The supplement guide for a stronger, fitter you

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Whether it is your first day at the gym or 100th supplements are either going to or or already are an integral part of your workout routine. Now I would not recommend you replace your healthy diet by supplements but the combo of the right supplements and diet can help you reach fitness goals faster and efficiently but it is important you know what supplements are right. So here are a few supplements I usually recommend all.

Protein

Studies and guides will tell you we need about 20-25% of protein each day. Now for that the best source is your food but that won’t always be enough. You cannot be eating every couple of hours and that’s where supplements are so helpful.

Whey protein is the most commonly used protein supplement. It’s easily available and is digested quickly. Other protein supplements include casein protein, soy protein and egg protein.

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Fish Oil

Why fish oil? Fish oil has omega 3 fatty acids, specifically EPA and DHA which makes it so important whether your aim is to lose weight or gain muscles. Fish oil also supports better skin and immunity, a healthy heart and good vision.

Natural sources of omega 3 are eggs, fish, beef etc. Even omega 3 capsules are easily available in food and health stores.

 

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BCAA

BCAA or as it stands branched chain amino acids are ideal supplements if you want to enhance your training and recover faster and it boosts energy and strength. They are also responsible for better protein synthesis in the body, muscle building and maintaining body mass.

BCAA is available in most high protein foods and is more likely already part of your diet. This is one supplement I sip while working out since it helps me workout better and longer.

 

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Creatine

The most common supplement is creatine. Ideal for runners as it has proven to better running times and also for weightlifter as it improves overall strength and performance allowing you to lift heavier and workout longer.

Creatine is found in the human body in mostly the muscles and also other parts like the kidney, lover, brain and testes and thus is the ideal supplement for bodybuilding. You will come across many creatine forms but my recommendation would be only creatine monohydrate.glutamine-creatine-old-dogs-can-learn-new-tricks_b

 

Glutamine

Glutamine is the most common of amino acids found in the human body and is responsible for proper functioning of the immune system and overall fitness of the body. In its supplement state glutamine aids muscle growth, lowers muscle catabolism etc.

Take glutamine post workout as it produces muscle glycogen and glutamine. This in turn fastens recovery and is ideal for people on low carb diet.

 

 

My top 5 diet Mantras for all beginners

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An hour of good intense workout at the gym is only half the battle won the rest of it depends on your daily nutrition. Though healthy eating is easier said than done if you are serious about your training and fitness the right diet and supplements can give your routine a much needed boost. So if you’re a beginner looking for some help here is a must read nutrition guide for you guys.

Add a meal

Let’s say your training really hard at the gym now to add more muscle you will need to add more calories to your diet. My suggestion would be you add a small meal of about 200-300 calories between your lunch and dinner such as fruits, a smoothie etc. The caloric increase helps with muscle repair and enables better growth. Check out smoothie recipes at foodnetwork

Keep a check

Has the scale not shifted an inch in 2-3 weeks? Do you feel you haven’t gained much with 1 additional meal?  Then it is time you add a second. Don’t simply rely on the scale as gaining muscles and losing fat can also be a reason for a static scale.

Adding calories slowly ensures the gains don’t go straight to your belly. This extra meal is especially helpful for people with a fast metabolism as it makes gaining muscles tough.

Eat regularly

Eating clean 3 times a day is not going to cover up the calories you lose after a workout and this is exactly why most bodybuilders eat 5-6 meals. Yes breakfast, lunch and dinner are still your primary meals but a couple of high protein snacks in between helps greatly.

I personally eat 7 meals in day so I am eating every 2-3 hours. If I skip a meal or I am still hungry I opt for supplements. It is the easiest way to add few calories and where clean foods fail the right supplements make up.

Protein is king

When it comes to bodybuilding protein is king. Wondering why? Proteins contain amino acids which are responsible for the repair work of the muscles but the question is how much protein does one need?

I would suggest you eat as per your weight so if you weigh around 250 pounds and eat 5 times a day you need about 50g of protein in each of your meals.

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Know your intake

Now that you know how much protein you need in every meal do you know exactly what constitutes 50g of protein? So before you gobble down an entire chicken learn about the nutritional value of each food.

Just to help you get started. 7 big eggs or 6 cups of milk or if your into supplements 3 scoops of protein powder make up 50g of protein.

