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Complete Guide to Supplements for all your goals!

25 Aug

Have you been chasing fitness trends in your quest to build a massive physique or a toned, sleek figure? If you’ve been at it for a while, you’ve realized that Kangoo jumping, Hula-Hooping and weight-loss sunglasses just don’t cut it. Good news! Move into the modern age without having to choose crazy training regimens and wacky diets. I’m here to tell you that you can come closer to reaching your goals with a sane, integrated fitness program of weight training, nutrition and supplements the right way. I’ll go over some of the best supplements on the market today that will help with whatever purpose you have – building muscle, adding strength, managing your weight, attaining greater levels of endurance or recovering faster from grueling workouts (or a combination). Discover some of the top supplements that helps you stimulate muscle growth and burn fat when exercises are performed effectively.

PROTEIN POWDERS
Protein provides structure to all the cells in your body and then helps them function. If your objective is to maintain or build muscle, getting sufficient protein is a priority.

  • Muscle Milk Pro Series 50(Anabolic Protein Blend)
  • Healthy ‘N’ Fit 100% Egg Protein (Egg Protein pure and clean)
  • Dymatize Nutrition Super Mass Gainer (Meal-Replacement Protein Powder)
  • MuscleMeds Carnivore (Beef Protein)
  • Garden Of Life Raw Meal (Plant-Based Protein)
  • BSN Syntha-6 (Sustained-Release Protein)
  • Optimum Nutrition Serious Mass (Weight Gainers)
  • BodyTech Whey Protein Isolate (Whey Protein)

RTDS- Ready to Drinks
RTDs are convenient, travel friendly, and ready to go, with no blender or shaker cup required. Swap out the supplement shakes that have to be mixed, or do both! To choose the right RTD, know your goals and read the Supplement Facts label. Common effects are: maintain endurance, boost performance, aid in recovery, and more.

  • CytoSport Monster Milk RTD (High-Protein Drink)
  • Natures Best Isopure Green Tea (High-Protein Drink)
  • ABB Performance Speed Stack Pumped N.O. (Pre-workout Drink)
  • Optimum Nutrition Essential Amino Energy RTD(Endurance/Energy Drink)

PROTEIN BARS
Solid nutrition in a single-serving packet, bars are among the handiest of supplements. Are you looking for a bar thats high in protein as well as in vitamins and minerals, a bar that can help you can control your hunger between meals or one that’s low in sugar? Consider your purpose in choosing a bar then check the Supplement Facts panel to make sure it meets your criteria.

  • Bonk Breaker High Protein Bar
  • MusclePharm Combat Crunch
  • Promax Nutrition Promax LS Lower Sugar Bar
  • MacroLife Naturals Macro Greens Bar
  • Pure Organic Ancient Grains Bar

AMINO ACIDS
If your diet includes plenty of lean whole-food protein sources and protein shakes, you’re probably are getting sufficient levels of amino acids. However, your body is interested in keeping itself running smoothly, so taking supplemental aminos ensures that it has an ample supply of these building blocks of proteins. The body requires some 22 aminos, and it uses them for everything from regulating your metabolism and mood to keeping your immune system, blood cells and hormones humming.

  • Healthy ‘N’ Fit Anabolic Amino 10,000
  • Fit Club Nutrition Reward
  • Optimum Nutrition Pro BCAA
  • Betancourt Nutrition Glutamine “Micros” Chewies
  • ALRI Human Pro
  • Optimum Nutrition Glutamine Powder

WEIGHT MANAGEMENT-FAT BURNERS
Dieting is easy—just eat fewer calories than you burn in a day. Right! If it were that easy, we’d all be built like Apollo or Aphrodite. It may seem straightforward, but as just about everyone’s knows, it’s rarely simple. Our hormones don’t always cooperate and neither do our metabolisms. Then we’re faced with carb or fat temptations, or even water retention. Here are some supplements that will help you to your goal weight and uncover that god or goddess within.

