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The 3 Core Muscle Building Exercises You Should Be Doing

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When it comes to building muscle I like to keep things simple. It’s easy to get caught up in the hype of hot new products and exercises that promise to be the next best thing in muscle building. Theses fancy exercises and products use long “scientific like” words and explanations to show you they work to build the most muscle.

In this article I am going to get back to basics. I am going to show your three muscle building exercises you can’t afford not to do and why you should be doing them. These three exercises are the grass roots of building muscle and are essential for any serious training program.

You might find it hard to believe, but with these three exercises alone you can pack on a serious amount of muscle. I refer to these exercises as the “core” to any good program. When I start planning I muscle building program for a client I always start with these three basic exercises and build the program around them.

3 core muscle building exercises:

Squat
The squat is the biggest exercise for packing on serious poundage. There’s no argument about it. The squat is primarily a leg building exercise. You start the exercise with a barbell resting across your shoulders standing straight up. Then bending at the knees and hips you lower the barbell down until your thighs are almost parallel to the floor. And then push the barbell back to the starting position.

The main muscle groups pulled into action for the squat are your quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes. Secondary muscle groups include the lower back, abductors and to a certain extent your shoulder muscles. As you can see many muscle groups are recruited for this exercise making it the biggest exercise and biggest potential muscle builder.

Like all the core muscle building exercises, you should make the squat the first exercise you do on your leg training day. Because it’s the biggest exercise you want your legs to be fresh and ready. If muscle building is your goal, aim for about 8-12 reps on the squat. Because you’ll be lifting heavy weights a good warm up is vital. Squatting is very stressful for the lower body, especially the knees, so 5-10 minutes on the treadmill and some lights squats first up are recommended.

Bench Press
The bench pres is the king of upper body building exercises. For years the bench press has been used to measure a lifter’s strength. How many times have you been asked “how much do you bench?” I bet you’ve never been asked how much do you squat or how many chin ups can you do.

The bench is a simple yet extremely powerful exercise that targets the entire chest (pectorals), front shoulders (deltoids) and triceps. To perform a bench press you must lie on your back on a flat bench, grip the barbell at slightly wider than shoulder grip and press the bar straight down to your chest.

The bench press is the biggest upper body builder because it allows you to move the most amount of weight possible. This is its advantage over the dumbbell press. With the help of a spotter you can also push yourself to lift heavier weights. There are also other advanced bench press techniques like board presses, bench press negatives and chain presses. See our link at the bottom for more details.

Wide grip Chin Up
If you were only going to do one exercise to work your back this would be it. The wide grip chin up is the ultimate test of a lifters power to weight ratio. This muscle building exercise is very demanding on the body.

The wide grip chin up primarily hits the lats, but also targets the entire upper back, biceps and forearms. To execute this exercise you need a chin up bar or assisted chin up machine. Hold the bar in a wide grip (greater than shoulder width) with your palms facing away from your body. Start in a “hanging” position with your arms fully extended. Pull yourself up until your can get your chin over the bar and lower back to starting position.

Most people will not be able to do wide grip chin ups without some lat/back training first. You can use the assisted chin up machine or lat pull down machine to strengthen your lats before attempting wide grip chin ups. This is the most demanding back exercise you can do so it must be the first exercise in your session.

When you should be doing these exercises

Like I mentioned previously in this article, these exercises are the biggest muscle builders and also the most taxing on your body so they must be done at the beginning of your workout to get the maximum benefits. I recommend that you do up to 5 sets on each exercise and vary the way you perform these sets each week. For example, the first week you do pyramid up sets, the second week you pyramid down and the third week you do straight sets. This keeps your muscles from getting accustomed to your routine. Good luck packing on some serious pounds!

