How To Build Lats (Wings) Like These

September 9, 2009 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

Strong Lats muscles

Other than the shoulder muscles, I would say that the Latimuss dorsi (Wings) muscles are the biggest contributors in promoting a large muscle bound appearance. These are the muscles that will give you a V-shaped upper back and make you look like these guys,

captain_america musclessuperman muscles

By having well developed lats, you can get away with wearing certain types of clothes that you can only usually wear confidentially if you have a well-rounded body (Even if you have slightly less developed arms). However, if you do have well-developed arms but have slightly less developed lats, you will just look like an ‘average Joe’ or even worse… adopt an unnatural and imbalanced appearance.

There are many exercises out there that can help you develop this muscle group, but we’ll list my favourite exercises that will help you develop a monstrous pair of lats.

Pull ups (Gironda Sternum)

chin ups
I have talked about ways to build ‘real’ strength quite a lot in recent weeks, and this exercise is a really good way to do it.

Instruction

  • Grab the pull-up bar with an overhand grip, approximately shoulder width apart.
  • Now hang with your arms fully extended.
  • As you pull yourself to the bar, have your head lean back as far away from the bar as possible and arch your spine throughout the movement.
  • At the upper end of the movement, your hips and legs will be at about a 45-degree angle to the floor. You should keep pulling until your collarbone passes the bar and your lower chest or sternum area touches it.

Warning! The first time you do this exercise you will struggle!

Most people will initially struggle when lifting their own bodyweight, and doing any bodyweight exercises will be a real test of your strength. Although you will probably fail miserably and end up doing,

3 Sets

Reps

  1. 8
  2. 4
  3. 2

Your strength will gradually increase. But in the beginning stages you can always get a spotter to help you out. However, you don’t want to rely on that help too often, as too much help will hinder your strength gaining efforts.

You are talking nonsense… this is easy!

If you are reading this and thinking that, then you would have mastered lifting your own body weight. Unless you are some sort of transformer or mutant, there is no way to dramatically increase your weight. But you can do by using a dipping belt.

dipping belt to build muscle

This accessory will be essential when developing real muscle mass on your lats. What this belt will allow you to do is add extra weight around your waist, making it heavier and harder to lift yourself up. Once you get to this level, then I would say ‘you truly are the best’.

Straight-arm pull downs

straight_arm_pulldown
This exercise has to be good! Every time I am in the gym there is a queue for this machine. 😐

Putting the sarcasm aside, this is for sure one of my favourite exercises, and the pain that it inflicts never seems to ease up overtime either. This exercise is also lat specific, so you can easily gauge your efforts.

Instructions

  • Stand in front of a lat pull down bar with your arms outstretched towards the bar.
  • Place your palms flat on the bar and pull it down to shoulder level.
  • Keeping your elbows slightly bent and your wrists locked, pull the bar down towards your body in an arcing motion.
  • Once you contracted the lats fully and the bar has touched or come close to your thighs, slowly allow the bar to come back up to the starting position.
  • Keep your torso erect!

Dumbbell bent over rows

bentoverdumbbellrolls
Back when I first started to workout, this was one of the first exercises I would include in my routine, and it still is a key exercise that I do today. This won’t just build your lats though. It will help build up your entire upper back and even your biceps.

Instruction

  • Kneel over the side of a bench by placing your knee and hand (of the supporting arm) on the bench.
  • Position your foot of the opposite leg slightly back to the side.
  • Grab the dumbbell from floor.
  • Pull the dumbbell to side until it makes contact with your ribs or until your upper arm is just beyond horizontal.
  • Return until your arm is extended and shoulder is stretched forward.
  • Repeat and continue with opposite arm.

These are the 3 exercises that I KNOW have helped in building the main bulk of my lats, and they are the exercises I have used when I am trying to get back into the groove. The good thing about doing these is that they tend to give the quickest result, which is great for boosting your confidence levels, as that can tend to drop quite frequently. Include these exercises into your routines and YOU WILL build a great pair of super hero lats in no time.

Which exercises do you use to build your lats?

See you in the comments.

Gear to wear to compliment your S-curvish rear and anterior...

Gear to wear to compliment your S-curvish rear and anterior…

Incoming search terms:

Build Your Scrawny Ankles – Don’t Forget To! (Muscles around them)

September 8, 2009 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

It’s that time again! It’s only been a few days since posting about ‘ building those neglected body parts‘, but I guess I am passionate about getting you to look your best and to look that little bit better than your peers. Anyhow, today is all about how to build stronger and better-looking ankles. I wouldn’t necessarily put scrawny ankles in the same category as chicken legs, as the exercises involved to build both do differ.

