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How to Test Testosterone Level?

| Bodybuilding | January 28, 2017

testosterone levels

Testosterone (Test – in the world of bodybuilding) is the main male sex hormone. It plays an important role in the quality of men’s life, it has a great influence on the processes which are occurring in the body. The level of this hormone varies throughout the day (maximum concentration is in the morning and lowest is in the evening). Training in the gym raises test levels, but if you train too hard and get overtraining, the hormone concentration will decrease in contrary. Today let’s talk about how to test testosterone level and how to improve it.

What affects the level of testosterone:

  • age (after about 25-30 years, the level begins to fall by 1% per year);
  • lifestyle (well here I think everything is clear – when there is a healthy lifestyle – level rises, while smoking, consuming alcohol, excessive weight, poor diet -testosterone will be very low);
  • general state of health (immune system, chronic diseases);
  • mood or mental state (stress, depression means lower testosterone concentrations).

How to determine the level of testosterone

There are only 2 ways to determine the level of testosterone: by analysis of the blood, by physical appearance. For sure the first method is better, as it will show the exact concentration of testosterone, and the second can only show a general picture – high levels or low. Analysis is better to take in the morning the hospital, in order to get real time results, before going to the hospital is not recommended: to eat (for 8 hours before blood donation), conduct training (one day prior to the analysis date), smoking (6 hours before analysis). The accuracy of the results depends on whether you have fulfilled our recommendations or not. For accurate result is better to donate blood several times on different days, as the hormone concentration is constantly changing. The normal level is in the range from 500 to 700 ng/dL (testosterone units), if analysis showed less than 350 ng/dl, then you must act. Therefore, if you want to determine the level of testosterone, we advise you to consult specialists, who, if necessary, will be able to prescribe a treatment.

You can determine the level of testosterone by some aspects. Low test concentrations indicate:

  • Depressive states, irritability, insomnia;
  • Loss of muscle mass and strength;
  • Reduction of hair growth;
  • Excess weight;
  • Decreased sexual desire;
  • Infertility;
  • Anemia;
  • Increased sweating;
  • Dryness of the skin;
  • Impotence.

If you recognize yourself in at least three symptoms, immediately hand over the analysis on hormones and consult with doctors. Perhaps, by enhancing the level of the test will help you to change your lifestyle.

At high testosterone concentration:

  • A high sexual activity;
  • Developed muscles;
  • A low, masculine tone of voice;
  • Positive attitude;
  • Confidence;
  • The absence of excess weight;
  • High endurance;
  • Great feeling.

To increase the concentration of testosterone, will help you:

  • Exclusion of bad habits;
  • Proper balanced nutrition;
  • Positive mood, lack of stress;
  • Regular physical activity;
  • A complete recovery, sleep;
  • Maintaining regular sexual life;
  • Rejection of the use of sugar and salt;
  • Refusal of caffeine;
  • Obtaining vitamins in required quantities;
  • In training exercises give preference to the base;
  • Aerobic exercise reduces levels of testosterone, anaerobic – increase (in this case, ideal is power lifting and bodybuilding).
  • Buy testosterone online.

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Where to Buy Steroids?

| Bodybuilding | January 24, 2017

anabolic steroids

If you clearly decide for yourself what you need anabolic drugs and look for, where to buy steroids, I’ll tell you in this article about how to buy them. Purchasing and using steroids – a private matter of each person. This article does not call for you to use all sorts of drugs, as well as not deter you from your goals. All about the dangers of anabolic/androgenic steroids, you can easily find on the Internet, searching the right information on the right site. If you weigh the “pros” and “cons”, you realize that you need then, the following article is for you.

Once again, think about whether you really need them. Purchase, use, sale, possession of steroids is prohibited by law.

These are the main options for where you can buy anabolic steroids.

You’ve probably already heard about these “black” sport pharmacy stores in the basement rocking, even in conventional gyms. As a rule, these people can and do offer you something that will help you to “pump up”. Never and in no case buy from these people, so-called, “vitamins”. Most often they sell fakes, defective goods, although prices can be several times higher. This is the first. The second – about such “dealers”. They are able to work discreetly and promptly. In this case, if you buy steroids from such “dealers” you can very easily get into the field of view of the security services, you can be tracked immediately after the transfer of goods and money. Exaggeration is not here, everything can be that way.

A somewhat different story with the purchase of steroids through the Internet. All at least safer than direct contact with dealers. But there is a big minus. There is no guarantee that you will receive the promised goods. Typically, fraudsters are as follows: they take your order (and commodity prices can be very attractive), receive the full amount, or a kind of advance payment and promise to send you the goods by mail. Later, when you realize that something is wrong, the fraudsters simply do not respond to you, or coming up with the most ridiculous excuses. But package may still arrive. Only it can be a fun postcard, note, in general, what you like, but not with the promised goods. Still, there are some sites that work in this area for quite some time and find where to buy steroids, without being scammed, on various forums is not so difficult. Besides, there is always the opportunity to find reviews about a particular store.

Why buying steroids can almost be legally?

The fact is that manufacturers use some trick in the law. If any potent substance that is a steroid, which, of course, is banned – add the substance which is not of a steroid nature, then this drug will not be considered illegal. For example, if you add to the steroid Methandrostenolone – potassium orotate or Ecdysten (quite a bit), which is also very useful to athletes, this drug will have the name Metanotabs, and it will not be banned.

Naturally, methane does not become weaker due to the addition thereto of another active substance. It is not known how long this system will work. Most likely, a very long time, because it is profitable, easily accessible for professional athletes, and also for the fans. Prices for these products are relatively high. And, by finding a good supplier, do not look for more, where you can buy steroids, do not worry about the quality of the product and to gain muscle mass with pleasure.

