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  1. The Breakdown on Protein Powder – Which One, When, and Why?

    I came across this great article on Whey Protein powders on that reminded on a question I get asked ALL THE TIME: Should I be using protein powder?  And if yes, which one, when, and why?  They give a review of a ton of different protein powders based on your goal and your budget.  Very worth checking out.

    Here’s a little snippit of the closing points:

    Whey Protein Powder Infographic
    Whey Protein Powder Infographic from barbend.com

    What Are the Benefits of Whey Protein Powder?

    There are plenty of myths about whey protein powder, but here’s the main benefit: it’s a cheap, convenient source of protein.

    That’s nothing to sneeze at. Typically, protein is the most expensive of the three macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and fat) and most people fall far short of the protein intake that’s generally recommended for people who are regularly undertaking strenuous physical exercise: one gram per pound of bodyweight. On top of that, whey is a complete protein that contains all the essential amino acids necessary to spur muscle growth.

    There’s plenty of debate as to whether or not you have to consume a protein shake after a workout — that is to say, whether a post-workout shake significantly improves recovery and muscle growth.

    However as we said earlier, if you’re regularly engaging in strenuous exercise, you do need to consume a relatively large amount of protein (and calories overall) to build muscle, recover properly, and become stronger for the next workout. Whey is a fantastic way to do that.

    Final Word

    It wasn’t easy to land on these top protein powders; we had to weigh ingredients, effectiveness, taste, and many other factors, including the fact that different consumers value totally different qualities in their health supplements. But we’re confident that we’ve selected the best whey proteins no matter what your reasons are for turning to protein shakes. All we can say now is: bottoms up!

  2. Proper breathing during exercise

    The best general guideline about breathing properly during resistance training is to exhale past the sticking point and inhale on the easier, lowering phase of any exercise. This excludes more advanced Olympic movements, where a deep breath should be held throughout, known as the Valsalva maneuver. If you take the push up for example, the sticking point is about halfway through the upward phase of the exercise(about where elbows are in line with the torso). You should exhale just past this point and have emptied your breath by the time your elbows are completely extended. Inhale as you lower your chest back to the ground.

    If you are lifting heavier and focusing on size and strength, from the starting position of any exercise, inhale deeply and fill your lungs. Begin the exercise and continue holding your breath until you are just past the sticking point, and then return to a normal breathing pattern on the remaining repetitions. This breathing pattern increases core stability, allows a better “groove” with heavier weights and sets up a stronger mindset to dominate the weights versus being moved around.

    Finally, for the strictly physique crowd, you should be “squeezy” on every exercise you do but must exhale in the contracted position and hold for a second. You cannot completely contract a muscle if you are holding your breath while squeezing at the end of the movement.

     

  3. How many reps should I do?

     

    • Beginner

    If you are just starting out you should be followed by a trainer to properly learn the basic exercises. The rep range for a beginner is 12-15 reps. The weight will be light enough to develop the skill of using barbells and dumbbells while still allowing a decent training stimulus. Pick 1 exercise for each muscle and perform 1-2 sets to momentary failure.

     

    • Intermediate/advanced

    You move well in the gym and can effectively use advanced training techniques while also being aware (more…)

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