Four Essential Supplements for Beginner Bodybuilders

The life of a bodybuilder requires discipline, dedication and patience. The latter of these three virtues is often the most difficult for beginner bodybuilders to accept. It is not uncommon for those new to the sport to search for a little jumpstart in the form of supplements.

There are thousands of products to choose from on the market, all promising a dream body. Most of these just lead to disappointment and an empty wallet. Below are four supplements that are backed by science and have proven essential to serious lifters everywhere.

Protein Powders: For optimum muscle growth, consuming an adequate amount of protein is vital. Protein consists of amino acids, which act as building blocks for the body. Building and maintaining muscle mass is impossible without these amino acids.

Sufficient amounts of protein will cause an anabolic state, which allows the body to repair and build muscle tissue. In contrast, low protein intake will trigger a catabolic state, which causes muscle to be broken down and used as fuel. Protein powders prove invaluable in preventing this nightmare scenario from happening.

Fish Oil: Out of all known supplements, very few offer as many benefits as fish oil. Lower cholesterol, stronger bones, better moods and lower risk for cancer are just a few perks associated with this supplement.

As if that wasn’t enough, the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil have been shown by many studies to speed up weight loss by increasing the fat oxidation process. In a sport where just a 1% difference in body fat often separates winners from losers, any assistance speeding up fat loss proves to be incredibly useful.

Greens: Most people are told from a young age about the importance of eating fruits and vegetables. With that being sad, even many professional athletes fail to consume adequate amounts from just meals alone. It is for this exact reason that greens supplements are a favorite amongst bodybuilders.

These plant-based supplements are made from natural sources like barley, nuts, wheat grass and grains. Taking a greens supplement ensures the body receives a healthy dose of vitamins, minerals and enzymes. The vital nutrients found in greens supplements are typically lacking in most diets and are required for the body to run at maximum health levels.

Creatine: Without question, creatine is the highest selling bodybuilding supplement on the planet. This supplement is used by a wide range of athletes, from those in high school gyms, to those competing on professional stages. With so much hype, one should expect noticeable results.

It’s important to understand that creatine is not a wonder drug, nor will it produce effects similar to anabolic steroids. In fact, creatine is produced naturally by the body and is comprised of three amino acids known as glycine, arginine, and methionine. These nutrients serve to provide muscles with energy needed for the rapid movements performed during workouts.

Taking a creatine supplement increases endurance, allowing for more reps, which results in higher muscle growth. It does this by regenerating adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in skeletal muscle. ATP is required for muscle contraction, and increased amounts have been shown to improve both strength and performance. As long as one doesn’t have false expectations, creatine will quickly become a favorite for many who are new to bodybuilding.

It is important to understand that no amount of supplementation will replace hard work and proper nutrition. Supplements are not magic, they are meant only to assist a bodybuilder who is already exercising properly, eating right, and sleeping well. With that in mind, the above four supplements will do wonders at speeding up results for those who exercise hard and eat well.

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What is in your supplements?

Many men and women bodybuilders have a penchant for taking vitamin supplements to enhance their bodies during bodybuilding. If a bodybuilder is interested in putting on muscle, maintaining health or developing strength, supplements may add to this effort by enriching the person’s body with nutrients. According to the law though, dietary supplements must have vitamins, minerals, enzymes or other approved substances inside of the supplement. Sometimes a supplement has been laced with a prescription drug or illegal substances from foreign countries which are not approved by the FDA. How would you know about this? It is necessary to read the labels, and do some research on the dangers of some of the ingredients listed on the label. The laws re not vague regarding what is allowed to be in a supplement, but companies manufacturing supplements will hide ingredients in their products which may be against the law. There are also many manufacturers of supplements who will market the pills to perform a certain way if taken regularly. These claims are usually false, since it is practically impossible to guarantee performance as the result of taking a supplement.