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Dianabol Cycle for Beginners

| Bodybuilding | December 21, 2016

Dianabol (Methandienone) by Dragon Pharma

Dianabol, or as it is commonly called Dbol – one of the most popular, if not the most popular anabolic steroid, used by athletes for gaining lean muscle and increase athletic performance. Let’s not talk about the dangers of certain drugs, everyone decides for himself to use or not to use them. Let’s get to the facts and analyze how to take Dianabol.

It should be noted that the constant use of the drug in the same doses in a short time just will not give any result, because the body can “adapt” for a certain dose and will not respond. Therefore, from time to time, from cycle to cycle (if several), you will need to gradually increase the dosage. I repeat slowly, otherwise the consequences could be not good (meaning the side effects).

The result of the drug will be most effective if Dianabol is taken from 6 o’clock to 9 o’clock, and from 18 to 21, as it is in these intervals the level of testosterone in men is at the highest level (as a rule). But if for some reason you can not use Dianabol in these periods of time, it is best to approach this case with special attention, because reception will be purely individual. There is much more common regimen of Dianabol – the distribution of the daily dose into 3-4 receptions. But first, two single dose will be somewhat more favorable, because you will be able to balance the internal and external effects on hormones. Next, after some time, as well as the experience, acquired dose can be divided by the standard method.

Dosage (daily) should be about 20-25 mg, and can be shared, as we have said, in many ways. In the initial phase would be to take Dianabol in a cycle of duration of about 3-4 weeks. Due to not so long cycle (usually cycles last 6 weeks) can be avoided “addiction” of the body to the drug. Also, the side effects will be somewhat reduced. After the cycle must be done PCT, to restore your liver.

Since the drug increases appetite, it would be correct to take Dianabol before a meal – this will allow you to use a larger amount of protein (which is, in principle, and it is necessary to know). The food that goes into your body after ingestion of the drug, will serve as a source of energy and, above all, will be building blocks of muscle.

One of the most attractive properties of Dianabol is its cheapness. It can be bought for about $50 (100 tablets per pack – for gaining mass and increase your strength is more than enough for a beginner).

Of the minuses, can be mentioned the possible serious side effects. If not taken properly, Dianabol, may cause acne (in most cases), pain in the testicles, bloody discharge, together with the sperm. Also worth noting is another big Dianabol minus – gained weight on the cycle can quickly “get away” after its completion, because Methandrostenolone retains water well and after taking it out, the mass drops sharply. Once again it should be noted that the cleansing of the liver after the cycle – a mandatory procedure, if you do not want to get serious problems with hormonal and general health of your body.

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Short Steroid Cycles

| Bodybuilding | August 26, 2016

steroid cycles

Short steroid cycles – a system of taking anabolic steroids, which means that the duration of cycle is no more than 4 weeks. Ideally, of course, a “cycle” in this form is not longer than 2-3 weeks. Bill Roberts is the founder of this system. It was he who brought the innovation in bodybuilding.

Why Short Steroid Cycles are Good?

Everything is very simple. The main advantage of short cycles of steroids is their safety, effectiveness, affordable price and no side effects. Of course, professional bodybuilders are not dealing with such systems, because they are on pharma grade almost all year round.

For these reasons are popularized short and weak cycles among beginners. It helps to achieve as soon as possible power and “bulk” of muscle performance, without spending a lot of money. Furthermore, harm the health of using such a system is simply not possible, of course, if not exceeding a dose significantly.

Types of Short Steroid Cycles

These cycles may include such a system as:

  • Solo – the use of a single drug. Example – Deca or Sustanon or Testesterone Propianate.
  • Complex – receiving several kinds of steroids and anabolic drugs. A popular example: Methane + Deca / Sustanon and others.

These short cycles of steroids are very accessible to any athlete. Of course, you should never forget about the careful selection of the individual drug.

Short cycles vary in length into several types, and they are effective:

  • 2 weeks of administration – 2 weeks of complete rest.
  • 4 weeks – 4-6 weeks.
  • 6 weeks – 6-8 weeks.
  • 4 weeks – 4 weeks.

In fact, such systems allows you without side effects to be almost six months on pharmaceutical products, which gives a great increase in muscle mass and strength.

Examples of short steroid cycles:

  • Tren (50 mg/day) + D-bol (30 mg/day). Cycle for 4 weeks. Admission for 2 times per week.
  • Testosterone Prop (75 mg/day) + Tren (50 mg/day). Cycle for 4 weeks. Admission for 2 times per week.

Medical Point of View

Steroids are anabolic substances which are modifying the lipid profile (level of “good (HDL) and bad (LDL)” cholesterol in the blood). HDL action helps to combat the formation of blood clots on the walls of blood vessels and arteries. Simply said, a short cycle of steroids does not significantly affect the lipid balance and, therefore, this is harmless, which is very pleasant due to the excellent effect of the drugs.

As how it is possible to avoid lowering HDL relative to LDL. There are several methods, these include:

  • Proper diet – no fried and greasy.
  • Cardio.
  • Consume flaxseed oil and niacin.

These “friendly” and short-term steroids cycles save you from heart disease, but can help with to achieve excellent results in the growth of muscle mass and power indicators. In addition, many bodybuilders beginners, forgetting to be careful, start to break the cycle’s regime, and some of them are just certain drugs which are contraindicated. With such a short reception system of steroids, you will be able to avoid such side effects as:

  • Acne.
  • Hair loss.
  • Increased blood pressure.
  • Kidney stress.
  • Decline in libido.
  • Reducing the size of the testicles.

Of course, such “unpleasant” side effects are the result of frivolous approach or a predisposition to allergy to steroids.

Features of Short Steroids Cycles

It is important to remember and do not rely on the fact that a short cycle of steroids will give you a big gain in weight and power indicators. The fact is that the body and muscle tissues simply do not have time to get enough of an anabolic agent.

These preparations have a specific structure steps: 4th day and increase drug concentration in the blood, then in reverse order. You just do not have time to fill the “powder keg.” Of course, the effect is still there, but it is not comparable with serious complex cycles, lasting months and includes a variety of steroids and supportive drugs.