On most people (mainly guys), the ankles simply are not seen as a glamorous body part. You don’t hear people saying,

‘Ooh, flex those hot ankles for me’

Or

‘Take off those socks and let me see those lovely ankles’

It just doesn’t happen. However, I think this is not the case when women are concerned. Women ankles are naturally more feminine than a man’s set of ankles, and because of this, I find that ankles are one of the sexiest body parts there are (on a woman). This is why there is a market for ankle bracelets.

Why build a stronger and sexier set of ankles?

This is mainly targeted at guys, but if you are a lady and you have bony, unsightly and weak ankles, then this is for you too. So lets begin our journey to building strong and sexier looking ankles.

Strong ankles prevent injury

Injury is the number one reason why people take timeout from exercise and training, whether for sport or fitness training, but by having strong ankles you can prevent this. I have personally faced the benefits of this in previous sporting activities, especially in sprint training. There was many a time where I would literally not realize how fast I was running. I would suddenly stop running, yet my body would keep moving. When ever this happened early on in training it would lead to a sure injury, but as I began to build my ankle strength, my ankles would take the pressure and I would carry on as normal.

Improves balance

Having strong ankles will definitely improve your balance and not just for training, exercise or sporting activities either.

If you are,

  • On the beach having a fight in the sand.
  • On a very unstable train ride.
  • Take long walks regularly.
  • Take a serious blow to the body in a ‘real’ fight.

Stronger ankles will help you in all of these types of situations.

Building for a stronger and sexier set of ankles

Standing and balancing on one foot

Balance on one foot
Yes, I all know we done this in the playground as kids, but this is actually a very effective way to train your ankles to be stronger. What we didn’t realize as kids doing this, is that all that struggling and shifting around to keep balance is actually working the key muscles in our ankles. You can do this exercise anywhere, but only do it in a public place if you don’t mind that people might think that you are a bit loopy!

If you are already a highly balanced ballerina type, then try it with your eyes closed. Taking away one of your senses will make for harder work on your muscles.

Standing and balancing on one foot (with weights)

balance on one fit with dumbbells

This is basically weight training for ankles. This is where you will really begin to build up muscle and strength. What you do is grab a pair of dumbbells and hold them in each hand. All of the rocking from side to side will be the movements that will work the ankle muscles. If you wish, you can also use a barbell and place it behind your neck and balance with that.

Standing and balancing on one foot with weights (on an unstable surface)

build your scrawny ankles

Warning! Only do this once you have mastered the above methods.

This is a real challenge and definitely a step up from the two previous methods, but will again… strengthen and grow your ankle muscles. My favourite for this is to grab a set of towels and role them up together, stand on and balance.

Balance and coordination

Build your scrawny ankles

  • Put the weights down
  • Balance on one foot (or on an uneven surface)
  • Get some one to throw a ball at you
  • Or throw a ball at the wall (if you are alone)

This one is actually funny, as I used to do this all the time as a kid. But doing this will improve your balance and coordination while working your ankle muscles.

All of these techniques will do wonders for your chicken stick meatless ankles. The great thing about them is that they are simple to do and promote functional movements (and are unique, which most exercises like this are – forearms, neck). Start doing these today and in a few months time it would be great if you could post some before and after shots of your ankles for everyone to see :-).

Feeding the monster S-curvishly will help @vitoriagomes

Feeding the monster S-curvishly will help @vitoriagomes

How do you work your ankle muscles? Have you tried any of the above?

See you in the comments.

Incoming search terms:

How to increase your metabolism – The Exercises

September 7, 2009 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug, The Health Bug

It’s been a while since I posted about how to increase your metabolism, and since then I have had conversations with many. It seems to be one of the hottest on going topics in health and fitness, and there doesn’t seem to be one killer answer to the question either. So for the sake of those who ask and for anyone else who is facing this problem, these are a few exercises you can include into your fitness program along with the 13 ways to increase your metabolism.

Instruction

Complete as many exercises as you can of each one within 15 minutes. Take a 1-2 minute break in-between each set

Dumbbell Split Squat

Dumbbell Split Squat

  • Grab a pair of dumbbells with your arms hanging at your sides.
  • Stand in a staggered stance.
  • Put your right foot in front of your left.
  • Keep your torso upright and lower your body until your front thigh is parallel to the floor.
  • Raise yourself back up into the staggered stance.
  • Max out to 8-10 reps
  • Switch legs and repeat.

Allow the heel of your rear foot to raise off floor during descent so that the weight is transferred to your forefoot. Your knees should also point in the same direction as your feet throughout movement.

