Friday, 30 January 2009

Fat Loss Myths

Fat Loss Myths

With all the television ads, advice from misinformed friends and assumptions there's bound to be a few myths out there. However, some are a lot more commonly believed than you would think. Many people are so desperate to lose weight they will try any outrageous diet or workout tools. Here's our guide to bust those myths and tell you how you should be training.

Myth One - Spot Reduction fat loss

Many people want to loss fat on a specific part of their body, usually the stomach. They think by doing thousands of sit ups and crunches they'll eventually burn off their stomach fat.

This however is not true. Your genetics determine where to store your fat reserves and how much. This means the only way to lose fat in your target area to you reduce your body fat throughout your body by having a good diet and cardiovascular regime.

Myth Two - High Reps to burn fat

With this myth people assume for reps equals more work therefore burning more fat. However, this is not the case. Studies have shown that moderate reps (8 to 12) with a heavy weight will be more effective than higher reps with a lower weight.

Another thing to consider is that building your muscles will increase your metabolism and in turn shed the fat. The most effective way of building muscle is heavy weights with low reps (5-8).

Myth Three - Starving yourself

Not only is this really unhealthy for your body, as your are starving it of it's vital nutrients and minerals that it needs to function properly, but this also a very ineffective way of weight loss. Your body will slow your metabolism right down and will conserve as much fat as possible.

For effective weight loss, eat around 500 calories less than your BMR (basal metabolic rate). Eat lots of protein and try to cut down on carbs. Do cardiovascular exercise at least 3 times a weeks and try HIIT which is the most effective form of cardio for burning fat.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

The truth about creatine

The truth about Creatine
Creatine gets alot of bad press from misinformed sources. You often hear people calling it a 'natural steroid' and any other outrageous description. Here is our guide to bust the myths and give you the low-down on all things creatine.

The Science

Creatine is a naturally found in meat and our bodies also make creatine in the liver, pancreas, and kidneys. Creatine helps in forming a compound called ATP (adrenosine triphosphate). This is what gives us the power in our muscles, we need it to contract and relax our muscles and so it is important we get enough of it.

For low-intensity aerobic exercises our body can use carbohydrates and fats as fuel to make ATP. However, when it comes to short, intense anaerobic activities like sprinting you cannot inhale enough oxygen for this process, therefore we rely on our creatine supply. Creatine can quickly be converted to ATP and hence it's importance in weight lifting.

How it helps

This means when lifting weights we'll have more anaerobic energy stores and so will delay the onset of fatigue. This will allow us to have longer, and more intense gym sessions and allow us to do more sets and reps. This obviously equates to gains in muscle and strength. Remember, taking creatine alone will do nothing, it's purpose is to help you work harder, so creatine is definitely not for those looking for easy effortless gains.


The main health concern associated with creatine is dehydration. Because creatine absorbs water and draws it into the muscles you'll need to be drinking extra water than usual, 10-15 cups a day is advised. As creatine is a relatively new supplement the long term effects are not entirely known, although it's it thought to be fairly safe and low risk. Some also claim risks of kidney damage, but unless your taking very high amounts and not enough water this shouldn't be a problem as they process creatine from other sources every day.

There you have it, all you need to know about creatine to make an educated decision on whether you decide to take it or not. In my opinion is is not necessary for beginners but for regular lifters it can be very beneficial and worth trying.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Target your lower abs

Target your lower abs

The lower abs are often considered to be the hardest area to define and perfect. People often spend endless hours 'crunching' away in the gym and are gutted when the results are poor and all their hard work is for nothing. But have no fear! Here are our top tips for targeting those stubborn lower abs.

Exercise one - Hanging Leg Raise

Looks like this exercise has work for the guy in the video, he's ripped!
This is one of my favorite ab exercises, makes me feel like a bit of an acrobat! It's really effective, especially for your lower abs and you should definitely feel the burn!

Exercise Two - Lying Leg Raises

Very easy exercise to do as there is no equipment needed, doesn't mean it isn't effective though. Go slow and really squeeze in yours abs. You could also try adding some light resistance to make this harder.

Exercise Three - V-Sits

This is a good finishing exercise, it uses all sections of your abs including the lower part and is great for achieving perfect wash abs.

There you have it, these exercises should bring your lower abs right up to par! Remember, if they arn't showing you probably need to reduce your bodyfat %.

Monday, 19 January 2009

Eat 5-6 times a day to lose weight

Eat 5-6 times a day to lose weight
Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? But this is totally works. You can lose more weight by breaking down your daily intake of food during 3 big meals into 5-6 smaller portions every day. A good schedule is to eat breakfast, then a mid-morning snack, a small early lunch, a second small lunch a couple of hours later, then a small late-afternoon snack, and finally a light dinner.

Make sure that the snacks you eat are healthy ones. Good examples would include fruits, eggs, nuts, milk, low-fat cheese, yogurt and veggies etc. During your meals, try eating just one smallish portion. If you feel like having a second serving, wait quarter of an hour and then see if you’re still full. It happens that your stomach feels full 10-15 minutes after you have had the food, if you take servings very fast then you do not have time to see if you are full.

Eating smaller, frequent meals means that your metabolism works more often on less food. This trains your metabolic rate to increase and digest food more quickly, ultimately leading to a faster overall metabolism. Faster metabolism leads to faster weight loss, thereby making you slim on eating more.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Training your guns

Training your guns

Biceps are one of the most admired parts of the body and a nice pair of sleeve cannons can look very impressive. Here is our guide on effective bicep building.

Nutrition- Eat Big!
If you want big biceps your going to have to eat big. You'll need an excess of calories in order to build the most muscle. Proteins are essential, meat, fish, milk and eggs are excellent sources and contain the amino acids that your muscles need. Carbohydrates are sources of energy that your body will need, try brown bread, brown rice, wholemeal pasta and potatoes. Aim to eat 1-1.5 grams of protein per lb of bodyweight. A protein shake after your workout will be very beneficial as your body is crying out for protein, whey protein is quickly absorbed and will help your gains. Make sure you eat something before you go to bed as this is the time your muscles grow and repair.

Training - Lift Heavy
For maximum gains you've got to lift heavy, just like with every other muscle. Aim for a rep range between 4 and 8 with 6 to 8 sets. Only lift as much as you can using good form, you don't want to risk injury. Make sure your back is straight and your not swinging up the bar or dumbbell.

Training - Variation
Don't let your body get used to your workout or you'll hit a plateau and stop seeing gains. Use different exercises and grips. Switch things up with chip ups, barbell curls, preacher curls, hammer curls, EZ bar curls, bicep curls and concentration curls. Try different rep ranges and more or less sets.

Remember that your biceps will be involved with your back workout and therefore the two should be spaced by 48 hours. Don't overtrain, once a week is enough and don't lift if they are still sore. Get enough sleep so your body can grow and they'll soon be bulging from your sleeve!