.

How You Lift
The way you weight-train can have a huge effect on how much fat you burn. Consider these eight rules when hitting the iron.

25. Carry More Fat Away With Carnitine
This amino-acidlike compound is critical for carrying fat in the body to the mitochondria of cells, where it’s burned away for good. Research confirms that taking carnitine when dieting can help maximize fat-burning efforts. Take 1-2 grams of carnitine in the form of L-carnitine, L-carnitine L-tartrate or glycine propionyl-L-carnitine.

26. Go Heavy
Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption refers to the increased metabolic rate you enjoy after a workout. Scien- tists at the Norwegian University of Sport and Physical Education (Oslo) analyzed multiple studies and found that training with heavier weights for fewer reps produces a greater rise in resting metabolic rate that’ll last longer compared to training with lighter weights and doing more reps. Although most guys may think they need to train with higher reps to burn more fat, you still want to lift heavy (3-7 reps) some of the time to maximize the calories and fat you burn when you’re not at the gym.

27. Go Light
While lifting heavy does burn more calories post- workout, performing higher reps burns more calories during the workout, as College of New Jersey (Ewing) researchers reported at a 2007 annual meeting of the National Strength and Conditioning Association.(51) Be sure to mix up your training by using lighter weight and higher reps (10-20) during some workouts and heavy weight and low reps (3-7) in others. Another way to get the best of both worlds is to perform four sets of most exercises, doing your first two sets with heavy weight and low reps and the last two with light weight and high reps.

28. Rest Less
Researchers from the College of New Jersey (Ewing) also discovered that when subjects rested 30 seconds between sets on the bench press, they burned just more than 50% more calories than when they rested three minutes.
To maximize fat toss, keep your workout moving by resting less than a minute between sets.

29. Force It
A study on collegiate football players found that using a high-intensity weight program–just one set per exercise for 6-10 reps to failure, plus forced reps and a static contraction for several seconds–caused more bodyfat loss in 10 weeks than a lower-intensity program consisting of three sets of 6-10 reps per exercise taken just to muscle failure. This could be due to a greater hike in growth hormone (GH) in the high-intensity group: In a study from Finland, forced reps boosted GH three times higher than training to failure. Go past failure when trying to get lean by using forced reps, static contractions, rest-pause or drop sets.

30. Be Free
Using free weights, especially in multijoint moves such as the squat, has been found to burn more calories than doing similar exercises on machines like the leg press. Scientists said the difference may be due to the greater number of stabilizer muscles used during multijoint exercises done with free weights.

31. Feel The Need For Speed
Fast, explosive reps burn more calories than the typical slow, controlled reps you’re used to doing in the gym, say researchers from Ball State University (Muncie, Indiana). They believe that because fast-twitch muscle fibers are less energy-efficient than their slow-twitch counterparts, they burn more fuel during exercise. To perform fast reps in your workouts, choose a weight equal to 30`% of your one-rep max (or a weight you can lift for 15-35 reps) for each exercise. Do your first two sets with 3-8 fast reps, then follow with 2-3 sets of normal-paced reps.

32. Be Negative
In one recent study, subjects who performed a negative-rep workout of three sets of the bench press and squat increased their GH levels by almost 4,000%. Since GH frees up fat from fat cells, using negative reps may help you shed extra bodyfat. To add negatives to your routine, either have a spotter help you get 3-5 negative reps after reaching failure on a regular set, or load the bar with about 120% of your one-rep max and have a spotter help you perform five negative reps that take you 3-5 seconds each to complete.

33. Tune In
Listening to your iPod can boost your workout intensity and fat-loss efforts. A study conducted by the Weider Research Group and presented at the 2008 annual meeting of the National Strength and Conditioning Association found that trained subjects listening to their own music selection could complete significantly more reps than when they trained without their preferred music.

How You Run
Cardio, obviously, is a primary component of getting lean. It’s the easiest way to burn the most calories during exercise. Use these rules to help you maximize your fat loss.

34. Go After It
Do your cardio after you hit the weights. Japanese researchers found that when subjects performed cardio after resistance training, they burned significantly more fat than when they did cardio first. The scientists also reported that fat-burning was maximal during the first 15 minutes of cardio following the weight workout, so hit the stationary bike, elliptical machine or treadmill after you lift, even if it’s for just 15 minutes.

35. Hiit It
The best way to burn the most fat with cardio is via high-intensity interval training (HIIT). This involves doing intervals of high-intensity exercise (such as running at 90% of your max heart rate) followed by intervals of low-intensity exercise (walking at a moderate pace) or rest. A litany of research confirms that this burns more fat than the continuous, steady-state cardio most people do at a moderate intensity, such as walking for 30 minutes at 60%-70% of their max heart rates.

ASK AbFitt...Abs from India.

Hi Richard,

I am Amit from India. I have seen your site. I am really impressed by you ab muscles. They are great. I really want a lean body like you.

Presently, I am 10 kg overweight. I am 34, 5 feet 4 inches with weight of 68 kilos. I want a lean body. So please guide me what exercises to perform to remove fat from my abdomen and get a lean and muscular abdomen.



A: Amit believe it or not you also have a six pack, however you need to get your body fat % down to around 9% to see them. To do this you will need to focus on five principles and apply all equally. Most important Amit you will need to do so on a consistent basis, kinda like paying a bill, you just do it.

1) Get your diet in check, eat protein rich foods low in fat & keep an eye on if not eliminate carbs all together.

2) Train with weights, use challenging poundage's and keep your body guessing.

3) Do your cardio!

4) Learn to supplement with a few proven products such as whey protein, creatine, amino acids etc...keep it simple and always keep in mind good foods build lean bodys. Not supplements.

5) Sleep! You need quality sleep to allow your body to rest, repair and recoup.

Good luck-

Creatine and Beta-Alanine For Better Results

The effectiveness of creatine supplementation is well known. Creatine increases lean muscle mass, boosts strength, and provides you with more energy during intense workouts. Combine the effectiveness of creatine with the fact that it has no side effects, and you have a recipe for a best-selling supplement. It can’t get any better then this, right?