Cross-Body Mountain Climber

climberworkouts-exercises-cross
This exercise will work your abs muscles and should be performed at high speeds for maximum results.

  • Assume a push up position.
  • Your body should form a straight line from your head to your heels.
  • Tense your abs! You will have to hold them that way throughout the entire exercise.
  • Pull your left knee as close as you can to your right shoulder, without allowing your hips to sag.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat, this time raising your right knee toward your left shoulder.
  • Do 10 reps

If that gets a bit easy, do it on higher ground. That should test you.

Chin-up with Knee up

Pull up Knee upChinup-Kneeup

This exercise can be quite brutal at first, but once your strength increases you will be on your way to staying eternally ripped.

  • Grab a chin-up bar with your palms facing your body.
  • Do a pull-up so your chest reaches the bar, while also raising your knees to your chest. Slowly lower your body and return to the start.
  • If you can’t complete a chin-up, simply raise your knees while hanging from the bar.
  • Do 10 reps (or to failure)

All three of these exercises are bodyweight exercises and will work every part of your body. Working all parts of your body with compound exercises is an essential ingredient to maintaining overall fitness, but this is just the beginning. Stay tuned for more exercises and techniques that will boost your metabolism even further.

Just a quick tip: make sure you wear the right athletic footwear like New Balance shoes for better performance on your exercise routine.

What metabolism boosting techniques have worked for you so far?

See you in the comments.

Incoming search terms:

Getting Your Girl To Do Yoga Will Lead To Better Sex

September 6, 2009 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

yoga for fitness

For all of the female readers here, I do apologize for the headline. I’m not sexist… promise! 🙂 . If you don’t already know, I will explain why taking up yoga for fitness will not only lead to building a lean, flexible and supple body, but the wonderful things it can do for your sex life.

For guys

You get to really test your strength and endurance.

For gals

You’ll be giving your guy PLENTY of reasons not to ever stray ever again.

For both

Increased excitement and fun.

A lot of what you read here has been learnt from various ladies that I have met since beginning to workout. They just happened to have a lot of experience and knowledge in yoga, knowledge that eventually got passed down to myself.

Does yoga really improve ones sex life?

Well… I wouldn’t have bothered to take the time out to write this if it didn’t. That would be a waste of your reading time… something that I would never do to you. So read on!

Guys… tell this to your ladies. Ladies… do as stated!

Yoga increases blood flow

Many of the positions that you perform during yoga sessions allow for the blood to flow a lot more. This is especially the case with positions like ‘the eagle pose’.

This position will send blood rushing to your pelvic area. When this happens it will make you hot, and when you put that heat together with stimulation, your desire will shoot through the roof.

Yoga strengthens the pelvic area

We always hear personal trainers and fitness geeks talk about the importance of building ‘the core’ (myself included). The pelvic floor is a part of that core, and when you work these muscles it will improve your’ range of motion’ (how far you can extend a particular joint- supreme flexibility). This in turn will give you,

  • Stronger contractions
  • Stronger releases
  • More intense orgasm

Yoga eases tension and pain

In my early days of training, I would lay in bed at times with my ‘then’ partner, and they would say to me ‘Gosh, I like muscles and everything, but you are so tense!’ This is the same with women who workout, especially those who do moderate/ high intensity training. The bad thing about being tense is that it will also affect the pelvic floor area, and when this happens, good enjoyable sex turns into ‘work’. If it does get to that stage you might as well stop, and if you don’t, you might just break something (click…crack… snap!). Doing Yoga will ease pain by releasing that tension and relaxing your hips. This will make for a MUCH better sexual experience for both.

Get that mojo back… and some chakra action

chakras in yogachakras in yoga

What are chakras?

This is all yoga language. Basically, your sex life is governed by these chakras. It is the body’s energy that centres around your spine. When your chakras are in healthy working order, you’ll find that your sex life will be pretty healthy too, and yoga moves like the triangle and seated open-angle pose will stimulate your chakras.

Looking at the image above, your three “sexiest” chakras are

  • The root chakra (located at your perineum–the area between your pubic bone and anus),
  • The sacral chakra (in the centre of your lower abdomen)
  • The heart chakra (in the centre of your chest)

Yoga enriches these critical areas with blood and “prana,” which is the life force (Yoga talk again). That will promote openness and decrease sexual inhibition, which will prepare you for sexual action and leave you feeling much happier overall.

Yoga is a confidence booster

The outside world is a noisy place, as we all know, with all sorts of information flowing in and out of our brains daily. Taking a yoga class will help you relax your mind in peace, allowing you to be more aware of your ‘actual’ self and understand your own needs.

