Citrulline: A Breakthrough Amino for an Explosive Performance

Maybe you’ve got the basics down – protein, creatine, glutamine, BCAAs… Now you’re looking for something new. If you are performing high-intensity exercise on a regular basis, Citrulline is a great pre-workout supplement for you.

Citrulline is a non-essential amino acid that supports Arginine content in the body. And Arginine is a pre-cursor to Nitric Oxide leading to vasodilation – in other words, muscle PUMPS. Vasodilation means your blood vessels expand, helping you with more oxygen, more nutrient flow and more waste product removal during your workouts. Now, who wouldn’t want that!

Citrulline plays a major role in

  • Recycling of ATP – the primary fuel for explosive activity
  • Supporting increased energy levels
  • Supporting increased Nitric oxide production
  • Delaying and / or reducing fatigue during high intensity training
  • Quick muscle repair and recovery
  • Increasing synthesis of muscle protein

Citrulline is a power-house workout performance ingredient ready to hit center stage in your supplement plan. Citrulline makes a great combo with branched chain amino acids, BCAAs, or other pre-workout ingredients like Creatine, Caffeine, Carbs and more. You can find Citrulline as a standalone product or in combinations with other ingredients.

Get your daily supply of citrulline in tried, tested and trusted pre-workout boosters like NO-EXPLODE VER.2.0, Animal Pump or in amino acid products like AMINO ENERGY and AMINO X and you’ll be ready to  break all your training barriers.


In yesterday’s ON Breaking News post, a study of college students revealed a positive correlation between regular strength training and a higher grade point average. Now research from the University of Pittsburgh suggests omega-3 fatty acid supplementation can improve the working memory of young college aged adults. The findings were published in the journal PLOS One.

Researchers had healthy young men and women between the ages of 18 and 25 supplement with Omega-3s for 6 months. Before and after this half-year period, blood samples were taken and a cognitive test was administered to assess working memory. Better performance on the test was positively associated with higher blood levels of omega-3s. So get your fair share of essential fatty acids, work out with weights and have confidence in your test taking abilities.

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You know the routine. You’re ready to start dieting and get cut down to the size you’ve been envisioning for a long time. No more fooling around, this time you’re serious. You have your diet all planned out and it’s time to start making progress. Now, how do you avoid all these cravings you get each time you start a diet? Here are three tips you can follow to help sidestep those dreaded cravings.

Don’t Buy Anything That’s Not Part Of Your Diet – The easiest way to avoid temptation is not to have it in front of you. If you have foods in your house that aren’t part of your eating strategy, throw them away. Even healthy snacks, like rice cakes, can wreck your diet if you eat too many of them. Maybe you’ll get hungry some night and, before you realize it, every rice cake in the package is gone. Stick with your pre-programmed meals.

Stay On An Eating Schedule – Most diet plans will have you eating every three hours like clockwork. To avoid cravings for other foods, stick to the plan and eat each meal on time. When your metabolism starts to increase, you’ll start to get hungry every few hours. If you go too long between meals, it’ll be tempting to eat anything that’s convenient. Stick to the plan by eating on schedule.

Increase Your Water Intake – If you’ve ever seen a fitness athlete on a diet, they’re often lugging around a gallon of water. The reason for this is that staying hydrated helps to keep you felling full. By drinking plenty of water throughout the day, especially between meals, you’ll avoid the temptation to cheat or eat something sweet. The extra water also helps with digestion and absorption of food as well as a feeling of satiety.


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If you lift weights on a regular basis, you’ve probably heard of BCAAs which is an acronym for Branched Chain Amino Acids. BCAAs are essential amino acids because the body can’t make them. They can only be taking in through diet. There are three amino acids in this group: Leucine, isoleucine and valine.

What’s so special about Branched Chain Amino Acids? They are considered anti-catabolic, meaning they help prevent the breakdown of muscle tissue. This benefit can be used to your advantage when performing morning cardio on an empty stomach. BCAAs can help ‘spare’ muscle tissue from being broken down to fuel exercise in the absence of the body’s preferred fuel source carbohydrates.

You can also use BCAA supplements after training because leucine is one of the primary triggers of the process known as protein synthesis, which plays a major role in rebuilding muscle tissue from the breakdown of training.

You don’t have to look very far past your gym’s cooler for find an excellent source of Branched Chain Amino Acids. Whey protein is a favorite with all kinds of athletes not just because it’s a rapidly digested protein source, but also because whey is an excellent source of BCAAs.


Maybe you aren’t familiar with the name for the brachialis muscle, but there’s no doubt you’ve seen it on a well-developed physique. The brachialis is the little round muscle between the biceps and the triceps on the outside of the arm. Building this muscle can help increase the peak of your biceps because it pushes that muscle up.