Wrong. New research is revealing a synergistic, beneficial relationship between creatine and the popular bodybuilding supplement beta-alanine. A study by Hoffman, J., et al. (2006)1 revealed that a group of males supplementing with the combination of creatine and beta-alanine gained more lean mass and lost more bodyfat than a group supplementing with only creatine. It is also noteworthy to mention that this study was performed on collegiate football players, and not on inexperienced lifters.

Most bodybuilders know quite a bit about creatine. But ask them about beta-alanine, and you’re likely to hear: “Yeah, I’ve heard of that stuff. Never used it, but heard of it.” What is beta-alanine, and what does it do?

Beta-alanine is a natural occurring amino acid that works to improve intramuscular carnosine concentrations. Higher intramuscular carnosine concentrations help to provide you with higher energy levels, and better endurance and athletic performance.

Numerous studies exist that reveal the following benefits of beta-alanine supplementation:

1.Beta-alanine boosts explosive strength and power.
2.Beta-alanine increases muscle mass.
3.Beta-alanine heightens muscular anaerobic endurance.
4.Beta-alanine increase aerobic endurance.
5.Beta-alanine assists you in training harder and longer.
A Beta-Alanine and Creatine Cycle
The benefits of beta-alanine supplementation improve the deeper you get into a cycle. Lifters who supplement with 4 to 6 grams of beta-alanine on a daily basis can expect to increase muscle carnosine by up to 60% after only a month. After an additional 35 days of beta-alanine supplementation, it is possible to add up to 20% more muscular carnosine.

Because the benefits of beta-alanine supplementation get better with time, it may be in your best interest to front load beta-alanine for a couple of weeks prior to beginning your creatine cycle. Creatine is generally utilized for 4 to 12 week periods. For longer creatine cycles, it may not be necessary to front load beta-alanine.

Your daily beta-alanine supplementation should involve taking approximately 800 mgs at least 4 times per day. Beta-alanine has a limited half-life in the body, and the effects of supplementation will be dramatically reduced if this protocol is not followed. Consider taking beta-alanine every 4 hours.

It should also be mentioned that the benefits from beta-alanine supplementation are completely gone 3 weeks after you end your cycle. Carnosine levels gradually return back to normal. For this reason, expect a noticeable decrease in performance when you cycle off a creatine and beta-alanine stack.

Also, it is recommended that you supplement with taurine during and after your beta-alanine cycle. Beta-alanine supplementation is known to deplete taurine levels.

Here is a recap on how to maximize the beta-alanine and creatine stack:

Frequency. Beta-alanine must be taken every 4 hours with approximately 750 to 800 mgs.
Taurine. Supplement with taurine when using beta-alanine.

There is no research revealing any dangers associated with long term beta-alanine or creatine supplementation. It is generally recommended that you stick with a maximum 12 week cycle for both supplements.

ASK AbFitt..."Metabolic Optimizer"?

HI Rich,

Q: I have question about Champion Nutrition's Metabolol II.
They call it a Metabolic Optimizer.

I use it as a recovery after long runs (plus 10 miles) or a hard work out.
I will say that it does make a difference in how I feel afterwords, even to the point where my wife will tell me to take it. (I can't be grouchy can I?)
Anyhow I wanted to get your thoughts on that product.
Thanks Rich,

A: Joe,

Never having used this product I can't give you my opinion on its effectiveness however after reviewing the products ingredients it seems to have a good ratio of protein & carbs as well as all the essential vitamins to help support recovery after intense exercise.

Regardless of what products we choose to use the key is to get protien & carbs into your body ASAP after training, followed by a meal 1 to 1 1/2 hr after that.


Chris Grammes, talks with AbFitt....

1) Q: Give the readers of AbFitt some background information: Name, age, gym.
A: Name: Chris Grammes, Age: 45 Jimmy's Gym, Years Training: 22

2) Q: Tell us how you got started in weight & fitness training.....
A: I believe my interest in weight training & fitness was a direct result of
my involvement in wrestling at the youth, high school, and collegiate
levels. I feel that in order to be competitive in the sport, you need to
focus on your conditioning. Consequently, the transition to weight training
was an easy

3) Q: Can you talk about your current training & cardio routine.
A: My current weight training routine is a bit unusual, but it seems to work
for me. Each day I'll focus on one body part and throw in either abs or
calves between each set I do. For example, I may do a set of pull-ups and
then immediately do a set of abs, without any additional rest between sets.
Typically I'll do anywhere between 14-16 sets per major body part and this
will take me about 45 minutes. My cardiovascular training typically
consists of 15 minutes on the elliptical machine, immediately followed by
30 minutes on the stair climber.

4) Q: A hot topic when we focus on a local is always nutrition. Talk about
your diet & supplementation.
A: As far as nutrition is concerned, I try to maintain a fairly consistent,
regimented diet throughout the year. However, that is not to say that I
don't have a cheat day now and then to satisfy some of my cravings. I've
been eating the same breakfast(1 cup of oatmeal & a protein shake) for as
long as I can remember. Lunch is typically a pouch of tuna accompanied with
some sort of complex carb. I like to have a protein shake prior to training
and also a protein shake immediately following my workout. Dinner typically
consists of chicken breast with vegetables.

Other than a daily vitamin, the only other supplement I'm taking is Nitric
Oxide booster first thing in the morning and prior to training. When I'm
training for a show, I like using MRPs such as Myoplex or Met-Rx. I prefer
the MRPs to whole foods as I feel they're more nutritionally sound and
quite easy to prepare.

5) Q: what are your future goals related to training.
A: I guess my future goal for training would be to constantly improve my
overall conditioning and performance from one year to the next. I might
even like to do another natural bodybuilding show or two before I call it

6) Q: What advice would you give to a beginner in the early stages of
his/her training.
A: My advice to beginners in the gym would be to check your pride at the
door and not worry about how much weight you can throw around. Focus on
your form and range of motion. The strength will definitely follow if you
do this. Set realistic goals and make a plan to reach those goals. Consider
logging your workouts in a training manual. I've done this in the past and
it seemed to help me. Consider finding a workout partner with similar goals
and interests in the gym.

