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Gaining Muscle Faster: Easy Changes You Can Make

Gaining Muscle Faster 300x300 Gaining Muscle Faster: Easy Changes You Can MakeYou’re probably here because either 1) You’re tired of looking in the mirror and being unimpressed, or 2) you want to get to the next level. Whether you’re the guy everyone picks on or you are well on your way to getting the physique you want, follow these tips for faster results.

Speed Up Your Metabolism

This first one is really easy. When you wake up, get yourself a big glass of cold water and down it. Why? One study showed that your metabolism can be raised by up to 30%. What’s going on here? Well, your body needs to maintain a constant temperature, and when you reduce your core temperature this way, it has to kick your metabolism into overdrive to get it back where it wants it to be. This same study showed that the metabolism boost lasted for 1.5 hours.

Add Aerobic Activity the Easy Way

It seems that few of us have enough time to get everything we’d like to. So when you see something like, “workout more”, you may be thinking, “I’m already struggling to get my core workout into my day? What more do they want?” But think outside the box a bit. We all have to get to work, so why not fit a bit of aerobics in there? Park your car a few blocks away. Or, better yet, leave the car at home and ride your bike. If this isn’t reasonable, maybe you could take the train or bus and get off a few stops early. All these can add up to some significant fat loss, and you’ll save yourself some traffic stress at the same time. However, note that if you are one of those guys with a super-fast metabolism, staying really skinny while eating anything, this may not be the best approach. You may actually need to slow down.

Drink Well

We already mentioned water, but another aspect here is the need to avoid empty calories. Soft drinks can be a real culprit here. They have tons of sugar and absolutely no nutritional value. But wait, you say. “What about the caffeine? Doesn’t that help your workout?” Yes. But there are ways to get it that won’t cost you so many empty calories. And while you’re at it, think about that Venti Caramel Macchiato you get in the morning. Menshealth.com says:

Most fancy coffee drinks fall into the same category as soda,” says Roussell, “and some pack more than 600 calories.

Good advice? Stick with water and protein drinks.

Keep Workouts Short

Studies have shown that exercising for too long can affect levels of hormones such as cortisol that can have a deleterious effect on your workout. Bodybuilding.com recommends:

You should be keeping whichever program you are doing to no more than 1 hour of duration. Be sure that you are focusing on keeping the intensity high rather than making the workout drag on.

It is much better to up the intensity of your workout and get rid of unnecessary exercises that don’t contribute to your core goals. And remember that long workouts are more conducive for aerobic weight loss. To gain strength, you need to exercise with high intensity.


If you are relatively skinny, you have one of those metabolisms that just burns things at a more rapid pace than others do. This can be a good thing, since slender people have been shown to live longer, healthier lives. But in your case, you need to get more of the right calories into you that can easily be utilized when your muscles are recovering from a workout. This means two things:

First of all, you need to eat more often. If you eat three meals a day, step it up to five. Second, you need to eat the right stuff. Choosing calorically-dense foods with high protein content is what is going to get you the raw materials you need to build your physique.


How To Raise Testosterone Levels Naturally

Testosterone 300x199 How To Raise Testosterone Levels NaturallyThe hormone that gives men their masculine traits and features is testosterone, and if it wasn’t for that vital hormone, men would simply not be men. This hormone governs and controls a vast array of vital body functions, of which one of the most important to most men is sex drive or sexual function. Bodybuilding.com tells us,

Testosterone is the hormone that propels all bodybuilders towards greatness. It is the key hormone that separates men from woman. Testosterone gives us male characteristics such as confidence, aggressiveness, sex drive, increased muscle mass, facial hair, and a deep voice.

Low Testosterone

During the years of puberty, increased testosterone production is what is responsible for the changes in your body that transform you from a young boy into a man. Growth of beard and torso hair, increase in the size of penis, and increased muscle mass and strength, are all attributed to this hormone.

But as we get older, the production of this hormone can start to decline. Most men begin to lose testosterone at a rate of about 1% a year, and though the decline is usually gradual with no immediate effects, over a 10 year span, you can lose up to about 10% or more. The majority of men start to feel the effects of the loss of this hormone by the time they reach 40. If you are starting to experience a drop in sex drive or libido, weight gain with a marked increase in body fat, erectile dysfunction, depression or mood swings, or a loss of lean muscle, you may be suffering from low testosterone.