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Effortlessly Maintain Your Ideal Weight With Ketogenic Eating

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Perhaps the most immediate and dramatic benefit of ketogenic eating is the opportunity for quick and efficient reduction of excess body fat. This also means easy, long-term maintenance of your ideal body composition. Ketogenic eating can make you an efficient fat-burning machine. When you are in full-blown keto, you enjoy complete dietary satisfaction, rarely feel hungry (even if you skip meals!), and never have to struggle, suffer, restrict calories, or force strenuous workouts in order to burn extra calories. Instead, you allow your body to naturally calibrate you to a healthy composition and weight.reset, you’ll learn the best way to ditch grains, sugars, and refined vegetable oils, and you’ll also discover the nutrient-dense, high-fat, low-carb primal foods with which to replace them. During the second week, you’ll focus on the supportive lifestyle behaviors that are essential to succeed with dietary transformation. These include optimizing your exercise patterns, dialing in your sleep, and implementing effective stress-management techniques. In your final approach to the 21-day mark, you’ll put it all together—thereby escaping carbohydrate dependency once and for all and plunging headlong into the world of fat adaptation.

Adopting a long-term ketogenic lifestyle is easier than you think.

You will likely notice immediate weight loss, largely due to a reduction in inflammation (and the ensuing fluid retention in cells throughout the body) and also because you will unlock stored body fat to burn for energy around the clock. It’s not uncommon for devoted enthusiasts to drop 10 to 15 pounds total, including 3 to 6 pounds of excess body fat, during a 21-Day Metabolism Reset.

Then, you’ll go keto, dropping your carb consumption to less than 50 grams a day and also likely lowering your protein to less than you typically consume, while also emphasizing nutritious, natural fats as your main calorie source. Your journey into nutritional ketosis should last for at least six weeks. Then, with your newly minted degree in fat- and keto-adaptation, you can consider and experiment with assorted long-term options, including going back into nutritional ketosis any time in the future to shed excess fat, protect against disease, and enhance cognitive and athletic performance.

Being fat- and keto-adapted means that you can veer off the plan now and then and not tailspin into a monthlong sugar binge. When you have this esteemed metabolic flexibility, you can wake up the day after eating cake by the ocean, or even a bunch more stuff on a weeklong cruise, and get right back into the groove—whether through fasting, a string of keto-aligned meals, or even strategic use of ketone supplements. Adopting this lifestyle means freedom from sugar cravings, fatigue, and overstimulation of the fight-or-flight response from excess carbohydrates. What could be better than that?

Sources:
1. Masino, Susan (ed.). Ketogenic Diet and Metabolic Therapies: Expanded Roles in Health and Disease. Oxford University Press, 2017.

2. Cahill, G.F. (2006). Fuel metabolism in starvation. Annual Review of Nutrition, 26: 1-22.

3. Rattan, S.I.S. (2006). Theories of biological aging: Genes, proteins, and free radicals. Free Radical Research, 40: 1230–1238.

4. Sohal, R.S., & Weindruch, R. (1996). Oxidative Stress, Caloric Restriction, and Aging. Science (New York, N.Y.), 273 (5,271), 59–63.

Source mindbodygreen.com

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Intermittent Fasting, Is Right For You?

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Almost everyone can benefit from intermittent fasting (IF), which—as its name implies—means alternating between periods of eating and not eating for various amounts of time. “Fasting is the oldest dietary intervention in the world,” writes Dr. Jason Fung in The Complete Guide to Fasting. “Because it differs from conventional dieting in so many important ways, fasting carries many distinct advantages.”

Among them, fasting is simple, free, convenient, effective, and allows you to enjoy life’s occasional indulgences. You can do IF on almost any plan, whether you’re vegan or paleo, and it gives your overworked digestive system a much-needed break.

IF challenges conventional health theories: Many practitioners skip breakfast, don’t count calories and go long hours—sometimes days—without eating. They think when you eat may be just as important as what you eat. And it gets results. Intermittent fasting’s numerous benefits include weight loss and chronic disease management.

At the same time, no one plan works for everyone, and that includes IF. Even Fung notes certain people shouldn’t do IF, including pregnant or breastfeeding women, underage people, and malnourished folks. He advises others like people with type 1 diabetes to proceed cautiously with fasting. While you can usually work with a credentialed health care expert and modify fasting to your condition, I’ve found people with these five issues should think twice about, and—in one case—absolutely avoid intermittent fasting:

1. You have gallstone disease.

When you fast, your gallbladder doesn’t release bile. As your liver continues to deliver bile, it becomes concentrated. Breaking you’re fast means your gallbladder could forcefully release sludge or small stones from that buildup that could get stuck in the bile duct. If you have gallbladder issues, proceed cautiously with IF. One study showed that among people with gallstone disease, a long overnight fast increased hospitalization risk.