Although I don't prefer a training partner at this time in my life, when I was younger it helped me stay motivated to have someone there pushing me. Finally, don't give into the temptation to use drugs such as steroids or other PEDs. One thing I've always prided myself on is that I'm 100% life-time drug-free. The satisfaction you'll
receive from knowing that you're clean far exceeds the temporary satisfaction a steroid user experiences. This is one topic in the field of weight training that I'm quite passionate about.

7)Q: Any last words?
A: When you go to the gym, you're there to train. Put away the cellphone,
limit your socializing, and focus that day's workout.

12 tips to stay lean & muscular for life

#1 | Take in at least one gram (g) of protein per pound of body weight each day.

That’s the magic number for maintaining a positive nitrogen balance, scientific lingo for creating an environment in your body conducive to muscle growth. When dieting, you may need to increase that number. When your carbohydrate intake remains extremely low for more than four consecutive days, you may need 1 1/2 g per pound of bodyweight; if you train twice a day and do cardio on a daily basis to cut up, you’ll definitely need 1 1/2 g.

#2 | Eat at least 2 g of carbs per pound of bodyweight.

Ripping up requires that you slash both calories and carbohydrates, but sticking to such a diet for too long can backfire, slowing your metabolic rate. While you’re on a strict low-carb diet, bump up your carb intake to at least 2 g per pound of bodyweight every four or five days. The increase in carb consumption will energize you and trick your metabolism into believing the carb and calorie deprivation are a mirage. The result: your metabolism will remain elevated, making fat loss a little easier.

#3 | Take 3 g of arginine 3 or 4 times daily.

The amino acid arginine performs many valuable functions, the most critical for bodybuilders involving growth hormone and nitric oxide (NO). Arginine helps you produce more growth hormone, obviously important for those looking for more mass. In the body, arginine gets converted to NO, enhancing blood flow to working muscles so they can get more nutrients, hormones and oxygen. Take 3 g of arginine in the morning, before and after workouts, and before going to bed.

#4 | Consume a minimum of four cups of vegetables per day.

Four is the minimum daily servings of veggies dieters require for appetite control. Eating low-calorie higher-fiber vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, asparagus and spinach, wards off feelings of hunger by taking up room in the stomach and signaling brain chemicals that shut down appetite.

#5 | Supplement with 3-5 g of creatine before and after workouts.

Creatine taken before or after training boosts metabolism, kick-starts recovery and provides the raw energy required to support muscle growth. A lot of bodybuilders fall for the more-must-be-better mindset and go overboard.

It’s fine to load creatine, taking up to 5 g four times a day for the first week you’re on it, but after that, all you need is 3-5 g before and after training, and just 5 g total on nontraining days.

#6 | Consume 6 meals daily.

This is the minimum number of meals the body needs to sustain an elevated metabolic rate. Every time you eat, your metabolic rate rises slightly eating every three hours, or six times a day, helps you take full advantage of this phenomenon.

When you cut calories and carbs on a fat-shedding diet yet adhere to the six-meals-a-day rule you’re less likely to unwittingly cause a metabolic slowdown.

#7 | Give your diet 14 days before making radical changes out of frustration.

During the first 14 days of a eating clean foods, expect to look worse rather than better. At the start of a diet, the body loses muscle-glycogen reserves, which leaves muscles looking flat. Roughly at the 14th day, the body seems to make a big and important adjustment it starts to exert a maximum anticatabolic effect, conserving its muscle mass, while fully adjusting to the diet phase by ratcheting up fat burning.

#8 | Take 7 g of supplemental omega-3 fatty acids daily to support fat loss.

These unique fats coax fat loss; however, you have to be eating fewer calories than you need and control insulin (the fat-storing hormone) by avoiding large portions of carbohydrates. Omega-3s spare muscles from being broken down for fuel, which helps maintain an active metabolic rate. They also support the immune system, which is stressed during stringent dieting.

Take 6-7 g divided into two doses the first at your first meal of the day and the second at dinner.

#9 | The ideal duration for a diet is 16 weeks if maximum definition is your goal.

Getting cut while maintaining muscle mass is never an easy task. Taking your time, rather than trying to achieve a cut physique within a month or two, allows you to drop bodyfat slowly (and gives you some leeway if you screw up). When you lose fat at a slower deliberate pace, you can maintain more muscle tissue regardless of the particular dietary approach you choose.

#10 | Take 20 g of glutamine (split into four doses) per day.

Glutamine is the amino acid that supports the immune system, prevents the burning of branched-chain amino acids and helps encourage the storage of carbohydrates as muscle glycogen rather than as bodyfat. Many hardcore dieters won’t see real results with just 5 g of glutamine a day. Four doses of 5 g each will help to ensure that you have a steady supply so that it can do its job. Take it in the morning, before and after workouts and before bedtime on an empty stomach.

#11 | A dose of 200 milligrams (mg) of caffeine is an inexpensive and very effective fat burner.

The catch is how and when you take it. Coffee contains chemicals that over time can interfere with the caffeine kick. That is, when you drink a 20-ounce coffee, your body does not absorb the total amount of caffeine therein. With a caffeine pill, you receive the full strength of the 200 mg (a typical dosage); in addition, the form in which it is delivered anhydrous is superior to coffee in reaching the bloodstream.

Take a caffeine pill with water and no carbs 20-60 minutes before cardio to maximize the fat-burning hormonal flux prompted by aerobic activity.

#12 | Your weapon against metabolic and mental meltdown is 1,000 mg of tyrosine.

Tyrosine is an amino acid that can help you feel more alert (it does so by changing your brain chemistry). Dieting and performing a lot of cardio can deplete your body’s supply of norepinephrine a chemical that makes you feel strong, alert and energetic, and also enhances fat metabolism. Taking 1,000 mg of tyrosine upon waking can offset the depletion and loss of this neurotransmitter, helping you power through hard workouts and cardio sessions. Tyrosine also helps the body convert its own thyroid hormones-[T.sub.4] thyroid to a type called [T.sub.3], which helps burn more calories.

Derrick White's H.I.G.T six week challenge! Weeks 2 & 3 diary.