  • Betancourt Nutrition Ripped Juice EX2
  • Fit Club Nutrition Pre-X
  • GAT Fuel
  • MuscleTech Hydroxycut Hardcore Elite
  • Prolab Nutrition Advanced Caffeine
  • Top Secret Nutrition Ab Igniter Black

MUSCLE & STRENGTH BUILDERS
For boosting muscle mass or strength, protein powder should be at the top of your list. And if you’re really serious about it, then you’ll want to pay closer attention and learn about the supplements that are most likely to complement your efforts in the gym. Creatine, for example, is involved with energy production in cells. Taking branched-chain amino acids before and after training has been shown to help reduce muscle soreness. Here are some items that will help you optimize your muscle-building and fat-burning systems.

  • Beast Sports Nutrition Creature
  • BodyTech Creatine & Glutamine With Beta-Alanine
  • Optimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine Powder
  • True Athlete Kre-Alkalyn Powder
  • BodyTech HMB
  • Olympian Labs A-AKG
  • GAT Testrol
  • Healthy ‘N’ Fit Advanced Steroidal Complex
  • Clean Machine Cell Block 80
  • Top Secret Nutrition Natural T

PRE-WORKOUT
Fueling your body before training not only allows it to work to its maximum potential, which can improve your performance, but it also sets the body up for enhanced recovery and muscle building afterward. Heres a list of sources of nitric-oxide boosters and optimally blended preworkout formulas, all geared toward helping you achieve the most productive workout possible.

  • BodyTech Nitrulline
  • Betancourt Nutrition Bullnox Androrush
  • BodyTech Tech X Pre-Effect
  • Dymatize Nutrition M.P.ACT
  • Fit Club Nutrition P.W.O.
  • MusclePharm Assault
  • Nutriforce Sports PreWOD
  • Optimum Nutrition Platinum Pre-; Pursuit Rx Pre Workout;
  • Scivation Psycho
  • Top Secret Nutrition Cardio Igniter
  • True Athlete Energized Training Formula

INTRAWORKOUT/POSTWORKOUT
During workouts, supplementation is aimed at helping you train harder and longer. Many intraworkout formulas offer ingrediants to keep you well hydrated, plus aminos and other components to support endurance. Postworkout supplementation is aimed at repairing muscles and promoting growth. Time is of the essence postworkout because waiting too long to get protein and other nutrients to your muscles will throw off recovery and jeopardize protein synthesis. Here are some myriad muscle must-haves for both those crucial periods.

  • BodyTech BCAA & Glutamine
  • Clean Machine Clean BCAA
  • Dymatize Nutrition Amino Pro
  • Dymatize Nutrition M.P.S.
  • GAT Adenoflex
  • Pursuit Rx Recovery
  • True Athlete BCAA Powder

Try this Stack: Select 1 each from each category to take your workout and physique to the next level.

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BEWARE! Beach Bummie Tummie

6 Jul

Ahhh the beach.  The sound of the waves crashing, the sand between your toes, the warmth on your skin…sounds almost perfect right?  Well it could be! Or it could turn into a calorie packed inactive weekend from hell!

I’m not gonna lie I’m not a beach guy,  but I make my way there a few times in the summer. Every time I go, I’m seeing 2 complete opposite groups of people with 2 different types of behavior – so different it’s like they are 2 separate species. You’ve got the active peeps playing Frisbee and drinking smoothies, then you got the other ones chomping on the largest bucket of fries I’ve ever seen at 9 in the morning.  Okay…what’s really going on here?

Here are my two cents to the Do’s & Don’ts for going to the beach.

What you should do:

Plan ahead: Between the traffic, food supply and kids, you’ll drive yourself up the wall if you don’t got a game plan.
Pack the world’s most awesome cooler: water bottles (I prefer lemon/cucumer with mine), fresh fruits, whole wheat wraps and sandwiches, tuna salad, chicken salad. You’re aiming for lean protein here. Veggie/pita chips are good when you want something to munch on.

Sunblock: I’ve heard that Delaware holds the #2 spot in skin cancer. If you still don’t have the common sense of packing and applying sunscreen when you’re out in the sun,  you really need to get with it. Don’t be part of the statistic!  Many people think if you put Sunblock on you won’t get tan but that is most definitely a myth.

