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Sunday, March 29, 2009



Training To Failure
The Rule of One Hundred
By Kevin Welsh

I've looked at many workout routines and many stress "training to
failure". "Training to failure" has always been described as doing
reps until you absolutely cannot get one more. But, how many is that?
I often found myself trying to guess for a particular exercise and
selected weight what number was going to be my "failure" point and I
would always try to get to that number and some how I would be
at "failure" when I hit that number. I bet I could've done more. I've
come up with a theory on how to break the "training to failure" platuea
many of us are probably on.

Recently I have started running. Not just on a treadmill but I entered
and completed my first marathon last year (time of 4:07:01). Not record
pace but not bad for a guy who at 5'8" was weighing in at a solid 225
when I took up running a couple years ago at the age of 30. Anyway, I
am training for another marathon again and during my training runs I
often find myself running as hard as I know I need to run to make it to
the finish. What I'm trying to say is that when you know where the
finish line is you work just hard enough to get there. When I am
running a route that I do not know I realize that my pace is quite
faster than when I run my usual recovery run route and I know all the
mileage markers. This got me thinking when I am "training to failure"
when I am in the gym.

For example, let's do flat chest dumbell presses. I know I can get
about 10 reps at 80lbs. So that number is precoded in my mind when I
am working to failure and I will only work as hard as necessary to
achieve my predetermined (mental) amount. Same as running my five
mile recover run. I know when I have only 1 mile remaining so I kind
of glide in, not really pushing since I know the finish is near.

I have started rethinking my "training to failure". I now start with
a number that I know is unatainable. I call it the "rule of one
hundred". I know I cannot get one hundred reps at 80lbs on flat bench
chest. However, I tell myself that is the number I am going for. I
begin and surprisingly enough I am getting past my 10 reps, more
around 14 now. Hmmm? Let's try that on shoulder press...wow, didn't
make one hundred but I can do a few more reps to failure than I
normally do. Let's take this outside...map a new route, 5 miles,
don't know the mile markers. Hmmm...might beat the 4 hour mark at
the marathon this year.

Happy training. Yes you can.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Benefits of Tangerine Peel

What Is Tangerine Peel?

Tangerine peel is the outermost layer of a tangerine, a popular
fruit widely known also as a mandarin. In Japan, it is known as
a satsuma, and the general botanical name for a tangerine is
Citrus reticulata. It is now known that tangerine peel contains
far more flavonoids and anti-oxidants that are beneficial for
good health than fruit juices do.

Tangerine Peel Benefits

Two major tangerine peel benefits are its cholesterol lowering
capabilities and more recently its use in fighting cancer. The
disease fighting flavonoids tangeretin and nobiletin are found
in higher concentrations in peels that in the juice we commonly
drink. Other benefits of tangerine peel are a lower risk or
heart disease and obesity.

The super-flavonoids found in tangerine peels are even thought
by some to effectively lower cholesterol. Tangeretin and
nobiletin are easily absorbed and metabolized.

Tangerine peel is beneficial for treating nervous tension,
depression, emotional stress and sleep related problems. It
helps to calm and soothe the nervous system, as well as the
digestive system. Many digestive disorders are easily remedied
by using this ingredient on soups, salads and other
foods you eat.

Tangerine Peel Weight Loss

Nutrients in tangerine peel promote weight loss, and are one
of the most effective ways to fight obesity.

Tangerine peel also helps with absorption, and controls
bloating and nausea. It has also been shown to stimulate the
lymph system which helps eliminate excess fluid, and help
combat obesity.

Tangerine peel is extremely effective for a multitude of
digestion problems, which sometimes interfere with weight
loss. This is why it is important to make sure your weight
loss supplement contains this ingredient. Proper
digestion is essential for weight loss.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009



How To Make Muscle Gains

This checklist is sub-divided into 3 parts. Working out correctly,
Eating right and resting.