The advantages of short cycles of steroids

  • НРТА recovery occurs independently and quickly.
  • Set of muscle mass in an area of 5 kg.
  • The return of normal testosterone levels in just one week.
  • Weight increases a couple of weeks as a result of the fact that the balls are not reduced in size, an increased level of testosterone.

Methods of Receiving Steroids

Nelson Montana, a supporter of short cycles of steroids, advises:

  • The dose of anabolic drugs should be no more than 1g.
  • You can take steroids as oral and injectable type.
  • Divide the dose into several times a week, which will help to improve anabolism.

Remember that if you decide to lay hold of the rate system, then you need steroids with reduced anabolic effects, such as:

Of course, the list of suitable steroids is great. Before you buy steroids, it’s worth more to study the list and choose the best option for the price, quality and intended effect of muscle growth and athletic performance.

To summarize all the above, we can say that short cycles of steroids greatly helps to gain weight and strength. Of course, this growth will not be as significant, but the results did not undergo a decrease, as is the case with long-term cycles.

In addition, you do not run with obvious side effects and decreased libido.

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Insulin After Steroids Cycle

| Bodybuilding | June 29, 2016

insulin bodybuilding

It is not a secret that insulin for sale is popular and relevant in the world of bodybuilding, so its use is due to a real effect by increasing athlete’s muscle mass. The drug is used in the form of a regular cycle and can be placed either as separate injections or combined with steroids or at the end of their use.

If the information on how to take insulin during a cycle of steroids is enough, then question on how to take insulin after steroid cycle is constantly discussed and has interest to all groups of athletes, regardless of their training experience. The use of peptide in post-cycle therapy allows you to:

  • preserve muscle mass;
  • improve the power performance;
  • reduce stress on the body from anabolic steroids;
  • accelerate the rate of glycogen synthesis process.

insulin after steroid cycle

Insulin Effects After A Cycle Of Steroids

insulin effectsCompletion of the cycle of anabolic steroids is often associated with the so-called roll-back, which is characterized by a loss of the achieved results, ie uncontrolled loss of gained muscle mass. To eliminate such a phenomenon is often used insulin by bodybuilders, which is placed 2-3 weeks after the last injection of steroids. The drug is the anchor character, allowing you to save and add up to 3 kg of lean muscle mass.

Daily received insulin dose varies from 5 to 15 units, rising gradually over the first 12 days. Hormone is injected 30 minutes after training and for the same period of time prior to a meal, which should be as rich in carbohydrates or glucose consumption is permitted in pure form in a volume of 100 ml.

For taking this drug after a cycle of steroids, for experienced athletes it is recommended  to take short-acting insulin, whose activity phase reaches 5-6 hours, most advantageously for the body to consolidate and improve the results obtained using an anabolic effect.

Reviews Of Insulin After A Cycle Of Steroids

The reviews of the use of this peptide in bodybuilding environment and related sports, practically does not occur differences, athletes unanimously are considering insulin as an effective hormone, especially in a cycle for gaining muscle mass.

In the US, insulin in various medicinal drugs and sports pharmacology is used after a cycle of steroids by almost 80 percent of the novice bodybuilders. Reviews of insulin after taking a cycle of steroids are more reserved, most athletes prefer to use antidiabetic agents, contributing to stimulate the secretion of insulin.

However, the safety and efficacy of this peptide makes it popular in most countries of the world, bringing it in the first place in the legal sports pharmacology.

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Peptides In Bodybuilding

| Bodybuilding | June 24, 2016

peptides in bodybuilding

Peptides are referred to a family of substances whose molecules are built from the remnants of α-amino acids, connected in a chain by peptide bonds. Speaking of the peptides, it is necessary to represent natural or synthetic compounds consisting of hundreds and thousands of monomeric units – amino acids. This class of drugs is very diverse and can perform different functions in the human body. In this article we will discuss the peptides which are used in bodybuilding.

How Effective Are Peptides

  • Restoration and rejuvenation of cells;
  • Increased secretion of growth hormone;
  • Acceleration of regenerative processes;
  • Fast recovery after injuries, strengthening bones;
  • Acceleration of muscle gain and power indicators.

Advantages Of Using Peptides

Today in the market of sports pharmacology, more and more athletes prefer peptides. In bodybuilding, the most popular peptides are those that act as a stimulator of growth hormone. Here are the most popular products:

Ghrelin Group of Peptides (GHRP) – increase growth hormone levels immediately after drug administration, regardless of time and somatostatin levels in the blood. These include the following drugs:

Growth Hormone Releasing Hormone Group of Peptides (GHRH) – increase the secretion of growth hormone. Growth hormone levels will be low during the day (when GH is hardly generated), and will also increase at night (when is observed the peak concentration of GH in the body). These peptides include:

Also it is allocated a separate peptide designed to maximize fat burning – HGH Fragment (176-191).

Why peptides are better than the other pharmacological drugs (anabolic steroids and pure growth hormone) for the athletes?

  • Peptides are much cheaper;
  • You can manipulate the concentration and achieve a greater anabolic response;
  • Peptides are not prohibited by law and you can buy peptides online;
  • Fast decay time – you can not worry about the doping controls at competitions;
  • It is easy to check for authenticity – you just need to get tested immediately after administration of the drug.

Peptide Cycles

Cycle for gaining weight and increasing power performance – GHRP6 + GHRP2 (duration – 60 days): You will need 4 bottles of GHRP6 and 2 bottles of GHRP2, preparations need to be taken 3 times daily at 100 mg of each peptide per hour before and after meals. This cycle perfectly enhances the feeling of hunger (appetite) – that’s why many athletes are gaining large amounts of weight.

Cycle for drying and maximum fat burning – HGH Fragment 176-191 (5 bottles). Cycle duration is from 30 to 50 days, a daily dosage of from 500 to 1000 mcg – split into 3-6 doses. It is recommended to take it on an empty stomach.