Keep active: Don’t be stationary and lay out there for the whole day (sounds boring already). Especially if you have kids, you gotta keep them active. Throw a frisbee, toss a football, play a game of corn hole, swing for some badminton,  or boogie your way through the waves.

What you shouldn’t do:

Let the concession stands lure you in: I’m talking about the boardwalk fries,  chicken fingers,  deep fried oreos, foot long ice cream & the list goes on. You’re spending more money and packing on the fat! Plus, is that what going to the beach is really about? Eating food that’s bad for you?

Be stationary: Get up and get moving!  Do you want to be that guy that has that horrible tan line because he fell asleep for hours on the beach?  Get off Facebook and IG and spend some time with real scenery and real people, like the ones that came with you?

Carbonated drinks: Bad news bears. Everyone wants to look good in their swim suit they work so hard to squeeze in. Don’t let bloating and gas caused by carbonated drinks ruin it! It has no nutritional value,  it’s processed, it has full of sugar you don’t need (Diet ones are still a no no), and it doesn’t make you look sexy. Period. Choose water or 100% juice/smoothie instead.

Arguing: #aintnobodygottimeforthat you’re here to relax. Keep the negativity out, no excuses!

Who’s winning? You or YOUR FAT?

22 Apr

20140422-221411.jpg

Now I know what you’re thinking, this is kind of a rude and insensitive question to ask Falaq! I know I know, but let’s be honest here. Sometimes the hard questions are the best ones! The questions that are easier to ignore than to answer. Truth be told, that’s how most people end up gaining excessive weight – by avoiding the truth!

How long are you willing to wait before you face reality? How much are you willing to put your health and well being in danger, before taking action?

There are some days we win – We workout, we eat our fruits and veggies, we bravely turn down that piece of brownie. But then there are days we lose (our fat wins) – We’re “too beat” to exercise, we trade water for soda, we devour ice cream like a sad chic on the couch watching Bridget Jone’s Diary.

My point is, let’s all be brave and face the hard questions! If you only deal with the easy ones, you will never reach the next level. There will be times where your fat wins, but that’s okay. Use it as your motivation and know that success will taste even sweeter!

So what do you say? Let’s vow to WIN every day!!

Snowed In + Cabin Fever = Couch Potato Syndrome

22 Jan

CouchPotatoSnowed in?!?! Me too! Given how frequently we are experiencing this so called “Polar Vortex”, it is easy to fall into the trap of sitting on the couch, and packing the pounds on. If you don’t have a gym membership, or lead an active lifestyle, chances are you’re susceptible to winter weight gain. This is in direct correlation to the lack of exercise + poor dieting. The good news is – You can still have a hot body when the weather is not!

Here are some of my favorite exercises you can do right in the comfort of your own home. Make sure you stretch prior to performing any type of exercise. Stretching helps loosen your muscles up, and prepare your body for more strenuous activities.

1. Jump rope – 2 to 3 min for 5 sets
2. Jumping jacks – 6 sets of 30 with 10 sec rest between sets
3. Plank holds – 1 set includes a 30-second hold, 40 sec, 50 sec, then 60 sec and rest 60 seconds, 3 sets (How to do a plank)
4. High knees – 1 min on then 1 min off, alternate from marching to running
5. Stairs or Step-ups – Use chair for step-ups alternating legs, 10 up and 10 down, 3 sets
6. Walking Lunges – In longest hallway or from room to room, 3 sets of 20 lunges
7. Dancing – Pick your favorite playlist or turn on the radio and jam out!
8. Cleaning – Vacuuming, Sweeping, Mopping, Laundry, 2 hours worth of housework can burn up to 500 calories!
9. Yoga – Can find tutorial videos on YouTube or OnDemand, sessions are usually 60 minutes
10. Water Bottle Weights – Fill water in half gallon/gallon container and perform arm curls & shoulder press. 3 sets of 15 each.