OK Abfitt Readers... Here's my take on the H.I.G.T for weeks 2 and 3... I found myself getting stronger with each workout and having more energy since I been eating clean for 3 weeks now. I have had cheat meals but that was on my cheat day that Rich let me have. I turned it up a notch on week 3 with cardio doing 2 mins of jump rope then a 40 yard wind sprint.

I did this routine 6 times which had me sweating like I was playing basketball on my cardio days. I work out 6 days a week now. I lift Mon Wed Fri and Cardio Tues Thur, Sat and WATCH MY COWBOYS on SUNDAY.....I look in the mirror and see myself getting a little more muscular since I been doing this workout.. Now I start week 4 with a new routine that Rich has for me. Well stay tuned 3 more weeks to go!

Never miss a workout by incorporating these ten antioxidants into your nutrition regimen

You're fit, but are you healthy? Most likely, you're not as healthy as you could be. That's because when you work out, you produce free radicals -- highly reactive molecules that are missing an electron that allows them to bond to other cells to reek havoc -- and put your health at risk. As result, you take more sick days, or worse, miss workouts than you should. But you can fight off free radicals with antioxidants and the ten below serve up not just benefits for your immune system but for your training too.

The Most Popular: Green Tea
If you aren't drinking green tea or taking green tea extract by now, you're way behind the competitive curve. Green tea is known for the benefits of its main active ingredient, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a potent antioxidant. It has been found to promote fat burning, increase exercise endurance up to 24 percent and, most recently, protect against skin cancer. Specifically, EGCG has been found in research studies to have anti-obesity effects, including reduction of body fat levels and waist circumference.

Make it work for you: Drink three to four cups of tea a day or take 300-400mg of green tea extract to reap its benefits.

For the High-Intensity Athlete: Quercetin
Quercetin is a naturally occurring, powerful antioxidant found in red grapes, red wine, red apples, green tea and broccoli. Just recently, Appalachian State University researchers proved that this plant-derived antioxidant can reduce illness and maintain mental performance in physically stressed athletes.

During the five-week study, 20 cyclists took 1,000mg of quercetin daily. Three weeks into the study, the athletes rode a bicycle three hours a day for three days to the point of exhaustion--this is where the physically stressed comes into play. The result: 45 percent of the placebo-taking cyclists got sick after the extreme exercise session, while only 5 percent of the quercetin-taking cyclists did.

Here's another thing: quercetin's immune-boosting properties didn't appear to take effect until three days after the intense exercise session. Researchers concluded that it takes significant stress -- when the athletes were under high oxidative stress, when stress hormones were high, and they were also undergoing muscle damage--to bring out quercetin's infection-fighting properties.

Make it work for you: Most people eat about 25-50 mg of quercetin a day. Pump it up by eating more red grapes, red apples, broccoli and drinking more green tea and red wine. Or, supplement with 1000mg a day. Either way, pair quercetin with vitamin C and niacin to aid absorption.

The Up and Comer: Astaxanathin
If you've got your eye on losing weight, then astaxanthin has promise to be the antioxidant for you. Known for improving eye health, astaxanthin may also offset the effects of a high-fat diet, according to researchers at the Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology.

Besides the fact that high-fat diets can cause oxidative stress in the body and create free radicals, the Japanese mice study found that high-doses of astaxanthin kept the effects of a high-fat diet at bay. Specifically, mice eating a high-fat diet and taking high doses of the antioxidant did not gain as much fat.

Make it work for you: Astaxanthin is a powerful antioxidant that is thought to be almost 500 times stronger than vitamin E. Taking about 30mg per kilogram of bodyweight, as the mice did, will help strengthen not just your eyes but your body too.

The Post Workout Musts: Vitamins C and E and Selenium
If you hit the weight room, take this antioxidant cocktail: 1,000 mg of vitamin C , 400 IU of vitamin E and 90 mcg of selenium. These three nutrients taken together daily may help reduce muscle soreness after a workout --especially with you have taken a hiatus recently, according to a study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

University of North Carolina at Greensboro researchers concluded that this antioxidant formulation reduced the biowaste that is produced from muscle stress as well as lessened delayed onset muscle soreness and sped up recovery. While some short-term tissue damage is an essential part of building muscle, excessive amounts can slow the process.

Make it work for you: If you're sore after your workout, reach for 1,000 mg of vitamin C, 400 IU of vitamin E and 90 mcg of selenium before you pop the ibuprofen. Better yet, take it after each workout.

The Clark Kent of the Vitamin World: Vitamin D
Vitamin D has become the super hero of the vitamin world and for good reason. Recent research has linked vitamin D deficiency to mood disorders, immunity deficiencies and cancer, to name a few. But for the athlete, vitamin D plays a large role in developing strong bones and muscles. First of all, have you ever wondered why vitamin D has been added to your milk? It's because without it your body wouldn't absorb the calcium it needs. In fact, without vitamin D only 10%-15% of dietary calcium is absorbed by the body compared to 30% when it is present. In addition, to building strong bones, vitamin D also molds muscles. Its active form binds to specific receptors in muscle cells causing muscle contraction and protein synthesis -- the buildup of muscle protein -- to be enhanced. Research shows that certain types of these receptors may be responsible for greater muscle size and strength.

Inadequate levels of vitamin D can be responsible for osteomalacia, a condition characterized by unrelenting bone pain, muscle aches and muscle weakness. It is difficult to workout with this condition; as a result, you loose muscle mass.

Make it work for you: The recommended daily allowance is 200 IU per day. However, most researchers agree that you need much more than that and recommend supplementing your diet with 1000 IU per day as cholecaliferol or vitamin D3.

The Master: Gluthanione
Gluthanione is a naturally occurring amino acid that your body produces to fend off free radical damage. It protects every cell, tissue and organ of the body by regenerating immune cells. Gluthanione enters your body through two pathways: your gut and your blood. When you eat gluthanione-rich foods, such as walnuts, or consume gluthanione supplements, it is absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract but whether it arrives to other parts of your body intact has yet to be determined. So another way that you can get enough gluthanione is to supplement with vitamin C or glutamine. Both of which stimulate your body to produce more gluthanione and boost levels of the antioxidant in the blood stream.