Before taking peptides it is recommended to consult a doctor and pass all necessary tests. Buy peptides only from legit sources. Dosages should be agreed with your doctor or trainer.

Reviews For Using Peptides In Bodybuilding

Peptides relatively recently become applied in the sport and in most cases respond positively to them. Most athletes who taking peptides are involved in bodybuilding at an amateur level. After analyzing the responses in various forums, we found reviews where athletes really describe in detail their positive impressions after reception of these drugs.

Peptides reviews from professional athletes to find is quite difficult. Yet the majority of pro-athletes remain faithful to the classic courses of the Anabolic Steroids, as they have extensive experience in their application and know what to expect from them.

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Prohormones

| Bodybuilding | June 1, 2016

prohormones

Because steroids are illegal in the United States, people in the bodybuilding world are always looking for ways to get similar results without the legalities involved. That is how the popularity of prohormones was born. They are considered dietary supplements. After they started gaining popularity, however, the purchase of prohormones has become illegal in the United States as well.

These hormones, particularly testosterone, then participate in protein synthesis in the body, which helps grow muscles and other tissues. Additionally, when prohormones convert to testosterone they also help promote male characteristics and increases in strength. Prohormones don’t generally give as drastic results as people who use steroids normally see.

The biggest question people have when they are debating between steroids and prohormones is whether or not prohormones are as effective as steroids. This is a difficult question to answer because manufacturers of both steroids and prohormones have low recommended dosages (often enough for medical treatments) and people who use them for performance enhancement often use much higher dosages. The low doses recommended by the manufacturers often don’t have many performance enhancing benefits so neither one looks good for this purpose at these levels. Researchers cannot ethically give people these higher doses to study them so the solid research to back up claims that they both are successful are difficult to come by.

Additionally, there are some safety concerns with prohormones as there are with steroids. Since prohormones convert to testosterone in the body they can cause similar side effects including acne, balding and gynecomastia.

There are many different types of prohormones available. Here are a few of them:

ErgoPharm 1AD is known to be very successful at building muscle mass. MHP T-Bomb is useful for making large muscle and strength gains. Nutrex 1-TU is unique because it surpasses the digestive system so that it doesn’t carry the possibility of liver damage like other steroids and porhormones do.

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Dan Duchaine: THE Steroid Guru

| Bodybuilding | May 22, 2016

dan duchaine

Dan Duchaine is known around the steroid world as the steroid guru mostly due to his pro-steroid opinions that he was not unwilling to share with the public and candidly shared his opinions on news shows such as 20/20 and 60 Minutes. He is also the author of several books about steroids including Underground Steroid Handbook for Men and Women and Underground Body Opus: Militant Weight Loss and Recomposition.

While in college in the 1970’s Duchaine participated in competitive bodybuilding, but wasn’t very successful. That’s when he decided to try using anabolic steroids to give himself a boost. At first he claims that they weren’t very successful for him so he began researching them on his own.

Eventually Duchaine began selling illegal steroids and worked his way up to being a major part of steroid trafficking of the drugs from Mexico and was even indicted for these actions, pled guilty and spent time in prison. He went back to prison for a second time and realized that he needed to do something different so that he wouldn’t end up there again.

This is when he started putting his self-obtained knowledge to use. He became “The Guru” for the MM2K magazine by writing articles and heading a Q&A Column. During this time he was looked up to from the body building community as an expert on what they wanted and “needed” to know to succeed in their field. Duchaine strongly believed that with the right knowledge, however, steroids can be used moderately enough to be safe and successful at the same time – and people liked his method of giving out the information which combined personal examples, research and technical information about the drugs including how and why they worked. At the same time, however the law enforcement and medical fields cringed at what he was doing. They felt he was a drug pusher and was endangering people’s health by promoting potentially hazardous drugs – even though Duchaine readily admitted that he believed steroids could be dangerous when used inappropriately or abused or used by people who are more likely to suffer negative consequences (such as children and adolescents and people who are sick or frail).

Additionally, Duchaine wrote to steroid users how they can beat the drug tests they are subject to before competitions. He also was on top of new substances that athletes could use that were not yet being tested. Because of this, the athletic community often looked to him as someone who promoted cheating in the competitions.

Overall, Duchaine said that if he knows about potential performance enhancers then other people will to so he liked to do the service of researching them so that people had the ability to find out the pertinent information to use them in such a way as to not harm themselves.

Duchaine died in January of 2000 of a kidney failure to do polycystic kidney disease.

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Hormone Replacement Therapy

| Bodybuilding | May 20, 2016

hormone replacement therapy

Hormone replacement therapy can occur in both men and women. It most often refers to women who need help stabilizing their hormones during peri-menopause and consists of either estrogen replacement (ERT) or estrogen and progesterone replacement therapy (HRT). There are other kinds of hormone replacement therapy, however, and the use of various types of drugs that can also be used as performance enhancers fall into some of these categories.

The first type of deficiency in the body is a growth hormone deficiency. This occurs from pituitary issues often resulting from tumors, surgery or radiation. growth hormone deficiencies can show itself in symptoms such as weight gain, increased fat mass and decreased muscle mass. Additional symptoms of growth hormone deficiencies include cardiovascular problems possibly due to increased blood lipid levels as well as reduced muscle mass in the heart. People with growth hormone deficiencies can also manifest themselves as psychological impairment and loss of memory and concentration.

Human growth hormone therapy at low enough doses to minimize and even avoid side effects has shown to diminish or eliminate these symptoms.

Growth hormones play an important role in children’s bodies that researchers are now studying its effects on adults. Natural levels of growth hormones automatically decline as people age. It is thought that perhaps supplementing it might be key to helping aging adults fight symptoms of aging such as helping them gain and maintain muscle, helping wounds heal faster and increasing energy levels.