Once you begin to adopt this mind frame, you can then easily translate this understanding and self-awareness to your partner. And when you do… they will know and love you for it.

Fantastic! You read on and got to the end of the post. My only advice to you now is to consult with your partner and try it out, and when you do, don’t forget to thank me for stepping your sex life up a gear.

Yoga combined with male enhancement pills can make your sex life amazing.

Do you and your partner do Yoga as part of your fitness regime?

See you in the comments

Incoming search terms:

I have man boobs! How can i fix my chest?

September 3, 2009 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

This has been an on going problem for me, ever since I built my body up for muscle mass. But guess what’s surprising? I have a mesomorph body type; I am in my 20’s, yet my chest is in danger of being classed as having man boobs.

I have yet to fix the problem entirely and I have since had ladies make jokes that I have an A-cup chest… something some ladies don’t even have! This can affect anyone from those who have built muscle to those who want to lose fat. So for all those who have this same problem, read on and together we can all build our chests to how they should really look on a man.

Watch your diet

In general, man boobs would usually exist on those individuals who have 30% body fat or more and their chest would look like this.

Fix Man boobs

Whenever this occurs, on almost any specific part of the body, there isn’t really any solid way to fix it apart from refocusing your diet. One will need to keep their saturated fat intake down. Tomorrow I will be posting ‘Killer foods for fitness (part 2)’. This will cover some of the best foods you can include in your diet to keep the fat off. If you are having real trouble you can always refer to ‘How to increase metabolism‘.

Once you have got your diet under control, you then want to get your body fat percentage down to at least 15% before you start to do any man boob fixing exercises.

What to avoid

If you are currently hitting the gym whether you trying to lose weight or gain muscle, it doesn’t really matter, man boobs are man boobs and you have to get rid of them. Maintaining a good diet is down to you, but in the gym, the one exercise that is regarded as the ‘manhood’ of all chest exercises is what you must avoid.

THE FLAT/ DECLINE BENCH PRESS

Why?

The classic flat or decline bench press exercise mainly focuses on the lower part of your chest (An area that you have already developed). By continuing to do this exercise you are only building up this area more. This will only hamper your efforts in fixing your man boobs and to build the perfect chest. What you need to focus on is,

INCLINE BENCH PRESS EXERCISES

This is the exercise that you want to put at the forefront of all your exercises at this man boob fixing stage. The incline bench press is the exercise that will give the support and structure for your upper chest. Here are the key incline bench press exercises that will work your upper chest.

  • Barbell incline bench press
  • Dumbbell incline bench press
  • Front dumbbell raises

Work your upper back

The key reason for adding upper back exercises to your workout is to create balance. Not only that, it will also,

  • Strengthen your ability to bench
  • Prevent shoulder problems
  • Improve your posture

And best of all, it will give your chest a great side view, making it look bigger!

Once you have finished with those, your chest will have gone from this,

Classic man boobs

To this

perfectronaldPerfect chest muscles
Building a perfectly shape chest isn’t always easy and like most things, it will take hard work and effort on your part. But once you have fixed those man boobs, the key thing is to then find a balance out and work with a variety of exercises to ensure you maintain the chest you have developed. Before I leave you, here is a routine to take away and follow AFTER you have fixed your man boobs.

This workout consists of more sets, more reps and will hit the chest from every angle and will give you the ultimate definition.

  • Barbell or dumbbell bench press (flat and incline) 3 sets of 3-5 reps
  • Dumbbell or cable fly’s 3 sets of 8-10 reps
  • Push-ups – 3 sets of 20-50 reps

Do you have man boobs? Have you managed to fix them?

See you in the comments

Incoming search terms:

Killer Compound Exercises

September 2, 2009 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

This is a guest post from Jedd Johnson, strength coach, strongman competitor and performer and Grip competitor.  Check out his site at http://www.dieselcrew.com.

Killer Compound Exercises

Let me ask you a question.  Do you go to the gym to get serious results, or do you go to pass time, hang out, catch up on gossip, and hang out in the air conditioning?

If you go to the gym and train so that you can have a good time, chat, and just listen to the radio in the cool air, then this article isn’t for you.  Feel free to check out the next headline.

However, if you go to the gym to put in an hour or more of solid, hard work, work up a serious sweat, and put yourself through a routine with the goal of improving your physical conditioning, then you’ve come to the right place.  You’re my kind of guy and I want to help you out.

I know that you are hitting it hard in the gym, never missing the workout, and I want to give you a handful of gold nuggets that are going to help you be more productive.

The fact is, many of the hardest workers in the gym make the mistake of incorporating an over-abundance of isolation movements.

