No doubt about it, supplements are a critical component to achieving your physique and performance goals. And, for most of you, that means gaining more strength and endurance while building lean muscle and shedding as much fat as possible. But even if you know the right supplements to take, if you don’t take them at the right times, their benefits will be limited.
As they say, “Timing is everything,” and that maxim doesn’t ring any truer than for supplements. In fact, research confirms that those taking whey and creatine around workouts achieve significantly greater results than those taking them at other times. This is merely one example of the science-backed truth behind supplement timing. To help you get the most bang for your buck, let us walk you through the perfect day of supplementation, from wake-up call to bedtime.
Whether in food, a drink, or supplements, caffeine (aka, 1,3,7-trimethylxanthine) acts as a central nervous system stimulant. According to leading research, it helps to promote focus and energy. This is beneficial in itself right before training because every hard trainer wants to seriously enhance energy levels during workouts.
Overall, caffeine is a must-have supplement staple in anyone’s training, diet and supplementation program. Don’t miss out on the benefits of caffeine!
Whether it’s greater size and strength that you’re after or improved speed and endurance, BSN® knows you’re out there, day after day, pushing yourself to the edge in order to get one step closer to your goal. Whatever your endgame, you deserve a complete pre-workout igniter that can keep pace. BSN® has answered the call with its most powerful formula yet, equipping athletes everywhere with the tools to achieve real progress and push past previous limitations. Experience the new strength of a legend – experience ADVANCED STRENGTH N.O.-XPLODE™ 2.0, the extreme pre-training energy & performance igniter. Taken during the crucial Pre-Training Supplement Timing Window™, ADVANCED STRENGTH N.O.-XPLODE™ 2.0 is designed to support:
- Muscular Endurance, Strength and Resistance to Muscular Fatigue**
- Training Energy*
- Muscle Growth**
- Mental Alertness and Focus*
- Nitric Oxide Production, Muscle Fullness, Pumps and Vascularity**
- Anaerobic Working Capacity of Muscle Tissue**
Abdominal fat is said to be more dangerous than fat in other parts of your body. It’s also the fat most likely to motivate us to diet. Thousands of sit ups and crunches isn’t the best way to attack belly fat, but fortified orange juice can provide some assistance. That’s what a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests.
Researchers put 171 participants on one of two reduced calorie diets for 16 weeks. One group drank three 240 mL glasses of orange juice fortified with 350 mg of calcium and 100 IU vitamin D every day, while the other group didn’t get any fortified foods. Both groups lost the same amount of weight on average: about 4½ pounds. But belly fat was reduced significantly in the fortified orange juice group.
True Strength Moment: It didn’t matter much whether these study subjects drank regular or reduced calorie fortified orange juice. Both helped cut more belly fat than dieting alone. This shows the importance of micronutrients in the diet. Vitamins and minerals are only needed in small amounts, but deficiencies can make a big difference. For some tips on abdominal muscle development, check today’s Performance Blog post at ABBperformance.com
Over the last few years, there’s been a lot of debate about how to stretch and when. Do you go with old school against the joint effort or more of a dynamic stretching technique where you gradually expand your arm and leg range of motion along with the velocity of movement? Do you stretch out as a warm up, a cool down or both?
Some recent science on the debate can be found in the March edition of the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. Scientists recruited 13 untrained adults and had them stretch out their right calf muscle 4 times for 30 seconds with a 30-second rest period between stretches. This went on 3 days a week for 10 weeks. Compared to a group of 12 untrained subjects who didn’t do anything different, the stretchers realized a 29% increase in right leg calf muscle strength as well as an 11% increase in left leg calf muscle strength. Range of motion in the stretched calf increased 8%.
True Strength Moment: While stretching might not be the most efficient way to develop muscle strength, this research shows that stretching probably doesn’t decrease your strength. And there’s nothing wrong with having greater flexibility and range of motion. So don’t be afraid to stretch out for a few minutes before and/or after a demanding workout.
Caffeine is the world’s most popular stimulant, which is a big part of the reason it’s considered an essential component of many athletes’ pre-training and competition preparation routine. Observations from an international group of scientists published in the Journal of Caffeine Research offer some interesting tips on making the most of caffeine’s potential.
According to researchers, caffeine can improve endurance in events lasting for several hours, and improve strength and power in efforts lasting only a couple minutes. These effects work best in people who don’t consume a lot of caffeine. So save up the endurance, strength and power support of your favorite performance beverage for the times when you can use it most.
Some people thrive on it while others dread competition. Whether you like to dislike one-on-one athletic challenges, a study published in the journalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise examined the effect head to head competition had on the performance of recreational cyclists.