The products which usually guarantee “performance” are targeted toward men. The commercials for these types of products show men participating in adventure sports, living the high life, having energy and enjoying leisure time in sports active pursuit. Some supplements may have active ingredients which include sildenafil, which is the active ingredient also found in Viagra or some weight loss drugs.

Foreign distributors are problematic for this type of issue because some of them use illegal substances as fillers in the supplements that they import. It is difficult to determine the identity of these suppliers, since many of them have websites which on the face of them seem completely legitimate. Just because someone has a strong website touting a product, it is still important to do some checking around and ask the hard questions as to what is exactly in the supplement so that you will know what you are ingesting when you take them. Some of these supplements can have devastating side effects which can injure the person taking the supplement. There have been some cases where bodybuilders and other weightlifters have died from consuming supplements with banned substances in them. The FDA is more diligent with testing supplements to see that they are safe and free from any major side effects. It is important to read the labels on any supplements being taken and to only buy from reputable distributors. Also remember, when you see a commercial on television or cable, or see and ad in a muscle magazine for a supplement, do not assume that your results using the supplement will be identical. If you read the small print, you will see that the average person’s results are “not typical” which is part of the small print in every ad.

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Nutrition Issues for Bodybuilders

Bodybuilders are interested in building muscles and gaining weight appropriately to support their training. It is important for bodybuilders to eat the right foods so that they do not gain fat. This means that eating excessive amounts of junk food are discouraged. Junk foods are like junk bonds – they are a sorry excuse for the real thing and only seem like a good idea at first sight. Imagine deciding to bulk up by eating 4,000 calories a day. This does not meant that one meal can contain 2,000 calories – it is meant to be distributed safely throughout the entire day. The muscles are relying on the proper nutrients to be able to keep their peak performance. Eating greasy foods, high sugary snacks or “power” drinks with false ingredients (fillers) will not serve as the best choice to gain the necessary weight to body build safely.

Anyone serious about bodybuilding is not missing meals in order to “stay fit.” When bodybuilding it is critical for the person training to drink enough fluids, eat healthy meals and not over train the body. It is possible to either consult a certified nutritionist or check out free resources online to determine what meals are the best for someone interested in a serious bodybuilding program. A bodybuilder needs meals to be eaten on time, full of essential nutrients, and chocked with protein in the right proportions. A good rule of thumb is to eat around 1.5 grams of protein for every pound of body weight, with carbs at 2-4 grams.

There is an issue regarding pre and post workout nutrition and what should be eaten during these critical times. Fruits are a great way to gain nutrients and limit sugar to let the body absorb the most carbs. Power fruits include: melons, raisons, pomegranates, apples and bananas. It is necessary to eat the “good” essential fats such as those found in almonds, olive oil, egg yolks, and some fish such as salmon. These fats help whet normal hormone production for men such as testosterone and the growth hormones as well.

Watching sodium is important too. Sodium is needed for stronger muscle contractions, but it can make you gain water weight, which is an unwanted side effect. Training and even tanning can cause perspiration, and sodium is lost through sweat. This sodium must be replaced and everyone knows how important it is to stay hydrated during training sessions.

Finally, skipping meals is to be avoided when bodybuilding. The body will assume that it should adapt b getting smaller, if meals are skipped during heavy training. This is the opposite effect desired during training mode in bodybuilding. Always eat enough calories to maintain body mass – since training hard will require extra calories to be added to the dietary program. A diet high in fiber, will allow the body to efficiently distribute nutrients and wastes appropriately. Keep your digestive system happy and it will be “all systems go” for maintaining bodybuilding programs going forward.