There are several exercises that work the brachialis. Because it’s positioned underneath the biceps, curling exercises using a pronated or neutral grip can be used to target this small but very noticeable muscle. Here are three great movements for brachialis training:

Reverse Barbell Curls – Place an overhand grip on a barbell with your hands spaced about shoulder width apart. Keeping your elbows in tight against your waist, curl the barbell up focusing on using your forearms to initiate the movement. The pronated grip on the bar will activate the brachialis muscles.

Hammer Curls – This exercise is performed using a pair of dumbbells. With thumbs facing up, curl the weight up while keeping your elbows tight against your waist. Use a moderate amount of weight so you can feel the muscles contracting in your arms at the top of the movement. By using a neutral grip with thumbs facing up, you’ll work the brachialis more than the biceps.

Chin Ups – Although this isn’t often thought of as an arm exercise, doing chin-ups with a narrow grip will work the biceps and brachialis as well as your back muscles. Grab the bar with an overhand grip and space your hands out a little closer than shoulder width. Keeping both elbows pointed forward, pull yourself up until your chin reaches the bar. Flex your arms in the contracted position to work the brachialis muscles.



What’s the best workout for dropping pounds and building muscle mass? The answer depends on a number of factors, but a study published in the American Journal of Physiology suggests that 30 minutes of daily exercise might help you lose more weight than a full hour of running, biking and rowing.

Researchers recruited 60 overweight, but healthy male subjects and set them the task of exercising for 30 or 60 minutes every day for 3 months. On average, the men who trained for half an hour every day lost 8 pounds whereas those who worked out for a full hour every day only lost around 6 pounds.

True Strength Moment: There are two possible reasons for these conflicting results. The guys who trained for half an hour probably left the gym feeling more energised than the subjects who trained for twice as long. As a result, they were ready for more physical activity later in the day. As there was no diet element to this study, scientists also speculated that an hour’s worth of effort may have prompted this group to consume more food, thereby offsetting the potential for weight loss.



Resistance training greatly influences natural growth hormone production in men, but what about women? A study published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise suggests that women realize a similar response after weight lifting, even if the exercise period is relatively short-term.

Researchers had 46 women in their 20s engage in endurance training, resistance training or a combination of both types of exercise for 8 weeks. Although there weren’t any significant hormonal changes seen in the endurance training group, those who lifted weights or combined weight training with endurance exercise ended up with higher blood concentrations of the growth hormone IGF-1 and lower concentrations of IGFBP-1, which inhibits tissue growth.

Although this hormonal response is similar to what’s experienced by men, women aren’t likely to build massive muscles the way men do because males produce much more testosterone than the typical female. The difference can be seen in the typical male’s goal to bulk up muscle mass versus the widely held female desire to tone muscle.


Many people are confused about what to eat after training. Some people avoid eating anything because they’re afraid of adding calories after burning off so many at the gym. Others will just drink a protein shake because they heard the body needs protein after a workout.

The fact is, your body is in a unique state after weight training. The carbohydrate-based energy source glycogen that’s stored in muscle cells has been pretty well depleted after intense exercise. Fast carbs consumed within half an hour of finishing exercise can help replenish glycogen stores, and branch chain amino acids (BCAAs) from protein can kick-start the muscled rebuilding process.

Drinking a post-workout recovery protein shake with a banana which will present you with the opportunity to satisfy both needs. Or try using any product with high protein and good carb to replenish your body’s glycogen.

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How much protein do you need and when’s the best time to take it? This seemingly simple two-part question continues to be one of the great mysteries of the weight room. Then there’s the issue of carbohydrate intake. A paper published in the European Journal of Sports Science offers some very specific suggestions for hard training men and women.

According to the study’s authors, men should consume 8 grams of carbs per day for each kilogram of body weight, and women should aim for 7 grams of carbs per kg each day. So a 150 pound male would be trying to get 544 grams of carbs each day compared to 378 grams for a 120 pound female. The maximum recommendation for protein was 1.7 grams per kg per day, or 116 grams for our male subject and 92 grams for the female.

This research goes on to recommend that 1 gram of carbs per kg of body weight along with at least 10 grams of protein be consumed immediately following a workout to optimize recovery. Of course, developing size requires adequate intake of quality calories to compensate for those utilized during training. It’s a delicate balance, but the results can be well worth the effort.



For the eighth year in a row, Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard 100% Whey has been named Supplement of the Year and Protein Powder of the Year in’s prestigious annual Supplement Awards. This year, the world’s best-selling whey protein also took the honors as Muscle Builder of the Year.