Workout Right

Workout 3-4 times a week (no more than 2 days in a row)
Between :45 and 1:15 in duration
Generally do the larger bodyparts/movements first
Do compound movements before isolation movements
Use barbells, dumbbells, lever/plate loaded machines and cable
machines in appropriate volumes
Don't neglect any bodypart
Priority train - a chain is only as strong as it's weakest link
Cycle your training
Have short term as well as long term specific goals
Generally do 2-6 sets for each bodypart depending on size of muscle
Generally do 6-10 reps each set
Stretch out and warm up major muscles and joints before training
Do warm up sets early in the workout to get blood flowing and
heart going
Use a spotter when required
Use belts, wraps and straps only when required
If you do cardio, do it after your strength training


Eat Right

Eat a high protein diet - approx. .8g/lb
Get all 3 macronutrients in you diet - don't neglect anything
Consume protein every 3 hrs. for 6 meals/day
Never miss a meal
Always consume a high protein, high carb, liquid drink immediately
after a workout
Eat another full meal within 2 hours of the post-workout meal
Eat a high protein meal as close to bed time as possible
Try to have a liquid protein meal first thing in the morning
Drink lots of water


Sleep Right

Get plenty of sleep
Rest/nap throughout the day if needed & possible


Support Your Joints

It's true bodybuilders, powerlifters and others involved
in athletics cause a lot of stress, wear and tear on
their joints.

Each and every workout you do subjects your joints and
tendons to the work load volume of tons of w eight along
with the wear and tear of stretching and contracting over
and over again.

Today millions of people have joint disorders.

Joint supplements can aid in joint and connective tissue
health and repair.

If you have been training hard for years, joint
supplements can really make a big difference.

Even younger trainers should use joint support supplements
to prevent future joint problems.

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Monday, March 23, 2009



Benefits of Licorice Root

What Is Licorice Root?

Licorice is the root of Glycyrrhiza glabra, meaning sweet root.
The actual plant is a legume (like peas and beans) and is native
to Europe and certain sections of Asia.

Chinese Licorice Root

Chinese Licorice root, or Glycyrrhiza, is one of the most
beneficial herbs in existence. It is a natural detoxifying agent
and can rid the body of a vast spectrum of toxins, without any
unwanted side effects.

Licorice Root Uses

Licorice root is an excellent digestive tonic, and helps
increase energy levels. In hypoglycemia cases, licorice root
helps to regulate blood sugar level. It is also effective for
delivering nutrition to the adrenal glands, and helps build and
strengthen muscle. Licorice root has been used for centuries as
an anti-inflammatory, and is also beneficial for treating ulcers.

Licorice Root Benefits

The benefits of licorice root are a mile long. From depression
and chronic fatigue to asthma, arthritis and viral infections,
licorice root is perhaps one of the most over-looked of all the
herbal remedies available.

In the respiratory system, licorice root has a soothing and
healing action which helps reduce irritation and inflammation.
It is also known to help lower cholesterol levels.

Hormonal changes in women can cause weight gain. Licorice root
is an ingredient in many natural products for balancing
hormones, which can help with w eight reduction.

Licorice Root Weight Loss

Licorice root is widely used in weight loss supplements, because
of the general support it gives in the total health of your
body. It also helps to "blend" the other natural herbs found in
w eight l oss products to insure maximum effectiveness.

Licorice Root Supplement

Licorice root supplements have very beneficial and rejuvenating
effects on the cells of the digestive system. It is also proven
to be a powerful anti-oxidant, and aids in nearly every aspect
of good health.

Licorice root is found in many of the most effect weight loss
supplements, because of its powerful effects on the digestive
and respiratory systems. The adrenal gland support that this
natural ingredient offers is important for maintaining fitness
levels, and is often used by bodybuilders and athletes.

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Saturday, March 21, 2009



Stretching For Bodybuilders and Other Athletes

Stretching can optimize an athlete's learning, practice, and performance
of many different types of skilled movements, as well as increase their
mental and physical relaxation and promote development of body awareness.
It can also reduce the risk of joint sprain or muscle strain, the risk
of back problems, muscle soreness, and muscle tension.

There are many ways you can stretch your muscles, joints, and connective
tissue, and what type of stretching you choose is somewhat dependent on
your fitness goals and what assistance you have access to. Here are a
few methods to consider.