Apart from the above, you may also notice a drop in your energy levels, and most men feel like they are constantly tired, or becoming more and more irritable. Many males tend to get highly irritated without rhyme or reason when their testosterone levels drop. Because of this, there is hardly anything in your body that remains untouched due to a decline in testosterone. Though hormone replacement therapy can help to restore levels, there are some natural ways to boost the production of testosterone in your body.

Here are some ways to raise your testosterone levels naturally:

Diet Modification

As the old saying goes, you are what you eat, and when talking about lowered testosterone, it could not be further from the truth. The process of raising your testosterone levels begins with changes in your diet, and boosting this hormone can be as simple as eating the right foods.

Some people find that the protein in eggs and whey can give them a testosterone boost, along with many fruits and vegetables. The reason for this is because they help your body to break down fat. Increased fat deposits can lead to higher levels of estrogen which in turn, affects testosterone production negatively. If you cut down your intake of fat, you can use fruits and vegetables to give you lower estrogen levels, resulting in increased levels of testosterone.

Meat is great source of zinc, and that nutrient aids your body in the production of testosterone as well. If you are looking to boost your levels, you need to make a point of including animal proteins in your diet. Other sources of protein can include nuts and beans, and they are rich in essential fatty acids, and your body requires them for the production of all anabolic steroid hormones like testosterone.


Diet alone will not be enough to do the job, and you will also need to be as physically active as possible. A lack of physical activity can definitely be a culprit of testosterone loss. Speaking of exercise, it is weight bearing exercises that are the most effective in testosterone production.

A simple walk around the block is not enough to boost your sex hormone, but you should limit your physical activity to about 45 to 60 minutes a day. The reason for this is that after an hour of strenuous workout your body will start to produce the hormone Cortisol which affects testosterone production adversely. After all that exercise, you will need to make sure to get plenty of sleep. At Men’s Fitness we learn how important it is to get a good night’s sleep;

Poor sleep quality and having less than seven hours a night can slash your testosterone levels by more than 30 per cent and dampen growth hormones, restricting your muscle-building potential.

Try to get at least 8 hours a night of sleep since sleep deprivation not only affects your hormonal cycle but also increases stress. This can have a negative impact on testosterone production. Adequate sleep is a natural testosterone booster and can help elevate the production of this vital hormone.

Other Things You Can Do

Reducing your alcohol consumption is key to raising testosterone levels. Alcohol is a suppressant and affects testosterone production negatively. When you drink alcohol, your system works to process it out of your body, and the process to produce testosterone is affected adversely. At Men’s Health we learn,

Happy hour can wreak havoc on your manly hormones. In a recent Dutch study, men who drank moderate amounts of alcohol daily for 3 weeks experienced a 7 percent decrease in their testosterone levels. Limit your drinking to one or two glasses of beer or wine a night…

Natural or Herbal Supplements

You can also try natural or herbal supplements, as they have been proven to raise testosterone levels, as well. Some specific herbs have been used for many years to enhance both testosterone and libido in men. When mixed in the right proportions, herbs like ginseng, ginkgo, muira pauma, saw palmetto, etc., not only increase testosterone production but also help to boost blood circulation and reduce stress.

These herbal supplements have become so popular, and more and more men are using them to help improve their overall sexual health and well-being. Some of the high quality supplements have even been backed with clinical approvals and can be bought without a prescription, but most importantly, the best ones are safe, and free of side effects.


Stuck? – Tips For Breaking Through That Plateau

Tips For Breaking Through That Plateau 300x200 Stuck?   Tips For Breaking Through That PlateauSometimes in our efforts to create the perfect physique, we find that we are hitting a plateau. No matter what we do, we can’t seem to get any further. A situation like this can be very discouraging, causing you to psych yourself out when all you probably need are a couple of tweaks to your existing plan. What can you do? Follow these six tips to break through that plateau and get on the road to the body you want.