Researchers had 14 subjects complete a 2000 meter time trial before racing against a computer generated competitor in another 2000 meter time trial. The ‘competitor’ in this case was actually the subject’s previous performance. On average, performance in head to head competition was about 4 seconds faster over the 2000 meter course.
True Strength Moment: This study shows how motivating a little competition can be with a unique take on beating a personal best. It turns out that we all have an anaerobic energy reserve which can be tapped into when conditions are right. Staying out front during a friendly competition is one way to create such a condition.
More isn’t necessarily always good. Realistically, you can only perform so many reps and sets. But keeping your muscles under continuous tension for a longer period of time can lead to greater gains in the weight room. That’s the idea behind a concept known as 1½ Reps.
Track and field athletes looking for a competitive edge might want to experiment with 20-yard sprints or a short set of countermovement jumps before tossing the iron ball for distance. According to a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, both strategies can produce results when performed after a basic warm up.
Scientists had 10 experienced shot putters warm up with stretches and jogging. They threw a shot put 4 to 6 times without giving it their maximal effort. After that, they did 3 all-out puts with a minute and a half rest between each attempt. Then with 3 more minutes of rest, some of these athletes performed a quick series of 3 maximal countermovement jumps. Others sprinted for 20 yards. Their next attempts at shot putting averaged about 2 yards further.
True Strength Moment: Sprinting produced better results than jumping in this study, but it isn’t always practical to get in a quick 20-yard dash when you’re about to compete. Try both techniques and measure off your extra distance to get a good idea of what you might be able to do when every put counts. For tips on planning a lower body power phase, check out today’sPerformance Blog at ABBperformance.com
Recovery and repair of tissues require a host of vitamins and minerals that participate in synthesis of new cells and tissue. For example, certain vitamins and minerals are required to facilitate the formation of endogenous anti-inflammatory compounds, including:
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin C
Many vitamins and minerals also serve as antioxidants and help protect cells against the oxidative damage produced by inflammation.
Rage. This is not a casual term. There is nothing passive or half-hearted about such an intense emotion. Suppressing or bottling up passions so strong and forceful can be hazardous to your health and detrimental to the safety of those you come in contact with. Rage explodes violently, it lashes out with blind fury, it boils over and melts down. It isn’t subtle, gentle or delicate… It is unrelenting, it bulldozes forward undeterred, it tramples all that is within its path. Wild and uncontrollable, rage is often too powerful for those it overcomes.
Continue reading Finding Your Rage
If you work out in the evening, a study published in the journalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise shows the recovery support casein protein can provide when enjoyed right before going to sleep. Researchers had 16 healthy young men weight train at 8PM. They all got a recovery supplement providing 20 grams of protein and 60 grams of carbohydrates at 9PM. Then at 11:30PM, some subjects were given a 40 gram casein protein shake while others received a placebo beverage. The casein elevated circulating amino acids throughout the night and increased whole-body rates of protein synthesis by 22% compared to placebo.
True Strength Moment: Even though all of these subjects received a recovery drink immediately after training, a casein shake right before bed promoted a better whole body protein balance for recovery from exercise. This study didn’t cover a morning workout, but your muscles typically require more than 24 hours to completely recover from the breakdown of weight training.
It’s tough to improve your physique and put on new muscle if you’re following a super-clean, calorie-restricted diet all year long. There should come a phase in your program where you trade the baked white fish for a grilled sirloin steak, the brown rice for a loaded baked potato, and add a heaping scoop of muscle-volumizing creatine! We’ve covered massbuilding nutrition in previous articles so this is where we share our top five picks for the best massbuilding supplements.
There are times when you just need to take a break from your training routine. How long you can go without losing the benefits is a matter of debate. According to a new study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology, study subjects who stopped their endurance program for 12 weeks lost the capacity for exercise they had built up during 12 weeks of training. But they ended up more fit than before they started the 12 week training program.
True Strength Moment: This study found the number of blood capillaries increased in type I muscle fibers improved oxygen supply even after 12 weeks without exercise. That’s just one of the longer-lasting benefits to working out. Of course, getting back into a regular exercise program can build that capacity right back up again. It’s motivation enough to get going.
Weight room regulars often hit a sticking point that’s really difficult to push past. Adding reps and resistance isn’t always the answer, because you can only lift so much weight. A study published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine shows what experienced lifters accomplished with 3 weeks of high-velocity training.
It’s been said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. That first meal provides energy and kick-starts your metabolism, which is important for weight loss and maintenance. Because calories consumed early in the day can more easily be burned off through activity, breakfast is probably the best time to consume extra calories. That’s the thinking behind an unusual diet study from Tel Aviv University’s Wolfson Medical Center.
