HEALTH: KNOW YOUR BODY TYPE

Not every body's created equal. Before you start your training and nutrition regimen, it's a good idea to figure out your body type. Knowing which of the three basic body types you're closest to will help you better tailor your diet and exercise plan and set realistic, attainable goals that pave the way to your success.

THREE BASIC HUMAN BODY TYPES:

THE ENDOMORPH
Characterized by a preponderance of body fat

  • Blocky
  • Thick rib cage
  • Wide/thicker joints
  • Hips as wide (or wider) than clavicles
  • Shorter limbs

    An endomorph will look heavier even when ripped.

THE MESOMORPH
Marked by a well-developed musculature

  • Wide clavicles
  • Narrow waist
  • Thinner joints
  • Long and round muscle bellies

    A mesomorph will look well proportioned even with a little added weight.

THE ECTOMORPH
Distinguished by a lack of much fat or muscle tissue.

  • Narrow hips and clavicles
  • Small joints (wrist/ankles)
  • Thin build
  • Stringy muscle bellies
  • Long limbs

An ectomorph will naturally look skinner than he or she is. 

How can you tell what your body type is? Take this simple test here at bodybuilding.com

Learn how to train and eat for your specific body type. Don't waste your time with cookie cutter plans that don't take your unique qualities into consideration.

NUTRITION: WHAT 40 TEASPOONS OF SUGAR A DAY CAN DO TO YOU

Marilyn Minter

Marilyn Minter

It may not seem like much, but you are most likely taking in more added sugar than you think. Many "natural," organic, low-fat and fat-free foods are unassumingly laden with sugar and we eat them not knowing because we assume their label implies that their healthy.

A new movie called “That Sugar Film” seeks to educate consumers about the hazards of consuming too much added sugar, which can be found in an estimated 80 percent of all supermarket foods. The new documentary stars an Australian actor-director, Damon Gameau, who modeled his movie after “Super Size Me,” the 2004 film that followed Morgan Spurlock as he consumed an all-McDonald’s diet for 30 days.

In “That Sugar Film,” which first had its debut in Australia this year, Mr. Gameau gives up his normal diet of fresh foods for two months to see what happens when he shifts to eating a diet containing 40 teaspoons of sugar daily, the amount consumed by the average Australian (and an amount not far from the 28 teaspoons consumed daily by the average American teenager). The twist is that Mr. Gameau avoids soda, ice cream, candy and other obvious sources of sugar. Instead, he consumes foods commonly perceived as “healthy” that are frequently loaded with added sugars, like low-fat yogurt, fruit juice, health bars and cereal.

Mr. Gameau finds that his health and waistline quickly spiral out of control. While the film is mostly entertainment, it tries to present the science of sugar in a consumer-friendly way, with helpful cameos from Hugh Jackman, Stephen Fry and others. It is also timely. Just last month, the federal government proposed a new rule that would require nutrition labels to carry details about added sugars, a measure that has faced resistance from the food industry.

Read the full interview with Mr. Gameau here.

SOURCE: NYTIMES.COM

NUTRITION: YOU'RE NOT A CAVE WOMAN SO DON'T EAT LIKE ONE

Researchers say that the addition of tubers and other starchy foods to ancient hearths helped contribute to human brain development. Credit Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

Researchers say that the addition of tubers and other starchy foods to ancient hearths helped contribute to human brain development. Credit Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

The paleo diet has been all the rage amongst cross fitters and those wanting to lose weight. Thediet is based on the types of foods presumed (emphasis on this because there are no Pleistocene cookbooks to consult) to have been eaten by early humans, consisting chiefly of meat, fish, vegetables, and fruit, and excluding dairy or grain products and processed food.  Which means no:

  • Cereal grains (Amaranth, Barley, Brown rice, Buckwheat, Bulgur (cracked wheat), Farro, Flaxseed, Millet, Oats, Oatmeal, Muesli, and Quinoa to name a few)
  • Legumes (all beans, peas, lentils, including peanuts)
  • Dairy (Butter, Cheese, Cottage cheese, Milk, Yogurt)
  • Refined sugar
  • Starchy Vegetables (Potatoes, Sweet potatoes, Yucca, Squash, Yams, Beets — though they do make exceptions for athletes who need the carbohydrates for energy...)
  • Processed foods
  • Salt
  • Refined vegetable oils


But recently, scientists have proposed that our hominin ancestors were able to fuel the evolution of our oversize brains by incorporating cooked starches into their diet.

Roughly seven million years ago, our ancestors split off from the apes. As far as scientists can tell, those so-called hominins ate a diet that included a lot of raw, fiber-rich plants.