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Making Fitness Fun

| Bodybuilding | May 13, 2016

fitness fun

You join a health club with the best intentions; this time you’re determined to make it work. You start going to the gym four times a week. Then it’s only twice a week and finally after three months, you just stop going. You come up with all sorts of excuses;

  1. You get bored quickly
  2. Working out is “too much work
  3. You get “gym“-timidated

Or maybe this sounds more like you. You bought a piece of home gym equipment and decided this is the way to go. Why spend money on a gym membership when you can get the same results in the privacy of your home? Four months later, the only thing on it is your clothes!

The truth is that if fitness isn’t fun, you aren’t going to do it. The biggest force in making gyms more fun is the group fitness experience. The 1980’s exploded with “aerobic” classes and that has evolved into an entire new generation of classes to keep people motivated and entertained.

Spinning classes have turned the boring stationary bike into an exciting, outdoor biking experience. Billy Blanks made kickboxing famous and Beth Shaw’s “YogaFit” takes the intimidation out of traditional yoga classes. Body Pump, a weight lifting class, motivates participants with loud, energizing music, powerful instructors and a party environment. Most clubs offer a variety of programs like step, Pilates, alternative mind/body classes and other gentler low impact forms of exercise. With so much offered, how could anyone get bored or reach a plateau?

Michael Scott Scudder, health club consultant reports that ” 11.8 million people are participating in group fitness and that number is growing each year”. A recent ACNielsen survey of 1,000 participants showed that more than 90% visit their clubs at least twice a week to take part in group fitness classes. Phillip Mills, founder of Les Mills International says “the survey clearly demonstrates the potential of group fitness to impact the lives of club members”.

As John Naisbitt predicted in Megatrends in 1982, as people become wealthier, they put more value on non-material things like their health. Many people hire personal trainers, but if you can’t afford one, taking a group fitness class is the best alternative.

According to Bob Esquerre, CEO of Esquerre Fitness Group Inc, “More and more group exercise instructors consider fitness to be a career. This leads them to become more educated.” An educated instructor will stress the importance of good form”, says Esquerre, ” which will reduce the risk of injury and increase the participants chances of achieveing individual goals. This means that participants can get a more personal experience while being involved in a group activity”.

Getting started is easy:

  1. Select a class that appeals to you
  2. Go with a friend, or ask if your club has an “Ambassador Program” A staff member will introduce you to the instructor, and take class with you.
  3. Wear comfortable clothing
  4. Don’t keep up with the regulars
  5. Have fun

Whether it’s a dance, Pilates, yoga, spinning, kickboxing or strength training class, the more fun you make it, the longer you’ll stick with it. Philip Mills‘ father Les, says ” You have to find a way to fall in love with fitness. Find your path, aim to live as long as you can, and enjoy it to the max”.

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Maximize Weight Training Benefits

| Bodybuilding | May 10, 2016

weight training

The ideal frequency, number of sets and number of repetitions will depend on your fitness goals. The best strategy will vary based on whether you are seeking to put on muscle fast or to tone and streamline your body, build endurance and lose weight.

Frequency

Research indicates that training approximately three times a week, or every other day, is ideal for both muscle building and fat loss. Muscles need a rest in between weight training workouts or progress will be slow or nonexistent. If you are seeking rapid muscle gain and wish to weight train every day, then focus on upper body exercises on one day and lower body exercises the next to ensure 48 hours of rest in between workouts for each muscle group. You can also alternate between working muscles on the front of the body one day and muscles on the back of the body the next.

Number of Sets

In a meta-analysis of 35 studies, 33 found that one set of 8-12 repetitions per exercise is just as effective as three sets, as long as the weight is heavy enough that you could not lift it more than 12 times. Although there are a few studies that support the three-set strategy, the majority indicate that one set and three sets provide equal gains, particularly for beginners. Very advanced weight trainers may require more sets for maximum gain, however.

Number of Repetitions

For toning, streamlining and muscle building, you should be able to do approximately 8-12 repetitions with your chosen weight—8-10 when starting with a new weight and 10-12 when you have been working with that particular weight for however many weeks or months are required to move to the next level.

The final repetition of any set should be very difficult. If you cannot lift the weight you have selected more than a few times, you need to choose a lower weight and work your way up. When it becomes relatively easy to do 10-12 repetitions at a given weight, the amount of weight should be increased by approximately 20% to keep challenging the muscles.

The number of repetitions will vary depending on your fitness goals and strength. Beginners and those who are training in order to lose weight, streamline their bodies and increase endurance but are not as interested in building large muscles should do more repetitions (1015) at slightly lower weights. Those who are more advanced and are looking to build larger muscles more rapidly should choose heavier weights with which they can only do 8 repetitions to start and move to higher weights when they can manage 10. Those who are already very strong and wish to bulk up more rapidly can choose weights with which they can only do 6 repetitions to start and move to higher weights when they can manage 8 repetitions easily.

Workout Length

Your strength training workout should be at least 20-30 minutes, not counting warm-up and stretches. Workouts of this duration will generate benefits for most people. However, those who want to gain muscle or lose weight more rapidly and advanced weight trainers will need to spend longer at the gym.

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Post Super Bowl Fitness

| Bodybuilding | May 7, 2016

super bowl fitness

Aspiring athletes in any sport constantly strive to emulate the professional athletes they see on TV. From the newest training techniques and tools to video games, kids and amateurs alike train hard and expect professional skills to develop. Talk to many of these aspiring athletes and they will no doubt tell you of the frustrations they have encountered. Long hours training, muscle soreness, fatigue and even injury occur when an aspiring athlete just goes out there and tries to replicate the movements and reactions of a professional. The first day you had your driver’s license no one expected you to drive like a NASCAR driver. Skill development takes time, hours of practice, mental fortitude and some plain old natural talent.