5 abs day crimes beginners make but shouldn’t

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When it comes to abs the worst mistake anyone can make is missing your workout and cheating on your diet but there is a lot that can also go wrong between those sets of crunches and leg raises. Of course if getting a six pack was so simple we’d all be flaunting it. So today I am going to talk about the 5 mistakes you shouldn’t make on abs day irrespective of whether you train it daily or once a week.

You consider abs as one muscle

Your abs is not a single muscle. The rectus abdominis, both of the obliques, the transverse abdominis are few of your abs muscles you should know about. This will help you setup a better workout routine that hits all the muscles from different angles.

For the upper and lower abs crunches is the best exercise and for your obliques I would suggest you add in some twisting, rotating and side bend exercises.

You’re scared of adding resistance

There are plenty of abs exercise to choose from and most of them can be done from home itself but there is a downside to that. As you grow and develop your body gets accustomed to the routine and this is why adding resistance is important and its easy.

A weight plate on the back is enough to continue your gains. You can also switch to cable and machine crunches for a more effective high resistance workout.

 

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You get too comfortable

If you are too comfortable at the gym irrespective of whether you are training your legs or abs you are definitely doing it wrong. It is time for you to up the ante. For that you can add weights as I mentioned above.

You can also add more reps and sets to your routine or reduce the rest between each set. Those rock hard 8 packs you dream off are not easy to get and is possible only if you continue to improve. Remember No Pain No Gain.

You keep your back flat

The most common mistake beginners make is keeping a flat back when doing exercises such as cable crunches etc. This good when you’re doing squats, bent rows etc. but a straight back prevents proper contraction of the abs muscles while crunching.

With a flat back you will end up curling at your hips rather than your waist. Only by bending correctly you engage your rectus abdominis. So on your abs days forget what otherwise is a good habit.

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You do it too quickly

Pretty much every beginner starts their exercise with the aim of completing it quickly by doing as many reps as possible but keep in mind exercise is not about the quantity but more about the quality.

When working out momentum is your worst enemy. Each rep should apply the same amount of tension on your muscles for an effective workout.

 

5 things I did to make my workouts effective and tough

If you aren’t seeing your body grow and develop it is mainly because you are not pushing yourself enough.  Following the same workout routine each week can at times turn into a rut but the good news is that the solutions in simple.

All you need to do is take things up a notch and today I am going to share with you the changes I made to my workout routine to end the rut and make it more effective and tough.

I used bands when training with a barbell

Though an unusual way of making your workouts tough bands and chains are as effective as any weight if not better and by ignoring them you let a really good equipment pass you by.

These bands and chains are effective because these are lighter at the start and only add more resistance as you lift higher due to which more muscle fibers are incorporated into each lift while in a regular barbell or dumbbell exercise the weight remains constant throughout. See video for more help

 

 

I used the extended set technique

In simple words the extended set technique means doing 2-3 versions of the same workout in the same set. For example if I were doing let’s say 10 reps of seated front raise after 10 reps rather than putting my dumbbells down I got up and did 10 more by standing.

This is easier than the seated version since you can engage your knees and hips while lifting and though this technique is tough it works and is exactly what you need to grow faster.

 

I switched to the dropset technique

The dropset technique means reducing the weight and doing a few extra reps rather than stopping at 10. Just make sure you do not rest too much and to save time have a friend or your trainer change weight plates with you.

This technique is not restricted to barbell movements you can also do it with dumbbells but remember to keep the dumbbells close to you beforehand. Still confused? Here is some help

 

 

I improved the density of my workout

I often workout my abs at the end of the session but as my workout got more intense I found myself too tired and willing to skip it and this is where density training is so useful.  Density training is working out the other muscle groups such as your abs in between sets of other muscles such as legs, chest etc.

This is ideal since you would be working out different muscles groups in the same amount of time. Just make sure both muscles groups are not dependent on each other.

 

I switched from machines to free weights

Free weight training as compared to working out on machines is more effective and harder. This is because when you lift free weights your body needs to stabilize and balance the weight and thus it engages more muscle groups and also burns more fat.

It also improves testosterone rotation in muscles. So the next time you have the choice opt for free weights for better growth.

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