Continue reading HAVING CHOCOLATE CAKE FOR BREAKFAST?
In any gym, there’s always that guy who claims to have lifted mountains of plates for reps. You aren’t the only one wondering if there’s a little exaggeration involved. Consider the findings of a study published in the journal Ethnicity & Disease that suggests survey-taking Americans like to shave a couple of pounds off their true weight and over-report their height. This is true for both men and women.
Researchers analyzed data from 2,672 men and 2,671 women who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted between 2007 and 2008. Because it included both self-reported data and actual weight and height measurements, scientists were able to calculate the discrepancies.
True Strength Moment: While the under-reporting bias was considered small, within the range of a single BMI (body mass index) unit, the desire for a lean look is universal. Who doesn’t want to look better or lift more? The fact is anyone can if they’re willing to put in the work.
Have you ever wondered what athletes and bodybuilders use as a primary source of protein? I think most of us have.
There are several reasons why international athletes and bodybuilders search for the best products, here is what Jay Cutler and Team MuscleTech use:
BSN® introduced the latest extension of the SYNTHA-6™ product line with its first entry into the meal replacement bar category, SYNTHA-6™ DECADENCE. A rich, decadent high-protein meal replacement, SYNTHA-6™ DECADENCE is designed to support:
Whether it’s greater size and strength that you’re after or improved speed and endurance, BSN® knows you’re out there, day after day, pushing yourself to the edge in order to get one step closer to your goal. Whatever your endgame, you deserve a complete pre-workout igniter that can keep pace.* BSN® has answered the call with its most powerful formula yet, equipping athletes everywhere with the tools to achieve real progress and push past previous limitations.* Experience the new strength of a legend – experience ADVANCED STRENGTH N.O.-XPLODE™ 2.0, the extreme pre-training energy & performance igniter.* Taken immediately before a training session or strenuous exercise, ADVANCED STRENGTH N.O.-XPLODE™ 2.0 is designed to support:*
Often in life, when you get it right the first time, it only takes one shot. In the many months of formulating and testing Animal Rage, this became abundantly clear. Take your time, do your homework, keep your eye locked in on the target, account for all of the variables and take the mark down… If your aim is true, you’ll hit the bull’s-eye the first time. Game over.
Continue reading One Scoop, One Shot, One Kill: Animal Rage
There are many benefits of multivitamins, and in any good multi is a combination of beneficial vitamins and minerals. A few of the most well-known vitamins that should be included in a multivitamin are vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, and E. Some of the minerals to look for in a good multivitamin include calcium, magnesium, zinc, and chromium, just to name a few.
Anyone who’s a regular at the gym is looking to improve. If you measure your improvements in terms of physical performance, a study published in the journal Amino Acids suggests beta-Alanine might offer you a 3% boost. In a review of 15 research papers that took into account 57 measures and 23 exercise tests involving 360 subjects, scientists found that a median total of 179 grams of beta-Alanine consumed over a period of time might help you realize a 3% increase in exercise capacity.
Whether your goal at the gym is to improve muscle tone, increase cardio ability, get in shape or just to pursue a healthy lifestyle, you will need to improve both strength and stamina. To achieve a conditioning goal like this and keep building on your accomplishments, it’s advisable to plan out a clean eating diet that continuously fuels muscle rebuilding with amino acids from protein, while also replenishing your body’s stores of the carbohydrate energy known as glycogen.
Here are a few principles to keep in mind to support your training:
- Do short, intense workouts
- Make certain you are getting adequate sleep
- Never miss a meal
- Keep a food diary to monitor how much protein, carbs and fat you’re consuming from whole foods daily
|We all know nothing beats an old school workout. You let it all hang out and you punish the iron. You feel like you’ve accomplished a lot, right? You have. But when do you actually grow? Well, we don’t grow in the gym.In the gym, we destroy. We tear down the body. We only grow when we are recovering. That’s right, I said recovery. I see it all the time–people beating themselves up in the gym and not seeing results. They don’t understand that hitting the weights hard is only a small part of growing or even cutting down. I could train the same all year round and get big or get ripped just by eating different and taking different supplements. Timing is the key and you must take advantage of when to take in food and when to take your supplements.Depending on your goals, you might eat more at times or cleaner at times, but there are times you must take in supplements no matter what your goals are. Solid foods are great. Solid foods are the most important element and should always be used to gain mass, strength, and cut down.Below are my five “keys” to supplementing with success Continue reading 5 “Keys” to Supplementing With Success|