How to make it work for you: There are a few ways that you can make sure that you have enough gluthanione in your body to fight off free radicals. You could take at least 500 milligrams of vitamin C; eat gluthanione-rich foods, such as walnuts, broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables; supplement with glutamine (about 2000mg of powder as been shown to boost gluthanione levels); or supplement with 25-50mg of gluthonione per day.

The Multi-Tasker: CLA
Sure, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) has been on supplement shelves as a weight loss ingredient, but did you also know that it has powerful antioxidant capabilities? According to biochemists out of Dublin City University in Ireland, CLA is a potent naturally occurring anti-carcinogen. It turns out that the same reason we turn to CLA for weight loss--it decreases body fat composition-- is the key to its antioxidant power. CLA alters our body's composition to be less fatty and by doing so increases the body's oxidative stability since there is less fat to be oxidized by free radicals.

How to make it work for you: Don't stuff yourself with CLA-rich meat and dairy as these may promote the opposite effect. Instead, look to supplements made with cis-9, trans-11 CLA and take 1-3 grams with breakfast, lunch and dinner. This way you can get the benefits without the destructive fats.

The Circulation Czar: Ginkgo Bilboa
When it comes to making sure that your blood is flowing to all the right places, the little herb with the long history (more than 300 scientific papers have been written about it) is the one to take. Ginkgo Bilboa stimulates blood flow feeding oxygen to the body's tissues. This circulation booster ensures nutrients are delivered to the muscles so that better performance and recovery are achieved. How can ginkgo do this? According to a recent report in the journal Medicina, ginkgo bilboa has a tremendous antioxidant rating and a tremendous ability to fight free radicals -- more specifically, to prevent oxidation of fatty cell membranes that could block arteries.

How to make it work for you: Most research have used a standardized form of ginkgo that contains 24 percent of flavone glycosides and the usual dose is 40mg, three times a day.

5th st. Gym Miami open's to fighters next month!


FYI.... a new 5th Street Gym will open next month on the site of the famous gym where Muhammad Ali and other top boxers trained.

Angelo Dundee, who trained Ali, is a partner in the ownership group. His brother, Chris, who died 12 years ago, opened the original gym in 1951 and operated it for three decades.

Chris Dundee promoted weekly cards on Tuesday nights at the Miami Beach Auditorium and Convention Center in the 1950s and ’60s. The original gym was torn down in 1993.

The new gym will be for those seeking workouts and for professional boxers and mixed martial arts fighters training for bouts.

Janet Lee Kicks off "Average Joe & Jill week".

I couldn't think of a better person to kick off AbFitt's focus on local gym athletes from around the country, back by popular demand 55 year old mother of seven & AbFitt favorite Janet " No excuses" Lee.
Janet, her amazing work ethic and no nonsense approach to fitness, became an overnight favorite of AbFitt readers. Amazingly she has surpassed Trainer to the stars "Mark Twight" & the Internet darling "Chicken Tuna" as the most downloaded person from AbFitt, over 2500 hits to her picture in one week...WOW. Janet will now Graciously accept E mails from readers eager to get her insight. Thanks Janet!
This week Enjoy some one on one personal interviews from people just like you, who have made the commitment to life long health & fitness. Read what they have to say about training, nutrition & supplementation. I hope you are inspired just as I am by these amazing individuals. Enjoy!

Editor of AbFitt

But First.....Janet Lee-

Intensity? As we age do we no longer have the ability to focus on the physical intensity it takes to create or maintain a youthful physique?

I , for one, say "yes"! We are the same ones who put in hours upon hours to complete or struggle through college "on a dime". We are the same ones who supported children , sometimes "not so grateful children", till they could finally walk out the door self -sufficient. It's that tenacity that fuels our physical intensity.

Starting, no matter what age, is sometimes the most difficult part. How to find time, energy, etc.? I am a morning person and would much rather get up before daylight to watch the sunrise as I knock out another "set of 20 reps"! Years ago that was when I ran my hardest miles and then later chose to use those morning hours to "rock babies"!
If you are meeting your nutritional needs, supplementing, and using creatine and whey - energy shouldn't be a major concern. Now channeling that energy into blocks of time for your physical advancement is the key.
Intensity , form and dedication. These are what unite us in this quest . Heavier weight and lifting to failure, adequate rest and feeding "your muscles" - one day at a time, every work-out.
Won't you find time to send me your "feedback"? Email me at:
Have a kick-ass workout for me today? Age is number, not an excuse. jlee

The not so "average Jill" Melanie Townsend, age 45.

Thanks for being apart of AbFitts "local focus" this week

1) Give the readers of AbFitt some background information: Name, age, gym, years training.
Melanie Townsend, age 45
Home Gym

I’ve always been kind of active with tennis, rollerblading, and running. Never lifted weights. I mean I played around with some 5 and 10 lb dumbbells, but that was it. I only started lifting heavy in June 2010.

2) Tell us how you got started in weight & fitness training.

I had gained some weight last year, I was up to 155 lbs, which at 5’9” isn’t that bad, but I decided to lose 20 lbs by June, when my husband and I were going on a cruise to the Bahamas. I accomplished this, and just kept feeling better. My husband lifts weights, and he was always trying to get me to lift heavy, but I wasn’t sure it was for I know that it is, I’ve never felt better in my life, FULL of energy. I feel better than I did at my age, than I did at 25, AND I look better! (No kidding!)

3) Can you talk about your current training & cardio routine.

I work out 5 days a week. Cardio on Tuesday and Friday, I usually run 2-3 miles. Monday, Thursday, and Saturday, I lift weights.

My full body workout:

4 X 10 Barbell Squats (65 lbs)
4 X 10 Dead lift (65 lbs)
2 X 10 Bench Press (45 lbs)
3 X 10 Barbell Curls (30 lbs)
4 X 10 One-arm Dumbell Row (Each Side - 25 lbs)
2 X 20 Medicine Ball Squat w/Diag.Woodchop (Each Side)
3 X 20 Kettlebell Squat & Swing (15 lbs)
2 X 20 Kettlebell Half Squat (15 lbs)
2 X 20 Kettlebell Round the World
2 X 20 Kettlebell Windmill
3 X 15 Plie Squat with 25 lb Plate
3 X 6 Bulgarian Dumbbell Split Squat (30 lbs)
3 X 30 Dumbbell Seated ab twist (10 lb)
Boxing moves - Upper cut and Hook, Side Kicks

4) A hot topic when we focus on a guest athlete is always nutrition. Talk about your diet & supplementation.