These are just a few great ways you can stay active and fit during the winter season. Remember that a better quality of life starts with a better quality YOU. Email me at u1sthw.falaq@gmail.com for more exercises. Stay warm everybody!

Google Search + Nutritional Info

13 Jun

All of us love Google, we’ve incorporated the word into our vocabulary without even know it. Did you Google it? Is it on Google? You name it. We use this search engine to find answers for just about anything. The company has recently loaded hundreds of nutritional info for fruits, meats, vegetables and meals into its system – All accessible using Google Voice search on your phone or the regular search engine. You can either search for simple info such as “How many calories are in a banana?” or “How many grams of protein is in a steak?”

pasta_google_search_Fotor

Here’s an example of when I searched “How many calories are in pasta?” As you can see, It quickly populated an easy-to-read display right on top of the search results page. On the right-hand side, it also gave other nutrition info as you would find on the product label. What I like the most is the drop-down menu when selecting the kinds of pasta, choosing from different types to even store-brought vs. homemade.

This tool is great for planning meals, grocery shopping or just for knowledge and kicks!

For the original article on PSFK, click here.

Bench it!

20 Feb

Lots of us practice push-ups and side planks in our exercise routine. Why not switch it up a bit by performing them on a bench? Confuse your muscles a bit and work them harder while improving your balance. Plus, it’s more fun! Just make sure to check your form.

Bench_PushUp

Bench Push-up

Bench_SidePlank

Bench Side plank

Start clean with a detox

4 Feb

A lot of us have heard of detox and detoxing. But why? How? Think about all the  junk foods we eat and the harmful things that we come in physical contact with on a daily basis. Your body is not a garbage can, so it is absolutely important for you to detox once in a while to give your body the proper ‘rinse’ it deserves. Detoxing can lead to better skin, balanced energy, better night’s sleep, improved sex drive, weight loss and so much more.

In my opinion, the easiest way to detox is in a smoothie form. You take all the ingredients you need, put it in a blender, give it a whirl, then you’re good to go! Better yet, if they actually taste good! This is one of my favorite recipe for a kale, pineapple & ginger detox smoothie inspired by Dr. Oz.

What you’ll need (Makes 4 servings, so you can drink it all day long or share it with the family):

  • 1/2 pineapple chopped
  • 1 bunch of kale (remove stems)
  • 1/2 lemon freshly squeezed (you can add the zest in too if you like the texture)
  • 1 small knob of ginger (sliced or shaved)
  • 1 cup of ice
  • Extra: throw in a few mint leaves for a refreshing kick!

DetoxSmoothie

Hammer Time!

29 Jan

Introducing Hammer Curls: All-in-one arm exercise that will sculpt and strengthen your biceps, triceps, shoulders and forearms. Work smarter, not harder!

U1st tip: Men use 20 to 30lbs dumbbell, women use 5 to 20lbs dumbbell. 3 to 4 sets / 10 to 15 reps per set

HammerCurl_Demo_490

Step 1: Hold dumbbells at sides of thighs with dumbbell facing forward, make sure back is straight and feet are centered, shoulder width apart with slight bend at the knees.

Step 2: Curl both dumbbells up toward your shoulders while keeping your elbows tucked to your hips.

Step 3: When the dumbbells are at top of shoulder press straight up in the air keeping dumbbells in same position. Be sure to follow dumbbells with the eye to maintain proper form and prevent injury. Return dumbbells to shoulder then back down to sides. Repeat 10-15 reps per set. Perform 3-4 sets.

U1st Challenge: Increase your weight each set and try one arm at a time.

Video

Standing Abs: More fun & no more sore necks!

22 Jan

This is a great video by Jillian Michaels, perfect for the ladies. Everybody wants a toned & sculpted mid-section, but honestly who wants to do traditional crunches on the floor? They are uncomfortable and a lot of times create unnecessary neck and shoulder strains if performed improperly. Exercising your abs by standing up will prevent injuries and you can do so in a much smaller space needed.