After several million years, hominins started eating meat. The oldest clues to this shift are 3.3-million-year-old stone tools and 3.4-million-year-old mammal bones scarred with cut marks. The evidence suggests that hominins began by scavenging meat and marrow from dead animals.

At some point hominins began to cook meat, but exactly when they invented fire is a question that inspires a lot of debate. Humans were definitely making fires by 300,000 years ago, but some researchers claim to have found campfires dating back as far as 1.8 million years.

Cooked meat provided increased protein, fat and energy, helping hominins grow and thrive. But Mark G. Thomas, an evolutionary geneticist at University College London, and his colleagues argue that there was another important food sizzling on the ancient hearth: tubers and other starchy plants.

Our bodies convert starch into glucose, the body’s fuel. The process begins as soon as we start chewing: Saliva contains an enzyme called amylase, which begins to break down starchy foods

Another clue to the importance of carbohydrates, Dr. Thomas said, can be found in our DNA. Chimpanzees, our closest living relatives, have two copies of the amylase gene in their DNA. But humans have many extra copies — some people have as many as 18. More copies of the amylase gene means we make more of the enzyme and are able to derive more nutrients from starches, said Dr. Thomas.

Read the full article at NYTimes.com

NUTRITION: POST-WORKOUT MEAL

6 Perfect Post-Workout Meals

Eating quality food post-workout is crucial to muscle growth and recovery. The science on recovery is a little War-and-Peace-y in its complexity but you can boil it down to a few nutritional musts: in order to optimize your results, you need to replace the amino acids and glycogen lost during your workout.

Starting the muscle building process by increasing protein synthesis and nitrogen retention requires a quick dose of the right protein and carbohydrates. But we can’t (and shouldn’t) always rely on plain protein shakes, chicken and rice. It’s boring and an absolute affront to your flavor-deprived palate. Besides, your body prefers a wide variety of nutrient-dense foods. Try these six post-workout muscle-building meals that taste great and get results.

MEAL 1: PROTEIN PANCAKES

How To: Mix four egg whites, ½ cup rolled oats, ½ cup cottage cheese, 1/8 teaspoon baking powder and ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract. Cook on a preheated griddle on medium to low heat, until it bubbles then flip and cool another 30-60 seconds. Top with fresh berries or banana slices.

The Perks: These pancakes pack a mean protein punch without a ton of carbs, perfect for those looking to retain muscle tissue when trying to lean up. The medium- and slow-digesting proteins help keep a steady stream of amino acids to stay more anabolic.

Calories: 421 | Protein: 51 g | Fat: 6 g | Carbs: 39 g

MEAL 2: BEEF AND SQUASH MARINARA

How To: For those looking to satisfy that deep, aching post-workout hunger, this one is for you. Cook up eight ounces of lean grass-fed beef with salt and pepper to taste. Cook one whole butternut squash for 30-45 minutes until soft. Mix them together in the pan when done and add four ounces of your favorite marinara sauce.

The Perks: If you are training hard and with more volume than usual, chances are your appetite is up as well. The creatine replenishes your explosive energy stores and extra fat from the beef helps keep you satisfied and full of calories. The starchiness of the squash digests slowly and helps keep hunger at bay.

Calories: 628           | Protein: 70 g | Fat: 18 g | Carbs: 38 grams

MEAL 3: TUNA AND CRACKERS

How To: Take a can of yellow fin tuna and add a handful (1/2 cup) of crushed up whole grain crackers. For flavor, add pepper, a dab of extra virgin olive oil, mustard, and chopped up pickles.

The Perks: This one is perfect to utilize on-the-go for those working out on their lunch break at work, or those who have to endure an epic commute home from the gym. It is also simple and cost effective. The crackers add some needed carbs, helping to spike your insulin levels to drive nutrients into your muscles.

Calories: 379 | Protein: 41 g | Fat: 13 g | Carbs: 24 g

MEAL 4: HIGH-PROTEIN OATS ON THE GO

How To: Add ½ cup of rolled oats, 1-2 scoops of your favorite whey protein powder (we suggest vanilla), ½ cup of frozen or dried fruit, and slivered almonds. Add ½ cup of water or skim milk and let it sit overnight in the fridge. Add cinnamon or stevia to add more flavors.

The Perks: Another great convenience food, this dish is best for morning trainers. Oats and whey have been a bodybuilding staple forever, but often times are bland and burnt out. By adding some fruit, natural sweetener and almonds, you gain a whole new appreciation for oatmeal. The balance of carbs and protein make it great for those looking to build mass and those watching the leanness scale.

Calories: 422           | Protein: 31 g | Fat: 12.5 g | Carbs: 48 g


MEAL 5: EGG SCRAMBLE OR OMELET

How To: Scramble four whole eggs with two added egg whites. Add one cup of chopped mixed veggies. Spinach, onions, mushrooms and red bell peppers are good additions. For more protein, add ¼ cup of diced lean ham or bacon. If you need (or want) more carbs, add a piece of fresh fruit on the side.