Multi vitamin - Optiwomen
Fish oil
Vitamin D3
Green Tea Extract
Alpha-Lipoic Acid

1/2 cup of oatmeal
Bowl of chopped fruit (blueberries/pineapple/cantaloupe)
1 10 oz glass of 1% milk
5 oz Greek Yogurt

Midmorning Snack

Zone Perfect Nutrition bar

Fish oil
Green Tea Extract
1 Grilled chicken breast or Salmon steak
Cooked veggies, fresh cooked with olive oil and sea salt (fresh or frozen, not canned)

Afternoon Snack
½ cup of Cottage cheese with sliced pears or diced tomatoes or Greek yogurt

Fish oil
Green Tea Extract
2 Chicken breasts/Salmon steaks/Boneless pork chops
Baked Veggies with olive oil and sea salt (from frozen or fresh) (asparagus, zucchini slices, squash slices, egg plant)
Sliced tomatoes
OR Spinach Salad with tomatoes/green peppers/purple onions

Whole Wheat Crackers (5) or mozzarella cheese stick with a pear or apple

Post workout
Syntha-6 shake with 1% milk (5 days a week)

Before bed
One 8 oz glass of 1% milk
****I drink water throughout the day

5) what are your future goals related to training.

I really want to tone my abs even more, but mostly my legs and booty need a lot of work. I need to firm up and gain muscle definition there. I feel confident I can do it in another 6 months, maybe less. Results have been coming faster than I expected, so I’m pumped!

6) What advice would you give to a beginner in the early stages of his/her training.

Start slow, stay focused and SEE your progress,,To do gotta take photos, see where you’re going. Just seeing the difference every 3 or 4 weeks will keep you pumped up. And I can’t say enough about diet, until I changed my diet, I was thin, but had little muscle definition. It also helps if your partner is in it with you, so you can eat the same is more important than you know!

7) Any last words?
I just started this year, at age 45. I have two sons, ages 17 and 15 (6’3” and 6’1” respectively), if I can do it, anyone can!


Cathy "Cat" Hall, talks fitness with AbFitt.

1) Give the readers of AbFitt some background information: Name, age, gym, years training.
Cathy(Cat) Hall 49 yrs old...been training seriously 3 yrs

2) Tell us how you got started in weight & fitness training.
I've always enjoyed weight training and being somewhat fit..when I could fit it in...
Raising a family makes it a little more challenging to have a very regimented training
schedule....After my children became young adults, I decided to focus on myself a little
more...joined the local gym....started going 3 days a week...soon became 4-5 days...
and I now am in 6-7 days a week...and love it!

3) Can you talk about your current training & cardio routine.
I currently train 6-7 days a week...If i train 7 one of those is all cardio...
3-4 are twice ins...Chest/ back /shoulders...each once/week ...Heavy legs once..plyos/once week... On the twice ins I do extra cardio the second time and throw in my abs or calves at that time...Cardio is 1-2hrs/day depending on if I'm building/cutting or if it's once or twice/day...
4) A hot topic when we focus on a local athlete is always nutrition. Talk about your diet & supplementation.
I eat a very hight protein diet...5-6 small meals..egg whites/tuna/chicken/tilapia for veggies...3 times/day...carbs oats/sweet potato/brown rice/flax or multi-grain bread...2 times/day...

My supplementation consists of...
Whey w/o
Whey casein blend..last "meal"/day...
Animal Cuts or OxyelitPro fat burner twice /day when cutting
Mulitvitamin/fish oil/glucosamine/calcium

5) what are your future goals related to training.

I am currently studying for the ACE personal training certification and have made the decision to compete spring '11 for the first time...

6) What advice would you give to a beginner in the early stages of his/her training.
Train hard...find what drives you and never lose sight of that....Be patient for is a process and make sure you keep the nutrition end in check...allot of people starting their training feel the training in itself is enough..when in fact the nutrition is the much bigger picture...

Thanks for sharing with AbFitt.

"I want to get fit", but how do I start?

Whether you've been blessed with one too many lean genes, or if years of being a couch potato have taken you from fit to flab, there comes a time when you want to be wimpy no more. The good news is that you can beef up with a few well-chosen strength moves. And it’s easier than you think.

The key to building more muscle bulk is not only to lift heavy weights, but to follow a myotrophic—or muscle-building—regimen, and stick to it. Exercise is only part of the prescription, though—your workouts provide the stimulus to make muscles grow, but you need to give them the fuel to do so. Contrary to popular belief, carbs aren’t the culprit, and you don’t have to go into protein overload to build muscle. Carbs get used up during high-intensity workouts, so they need to be replenished. But combining high-carb foods with some (but not too much) protein can enhance your muscle-growth potential.

My suggested routine targets your entire body—arms, back, chest, shoulders, butt and thighs—in just seven moves. Follow the fitness formula of sets, reps and rests below along with my eat-to-build food tips. In as soon as 12 weeks, you’ll be on your way to building some heavy-duty heft.

Muscle fuel

• Eat breakfast every day. Fill up on fruit, along with some carbs and protein (an egg-white omelet and whole-grain toast, or oatmeal with walnuts and almonds thrown in).

• Don’t go hungry. Avoid going longer than four hours without some food (snack on nuts, fruit, energy bars).

• Have a protein shake directly after training then eat within 45 minutes to two hours after a tough workout. Choose foods that contain mostly carbs, with some protein thrown in (nuts, a carb-protein shake or bar, peanut butter and whole-grain bread and fruit).

• Eat slightly more than normal. You need to eat more calories than you burn all day to build more lean body tissue. You can figure out exactly how much to eat by tracking what you eat now and adding 250 to 500 calories more each day.