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Lessons in bodybuilding

It is important with any weightlifting or body building routine to guard against strain, sprain or injury while performing strengthening exercises. It is better to stop an exercise when there is any hint of pain. If an exercise is considered a strengthening move, and is done to exhaustion or performed incorrectly, it may work against the weightlifter in the end. A torn rotator cuff or other shoulder injury will seriously put any subsequent exercising into jeopardy, and it is not worth the strain if the person felt pain and kept going. These are injuries which may later require surgery. Any surgery has its own risks, even when the surgery is a requirement to fix a tear, or misused muscle. For example, a routine injury to the knee may require a surgical intervention. But even after the surgery is performed successfully, there is always the risk that an infection may ensue at the site of the wound. It is imperative that wound care be performed in a very careful and meticulous manner, because an infection may require additional surgeries which put the muscles at risk of not healing properly in the end. After hearing this information, does it seem as worth it to over extend, over work or over exhaust any of the muscle groups during routine training?

Many bodybuilders experience problems with shoulder injures because they work out with the idea that they should consistently lift the heaviest possible weights to get the best results. It is possible to train for competition, or to increase the amount of weights being lifted with each routine, but it needs to be done with a careful eye on the responding muscles being worked in these routines. If a bodybuilder is in the habit of ignoring pain, “pushing through” pain, or working until pain is the natural result, it will be to the disadvantage of the bodybuilder in 100% of the time. This mentality leads to strains and frequent injuries.

A better way to approach bodybuilding is to alternate between exercise circuits and routines with each workout. This strategy will work to strengthen the muscles and allow more weights to be lifted safely while avoiding an injury. It may be advisable to complete one repetition of an exercise, rest for 30 seconds in between routines and then move to the next exercise sequence.

One alternative to a gym routine is to take your work out of doors. The warm up session should not be skipped, it will allow muscles to become warm and pliable, increase mobility, and offer a safe way to get the blood flowing pre-workout.

Start with an easy 400 yard jog with a relaxed gait. The limbs should be free moving and not stiff. Next, run for 40 yards with high-stepping knees. It is important to keep good posture at this stage so that the back is not rounded. After that exercise, move to skipping for 40 yards. This exercise is aimed at working out the muscles in preparation of the later rotations, and can support exaggerated arm movements while completing it. For the last section of this routine, do side supports to the left for 40 yards and the right for 40 yards.

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Green Tea Supplements and Bodybuilding

Green tea is practically a miracle supplement. It helps improve the immune system, helps people lose weight, and it increases energy. Bodybuilders who are looking for a safe and beneficial supplement can add green tea to their program.

Green Tea Supplements Increase Metabolism

One of the biggest benefits of green tea is that immediately speeds up the metabolism. The body will use carbohydrate calories with more efficiency, so your bodybuilding work out will go better as you burn calories faster.

Lose Fat and Gain Muscle

Adding green tea to your bodybuilding program can also help you lose fat. Green tea helps heat the body and helps the body fight fat. Many people who drink green tea frequently lose four pounds on average and people notice when they lose four pounds.

Increase Energy with Natural Caffeine

Green tea also includes caffeine, which is in many supplements because it increases energy. It also improves circulation so your performance improves. Green tea includes caffeine naturally, so if you take a caffeine pill, you can drink green tea as a safe, natural supplement. Those who drink green tea do not get the same caffeine jitters and addiction that people who take caffeine pills or other artificial caffeine sources.

Green Tea Improves the Immune System

Because bodybuilders work so hard in the gym, they can actually get sick more often than not. Green tea contains nutrients that help improve the immune system. People who drink green are less likely to get sick, especially if you add vitamin C, E, and zinc to your diet. Green tea also tastes good and is relaxing despite the boosts in caffeine and metabolism.

Prevent Cell Damage

Green tea contains many antioxidants that help prevent cell damage that can speed up signs of aging. Because bodybuilding tears muscle fibers, it is a good idea to add green tea as a supplement because it will help repair the tears. When the muscle fibers tear, they release some toxins into the body and the green tea can also help protect the body from those toxins. There are so many supplements with unhealthy things, adding green tea can help neutralize those unnatural supplements.

If you are looking for a bodybuilder-specific green tea supplement, bodybuilding.com sells every supplement imaginable. Green tea supplements will keep you healthy by boosting the immune system, fighting fat, and increasing performance.