Sport Performance

Young athletes all seem to want nothing more than a big bench press and squat. After all, this is what the pros do, right? What many young athletes fail to see are the countless hours that any professional athlete puts in conditioning both physically and mentally. Aerobic fitness is training meant to keep the heart rate up and for long durations, and anaerobic fitness, or sprint and interval training develops explosive power. Speed and agility training, power lifting, functional fitness and core conditioning are all components that any good athlete will incorporate into their training regimen.

Strength, Power and Agility

Many of the fantastic athletic feats witnessed while watching the Super Bowl are the direct end result of this type of diverse training. Consider this: If an athlete focuses on nothing but bench press and dead lift exercises, which are common power lifting gym movements, that athlete will be strong. Strength is a component of being a good athlete; however, strength without the ability to control it will not lend to good athletic ability. Speed, agility, strength and power all combine to create the amazing athletic feats witnessed on TV.

Sports Performance Camps and Training

Go online and search “sports performance” and there is no doubt that your search query will yield an amazing amount of programs, articles, tools and camps. Many of these programs have been designed by industry professionals with years of experience. Search further for specific programs that include functional movement and individual attention for each athlete. These are the hidden gems every aspiring athlete needs to seek out. Camps are great for learning gross motor or big movements, teamwork and competitiveness. Individual training will yield far greater results for the simple fact that no movement will go unnoticed, good or bad. To have a processional teach and correct an athlete’s movements as they occur will yield great results that will quickly help any athlete excel on the court or field. Some sites to reference are strengthcoach.com and strength-conditioning.net or reference the National Strength and Conditioning association for programs and local clinics. A personal trainer with a certification in strength and conditioning (CSCS) or National Academy of Sports Medicine certification are additional resources for the aspiring athlete.

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Comments Off on Runners Strength Training for Injury Prevention

Runners Strength Training for Injury Prevention

| Bodybuilding | April 29, 2016

injury prevention

Aches and pains are a runner’s worst nightmare. The continual stresses of on-road running for long distances play havoc on the tendons and ligaments of the lower extremities, causing some painful and performance threatening injuries. However through the use of optimal strength training, runners are able to not only prevent injury but improve their performances as well.

There are many benefits to strength training; however one aspect of it is often overlooked by the running community and that’s its role in injury prevention. The misconception that lifting weights will slow you down is a common and often detrimental way of thinking that leaves many people riddled with aches and pains.

Common Injury Sites

A study done by the American College of Sports Medicine set out to measure the magnitude of the loads at common injury sites during a road run. During five running trials they measured that forces of up to 8.2 x Bodyweight (BW) were being sent through the Achilles tendon, 14.1xBW of compressive force was seen through bone-on-bone contact at the ankle, 14.2xBW of compressive forces were seen through the lower leg and up to 6.9xBW at the patellar tendon.

Developing a Programme

With these considerations in mind the next step is to plan out your strength training session, utilizing the best exercises that will have the most transferability to your running performance.

When the biomechanics of running are considered, it is clear that an increase in strength (both concentric and eccentric) of the major muscle groups of the leg will have a positive effect on injury prevention and on running performance (Verkoshanksy et al.). An effective way of increasing muscular strength is to adopt a high weight, low rep regime (Bompa et al.) using an exercise that targets all the major muscles of the leg, for instance, the Barbell Squat variations.

In addition to this, single leg training must also be utilized as to offset the risk of injury due to limb imbalances (The American Journal of Sports Medicine); exercises such as Step Ups, Single Leg Squats and Lunges have been shown to improve single leg strength and power (Verkoshansky et al.)

It should be noted, however, that while Strength training should be carried out as part of a runners programme, the capacity to increase Strength is severely reduced while simultaneously training for Aerobic conditioning (Issurin et al.). A periodised plan must be put in place, where one quality takes the primary focus and the other is maintained.

This targeted approach to injury prevention should not only keep you safe from common injuries but also dramatically increase your strength and power, leading to better running performance.

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Resistance-Band Exercises

| Bodybuilding | April 26, 2016

resistance bands

They’re lightweight. They’re versatile. They’re small enough to stuff inside a sneaker. Resistance bands, sold for less than $10 at your local sporting goods store, can be used for a variety of upper-body, lower-body, and core exercises. Also known as tubing, these bands are convenient to take anywhere, whether to the gym or on a business trip, so there’s no excuse not to exercise!

Other benefits of resistance-band training include constant resistance through both the concentric and eccentric phases of the exercise, which provides excellent muscle fiber activation, as well as the ability to perform exercises through a large range of motion. These exercises are generally quite safe, making them particularly popular among older and novice exercisers; however, nearly everyone can benefit from incorporating resistance-band exercises into their workouts.

Resistance-Band Exercises for the Upper Body

Resistance bands offer the most versatility when used for upper-body exercises—you can work all major muscle groups. It’s a good idea to purchase a higher resistance tube to work the chest and back and a lower resistance tube to work the shoulders and arms. For toning and strengthening, perform two sets of 15-20 repetitions. Start with a slow, controlled tempo; once you’ve mastered controlling the band you can experiment with faster, more explosive reps.

Many bands come with an attachment so that you can affix them to a door frame; if this is not included you can wrap tubing around a pole or railing to perform pushing and pulling exercises (just make sure the surface is sturdy and won’t budge).

Bent-over rows. Stand on top of the tube with feet hip width apart and hold a handle in each hand (you may need to pull up some slack between your feet to increase resistance). Bend up to 90 degrees at the hip with back straight and knees soft, squeeze your shoulder blades together, and row elbows back, pulling hands to sides of chest. Slowly lower and repeat.

Lateral shoulder raises. Step on tubing with one foot near the center of the tube and hold one handle in your right hand at your side (increase or decrease slack to vary resistance). Standing up straight, raise your right arm straight out to the side until it reaches shoulder height; slowly lower to start position. Perform all reps on one side; then switch sides and repeat with left arm.

