Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Oily Hair Solution

Some heads are programmed to pump out more sebum than others. But exposure to blow-dryer heat and vigorous brushing or combing make the problem worse. It triggers more oil production on the scalp. Wash the dishes and then your hair. Nothing beats dishwashing liquid for sebum control. It's too drying to use every day. For daily use, try Aqua Glycolic Shampoo and body cleanser. If you want to be more creative, squeeze a lemon into 1 cup of water and use it to rinse your hair after shampooing. The acid strips away oil buildup. Also use fewer brushstrokes to reduce the amount of oil you distribute from your scalp.

Source: Men's Health

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Tips to Get Ripped: Fat Loss Guide and Troubleshooting

Everyone wants to get ripped and peeled, but usually only a few ever make it. With the hot months on the horizon, everyone at the gym starts talking about their upcoming diet and how excited they are to get the ball rolling.

A common scene really, but it’s uncommon that someone’s efforts actually payoff the way they originally intended. Within a month most guys find themselves pretty frustrated. They are halfway done cutting at best, and feel like they are running through quicksand. As a competitive bodybuilder and contest coach, I get to hear my fair share of rants from these guys and it’s the same issues over and over. Landmines placed in the exact same spot as last year get stumbled upon the following year. In this article we will name a few of the most common traps that slow down, discourage, often leave cutting phases unfinished, and with results that leave so much more to be desired.

Bodyfat

“What’s your body fat dude?”, “What’s my body fat at?”, “So what bodyfat should I get to?” This has got to go!

Be it if you are trying to compete in a bodybuilding show, gain the notoriety from the opposite sex, or just look good for your upcoming vacation. Nobody is going to look at you, point and say “WOW! Check out his 5.62934% bodyfat!” Truth is you are either in shape or not, and aiming for bodyfat percentages is a waste of time, a distraction at best. When I start dieting for bodybuilding shows I will get that question quite a bit. “So what bodyfat are you going to cut down to?” Truth is I just keep losing weight until I have achieved the look I desire. While your goal might not be striated glutes, I am sure you have a look in mind.

What if you get callipered at the 8% you were aiming for, but don’t quite look the way you anticipated? Do you end your diet there? Which brings me to my next point: bodyfat testing in general is pretty hit or miss, at least all the affordable ways are. This is why I never have my clients send me bodyfat percentages in their weekly reports to me. I want weight (which tells us how many lbs. of bodyfat we have lost) and pictures which of course you can’t argue with. You are either ripped or not, and it’s that simple. Yes numbers are sexy, and being able to quantify things is something people just like to do in general, but “ripped” you either are or you aren’t.

Let the mirror decide, not some plastic calipers. Much like the judges don’t get on stage and caliper myself and the other competitors, neither will that young lady at the beach. Shredded doesn’t need a number, it just is.

Carbs

Fat loss and carbs just don’t go together in the eyes of most people looking to get into shape. Dieting is synonymous with low carb, and even no carb diets. While you will have to cut out some of your carbs when you start your mission towards getting lean, usually the amounts that are cut are too extreme. I will get asked often “so how man carbs should I take when dieting?” The answer is simple: as many as you can while still losing fat at the desired pace. Key words there being as many as YOU can!

Carb intakes can be one of the biggest variables when it comes to dieting.

Two guys with similar training programs, ages, and weights will often require two different approaches nutritionally. Some people might need to diet on 100 grams of carbs, others might require double or triple that amount. One thing is for sure, most folks low ball their carbohydrate threshold and diet on too little food. When you diet on less carbs than you require you will see the following occur: You will come out flying at the start, and then it will drastically slow down, and from there you will likely have to apply more aggressive protocols. Either dropping food lower or adding ungodly amounts of cardio will be required. You will then plateau to where nothing seems to work and progress will simply stall. This is where most guys end up a few weeks into their diet plan.

Use as many carbs as you can, as they will help power through your workouts in the gym, keep your metabolic rate healthy so you can lose fat longer and more efficiently and not just make progress the first month.

Second Approaches

Well if it worked for him than it should work for everyone else? If it were only that simple, how wonderful would it be. It would be great because I would no longer need weeks and weeks to get a feel for a client’s metabolic rate. Actually it would not be a good thing because there would be a “secret diet’ that would be applicable to everyone, and in turn I would be out of business. All joking aside, there is enough variation from individual to individual that one diet plan simply can’t fit all.

So while it’s cool, and I am always intrigued as to what other guys have done to get into magnificent shape, my interest has nothing to do with me wanting to mimic their approaches. I enjoy reading these protocols because it confirms the notion that we are each very unique and a wide array of approaches do work.

Some guys need to get in 3-4 hard cardio sessions a week, and others can count the number of cardio sessions they do during their whole diet on one hand. Varying protein intakes, caloric requirements, training guidelines etc. However as intriguing as these protocols are, what most likely makes these athletes successful is trial and error over the year, attention to detail, and being consistent. Good genetics usually help too, which in most cases these individuals happen to possess. For these guys almost anything will work, and let’s be blunt for a moment, if you were genetically predisposed to being muscular and lean you would likely not be reading this article.

