Muscle Armor

A training program in the form of progressive resistance exercise builds muscular size and strength. In order for a training routine to be productive, however, it must first provide the correct stimulus to induce an adaptive response. Second, a workout that stimulates and adaptive response must provide for recovery. Third, in order for recovery and subsequent size and strength increases to occur, nutrients, which are of limited supply in our bodies, must be provided. It is clear that the most important nutrient for recovery is protein. In particular, essential amino acids contained in complete protein sources; dairy, meats, and fish. It is well documented that essential amino acids consumed before, during, and after resistance training boost strength and size gains.

HMB is a metabolite of the essential amino acid L-leucine. During many studies on protein effects, L-leucine seemed to be the single greatest contributor to muscle protein synthesis. A recent study examined the effects of an essential amino acid based product, Muscle Armor (MA); manufactured by Abbott Laboratories contains beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyrate (HMB).

Seventeen healthy men were randomly assigned to one of two groups and performed twelve weeks of periodized heavy resistance training while supplementing with either MA or an isocaloric, isonitrogenous placebo (Control group (CG)). Every two weeks the subject?s strength and power were measured and blood was drawn. More-over the blood draws taken were performed pre, mid and post-training. Researchers found the MA group affected training induced changes in muscular size and strength to a significantly greater extent than the CG. Also found, was reduced levels of circulating muscle damage markers creatine kinase and malondealdehyde compared with the CG. In addition, the MA group experienced increases in resting and exercise-induced testosterone and resting growth hormone levels with reduced pre-exercise cortisol levels.
(Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 2009;41(5):1111-1121)

Achievement

“There is one quality that one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants and a burning desire to achieve it.”

- Napoleon Hill

Soy and sex do not mix

The problem we Americans face is that most of the foods we eat are not only lacking any nutritional value, they are made with ingredients that have serious health consequences. The following is taken from “Everything in moderation, right?” where I discuss some of the worst foods and ingredients we need to stay away from. When it comes to the items in this article, there is no moderation.

Phytoestrogens ability to decrease testosterone has been shown in several studies. If fact, as long ago as 164 BC monks included tofu in their diet as an aid to spiritual enlightenment and abstinence. They found the more tofu they consumed the lower their libido.

Goal Setting

There are two things to aim at in life; first to get what you want, and after that to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind has achieved the second. — Logan Pearsall Smith

The Plank

For those interested in getting your abs to pop (and really, who isn?t?), you might want to try doing the plank exercise a couple times a week. It?s a fairly simply exercise to complete and you don?t have to go to the gym in order to knock it.

Men?s Fitness.com breaks down the details of the exercise:

Get into pushup position on the floor.

Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms. Your elbows should be directly beneath your shoulders, and your body should form a straight line from your head to your feet. Hold the position for as long as you can. Your goal should be to hold it for two minutes.

“The plank helps develop strength in the core, shoulders, arms, and glutes,” says Scott, making it a great prerequisite for lifting heavy weights or playing intense sports. Even though you aren’t moving or lifting weight, you have to constantly squeeze your abs to hold the position?most people can’t last 30 seconds on their first attempt.

To read the entire article, click here.

I?ve personally done the plank for a month now and while it shouldn?t be the main exercise in your ab routine, it makes for a nice complement. Always remember that a clean diet and a good weight-training program are keys to finding your abs. But exercises like these can really help your abs ?pop?.

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