2. You have an eating disorder.

Here’s my one big thumbs-down for fasting. A systematic review of IF’s potential harms mentioned eating disorders, and writer Emily T. Troscianko asked whether IF is “A Fast Route to Disordered Eating?” in an intriguing Psychology Today essay. If you have bulimia or otherwise struggle with other psychological eating disorders IF could exacerbate those problems. An eating disorder is one condition with which you absolutely should not do fasting. Rather, always work with your doctor when struggling with any sort of disorder.

3. You have adrenal fatigue.

Fasting can keep your stress hormone cortisol ramped up, stressing your already-overworked adrenals. One study with 16 young, healthy female volunteers who fasted for 48 hours had elevated cortisol levels, suggesting fasting could create additional stress. You’re probably not going to fast that long, but beware if you have adrenal fatigue or your adrenals are already overworked from chronic stress—fasting could make your condition worse.

4. Your thyroid is shot.

Your thyroid performs many functions, including balancing energy, body temperature, and emotions. When this tiny gland isn’t working correctly, numerous problems can result. Triiodothyronine (T3) is your active thyroid hormone. Studies show fasting decreases T3, so if you have mild to moderate hypothyroidism, you might want to reconsider intermittent fasting.

5. You’re sick.

Your body needs a steady supply of nutrients if you’re ill, and if you’re not eating you can’t get them. IF could also create physiological or metabolic stress: the last things you want to create when you’ve got a cold, flu, or another virus. At the very least, I recommend bone broth and a nutrient-dense protein shake or green drink to meet those nutrient requirements.

If you don’t fall into those conditions and want to try IF, start out slowly. Have a big dinner, close up the kitchen for the night, and then have breakfast as late as possible the following morning. That creates about a 12-hour or longer fasting window—most of it while you’re sleeping—that helps your body dip into those fat stores. Gradually increase that fasting time, but if you feel nauseous or otherwise unwell, please eat something. Don’t risk your health!

Source http://www.mindbodygreen.com

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Yoga Nidra and Consciousness: Chakras in Yoga Nidra

The awakening of consciousness through Nyasa releases tensions and lethargy, thereby healing illnesses

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According to Paramahansa Satyananda, Yoga Nidra actually begins with the experiencing of these chakras. The chakras are also known in other cultures, as we have seen with the Hopis in the USA, but also by the alchemists in Europe and the Inuits of Greenland and Canada, to mention but a few of the more evident examples.

Also: Yoga Positions for Beginners – 2 Things You Need To Know

In the deep Yoga Nidra, we use eight of the major chakras to contact the various planes of consciousness.
On my album, “Experience Yoga Nidra” (previously on cassette tape) I use the mantras (certain sound syllables) connected to each chakra. I also use visual symbols in accordance with the traditions of India and Europe.

When I started to produce “Experience Yoga Nidra” while teaching in the USA, the Indian musician Roop Verma was inspired to record the ancient musical symbols of the chakras. He was the first ever to do this. This special music has been merged with my text and guidance during the deep Yoga Nidra.

Chakras are often spoken of in connection with Kundalini Yoga, a set of methods and meditations that can be used to harmonize and awaken the psychic energy. (The name Kundalini Yoga, however, is also used as the trade mark of a contemporary movement – although they only teach standard yoga).

Kriya Yoga is probably the most profound and effective form of Kundalini Yoga. In an awesome way, it can strengthen the body’s energy field, remove depressions, increase creativity and open you up to a first-hand knowledge of the genuine mystical or spiritual aspects of life.

The chakras have corresponding areas in the brain. When they are relaxed and harmonized during Yoga Nidra, the release of unwanted states such as confusion and lack of concentration begins. People who awaken their chakras through yoga and meditation, open up to a previously unknown capacity for communication, insight, and creativity.

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