Hard work and persistence is going to really make a big difference, the other half will come from using more sound physiological approaches, and not some copy and paste job.

Abs & Cardio

I am talking about the guys that go to the gym and spend 30-40 minutes working out abs. Not only is it a waste of time, but there could be better things you can spend fluff time at the gym on. For example prehab work, foam rolling, as in all the things that will help keep you healthy and progressing for a long time.

Quite often I will get curious inquiries from clients about dedicating a whole workout to abs in an effort to tighten up the mid-section. Which still leaves me in awe since we can’t spot target fat loss, and why would a bicep grow when you use it, but the torso muscle shrink and tighten up? Truth is a little goes a long way since abs are involved in some of the bigger movements we do in the gym, and also what works best for other muscles works best for your ab development. Weighted ab exercises in the 5-12 rep range, at about 3-4 sets twice a week is more than enough. Real definition and true sculpting is going to come via fat loss, but like any other muscle in your body it can be very well developed, but if you are not lean enough it won’t show.

As the old saying goes: “abs are made in the kitchen”, not on the 400th rep of some weird ab crunch variation that is synchronized to some horrible techno music.

Weight Training Gone Circuit Training

In the offseason I love to hit heavy squat sets. Most of my leg development has come from the 1-5 rep range. So come time to diet I like to squat in the 1-5 rep range. Yes you read that right, and I do keep about 90% of my strength when dieting. In reality, if you want to keep your hard earned muscle, you need to continue lifting heavy throughout your diet. If it’s getting harder to hit those heavy sets I would first abandon the higher rep work so that I can save my energy, and recovery for the heavier weights. Here is how I would adjust once I get into those nitty gritty portions of a diet. The last few weeks where things can get tough at times, as not only does the weight seem heavier, but energy can take a hit.

Offseason Chest Workout

DB Press (Flat)
• 145 X 5 (2 sets)
• 135 x 7 (2 sets)
• 125 x 10

On season/Dieting Phase Chest Workout

DB Press (Flat)
• 145 x 5(2 sets)
• 135 x 7

On the contrary what you will commonly see is guys abandon the lower rep work for the higher rep work. The main reasons behind this is one, they have a hard time holding on to strength because they attempt to keep volume at offseason levels. Next is the all too common they are trying to “condition” the muscles. The latter is still one of those bodybuilding fables that I wish would go away, but like fanny packs they are still a sight for sore eyes at gyms today.

Want your muscle to look its best when you diet? Then go with what got you there in the first place. Keep lifting heavy!

Too Much Diet Restriction

Everybody cheats on their diet, I have found this out first hand. I have had my share of slip-ups, but also from working with countless bodybuilders over the years. Yes even the most hardcore guys have their moments of weakness where they give in. However, so much of this can be avoided by not sweating the details that don’t matter and avoiding specific pitfalls.

Such as banning specific macronutrients (fat, carbs and protein) completely, as many popular diets have in recent years. Be it the 80’s with their extremely low fat approaches, or in recent years the ketogenic type diets. This is why I am a fan of moderate approaches, because if you swing the pendulum too hard one way, it’s going to push back just as hard.

For example the guy who decided to diet on 1,000 less calories than he required, and then binges out of control on the 3rd week of his diet. Or perhaps a diet were you must eat 8 meals a day to keep the metabolism fast (which is more fitness folklore) and one day misses a meal and loses his mind. You’ll have a hard time dieting in the real world where you can’t always eat every 90-120 minutes. Trying to do so is an unnecessary stressor.

When designing a diet for someone, I never hand them an envelope labeled “the diet” as for the numerous reasons discussed above it just doesn’t work that way. On the contrary, often we have to discuss what their real world looks like. If they have foods that lead to binges we get rid of those right away, if they have special occasions coming up were food will be eaten we adjust. If they are a busy mom and eating six times a day is too much, well then we will only eat three times a day.

Final Words

The most perfect diet will not work if the person cannot adhere to the details that actually matter. A diet has to make sense physiologically and psychologically. Diets that leave both variables unaccounted for are usually setting up people for failure, rather than helping them reach their full potential.

AUTHOR: ALBERTO NUNEZ

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Blast Your Abs Without A Single Crunch!

To truly carve your core, get up off the floor. Certain upper-body moves fire up your six-pack muscles as much as—if not more than—crunches. A new study in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research found that several arm exercises on the cable machine work your abs more than a classic situp.