Dynamic stretching involves moving parts of your body and gradually
increasing the range of motion and/or speed of movement. Dynamic
stretching, which typically consists of controlled leg and arm swings
that take you to the limits of your range of motion, can improve dynamic
flexibility and is quite useful as part of your warm-up for an aerobic
workout.

Active stretching, or "static-active" stretching, is a simple technique
where a stretch position is assumed and held for several seconds. It's
termed active because the individual actively assumes the stretch
position without being assisted by a partner.

Passive stretching is also referred to as relaxed stretching or
"static-passive" stretching. A passive stretch is one where you assume
a position and hold it using the assistance of some other part of your
body or with the assistance of a partner. Passive stretching is good
for "cooling down" after a workout and helps reduce post-workout muscle
fatigue and soreness. A general recommendation is to hold a passive
stretch for 10-60 seconds.

Isometric stretching is a type of static stretching which incorporates
the use of isometric contractions (tensing) of the targeted muscles.
The use of isometric stretching is one of the fastest ways to develop
increased static-passive flexibility and some experts say it can be
much more effective than either passive or active stretching alone.
Isometric stretches may actually develop some strength in the
"tensed" muscles and seems to decrease the amount of pain associated
with stretching. The proper way to perform an isometric stretch is as
follows:

Assume the position of a static-active stretch for the desired
muscle.

Next, contract or tense the stretched muscle for 7-15 seconds.

Repeat the static stretch.

Relax the muscle for at least 20 seconds, and repeat steps 1-3.

PNF stretching is one of the fastest and most effective ways to
increase most forms of flexibility. PNF (proprioceptive neuromuscular
facilitation) is not really a single stretch technique, but rather a
method which combines passive and isometric stretching. First tighten
the muscle opposite to the one you're planning to stretch for a few
seconds. Then relax and immediately stretch the target muscle for
several seconds. An example of opposite or opposing muscle groups are
quadriceps and hamstrings. So if your hamstrings are really tight and
your goal is to increase their flexibility, you would begin a PNF
session with an isometric contraction of the quadriceps. Then relax
the quadriceps and immediately stretch the hamstrings.

What is the purpose of tightening the muscle opposite to the one you
are stretching? Well, when a muscle in a pair tightens, the opposing
muscle receives a signal to relax and "allow" the contraction. In
essence, you have facilitated relaxation and decreased any resistance
in the target muscle before you even begin the stretch.

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Sunday, March 15, 2009



Benefits of Ginger Root

What Is Ginger Root?

Ginger root (Zingiber officinale) is a perennial plant with many proven
medicinal uses. It has long been used for culinary purposes, and is also
consumed for medicinal purposes. Ginger root appears as a knotty root
with an underground rhizome, or stem.

Ginger contains small amounts of natural calcium, magnesium, potassium
and iron. A large portion of the ginger we use comes from China, India,
Africa and Jamaica, where the tropical conditions are ideal for its
growth.

Uses Of Ginger Root

Since ancient times, ginger root has commonly been used to prevent
nausea and vomiting, and as a spice for cooking. Other popular uses
include using ginger as a spice for tea, and as a remedy for excessive
perspiration. It is widely known for its ability to decrease
inflammation, and is an effective remedy for rheumatoid arthritis
and osteoporosis. Ginger root is also an efficient metabolism aid.

Ginger Root Benefits

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) root has long been used for medicinal
purposes. It has widely been used to treat arthritis, colitis, motion
sickness and other gastrointestinal maladies. It is thought to help
with many of these conditions because it contains properties that are
believed to strengthen muscle tone in the intestinal tract.

Bronchitis and dermatitis have also shown improvement by people who
use ginger root supplements for treatment of their conditions.

Ginger root is believed to have cholesterol lowering properties, and
because of the stimulant effect is known to aid in weight loss.

Ginger Root Weight Loss

Ginger root works as a stimulant by slowly moving through the
gastrointestinal tract and energizing the body through the bloodstream.
It has long been known to aid metabolism and help promote w eight l oss.
Ginger root also improves gastric motility, which helps reduce bloating
by moving food out of the stomach and aiding digestion.