How to do it:

• Warm up first: Go through one set of 12 reps of all the moves first without using weights.

• Choose a weight that's heavy enough to challenge your target muscles, but not so heavy that your joints feel strained. If you're new to weight training you may want to start with dumbbells that are eight to 12 pounds and gradually work up to using 12 to 20 or more pounds.

• Some muscles are stronger than others, so you may need to switch to heavier or lighter weights, depending on the exercise.

• Start by performing three sets of eight to 12 repetitions of each exercise. Start with a weight in the light end of the range if you are not used to strength training.

• Wait for one to two minutes in between each set of 12 reps.

• Do this workout three times a week with a rest day in between.

• Modify this workout to match your fitness level. Follow the recommended moves, or adapt them as needed. If you feel strain in a joint during an exercise, your weight may be too heavy. Never work through pain; stop or modify the move.

Dunbbell squat press ( one arm at a time )
Bench Press
Reverse grip Bent Over barbell Row
Pull-Ups overhand wide grip
Military Press
Close grip chin ups

Resistance training is more important and far more effective than cardio for fat loss, and is an essential part of your training program.

The Essential 8

So, you want to get lean; you want to be ripped! You have your nutrition targeted at fat loss; you have your supplement regimen all ready. Now, you just need your training program sorted, and you will be ready to roll.

How do you train for fat loss? What are the best exercises to include? What is the best split to use? How much cardio do you do? How many recovery days do you take? The information available is varied and often contradictory, because what works for one individual does not always work for another. If that is the case, how does one go about setting up a training routine if everyone responds differently to different training program?

While everyone has their own methods of training for fat loss, there are several training methods, techniques and exercises that work effectively for everyone, no matter who they are, or what their training history is. Resistance training is an essential part of training for fat loss, and is far more effective than doing cardio - in fact, you do not even have to do cardio to get ripped!

There are eight exercises that everyone should include in their resistance training program:

Power Clean
Bench Press
Reverse Bent Over Row
Military Press

Recommended Sets/Reps: 3 sets of 12 reps are recommended for each exercise, resting for 30 seconds in-between sets to maintain intensity and elevated heart rate for optimal fat loss.

Every exercise is a compound, multijoint exercise, ensuring that your training sessions are as effective and efficient as possible for fat loss, by recruiting multiple body-parts, including those that are not able to be exhausted in the same way with isolation exercises. Ironically, these exercises are the same ones that will help you build the most muscle mass - the only difference is the number of sets and reps, and the recovery period between sets used.

1. Squat
The squat is the king of all exercises. Squats hit most muscle groups in the body, with emphasis on the core and large lower body muscles. The more muscle mass and motor units recruited during an exercise, the better the exercise for burning body fat, and the squat is the best of them all.

2. Deadlift
If the squat is the king, then the deadlift is the queen - although both exercises can be used interchangeably with the royalty titles. The deadlift hits not just the back, but the entire core, recruiting and strengthening the large lower body muscles, from the shoulder girdle down to your hips and legs, with emphasis on the gluteus maximus, quadriceps, hamstrings, hips, and abdominals, strengthening and stabilizing the erector spinae and lower back.

3. Power Clean
Similar to the deadlift in the muscles recruited - but without the ability to lift as heavy loads - the power clean is a compound power exercise that works the lower legs, quadriceps, gluteals, upper back, and deltoids. Not surprisingly, it is the power exercises that are the most effective exercises to use, and although the power clean is a difficult exercise, if done correctly, can be a real asset in your assault on fat loss.

4. Bench Press
Another power exercise, the bench press is the primary exercise used to work the pectorals (and to some extent, the anterior deltoids and triceps). As with the squat, the bench press can be performed with many variations to target areas of the chest.

5. Reverse Bent Over Row
Next to the lower body, the back is the biggest upper body muscle group, encompassing the entire area from the top of the trapezius down to the hips. Counterbalancing the bench press, the bent over row works the back. Even better than the traditional bent over row is the reverse bent over row, as it recruits more muscles than the former.

6. Pull-Ups
After reverse bent over rows, pull-ups are the most complete exercise for back development - especially for the latissimus dorsi - and you hit every part of your back, from the wide part of your trapezius and latissimus dorsi, tapering down to your waist and lower back, just by using a combination of pull-up variations.

7. Military Press
Also called a shoulder press, the military press targets the deltoids, and is generally done in a standing position - that way it forces the trainee to stabilize their core, instead of being able to use the bench for support (as they would in a seated military press).

8. Dips
Dips are the best exercise you can do for your triceps. Beginners can start off doing bench dips - dips with their hands on a bench, their feet on the floor. Graduate to body weight dips on the dip bars. The experienced trainee can add weight to their dips by either holding a dumbbell between their feet or hanging a plate on a chain on a weight belt.

learn to punch like a fighter, not a pro baseball player!

Baseball player wanting to be a fighter, Nyjer Morgan embarrassed both himself and his team with acting the fool on National TV on Wednesday night, worse yet Njjer Morgan has no idea how to punch or even hit his target. Hey Nyjer If you realy want to be a fighter give me a call, I will gladly take you to front st gym in philly for some lessons.....

How to throw a straight right hand.

Steps for real fighters.......

1. Stand in your traditional boxing stance. If you normally hold your left hand low, you will want to bring it up so that you have a guard when you throw the straight right.

2. Push hard off your back foot and twist your hips and shoulders so that they face the opponent.
3. At the same time throw your right fist towards your opponents' face in a straight line
4. At the point of full extension, snap your fist back to your chin and your body back to your stance in anticipation of a counterpunch.
5. This punch is fast, and have snap.

Basic supplements that simply work!

When asked about supplements, my response is usually
Fish Oil, Amino Acids, basic creatine, CLA, Whey and Casein Protein (Brands such as Optimum Nutrition)

And the BIG one is to try and stay away from any supplement that says... "proprietary blend"

This term is basically used to hide the fact the formula contains very little of the active ingredients listed on the bottle in an attempt to fool consumers.

These companies can have the smallest amount of that ingredient in the product but advertise and sell it as that product! Remember there is NO regulation!