Now, I’ll admit, I love hitting dumbbell curls as much as anyone, but the problem with dumbbell curls, tricep push-downs, leg curls, and leg extensions is that they are isolation movements, meaning they isolate one muscle group and have activity at one joint.

THE KEY TO BUILDING SERIOUS MUSCLE IS COMPOUND MOVEMENTS.

Compound movements are just the opposite of isolation movements in that they involve multiple muscle groups all at the same time.  These movements are effective at producing natural testosterone in your body, which means you are going to be out-growing your tee shirts in no time.

How do you know you’re working a Compound Movement?  The detail that sets compound movements apart from other lifts is movement over multiple joints.  This movement over multiple joints is what begins to involve more musculature into the lift, making you work harder, causing a spike in your testosterone production, and resulting in more muscle growth on your body.

Check out this illustration for an easy way to tell isolation movements apart from compound movements.

Side Lateral Raise

Side lateral raises
Side lateral raises

The Side Lateral Raise is a common exercise for generating a monstrous set of shoulders.  With the Side Lateral Raise, there is movement at one joint, the shoulder.  The muscles involved in the movement are the deltoids, but aside from them, not much musculature is taxed in the movement.

Standing Military Press

standing military press
The Standing Military Press is another common shoulder exercise, but in this case, there is movement involved at the shoulder, and at the elbow.  Throw in the fact that you are standing, and this requires even more coordination and muscular involvement, but even if you perform this lift seated, you will still involve more muscle than Side Laterals alone.

Now that you understand the concept of compound exercises, it’s time to know which ones to put into your routine.  The following three exercises are what I call the Killer Compound Exercises.  These lifts NEED to be in your weekly routine starting now.  You need to look at where you can start implementing them starting this week.

Back Squats

back squats
The Back Squat should be one pillar of your compound movement training.  It is used mainly as a lower body movement, but when done properly, there is tension created throughout the entire body.

When you do these, make sure you remember to get down to parallel or below.  Quarter squats are not going to do anything for you except make you lose cool points.

The Workout:  Form is very important with Back Squats and since they involve so much musculature, your form can break down easily, especially if you are not used to doing them.  You don’t want to bring about an injury from poor form, so stick with singles, doubles and triples with the Back Squat.  Because I keep the reps lower, I usually hit several warm-up sets with sub-maximal weights and then do 5 work sets.  I hit Back Squats every week, usually on Sunday or Monday, or whenever my training cycle starts over.

Dead lift

Dead lifts

Also considered a lower body movement, the Deadlift hit the legs and lower back well, as well as the lats, rhomboids, erectors, and traps.  This movement is great for targeting huge masses of muscle, even causing tension to be produced in the shoulders and arms.  Your hand strength will be taxed with this one as well, so make sure to get your grip on!

The Workout:  Again, Deadlift form is important to get the most out of this exercise.  You should feel every bit of muscle in your body tensing up as you pull the bar off the floor to the lockout position.  When performing the deadlift, I like to get warmed up really well and then work singles.  I also like to work triples for speed, but I don’t usually go up much higher than 3 reps per set.  I like 5 work sets for the Deadlift as well.  After that, my form usually begins to go.

Clean and Press
clean and press

Pulling an object from the floor and pushing overhead is plain and simple a brute strength movement.  It also involves a ton of musculature to perform and should be included in your program if you are truly serious about getting big and strong.

For the Clean and Press, you can use the bar that is in your gym, or an odd object, like keg or sandbag.

As always with compound movements, you must pay attention to your form so that you can do more reps and generate more testosterone and make more muscle.

The three lifts above are what I consider staples of my routine.  I have done them for years and I plan on doing them for years to come.  These full body movements will make a huge difference in your training.  Start taking your before photos now, because in 16 weeks you are going to look like a completely different person.

In addition to these three core lifts, for every muscle group, there is a good example of a compound movement to fit the need.  For as hard as you work in the gym, you should make sure these lifts are in your cycle as well to get the most out of the time you are putting in the gym.  Here they are:

  • Quads – Lunges
  • Hamstrings – Romanian Deadlifts
  • Biceps – Power Curls
  • Triceps – Close Grip Bench Press
  • Upper Back – Pull-ups
  • Lower Back – Deadlifts
  • Chest – Bench Press
  • Shoulders – Military Press

I want to know what you think about these movements once you try them out, so please leave a comment here, or come check out my website, http://www.DieselCrew.com.  We train for and compete in Powerlifting, Strongman and Grip competitions.  We have tons of articles and videos up as well as free give-aways and newsletter, so please feel free to come check us out.