The Perks: Breakfast for dinner? Uhhh…yes. Plain egg whites just get too boring, forcing you to ditch your high-protein meal for a Krispy Kreme when you are burned out on traditional bodybuilding foods. Keep the yolks for the extra omega-3 fats, vitamins and minerals. Make them taste good with some bacon (turkey bacon is a great, lower-fat option) and increase nutrient density and texture with the veggies. Nothing says post-workout breakfast like eggs. This post-workout is perfect for those on low calories and carbs, but need the protein to retain muscle and fat to decrease hunger.

Calories: 520           | Protein: 37 g | Fat: 23 g | Carbs: 29 g

MEAL 6: CHICKEN AND SWEET POTATO HASH

How To: Grab a large chicken breast (about 8 ounces) that is already cooked and dice it up and throw it in a pan with olive oil. Add ½ cup of diced sweet potato, 1/2 cup of diced apples and add cinnamon, salt and pepper to taste. You can make an even bigger batch to store in the fridge to use through the week.

The Perks: Chicken and sweet potatoes, gourmet recovery style. Sweet potatoes are the perfect bodybuilder carb that slowly digest to keep your energy levels high and insulin spike just enough to feed the muscles but not the fat stores.

Calories: 300 | Protein: 51 g | Fat: 5 g | Carbs: 30 g

SOURCE: MUSCLEANDFITNESS.COM

NUTRITION: PRE-WORKOUT MEAL

Your health and fitness goals are tied to your nutrition and physical activity, so why not maximize your gains by knowing what to eat, when to eat it, and why it is crucial for fat loss, muscle growth, and recovery.

PRE-WORKOUT MEAL
1-2 Hours Before Training

1. Clean Source Of Moderate To Slow-Digesting Carbohydrates:

In order to power through your gut-wrenching, muscle-fiber-tearing workout, you need a premium source of fuel. That's why it's fundamentally important that you consume a slow to moderate digesting source of carbohydrates.

Not only will they provide a source of energy, thereby preventing your body from tapping into muscle for energy, but a slower digesting carb will sustain you throughout your entire workout.

This is why it's not recommended to use mainly high glycemic or fast-digesting carbs as you'll quickly burn out once their energy source is used up during your workout.

Some recommended low to moderate GI carbohydrate sources are brown rice, oatmeal, Ezekiel bread, white rice (long grain) and even whole wheat pasta. Of course, portion control and timing is a must when consuming a meal pre-workout.

If you consume an overabundance of carbs or consume them too close to your workout, your body has insufficient time to metabolize the food.

This results in blood being redirected to your working muscles rather than being reflowed to your stomach to aid in digestion, causing stomach cramps. As a general rule, consume anywhere between 20 to 40 grams of carbohydrates one to two hours before working out.

2. Fruit:

Fruits, such as oranges, make an excellent addition to your pre-workout meal. Now that you have a slower digesting carb source (as outlined above), it is also beneficial to have a small but sufficient source of fast-digesting carbs to kick-start your workout.

Oranges provide this type of quick energy source. That's why you always hear bodybuilders talking about eating or sucking on oranges before a workout.

Aside from providing a solid source of simple carbohydrates, oranges are packed with vitamin C and electrolytes. Bananas and apples are also excellent options if oranges are not to your liking.

3. Protein:

Of course, no meal is complete without protein. As the building block of new muscle growth, protein - composed of essential and non-essential amino acids - is vital to maintaining a positive nitrogen balance necessary to stimulate maximum protein synthesis.

Obtaining the correct ratio of amino acids is vital to achieving an anabolic state and the best way of achieving this is by consuming complete protein sources such as egg whites, chicken, turkey and even skim milk.

Don't waste a good workout with bad nutrition!

SOURCE: BODYBUILDING.COM

FITNESS: B3: BUILD a BETTER BOOTY

Photograph by  Torbjørn Rødland

Photograph by Torbjørn Rødland

There is no secret on how to get a bigger, fuller, shapelier booty. It's not magic, it just takes hard work and consistent exercise over the course of at least 30 days!