U1st tips:

  1. Make sure to keep your core and butt tight while performing these exercises.
  2. Also, like Jillian mentioned, don’t go crazy on the dumbbell weights just because you can perform them. You want to trim and shape your obliques, not bulge them!
  3. For the high-knees demo, I would keep the arms straight out in front of you, same levels as your shoulders and make sure you are driving your knees high using your abs, instead of your legs.
  4. For women, it is not necessary to increase the weight, but more important to perform high repetitions, so gradually increase reps once you feel comfortable.

For the days you can’t make it to the gym, commit to doing this while you are watching TV or whenever you have the free 10 minutes to do this. There are 1,440 minutes in a day, I’m sure you can spare ten, especially they help improve your abs! 

Breakfast of Champions

10 Jan

We can all remember our moms saying “Eat your breakfast before school!” Well guess what, she was right! Now you’re way into your adults years with children of your own, it is more important than ever for you and your family to start the day right with a healthy breakfast. Some of make poor choices for breakfasts and some of us don’t eat breakfast at all. Do you honestly expect your body to run on empty until lunch time?

Eating a proper meal in the morning can attribute to many benefits for you and your family such as improved concentration level at work and at school and more strength and energy for physical activities. According to the American Dietetic Association, children who eat a healthy breakfast perform better in the classroom and in the playground, hand-eye coordination and also problem-solving skills.

Weight control: Studies show that breakfast skippers are more likely to gain weight than breakfast eaters. Why? First reason is that eating breakfast controls hunger levels, causing you to eat less at lunch and throughout the day; Therefore, by lunch time you won’t be wolfing down a super cheesy melt sub. If you think you are ‘saving calories’ by skipping breakfast, then you are clearly mistaken my friend! Also, by eating a healthy breakfast links to making smarter food choices in general. (P.S. Hunger causes mood swings. Do yourself and the people around you a favor by feeding your body properly in the A.M. before you unleash your wrath on those around you, yikes!)

Now that we’ve got the concept down you need to eat a healthy breakfast, let’s explore what kind of breakfast you should and should not be eating.

Here are some suggested breakfast ideas that you can make in less than 5 minutes:

Breakfast_toeat
Eggs:
Hard-boiled (You can save time and prepare the night before), scrambled, sunny-side up, or even on a piece of toasted whole-wheat toast. Add some lean protein such as turkey bacon. Pair that with a glass of water or 100% fruit juice.

Fruit Smoothies: In a blender, combine 1 cup of ice, 1 banana (perfect time to get rid of those bananas that might be a little too ripe), and 1 cup of fresh fruit (It can be any kind, or even the frozen ones from the store), 1/2 cup of milk and 1 cup of plain yogurt.

Oatmeal: Quaker’s instant packets are the best! You can store a stash at the office for convenience. Throw in some fresh fruit in there and a handful of granola for an extra kick and extra protein! Pair with a glass of water or 100% fruit juice.

Cereal: Now that was easy! But the good kind, I’m talking about Kashi Go Lean! Special K, Granola cereals. No lucky charms, frosted flakes, resees peanut butter, forget about it! Pair that with a piece of whole wheat toast.

Breakfast burrito: Scramble Eggs, prepare 2 slices of turkey bacon, dice a handful of tomatoes and sprinkle shredded cheese, all wrapped in a whole wheat flour tortilla.

The No No’s for the morning:

donuts

Soda: I never understood why people drank soda, especially in the AM! It will not only make you bloated and soft, and let’s cut to the chase, the nutrients just aren’t there. The human body is 75-80% water, stay thirsty my friend! With H20 that is.

High fat & cholesterol meats: Bacon, scarpple, ham and sausage. Choose turkey products instead, they are low in fat and higher in protein. And yes, you don’t have to sacrifice taste, turkey is just as delicious.

Dough: Eating dough and floury products will give you a doughboy body! Donuts, muffins, cakes should be avoided at all costs. These carbohydrates will spike your blood sugar temporarily and later on give you the ‘crash’ feeling. That is no way to start a day.

Sources: Web M.D., American Dietetic Association.