Ginger Root Supplement

Ginger root supplements are extremely popular, and are known to help
alleviate many stomach ailments such as motion sickness and nausea.
They are also used as an aid to increase metabolism, important for
w eight l oss. You will find ginger root in many of the top selling
w eight l oss supplements because of its effectiveness.

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Wednesday, March 04, 2009



Chest Not Growing? Best Chest Workout Tips

I hear all the time from people that they can't get their chest to
grow and don't feel a pump or soreness in the chest muscles.

Here are some great chest workout tips, that I got from Bill Phillips
of Muscle Media Magazine.

Try using a wider grip on your bench press-put your index fingers about
34 inches apart on the barbell. This really forces the pectoral muscles
into the exercise and takes the strain off the shoulders and triceps
somewhat. (Depending on your body type, 34 inches apart may be a bit
too wide or not quite wide enough. You may need to make moderate
adjustments. For me, it's just right.)

If you're not using a wide enough grip on the bench press, you'll be
doing a lot of shoulder and triceps work. That's great if you have big
pecs and want to build your shoulders and triceps, but in your case,
I would suggest you focus exclusively on doing wide-grip bench pressing.
Here's something else you can do to really blast those chest
muscles-after you've warmed up and done a few heavy sets of bench
pressing, take an even wider grip (36 inches between your index fingers)
and do a "light", burnout set of 6-12 repetitions; really work the
negative-let the bar down s-l-o-w-1-y, taking a count of up to six
seconds. You might have to have a partner lift the bar back up, but
lower it with your own strength.

Here's a simple, but killer, chest routine for you to follow the next
time you train your pecs.

Flat Bench Press

Warm-up 2 sets of 12 reps with 135 lbs
Work Sets
8 reps with 185 lbs
6 reps with 225 lbs
4 reps with 255 lbs
2 reps with 300 lbs
When you're doing your heavy work sets, rest two or three minutes
between sets. Go fairly slow on the way down (two or three seconds)
and press the bar up as fast as you can!

Burnout Set
225 lbs to total failure
(usually between 6 and 12 reps)

On this burnout set, take the bar down super, super slowly-six
seconds for each eccentric phase. Once you've reached concentric
failure, have a spotter lift the bar for you and then lower it
slowly under your own power.

As soon as you finish your last set of bench presses, immediately
do just one set of incline dumbbell flyes-use 55 lbs and go to total
positive failure-usually between 8 and 12 reps. Go fairly slow on
the way up and down-three seconds up and three seconds down on
these reps.

That's it. Don't do any more exercises for your chest after this.
Just put all your effort into these sets. Your pecs may get so
damn sore you can't even touch them.



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Tuesday, March 03, 2009



Benefits of Chamomile Flower

What Is Chamomile Flower?

Chamomile is a daisylike flower that is native to Europe and Asia.
Also called Matricaria recutita, German chamomile, true chamomile
and Hungarian chamomile, it has been used medicinally for many
centuries and is still one of the safest and widely used herbs.
Chamomile flower extract is found in many teas, supplements and
personal care products.

Chamomile Benefits

Chamomile has been used both internally or externally to treat a
many conditions. Some of the claimed health benefits of chamomile
are:

Relaxing sleep aid

Anti-inflammatory

Boosts the immune system

Relieves muscle spasms

Lessens menstrual cramps in women

Relaxes the nerves

Soothes the stomach

Reduces inflammation

Improves liver function

Chamomile Blood Sugar Regulation

Blood sugar swings can cause fatigue, food and sugar cravings,
insulin resistance, etc. Regulating blood sugar can prevent the
onset of diabetes in otherwise healthy people, and it also helps
give more energy and aids in weight control.

A recent study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
shows chamomile may help in regulating blood sugar. The authors
of the study say consumption of chamomile may be a natural way of
regulating blood sugar.

Chamomile Weight Loss

Many people tend to eat when they are nervous, anxious, bored
depressed, etc. A cup of chamomile tea or a chamomile supplement
may help relax and calm you. A calm and relaxed person will
usually eat less.

Chamomile Supplements

Chamomile products are sold in teas, drops, capsules, etc. It
can be found in most health food stores and many online sources.

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