Try integrating this booty exercise into your normal regimen:

25 regular squats
30 walking lunges
Rest 30-60 seconds
Superset x 4

25 sumo (wide) jump squats
12 bulgarian split squat (on each side)
Rest 30-60 seconds
Superset x 4

8 minutes HIIT (high intensity interval training)
Stairmaster: 30 second fast / 30 seconds slow
Stairs/Bleachers: Sprint up / walk down
Track/Treadmill: 30 second sprint / 30 second walk
Indoor rower: 100 meter sprint / 50 meter rest

(beginner: body weight;  intermediate/advanced: add weight/resistence)

HEALTH: The importance of HYDRATION

Marilyn Minter

Marilyn Minter

The human body is comprised mostly of water:
Blood: 83% water
Kidneys: 83% water
Liver: 86% water
Brain: 74% water
Muscles: 76% water
Skin: 70% water
Connective tissue: 60% water
Bones: 22% water
Fat: 20%

It’s really simple, just DRINK MORE WATER !!!

1 glass upon waking up to activate and rehydrate your organs after a night of fasting
2 glasses 30 minutes before each meal to help with digestion (which aids in significant weight loss over the course time)
3-5 glasses throughout the day to stay hydrated

If you are very active, you always drink at least 1 liter (1000ml, 32oz, 4.25cups) of water after a cardio heavy workout to replenish

Replace sugar laden drinks (soda and anything sweetened) with WATER for just a week and you’ll notice a tremendous difference.

MORE REASONS TO DRINK WATER

Helps with weight loss
Helps carry nutrients and oxygen to your cells
Helps convert food to energy
Keeps skin healthy
Boosts your energy level
Helps make exercising more effective
Cleanses by flushing out toxins and wastes

FITNESS: 6 Effective Kettlebell Exercises

Build strength and efficiently work the muscles in the legs, shoulders, and lower back by exercising with the squat cast-iron weights.

The Routine

Want an exercise regimen with ironclad results? Pick up this cannonball-like weight. The handle lets you swing it, so you can rev up your heart rate while challenging multiple muscle groups. Research shows that using a kettlebell can burn 40 to 50 percent more calories (!) than a typical strength-training session.

Move 1: Swing

(A) Begin with your feet hip distance apart, both hands on the handle.

(B) Bend your knees and hinge from your hips to swing the kettlebell between your legs.

(C) Straighten your legs and swing the kettlebell to chin height. Repeat for 90 seconds, creating momentum in the swing. (Let your gluteals and hamstrings, not your shoulders, do the work.)

Move 2: Clean to Rack

(A) Begin with your feet hip distance apart. Hold the top of the handle with your right hand, palm facing you. Squat and lower the kettlebell below your knees.

(B) In one motion, stand and curl the kettlebell to your chest, allowing the weight to rotate toward your right. This is “rack” position. Lower and repeat for 30 seconds, then switch sides.

Move 3: Push Press

(A) Begin in rack position, with the bell in your right hand. Place your left hand on top of your right.

(B) Lower into a squat, bending your knees to 90 degrees.

(C) Straighten your legs and press your right arm overhead, releasing your left hand from the bell; rotate your wrist to turn your palm forward. Return to rack position. Repeat for 30 seconds, then switch sides.

Move 4: Chop Lunge

(A) Begin in rack position, with the bell in your right hand. Place your left hand on top of your right.

(B) In one motion, step your left leg forward into a lunge, twist to the left, and lower the kettlebell to your left hip. As you step back, bring the bell to the starting position. Repeat for 30 seconds, then switch sides.

Move 5: Lateral Lunge and Biceps Curl

(A) Stand with your feet together. Hold the kettlebell with your right hand, arm down at your side, palm facing you.

(B) Step your left leg to the side in a lunge as you hinge forward and lower the kettlebell to shin height.

(C) Curl the kettlebell up, keeping your wrist straight. Lower the kettlebell back down, then step your left leg back to the starting position. Repeat for 30 seconds, then switch sides (right leg lunging and left arm curling).

Move 6: Halo

(A) Begin with your feet hip distance apart. Grab the kettlebell with the weight facing up, hands on both sides of the handle. Hold it at chest height.

(B) Lift the kettlebell to the right side of your face and slowly circle it behind your head to the left side (C). Repeat for 60 seconds, continuously alternating directions.

HEALTH: The Government’s Bad Diet Advice

By NINA TEICHOLZ

Mark Pernice

Mark Pernice

America’s dietary guidelines have long been based on weak science.

For two generations, Americans ate fewer eggs and other animal products because policy makers told them that fat and cholesterol were bad for their health. Now both dogmas have been debunked in quick succession.

First, last fall, experts on the committee that develops the country’s dietary guidelines acknowledged that they had ditched the low-fat diet. On Thursday, that committee’s report wasreleased, with an even bigger change: It lifted the longstanding caps on dietary cholesterol, saying there was “no appreciable relationship” between dietary cholesterol and blood cholesterol. Americans, it seems, had needlessly been avoiding egg yolks, liver and shellfish for decades. The new guidelines, the first to be issued in five years, will influence everything from school lunches to doctors’ dieting advice.

How did experts get it so wrong? 

Read more at nytimes.com

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