Incoming search terms:

Forget About The Gym! Play Rockband and Guitar Hero For Fitness

August 31, 2009 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

Guitar Hero for fitness

In a previous post, I talked about unique ways to build muscles, forearms to be specific. The great thing about most unique approaches to building muscle is that they often put an emphasis on building functional strength. This is strength that you would use performing everyday tasks from pulling, pushing, climbing or lifting. These are benefits that you don’t get when using weights machines. These unique approaches are also very good for those that either,

1) Don’t have time for the gym

2) Simply not a fan of them

This is where RockBand and Guitar Hero would come into play.

Guitar HeroRockBand 2 for fitnessGuitar Hero 5
For those who don’t know, RockBand and Guitar Hero are music games that simulate a ‘Rock band’ experience via a games consoles (PS3, Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii) and plastic (instrument shaped) controllers.

It was the year 2005 and it had been a few months since I graduated. I was (and still am) quite active in the online business world and I loved trying out new games in my spare time. September had arrived and I picked up a copy of Guitar Hero (version one) along with the controller. I won’t bore you with my life story, so to keep a long story short,

‘ It led to many memorable nights rocking out on a guitar to classic rock songs and a new found level of virtual rock stardom’

Fast-forward to 2008 and these games had now evolved into hugely popular family/ friend’s music games, leading to a fun fuelled Christmas holiday season. But the games now included,

  • Drums
  • Microphones
  • Multi-player action (A physical or virtual band)

The key thing about playing these games over anything else is that you get the feeling that you are in a real band. You will sweat, rock out, take breaks and feel exhausted… just like you do in a real band. And if you have watched a real band on stage, whether it be the drummer, guitarist or lead singer, you will know that performing can be a hell of a workout.

Up until this day I would sometimes do 5-6 hours straight when playing RockBand. I usually like to be the drummer and I can tell you, it is a workout. The difference being that it’s a lot more fun than hitting the gym, and I would often play this instead of doing my usual ‘alternate’ home work out routine.

Being a drummer mirrors compound body exercises

Strong drummer

I’ve often talked about the importance of performing compound body exercises when working out, and by being a drummer in RockBand or Guitar Hero, you can develop similar results to what that exercise can give.

Playing the drums in general is a very strenuous task. You will use all 4 limbs to play a number of repetitive motions many times. Although the game is a simulation, the actions you perform are still quite real.

In a 4-minute song at 120bpm playing a standard 8th note rock beat, you’ll hit your hi-hat 960 times and your kick, snare at 120times.

In 30 minutes of playing you can raise your heartbeat to round 120-140bpm. That is a lot of sweat.

So the key benefits here in comparison to exercising is that you will be working,

  • All four limbs
  • Heart
  • Lungs

Ok, we know this is a fun and unique way to exercise, but be more specific, what muscles get worked and from what actions?

In RockBand and Guitar Hero you have different difficulty levels.

  • Easy
  • Medium
  • Hard
  • Expert

The real comparison between playing this and exercising in the gym is when you become an expert drummer.

Instruments and muscles worked

Cymbals

Once you start playing the cymbals on expert, you will feel worked out and the key muscles that will feel worked are,

  • Shoulders
  • Upper back
  • Forearms
  • Triceps
  • Lower back (If you sit up straight)

Bass

In both games you will get this as part of the drums and again, when you get to expert level and start playing fast you will lift your legs up more and that will work your,

  • Thighs
  • Shin muscles
  • Ankles
  • Calves

That does sound good and I’m all for new approaches to fitness, but I’m no skilled drummer, what can I do to practice the movements?

Without a doubt, jumping on RockBand or Guitar hero can be a challenge for beginners. Or some people may not want to take up RockBand, Guitar Hero or drumming and just want to perform the actions involved. For both here are a couple of things you can do.

1) Get some drumsticks and practice on a pillow, there would naturally be no bounce so you’re forced to pull the stick back up rather than relying on rebound.

2) You can do the same for your feet with the bass. Do this in front of the television. I’ve also tried this exercise when I am resting between weight lifting sets at the gym. This means I get to perform two workouts, my normal one and a drumming one, now that’s what I call a good use of my time! 🙂

If you have not yet played these games and wish to try after reading this, please keep this in mind.

Purchase RockBand game only (for the music tracks)
Purchase Guitar Hero drums (better quality)

  • In any form of exercise if you start to experience acute sharp pains, stop immediately. I’m talking nasty hard pain, especially in your chest. Not just mild discomfort.
  • If you are drumming and your wrist start to hurt, stop and rest them.
  • Also, build up your endurance exercises over time, if you haven’t played a single stroke before, start slowly, rest and then build up over time. This is to give your body time to adapt to the extra workload you are placing on it.
  • If you have any difficulty breathing, again, stop and go and see your doctor.
  • Lastly, if you haven’t done much exercise go and see your doctor first before starting just for a check up and get the OK to start again. I don’t want any of you hurting yourself following this advice.