Lets use Creatine for an example. The Label Will say something like:

"Propriety Blend" it will list a bunch of words and stuff that you cant even pronounce and then it will say "Creatine" but you have no idea how much creatine is in it! Um Scary!

Well for me personally I like to take about 5 Grams of creatine after a workout. (On Leg and Back day I take creatine before and after.)

So what I do is instead of buying a product such as "Super Pump" or "Cell Mass" im not trying to single anyone out there just the ones that pop into my head.(Good work marketing team!) I just buy the generic stuff.

Example: All That PUMP you up stuff can be bought at a fraction of the cost. Its Called L-Arginine and it works and I take it everyday.

To Sum this up as I need to get to the gym... DON'T LET the companies mix the stuff for you! Unless you want to spend a TON of extra cash because your favorite body builder or athlete is on the label quoted saying something ridiculous like....

"I take this super amazing product and in 2 weeks I look Like this!!!"

- #1 Lean Dude in the world (AKA Marketing Team of that particular product.)

NEWS Flash: He has most likely NEVER even tried the stuff!

Now I am not here to knock ALL of the supplement companies as there are many that want to provide their customers with a reliable product that will help them achieve their goals. All I am saying is DON'T Believe the hype and when it comes to supplements watch out for those two words "Proprietary Blend"

OK, I am off to the gym but before I go its time for some black coffee (my pump up drink!) and a little whey protein, L-Arginine, and Beta Alanine. I know exactly whats in it at a fraction at the cost.

A final thought... A "Supplement" is just that! It is to Supplement good training, Eating and Sleep. There is no magic pill out there and if there were I would be on it and I would tell AbFitt readers about it.

The road to a healthy mind, body and soul is a long one. It takes years of hard work and practice. Trial and error. ups and downs. Progression and even some regression.

But in the end it is all worth it! This I can promise you!

Ask AbFitt...Body effects

It can take time for changes from eating, supplementing and exercise to show up on your body.

Q. When you take a supplement or you diet, or when you exercise or skip workouts, how long does it take for what you do to show up on your body?

A. There’s no absolute answer as to how soon you can see changes in your body from how you eat or from exercise. That’s because so many factors are involved, and it also depends on how you are gauging a change.

Monitoring weight loss on a scale

If you eat an entire watermelon and step on the scale later that day, it may look as if you’ve gained 5 pounds. In reality, you haven’t gained fat, since a watermelon doesn’t have many calories. The scale increase is a reflection of the extra water and fiber you’ve consumed, not fat gain. (And that water and fiber will pass right through you, which is why consuming lots of fruits and vegetables ultimately helps you lose body fat.)

Conversely, if you go on a three-hour bike ride and step on the scale at the end of the day and find yourself 3 pounds lighter, that’s a water-weight loss, not 3 pounds of fat that you’ve burned off during the ride. Your ride may have burned about 450 calories per hour, or around 1,350 calories, which is the equivalent of less than a half-pound of body fat. The extra weight is simply water loss from sweating and depleting some of your glycogen, or stored carbohydrates in your muscles. If you went on long rides every day for a month, you’d see more permanent fat loss, since the calorie burn from every ride would add up

Diets where you follow a very low-calorie diet, or eliminate or drastically cut down on carbs, lead to extra water loss. It may appear as if you’ve lost 5 or more pounds in a week, but that’s mostly water weight, not pure fat loss. (I’ve written more about water-weight loss here.)

For these and other reasons, judging by scale weight can be tricky, and it’s better to look at weight ranges over time. Your body may fluctuate a few pounds in both directions daily due to food and liquid intake and exercise, but if the general range drops over time, you’ll know that you’ve lost a few pounds of fat as well.

The general recommendation is that one-half to 2 pounds of body weight lost per week from dieting or from dieting and exercise is a safe and achievable amount. Weight loss (or fat loss) from exercise alone may hover at the lower end of this range, or it might be even slower. And it all depends on how many calories you burn over the week.

The key thing to remember is that it takes time to see measurable differences in fat loss, especially when you exercise. But if you are doing regular cardio workouts, fat loss is happening even when it’s not immediately evident in terms of inches lost. Be patient and stick to your healthful eating and exercise plan. Over time, you will notice a difference. (I’ve written more about that here.)

Gaining fat or muscle

Gaining pounds of fat or muscle is also not so immediate. If you ate an entire chocolate cake in one day beyond your normal food intake, you are unlikely to pack on 5 pounds of body fat in one day. Typically, the body self-regulates, leading you to eat dramatically less the following day. Over a week, your calorie intake may end up being fairly balanced and your weight may stay stable, or you may gain less than you would expect from one or two days of overeating.

Of course, different people have different abilities to absorb and burn the foods they eat and to self-regulate after overeating. Exercise may be key to managing overeating: There’s evidence that a trained exerciser may be better able to burn, rather than store, excess fat that they eat than a sedentary person.

Building muscle takes time. Some people attribute weight gain after starting an exercise program, or their failure to lose weight, to the fact that they are building muscle. This is probably not the case for most. Here’s why:

In the initial few weeks of a resistance-training program, you can get measurably stronger, but you will not hypertrophy, or gain more muscle, until weeks or months later. And even then, it takes eating more calories than you burn off each day and lifting very heavy weights (not just 5-pound dumbbells) to trigger the anabolic muscle-building process. (That’s why body builders spend hours in the gym and often supplement with extra calories in the form of bars or shakes.)

Body changes from exercise

Most exercise and weight loss studies have participants follow a program for at least 10 or 12 weeks to be able to detect body fat, strength, power, weight or other differences from a plan. The longer one follows a program, whether it’s a diet or exercise plan, the greater those changes will be.

We live in a culture of quick fixes, but when it comes to the body, quick fixes are rarely possible and almost never permanent. So, rather than ask yourself, “How fast?” train yourself to envision how long you will be able to enjoy continued improvements in your health and your body shape by living a healthy lifestyle. Learn to love the workout, the results will follow.

Do you have a fitness or weight-loss question for AbFitt? Send e-mail to Please include Ask AbFitt in the subject line. Our experts respond to one question each week. We regret that we cannot provide a personalized response to every submission.