Triceps kickbacks. Stand on the tube while bent at the hips and holding both handles as you would for the bent-over rows. Pull your elbows up near your ribs and glue them to your sides; this is your start position. Slowly press backwards and extend arms straight behind you without moving elbows away from your body, then lower back 90 degrees to start position and repeat.

Chest press. Wrap the band around a bar or railing near chest height and stand facing out with a handle in each hand, elbows raised to either side at shoulder height and wrists directly in front of elbows. Lean forward slightly to create tension and press both arms forward in front of shoulders; slowly bring elbows back to start position (should feel chest stretching) and repeat.

Resistance-Band Exercises for the Lower Body and Core

While there are fewer options for working the lower body and core muscles, the good news is that each of the tubing exercises listed below each works multiple muscles at once.

Squats. Stand with both feet on top of tubing slightly wider than hip distance apart (keep feet parallel). Hold a handle in each hand and pull ends up to your shoulders (elbows will point down next to your sides so that arms form a “W”). Keeping hands in this position, slowly press hips down and back into a squat while keeping chest up and looking straight ahead. Pause at the bottom, and then stand all the way back up; repeat.

Reverse lunges. Stand with your left foot on the center of the tube and hold hands in the position described for the squat exercise. Take a big step back with your right foot and lower into a lunge, bending right knee until it almost touches the floor; push back up and tap right foot briefly behind left foot before going immediately back into a lunge on the same leg. Perform all reps with right leg, and then repeat on other side.

Lateral stepping (hip abduction).Stand with feet hip-width apart on the center of the tube and hold an end in each hand. Keeping feet parallel, take a big step to the right with your right foot, then bring your left foot in to meet the right. Reverse directions: Step to the left with your left foot, then bring your right foot in to meet the left. Another option: squat when your feet are apart, and stand upright when your feet are together.

Torso twists. Wrap one end of tube around a bar or railing and pull handle through the opposite handle so that you’re left holding one end. Keeping the band taut, stand a few feet away, facing sideways, with the handle in both hands and arms straight in front of chest. Slowly rotate your spine and pull the weight horizontally, using abs and not arms, as far as you can without turning hips. Twist back the other direction, controlling the movement on the return motion. Perform all reps; then turn around and repeat on other side.

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Comments Off on Setting Goals for Strength Training

Setting Goals for Strength Training

| Bodybuilding | April 23, 2016

strength training goals

After aerobic exercise, strength training is the most important aspect of physical fitness. By maintaining and increasing muscular strength and endurance, adults can expend more energy and accomplish more tasks at any age with less fatigue. All adults of both genders can benefit from strength training but women and older adults especially do. The proper setting of personal goals and the development of action plans can help individuals undertake and succeed at strength training throughout their lives.

The Benefits of Strength Training

There are many significant benefits to strength training, including:

  • Increasing or sustaining healthy bone density (stronger bones)
  • Improving muscular strength and endurance by 25% to 100% or more
  • Looking better
  • Improving overall physical fitness
  • Improving mood or feeling better
  • Increasing stamina
  • Gaining greater confidence in one’s physical capability
  • Improving balance, functional capacities and independence (older adults)
  • Managing chronic conditions (arthritis, back pain, depression, obesity, diabetes, for example)

Thinking about these important benefits should help provide motivation for strength training for most people.

Also known as resistance training or weight training, strength training can be accomplished by using free weights, weight machines, resistance bands, or body weight (calisthenics). Regardless of the method, the benefits of regular strength training can be achieved by working the major muscles of the body on two or three nonconsecutive days each week.

Setting Goals for Strength Training

The proper setting of personal goals helps an individual focus effort and energy on important issues and tasks, and motivates persistence in the pursuit of the goals established. Well-formulated specific and challenging goals also help to motivate the search for effective strategies and the creation of productive action plans necessary for goal achievement.

Both short and long term goals should be set, using the proven “SMART” attributes. These goals should be:

  • Specific so that they are clear and meaningful
  • Measurable so that it is easy to determine whether they have been achieved
  • Attainable to avoid discouragement and giving up
  • Relevant to important issues like good health and the enjoyment of life
  • Timed to establish reasonable deadlines and maintain steady progress

Examples of strength training goals are:

  • Start strength training one month from now
  • Increase lean muscle mass by five pounds within six months (muscle is more attractive than fat)
  • Increase muscular strength by 40% within 12 months
  • Maintain gains in muscular strength and endurance by strength training once or twice a week in years two and beyond

An individual’s strength training goals should be personal and based on that individual’s medical and financial situation as well as any specific needs. Professional guidance from a doctor or qualified personal trainer would probably be beneficial.

Creating Action Plans for Strength Training

Action plans detail specific tasks that need to be accomplished to efficiently and effectively pursue and achieve important goals. The simplest example of an action plan is a daily “to-do” list of priority tasks for that day. But more complex goals often require a detailed plan with a schedule and sometimes a budget. Here’s a sample strength training action plan:

  • Decide on the method to be used by the end of week one.
  • Obtain medical approval for strength training by the end of week two.
  • Purchase any equipment or gym membership needed by the end of week three (budget $500).
  • Obtain guidance from a certified personal trainer qualified to tailor a program for one’s age and medical status by the end of week four (budget $240).
  • Select eight to ten major muscle exercises to perform each session by the end of week four.
  • Start strength training two or three times a week on nonconsecutive days by the end of week five.
  • Set aside 45 minutes on two or three non-consecutive days a week for strength training and mark up a calendar accordingly.
  • Perform one set of 10 to 15 repetitions of each exercise for the first two months of actual strength training.
  • With medical approval, increase the number of sets to two or three over months three and four.
  • After a month or two, invite a family member or friend to join in the program.

Strength Train to Increase Vigor and Preserve Independence

Strength training can help nearly all adults, including those with chronic medical conditions, to increase important aspects of their physical fitness so that they have more strength, stamina and energy both for life’s opportunities and for its challenges. Learning how to set appropriate short and long term goals and how to create effective action plans to achieve those goals generates motivation and enables success in an important area of health and fitness. Increased vigor and the maintenance of independence late in life are objectives attainable and worth pursuing by strength training for only a couple of hours a week.