As you can see, playing RockBand or Guitar Hero can be a quite radical, yet unique approach to improving fitness. You probably won’t gain any real muscle mass from doing so, as most of these activities are aerobic, but it will certainly increase your strength and endurance. Besides you get to kill 2 birds with one stone. Keeping fit while at the same time… having fun.

Do you play any musical instruments? If so has it had an effect on your fitness levels?

See you in the comments.

Incoming search terms:

Bugs Recommended Product Review: Prolabs N-Large 2

August 30, 2009 by  
Filed under Supplements, The Fitness Bug

N-Large 2 for protein gains

Prolabs N-Large 2

It’s that time again, to share the goodness with you all! I always do get asked about products that I have tried or tested, and I will continue to share whenever I do.  I actually started to use this product back in July, but I didn’t want to post anything about it until a few weeks had passed so that I could give a worthy verdict.

Product: N-Large 2 by Prolab (Monster supplement)

Focus: High Protein Gainer

MSRP: $23.99 for a 3.8lb (pounds) container (view the flavours and cheap supplement prices here)

Available: Online

Remember

Always aim for a good diet before beginning to take ANY supplement!

Why?

Because no supplement can be a replacement for a bad diet!

Just like cod liver oil, it can give the body any nutrients that it maybe lacking in, but it will not fix a bad diet. Get that in order first. If you want a good starter, check Bugs killer foods for fitness.

Many of you may have heard of or even tried N-Large 2, but for the purpose of those that are in the stayfitbug.com community on and offline and who have been asking, here is my verdict.

Now to begin with, I only decided to put this product to the test while I wait for newer product samples to arrive. They should be on their way in the coming weeks so keep your eyes pealed for some fresh recommendations.

N-Large 2 has gotten a lot of praise since it has been around, and after using it for 6 weeks, I can see why.

It works!

One of the key things I look for when trying these supplements is that they have to at least taste good, and this does taste pretty good for a supplement. If your supplement doesn’t have a good taste, then I really don’t see the point in taking it. That would be like voluntarily taking a disgusting tasting medicine… something you would not do. If you are, then stop!

N-Large 2 comes in 3 flavours

  • Strawberry
  • Chocolate
  • Vanilla

I took the vanilla flavour, as that tends to taste good in most food variations.

It’s all pretty simple to make,

1) Mix

2) Stick it in a blender (recommended)

3) Drink

That’s all but a 2-minute job, so there is no messing about. If you want you can make your own mixes, but I just stuck to the instructions on the pack. For those 6 weeks I drank it 4 times a day along with my usual meals, but 3 times a day is what the average person should take for this to start to work and show results.

In the first 4 weeks of using this, I gained a whooping 14 POUNDS! (ONE WHOLE STONE). For myself, that is a great weight increase and a boost in the levels of proteins that my body needs. To be specific on the amount of calories I would consume daily, it was approximately 1900 calories (4 servings). It sounds like a lot, but keep in mind that I would be burning a lot of calories during my workouts, and taking a shake of this stuff after a workout would help replace those calories that I had lost.

Just like my other supplement review over at recommended products, this one also gave me no side affects. Quite often supplements like these can leave you feeling bloated (a horrible feeling), but that was not the case here.

My only problem with taking N- Large 2 is that if you decide to take it, you must keep on taking it. If you stop then all that weight and muscle you put on will just start to disappear, even if you maintain your workout schedule (which I noticed around week 7). So make sure you start as you mean to go on whether it is once a day or 4 times a day.

All is good and well here, and as I stated. It works! If you decide to give it a try, then,

1) Go for the Vanilla flavour

2) Take it in moderation

3) Start off with the 3.8 lb container. (Should last you around 2-3 weeks)

See you on the next review.

Incoming search terms:

Gym Etiquette: Follow These Rules or Else

August 28, 2009 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

Up until this present day, I have always considered myself to be a calm, cool and collective type of guy, and it would take something really ‘out there’ to piss me off and provoke me to cause harm to anyone. But if there is one place where I have almost been lead to cause harm to anyone, it is in the gym.

Below I’ll list some key do’s and don’ts and the gym etiquette that you should all follow in order to prevent anyone from being provoked at the gym. Once you do follow, we can all get along just fine at our favourite gyms.

Keep your distance

effective squats

Whether I’m doing squats, barbell curls, lateral raises or standing shoulder press, stay out of the way dammit!