In addition, Essential Amino Energy named Energy Drink of the Year. Serious Mass repeated last year’s performance as Weight Gainer of the Year, our Glutamine 1000 Caps also repeated as Glutamine Supplement of the Year and Opti-Men once again topped the vitamin and minerals category as Multivitamin of the Year.

True Strength Moment: The results of’s 2012 Supplement Awards were announced during Olympia Weekend in Las Vegas, Nevada, September 28 and 29. ON is proud to have our uncompromising commitment to quality honored with more Supplement Awards than any other company. We look forward to adding to an impressive string of wins in 2013.


Taking The ‘Talk Test’ Pro

One way to gauge the intensity of your cardio day is the talk test. Basically, if you’re easily able to carry on a conversation while running, you’re probably in the 4 to 5 range of perceived exertion. On this scale, 1 is very low intensity while 10 is maximal. If you become breathless, like you would during high intensity interval training, your effort rates 8 or 9 on that 1 through 10 scale. At that point, it becomes almost impossible to talk.

This simple test is fine for recreational athletes and weekend warriors, but what about professionals? A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research took the talk test to the pro ranks of cycling. Eighteen elite cyclists tried to read a standard paragraph after racing a time trial. The stage when they couldn’t talk comfortably was very close to their ventilatory threshold, and when they had trouble speaking at all, they had reached their respiratory compensation threshold.

True Strength Moment: Ventilatory threshold is the point during exercise where breathing increases significantly. When you reach your respiratory compensation threshold, oxygen consumption begins to increase at a much greater rate than carbon dioxide output from exhaling. It turns out that the talk test is a pretty good indicator of effort for all levels of skill and experience.


There’s more than one way to build muscle. In fact, one of the biggest mistakes novice bodybuilders make is not changing their routine when it starts to get stale. There are lots of ways to change up a resistance exercise program, but let’s draw some inspiration from one of the oldest and most basic leg exercises; the squat. Just by altering your foot position and the angle of your toes, you can change this movement into a completely different exercise.

If you want to work the inner thighs with the squat, keep your feet positioned wide with toes slightly pointed out. Your knees should always travel in the same direction as the feet during the exercise. The wide stance should allow you to squat much deeper while still maintaining a straight upper body. The lower you descend, the more you’ll feel the hamstrings, glutes and inner thighs.

If you’re really looking to work the glutes and hamstrings, try doing 1½ reps with squats. Choose a moderate weight and perform a full squat, going as deep as possible. Come up only until your thighs are parallel to the floor before going back down into a full squat again. From the full squat position, go back up to the starting position. This is one rep. By keeping constant tension on the bottom portion of each rep, the glutes and hamstrings will be forced to work extremely hard.

To focus more on the outer quads, keep your feet close together and parallel. As you descend into the squat, keep your upper body as straight as possible with an arched lower back. The outer quadriceps (vastas lateralis) will be stressed with the close stance. TIP: It may be easier to do this exercise on a Smith Machine so you won’t have to worry about maintaining your balance.


For those who aren’t doing much in the way of exercise and aren’t especially focused on healthy eating, I’ve put together a list of rules to live by that can help you turn around bad habits. Most Americans are overweight and don’t know where to begin making changes for the better. Here are 5 things the average person can do to move in the right direction.

Cut Out the Soda — Carbonated pop is loaded with calories, sugar and sodium. Some people consume massive amounts of soda every day and it’s become a normal part of their life. If you could make just one change, substituting soda for water will make a tremendous difference. I’ve had clients lose over 10 pounds just by cutting out soda because of all the water retention caused by sodium.

Eat More Protein – The average adult doesn’t eat enough protein. This may be hard to believe in the fitness world, but many people consume mostly simple sugars in their normal diet. By including more protein foods like eggs, chicken, turkey, lean red meat and fish, blood sugar will be more stabilized and cravings for sugary foods will fade.

Prepare More Meals at Home – “Eating on the run” or “grabbing food to go” is common for the average American who’s typically too busy to cook. Unfortunately, much of the food bought in restaurants is full of sodium, saturated fats and sugar. By preparing food at home, you’ll increase your nutritional health and save money in the process.

Eat Vegetables Every Day – It’s been ingrained in our heads to eat our veggies every day, and that advice isn’t just for kids. Most Americans are deficient in the vitamins, minerals and fiber that vegetables provide. If you can include a serving of some type of vegetable in at least one or two meals per day, you’ll be taking a big step toward improving your health.

Don’t Be Afraid to Eat at Night – If you’re accustomed to raiding the fridge at night and indulging in a late night snack, you can curtail those hunger swings by eating a small meal before you go to bed. Try cooking up some egg whites and a half cup of oatmeal as your last meal of the evening. The combination of protein and complex carbohydrates will help cure your appetite for junk food.