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Bodybuilding and Running

Running is a popular activity and so is bodybuilding. Those who love to run have very different bodies than those who are bodybuilders. Ironically, it is not unheard of for bodybuilders to run in races and even compete in marathons.

Work Your Way Into Cardio Work

Before a bodybuilder begins preparing for distance running, he or she may need to start with short cardio programs just to get used to heart rate increases. It is a good idea for a bodybuilder who is interested in running to see a doctor and get a heart monitor for those aerobic activities

Diet Adjustments

To begin preparing the body for regular cardio and running, bodybuilders will need to make adjustments to their diet. They should eat more complex carbohydrates and less protein.  The muscles work differently during running than during bodybuilding, so the diet necessities are much different.  Muscle twitch fibers will need to change and body builders will notice their muscles will probably get smaller as their heart rate and racing speed increase. Besides eating more carbs, running body builders need to eat lean protein. They should avoid sugary foods, just like always.

Weightlifting Changes

Bodybuilders will also need to change how they lift weights. Instead of high weights and low reps, running bodybuilders will need to lift less weight with many repetitions at a slower pace.

Running Program

It is a good idea for bodybuilding runners to follow a proper runner training program if they decide to enter marathons or other distance races. There are special running practices and tapers that help prepare runners for the extreme distance of a marathon and bodybuilders who want to run should follow a traditional practice. Running magazines can help give bodybuilders and other beginning runners many good programs to follow.

Interval Runs

Bodybuilding runners should incorporate interval runs into the workouts. This means that runners will run at a steady pace, then sprint for a minute, then walk for a minute, and then return to the steady pace. Bodybuilding runners should run an interval run once a week and no matter how long they run, they should end with the full sprint, just like at the finish of a big race.

Don’t Run Before Lifting

Bodybuilding runners should never run before they lift weights. It is important to be mindful while lifting and most people are not with it after a long run. It is also important for bodybuilding runners to really stay aware of their bodies while doing both activities since an injury can take them out of two activities.

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Bodybuilding and Women

Bodybuilding is not just for men; women can do it, too. Many women avoid the bodybuilding techniques because they worry they will no longer look like women. There are many reasons why women should not fear bodybuilding training.

Balance Out Your Cardio

Many women only do cardio because they think that is all they need to get their bodies looking the way that want to look. Too much cardio can burn both muscle and fat, so women who do not have any variety in their workouts won’t see their muscle tone improve. Women need to mix up their exercise routines and for many, adding some weight lifting exercises will get their bodies toned and tightened.

Women Will Look Like Women

Some women avoid weightlifting and bodybuilding exercises because they are worried that their breasts will get larger. This physically cannot happen because breast tissue and muscle tissue are two completely different things. Women may notice that their band size may increase as the back broadens, but cup sizes actually decrease as fat tissue decreases. Many bodybuilding women actually have smaller breasts because they lose so much fat.

Increased Flexibility with Weight Training

Women also avoid muscle training because they are afraid that they will become less flexible and more uncomfortable. In actuality, bodybuilding actually increases flexibility, especially when the exercises are done properly. The muscle is trained and therefore, stretched during the full range of motion in each exercise. Women who are worried about becoming less flexible can always pair bodybuilding with a stretching program like yoga to insure that they maintain or increase their flexibility.

Toned and Sexy

The biggest myth of bodybuilding and weight training is that women will look like the most muscle bound men. Women cannot look like a male bodybuilder. The reason is that women have more lean muscle, so even if they are extremely muscular and toned, they will never look like a man. The only way that a woman could begin to look more masculine is if she takes anabolic steroids full of testosterone.

Weight training is a great exercise for women. Whether women want to be competing bodybuilders or not does not matter, just adding weight training can help women lose weight and develop a toned body. Women with muscle tone look sexy and powerful. Women who are interested in beginning a weight training program or who need more body building supplies can use the coupons to save money and get fit for less.