Don’t Overdo It

If a little is good, a lot must be better, right? Since lifting helps you build muscle, more lifting will help you build more, the thinking goes. Not so fast. It is possible to work out too long. How does this work? When you work out hard for more than an hour, your body starts releasing stress hormones. One of these hormones is cortisol, which has the effect of weakening muscles, thus, making longer workouts counterproductive. So what is the solution? Well, you do need the intense activity, but focus on making your workouts more productive during that hour. Analyze your current routine and see where you can cut out exercises that are less useful. Men’s Fitness has this suggestion:

Rather than spending every moment trying a different variation of bicep curls, master the basics and load them up.

Figure out which exercises get you the most bang for your buck, and focus on these.

Lift Faster

When it comes to a workout program, we’ve all heard about the importance of lifting at the right tempo. But focusing on slow tempos may actually be keeping you on that plateau. For a change, try to lift as fast as you can, getting you access to fast-twitch muscle. Aside from this, it will keep you from expending lots of mental energy trying to get that tempo just right, letting your body focus solely on muscle growth. You will also get more done in a shorter time, which helps you make good use of the limited time where you will be effective before stress hormone release makes it a losing game. You also will see more calories used up, helping get rid of lingering fat stores.

Sometimes when people think fast, they think in terms of running around in a circuitous fashion, trying to do a whole-body workout. While there is no doubt that this is an excellent way of getting lean, and it certainly will burn the calories, it can be counterproductive for gaining muscle mass. What you really need to focus on is heavy resistance and low reps. Use your time concentrating on your core lifting rather than running around trying to do everything.


It’s a simple equation. You need food to build muscle. Without enough food, you will not gain size. What keeps people stuck here is the fear of eating “too much” and consequently adding to your adipose tissues – making you fat. But this can be a losing proposition, since that fear will often keep you from eating enough to see the gains you need. What should you eat? In a word: protein. You know this, but how much? MensHealth stated:

Shoot for about 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight, which is roughly the maximum amount your body can use in a day, according to a landmark study in the Journal of Applied Physiology.

For example, if you weigh 170 pounds, you’d need 170 grams of protein. To put that in perspective, that means one chicken breast, a cup of cottage cheese, a roast beef sandwich, four eggs, and a glass of milk. Aside from the protein, you need calories. Once you’ve met you protein needs, don’t try to make up the excess calories by downing a bag of chips and a box of cookies. You need nutrients other than protein, so have some fruit, and eat leafy green vegetables.

Be Patient

When you’ve hit a plateau and are trying to break new ground, patience may be the last thing you want to hear about. But you need to. If you are at the gym every day and getting frustrated with the lack of progress, it can really mess up your mind, causing discouragement and leading to frustration that can cause you to give up. Jeremey Duvall quotes Rob Sulaver as saying:

One of the biggest mistakes a guy can make is getting frustrated with their progress early on. Getting hulked is a slow and arduous process – that why it garners so much respect.

Don’t expect increases in size to come easily. It will take time. But here is where tracking your progress is so important. If you increase your bench press by 5 pounds every two weeks, in three months you will be lifting 30 pounds more, with the consequent results. You simply can’t shortcut hard work. It will take time, but you will get there, as long as you take a focused, consistent approach to it.

Let Yourself Recover

Don’t forget that when you are lifting, you are actually tearing your muscles down, not building them up. Where you build them up is the time between workouts. If you don’t take care of your body at these times, you will not allow your body to do the work of actually building your muscles back up, increasing size, strength, and stamina. So remember that you can’t simply have a killer workout at the gym and treat your body poorly at other times. Building is a whole-life experience. So concentrate on good nutrition, and make sure you get enough quality sleep.

Stay Balanced

Some guys are always looking in the mirror and focusing on what is right in front of them. They forget that what is behind them is just as important. When you spend all your time focusing on your chest and abdomen, and little on your back, you are doing yourself a disservice. First of all, it can make you look a bit lopsided. Have you ever seen those guys with huge chests walking around looking like an ape? That’s the result of an unbalanced workout. For an excellent look you need to focus on what you can’t see as well: your back.


My Muscle Building Supplements plus Discounts!

Hope you had a great Christmas.

I had a great one with family, but I definitely ate
too much.

I’m gonna eat low carbs until after my workout
tonight to make up for it.

Well, I get asked all the time about supplements.