The purpose of your core muscles is to stabilize your torso while your arms and legs move, study author Sami Tarnanen, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Jyväskylä in Finland, tells MensHealth.com. Take advantage of your physiology to train your rectus abdominis and obliques isometrically—that is, by bracing them against the torque generated by your arms. You’ll do double duty, strengthening your shoulders while building the type of core strength that can beat back pain and power your sports performance.To do the bilateral shoulder extension, stand with your spine neutral and your feet hip-width apart. Step your right foot back, so your left heel aligns with your right toes and your left knee is slightly bent. “This stable posture enables you to use heavier resistance, and that means more activation in the core muscles,” Tarnanen says. Hold the rope handle with your arms straight ahead at shoulder height. Pull back and down to hip level, maintaining a slight bend in your elbows.

Watch this video to see how to do the move.

Source: Men's Health

Saturday, March 1, 2014

11 (Rumored) Ways to Ease a Hangover

The 11 Best Ways to Ease a Hangover
By: Brittany Risher


You know better than to buy anything labeled "hangover cure" for the mornings after a wild night, but there has to be something out there to ease the headache, nausea, and overall sense of feeling like crap—right? We went to the experts with your list of hangover remedies (thank you, Facebook fans) and asked them what really works. While the research on this topic is limited and there's no one solution to fix all the symptoms of a hangover, a few things can help alleviate specific problems. The next time you hit the bottle too hard, here's what can make the next day at least somewhat less horrendous.


Water - H2O is a must. As you likely know from the frequent trips to the bathroom during a night of debauchery, alcohol is a diuretic and can cause dehydration. Before falling into bed, down 16 to 20 ounces of water, says Daniel K. Hall-Flavin, M.D., a consultant in addiction psychiatry at the Mayo Clinic. And the next time you go out, he recommends ordering a glass of water with every beer—and alternate between the two to replace lost fluids as you go.

Sports Drinks - "Even though the diuretic effect of alcohol may cause the body to lose some electrolytes, it's not so much that you need to replace them right away," says Samir Zakhari, Ph.D., director of the Division of Metabolism and Health Effects at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. And research has shown Gatorade is no better for a hangover than water from your tap, so save your money.


Coffee - Lots of people—hungover or not—use a cup of joe to wake up and feel alert at work. But a trip to Starbucks won't give you lasting benefits, and caffeine can both treat and cause headaches and migraines, so this one is a personal preference. If you do down a cup, be sure to drink water, too, since studies suggest caffeine causes dehydration.


More Alcohol ("Hair of the Dog") - "Bad idea," Dr. Hall-Flavin says. "It will provide a numbing effect, but all you're doing is prolonging the inevitable, and it will likely make your headache worse." Another reason to avoid cracking open a cold one: Experts agree that if you use this "cure," the risk of abuse increases and could lead to alcohol dependency.

Toast or Crackers - Remember when your mom gave you toast as a kid when you couldn't keep anything down? This is good advice for adults who've spent the night hugging the porcelain throne, too. While no food can halt the roller coaster in your stomach, carbs can help bring your blood sugar levels back up the morning after, Dr. Hall-Flavin says. Normally when blood sugar levels dip, your liver reacts by producing more glucose from stored carbs. But if you've been drinking too much, your liver is busy metabolizing the alcohol and can't handle the extra work, so your blood sugar levels stay down, and you can feel irritable and tired.

Greasy Food -What you eat after drinking doesn't matter—it's what you eat before all those Jagerbombs that can help lessen the pain the next day. Food helps slow the absorption of alcohol, and the longer it takes the alcohol to reach your blood stream, the longer it is until you become intoxicated.

Pain Medication - Ease a pounding head with a pill (or two, depending on the recommended dosage), but stick to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (or NSAIDs, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen), not acetaminophen (Tylenol): "While it's OK for a headache, when combined with a liver that's working overtime to metabolize alcohol, it can cause liver damage or be deadly," says Dena Davidson, Ph.D., former associate professor of psychiatry at Indiana University School of Medicine.

If you normally take a multi, go ahead, but no studies have found that any particular vitamins do anything for a hangover. And one night of intoxication isn't enough to throw off the levels of nutrients in your body to the point where you need to worry.

Exercise - One drink—a 12-ounce beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor—is metabolized by your body in about an hour, so the whole "sweat it out" theory is myth. At the same time, the endorphin release could boost your mood. And burning off a few calories may ease your guilt about how much you drank. Just be sure you keep your water bottle handy so you don't become even more dehydrated.

Sex - "There is no research that shows that sex will make a hangover go away, but maybe it will make the time go faster," says Joris C. Verster, Ph.D., assistant professor at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. "If it makes you happy, go for it."

The Best Cure: Prevention

You're a grown man, you know to drink responsibly. But just in case you forgot: Limit your drinks to about one every hour. Your body metabolizes each beer (or wine or shot) in about 60 to 75 minutes, Dr. Hall-Flavin says. Drink faster, and your blood alcohol level rises faster. Eat before you drink and follow Dr. Hall-Flavin's "I'll have a beer and a glass of water" rule when ordering—and drink the water, don't let it just sit on the table.

And how's this for sobering: In research, “moderate drinking” by a man is defined as two drinks a day. More than five in one sitting is considered "heavy drinking." So think before you order that extra round.

Source: Men's Health


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