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Synthol, Implants, and Bodybuilding

Bodybuilding started out as a way to build the muscles and show the potential of the human body. Today, many bodybuilders look to artificial implants and muscle enhancers like Synthol. Unfortunately, those who need to use an unnatural body enhancer are taking the original point of bodybuilding out of the game.

Synthol to Build Bulk

Synthol is an injectable oil that can create muscles that look like they should not be on any human being. Results can be disproportionate muscles and a freakish look that makes the user look like they have a swelling disease. Those who use Synthol make bodybuilding look more like a freak show rather than a physical fitness competition.

Inject Synthol for Larger Muscles

When Synthol is injected in to the largest part of the muscle, it will puff, making the muscle look big and strong. If it is done well, people will not notice what you have done, but many Synthol users take it to the extreme. Luckily, the visual effects of Synthol are temporary, but the muscle does weaken over time. So, bodybuilders who choose to artificially inflate their muscles could pay for in the future.

Plastic Surgery and Implants

Instead of using Synthol to increase muscle size, other body builders are turning to more permanent artificial body enhancements. Because calf muscles are more difficult to build, many people turn to plastic surgery and implants. Calf implants are very popular with bodybuilders because they look natural and can give more shape to the leg.

Glutes and Pecs

Other bodybuilders will turn to other implants, like pectoral implants to make the chest look bigger and fuller. Men and women can also turn to bicep implants to improve the look of the arm. They also can have implants placed in the buttocks to enhance the glutes. Many bodybuilders will use implants to add bulk and contour. Many plastic surgeons can customize the implants to whatever size and shape the bodybuilder wants.

If you feel like your exercise program has stalled and you need to supplement with Synthol or a surgical implant, be sure to discuss your decision with a physician and your family.  Since these all involve modifying internal body parts, it is important to know what you are getting yourself into. If you have to have an implant removed, the body may not look the same afterwards.

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Vegetarians and Bodybuilding

You do not have to be a carnivorous eater to be a bodybuilder. Vegetarians can be competition bodybuilders, too.

Why Become a Vegetarian?

Because of the all of the negative press that meat has had over the years, many people are turning to eat a vegetarian diet. Others become vegetarians because of ethical reasons, religious reasons, or health reasons. Since bodybuilding often includes adding more dietary protein to build muscle, people who are vegetarians often shy away from bodybuilding. The vegetarian diet includes many proteins, so there is no reason that a vegetarian cannot become a competitive bodybuilder.

Short and Intense Workouts

Vegetarian bodybuilders can lift just like the meat eaters, but they need to do a few things a bit differently. A vegetarian weight lifter should have shorter, but more intense workouts. The reason behind this is that protein from foods other than meats is burned more quickly. If your bodybuilding buddies ask why your workouts are shorter, let them know and stay strong in your beliefs no matter what people say. You could even ask a gym employee to help you locate other vegetarian bodybuilders so you have a team.

Eat Enough Calories

Competitive bodybuilders who eat a vegetarian diet need to pay attention to what they eat. Bodybuilders need protein to build muscle, so they need to be sure they eat enough calories so their bodies do not turn to their protein stores as fuel. They need to be sure they eat more whole, fresh foods rather than processed food that is high in carbs. It is also very important to vegetarians to eat grains that are full of good nutrients, so they should eat quinoa, spelt, and amaranth instead of white rice and other processed grains.

Ovo-Lacto-Vegetarian

To insure that the vegetarian body builder stays strong, he or she should look in to eating an ovo-lacto vegetarian diet. This is one that includes dairy and egg products. Vegetarian bodybuilders that eat dairy and egg products can add egg white protein and dairy products like yogurt and cottage cheese for protein.

Nuts and Legumes

Other important foods for vegetarian bodybuilders include nuts and legumes. Nuts are important because everyone needs healthy fats. Nuts also provide energy and their higher calorie content will help bodybuilders gain more muscle. Legumes also add protein to the body builder’s diet while also adding a quality carbohydrate. They also make good snacks for body builders.

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