I normally don’t like to give out recommendation because I find
many guys buy supplements and expect to blow up and get
the perfect body without working out and the proper diet.

Supplements will only ENHANCE the others – so its a small
percentage of your overall look.

With that being said, I’m currently try to gain strength and pack
on some size.  I’m not worried as much about burning the excess fat.

So, this is what I’m taking.

Healthy & Strong Daily Protocol

1. Multivitamin – (Bluestar Vitality) – 2 in morning/ 2 at night
2. Probiotics – (Biotrust Pro X10)-  before a meal
3. Fish Oil – (Bluestar Omega Blue) – One per meal
4.Vitamin D3 – 5000 IU / 1x per day with meal
5. Magnesium Chelate – 500mg /2x per day at dinner & bedtime
6. Vitamin C – 1 gram / 2x daily with lunch & dinner
Maximum Mass Gain Post Workout Shake
1. 40 grams protein
2. 150 grams carbs (maltodextrin or dextrose)
3. 5 grams creatine monohydrate (Bluestar PurBlue Creatine)
Afterburn Fuel (been using this) or Bluestar Extreme Rush (trying this out next month)
During Workout
1. 10 grams Essential Amino Acids
2. 10 grams Branched Chain Amino Acids
3. 1-3 grams arginine
So I listed a few links as well for the exact supplements I use.
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Get The Energy You Need With A Pre-Workout Energy Drink

Pre Workout Energy Drink Get The Energy You Need With A Pre Workout Energy DrinkFrom time to time, everyone needs a boost, and this is even more so if you work out regularly. You may have heard folks around the gym talking about the pre-workout energy drinks they use, and how they help them get the most from every workout.

Usually, the best thing you can drink to stay hydrated is water, and many people will do just that before, during, and after each workout. But if you feel like you are dragging butt and looking for something to help you kick start your energy level, you may be in search of more than just water. Your body may be craving additional supplemental vitamins and herbal ingredients that can help you enhance your workout. At LiveStrong we learn,

An ideal workout energy drink must have a low sodium concentration and should not be sweet, meaning the fructose content should be low with a carbohydrate concentration of 5 percent to 8 percent.

Why You Need an Energy Supplement Before a Workout

If you start out each day with an early morning workout, you might find the need to get a head start on the day by grabbing something to give you energy, but if working out at night after a long day of work is your normal style, then an energy boost may be needed to help you push through your routine. Even if you just need a small boost, a healthy pre-workout energy drink can help to maximize your efforts.

These drinks provide your body with all the energy and nutrients it needs to increase muscle mass and growth, and make sure you feel energized and ready to go. If you try to hit the gym all sluggish and nutrient deficient, your body may well just give out on you, and we alklk know nothing good can come of that.

What to Look for in a Pre-Workout Energy Drink

If you don’t feel comfortable jumping to store-bought energy drinks just yet but are still wanting something to help you get started, some experts suggest starting simply with coffee. Parker Cote at Men’s Fitness says,

Perhaps the greatest benefit of having coffee before your workout are its fat burning properties. Coffee-when consumed before exercise-can cause fat cells to be used as an energy source as opposed to glycogen.

But if you are ready to take the plunge, you need to focus on the main ingredients in the product you select in order to find the best healthy pre-workout energy drink for your needs. Try to avoid those that are highly caffeinated, as they will make you even more dehydrated, and are likely to cause you to crash before you finish working out.

Look for products with herbal ingredients and vitamins that boost energy naturally, like those containing B-vitamins. These vitamins have been proven to raise energy levels, and repair damage to your body during times of stress and fatigue – much like those intense exercise sessions.

Plant products like ginkgo biloba and yerba mate have also been known to enhance a workout by naturally boosting energy and curbing fatigue.

A Powerful Energy-Enhancing Ingredient

One of the very popular ingredients used in energy drinks today is quercetin, a powerful antioxidant found in fruits and vegetables like berries, apples and onions. It works by repelling free radicals that can destroy the healthy cells in your body, and it stimulates the production of the ‘powerhouse’ of your cells, mitochondria, thereby helping your body to boost its own energy.

Stick to a pre-workout energy drink with all natural ingredients to supplement the natural strength and energy produced by your body, and you can get the boost you need while avoiding harmful side effects.