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Comments Off on Proper Training Volume

Proper Training Volume

| Bodybuilding | April 21, 2016

proper training volume

Training volume multiplies two variables – repetitions and sets. If the volume is too high, the body can be over-trained, leading to injury or decreased strength. If the volume or intensity is too little, the expected gains will not arrive.

The number of repetitions in a set can range from 1 and up, ending at muscle failure (the point at which another repetition is impossible). For beginners, a repetition is the completion of an exercise from the start position back to the start position, like one lap on a track.

The number of reps is dependent on the intensity. A “burn” must be felt no matter how many sets or repetitions a program demands. Hard work is absolutely mandatory.

The intensity can be changed by the repetition tempo. The time it takes to complete a repetition varies between seven seconds to as fast as possible. A beginner may want to take four to seven seconds to complete a repetition. This will help the muscles learn the movements.

However, the repetition intensity is usually changed by the weight on the bar, dumbbell, cable or machine. The more weight placed on the exercise, the lower amount of repetitions the body is capable of completing.

A set is a group of repetitions completed in one effort without stopping. The number of sets can range from 2 to 10, depending on the goal. A beginner may want to stick with two sets of an exercise with a high number of repetitions. This will help create muscle stamina.

Pick 1 to 3 exercises for each body part and adhere to the following guidelines.

If the goal is maximal or speed strength, complete 5 to 10 sets of 1 to 5 repetitions with 3 to 5 minutes between sets. The total volume for each exercise falls between 12 to 24 total repetitions.

Hypertrophy is muscle building. If this is the goal, complete 2 to 4 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions with 1 to 2 minutes rest between sets. The total volume per exercise is 24 to 36 repetitions. Make sure each set lasts between 30 and 70 seconds.

Endurance is for beginners and endurance athletes. Complete 2 to 3 sets of 12 to 25 repetitions with 30 to 60 seconds between sets. The total volume per exercise is 30 to 75 repetitions.

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Comments Off on Strength Testing is a Critical Success Measure

Strength Testing is a Critical Success Measure

| Bodybuilding | April 17, 2016

strength testing

Want a recipe for a laugh?

  1. Put a group of five football coaches with stopwatches on the 40-yard line.
  2. Place the football team’s star receiver on the goal line.
  3. Instruct the coaches to start timing on the player’s first movement and to stop as he crosses the 40-yard line.
  4. Run the 40-yard sprint.
  5. Collect the watches and throw them in the trash.

You’re likely to have five different times .3 to .4 seconds – or more – apart. Each football coach will swear his time is right – although one might admit his 40-yard sprint time could be a little off because he blinked – and at least one is going to vow he got the time to the one-hundredth of a second. That’s too much variation.

Eliminate Random Variables from Strength Testing Programs

While the largest variable in strength testing is your athletes’ performances, the second largest inconsistency is likely the design of the strength testing procedure and the biological interfaces – the coaches – who administer strength tests.

The human aspect of strength testing inherently is imperfect, whether it’s reaction time to start or stop timing, inattentiveness, or built in bias for – or against – certain athletes.

And, if a test like the 40-yard dash is flawed, chances are good that the rest of your strength testing will be unreliable as well.

Once again: Validity of strength testing results are crucial to the integrity of a strength training program. And that’s true whether the weight lifting program is one administered an individual sport’s coaches, or by a dedicated strength coaching staff.

The problem is, that your athletes know it, too, so they don’t care as much about strength testing as they should, are under-motivated and likely to provide sub-maximal efforts.

Done correctly, strength testing gives you you the opportunity to see your athletes at or near their best. When conducted in a team setting and in an arena the athlete is familiar with, it creates a sense of competition that brings out maximal efforts. Suborn that experience with a bias, and you’ll lose that edge.

Juice Your Strength Testing to Measure Your Strength Training Program Better

Add some snap to your strength testing by designing a testing matrix that’s as specific to your needs as possible. Most of us have some lifts we feel assess strength well. Challenging those assumptions. Do the lifts really mirror the needs of your sports? Does, for example, a golfer need to be tested on the bench press for a one-rep max? Is a deadlift sport specific to anything?

While testing 40-yard sprint times and Pro Agility times are probably the most popular for high school football teams, it’s interesting to note that the 3-cone drill actually is a better predictor of draft rank at the NFL combine. The 40 just gets the most press.

Do whatever you can to eliminate human error … start by dumping stopwatches. The prices for electronic testing equipment – like jump mats for vertical jump testing (under $500), and the various speed traps that are available for sprint and agility testing – have dropped and, generally, are within the budget of a high school football program, for example. They’re durable, very portable and deliver accurate results. They also can be shared by multiple sports and add a sense of professionalism to your testing.

On your testing lifts, make sure all coaches know what a good lift is. Will you use power cleans or hang cleans? Power cleans are ideal for strength testing football players, but hang cleans may be better for volleyball teams. PRE-determine what constitutes a successful lift, and make sure all tests are measured by the same standard.

You can make strength testing more competitive by eliminating the bias toward big or small athletes. You might report the weight of a squat, for example, but also award points based on bodyweight percentage. The sliding scale allows athletes to compete on a pound-for-pound basis, but reporting the raw weights lifted also allows athletes a little extra room to brag, and that’s not a bad thing.

Report Your Strength Testing Scores to Everyone and Test Often

We’ve had great success in stimulating competition in our Iron Pirates Strength & Conditioning program by posting scores for all athletes tested, regardless of the sport they participate in, or their gender. And we require everyone using the weight room, even cheerleaders, participate in some form of strength testing.

Consider testing more than once a year, and allow for some testing to occur “off the calendar,” for instance when an athlete “just feels strong” or is having a great day in the weight room. After all, strength testing should measure the best an athlete has to give.

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