Every now and again there would be some idiot that would walk right in front of me to get to the weights rack or close enough to cause a distraction.

Advice

First off this is potentially dangerous to both the individual and myself. Secondly, a mirror is needed to keep good form. Walking in front of it and breaking up my form is the ultimate way to provoke me and guarantee a beat down.

One machine at a time, please!

We all have to use the equipment fairly at the gym, but every now and again you’ll find some lounger messing about and bouncing around the machines. Usually it would be beginners or old people trying to get fit.

Advice

Use one machine at a time. Use it until you are completely finished with it then move onto the next and do the same. If we all follow that rule we will all be happy.

Put the weights back on the rack

Rack your weights

If you are in a good gym then you’ll often get one of the staff members re-racking the weights when things get messy. But in-between that time there needs to be rules. There is nothing more annoying than being ‘in the zone’, moving to another exercise, then finding the weights that you want are scattered around on different machines.

Advice

Put the weights back as you use them (unless someone requests to leave them on). Be bold at times. If you see the culprit causing the crime, confront them! Politely ask them to put them back.

I don’t want your sweat on my clothes

Sweat on weights machine
It’s the gym and most people will sweat, stinky sweat or not, sweat is sweat! Sweat carries bacteria and it’s an easy way for infections and diseases to spread. If you leave the machines sweaty, clean it up, PLEASE!

Advice

Always bring a towel.  I’m known to sweat a lot, buckets in fact, so I always bring a towel. If you are in a good gym then they may keep disinfectant around.

Slow ballads is not gym music, wear head phones

Music and exercise
You are probably thinking ‘who the hell listens to slow music when exercising’? I don’t know these people personally, but I have seen them in action. Running on the treadmill blurting out country music or pop ballads. This is highly non-motivating music. The gym usually has the TV or radio on, but when there isn’t you can hear others music.

Advice

To end all arguments with this, just wear headphones!

Don’t hit on all the girls (They all think we do anyway)

Most ladies at the gym are there to workout. Hitting on them with brute force will piss them off more than anything else. But if you are a natural smoothie and get yourself a date then you may want to consider changing gyms. If things don’t workout then I’m pretty certain she’ll be telling every one what a jerk you are, even worse, how crap you might have been in bed. (Her word against yours)

Advice

Hot girls at the gym

I have talked about this before. If you really want a date just go to a bar. Most people there are looking for the same thing. One-night stands or what ever.

You talk so loud, please lower your tone

Conversations

Depending on what type of gym you are in, this could be acceptable… or not.  If your gym is like a barbershop, then loud debates are sometimes acceptable. If so it’s probably the culture of that gym.

If not the gym you are will be more conservative, and you have to lower your tone. Pushing weights and trying to concentrate while someone is shouting in their conversation is highly distractive.

Screaming

When you are pushing weights you  sometimes have to scream. This is especially the case when doing bench press. Every rep counts and quite often requires a scream. But every now and again you will get extreme screamers.

Advice

Just cut it out, you really don’t need to. If you want to scream get a sex change and take yourself to Wimbledon, theirs no screaming rules in tennis… yet!

Wash your stinking pits!

Body odour at the gym

As I said, we will sweat. But keep your sweating till after your workout and not before please! There is nothing worse than finishing a heavy run on a treadmill, gasping for air and then swallowing a waft of someone’s deadly body odor! Now I am nice, but when ever this happens, I won’t hesitate to tell you that you STINK!

Advice

Do not fear the soap! This is not prison and you will not be anal raped.

Heavy lifters are ready to pounce
bodybuilder workout
Most bodybuilders are pretty cool guys, but every single one I have met seems to have uber amounts of testosterone in them. Because of this it seems they are ever ready to squeeze you into a pulp at any given opportunity should you annoy them.

Advice

Keep away!

Talk to me after i finish my set

I may have developed a nice set of pectorals and bulging biceps, and that may have impressed you. But if you are going to ask me a question, at least wait till after my set. Talking to me during will make me want to halt my set, catch my breath and provoke me to giving you a beat down!

Advice

1) Don’t ask questions during my set
2) Don’t ask questions during my break (I’m out of breath)
3) Make sure your questions require a yes or no answer

That’s that. Its not often I get things off of my chest but that about wraps it up. Follow these gym etiquette rules, and pass them on to your gym buddies, and then I think we will all live happily ever after while exercising at the gym.

See you in the comments.

Incoming search terms:

Stay-Fit Bug | Killer Foods for Fitness (part 1)

August 27, 2009 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug, The Food Bug

In the last few weeks there has been much discussion on and off of stayfitbug.com regarding what’s the best food to eat for fitness when exercising.  We are talking about food that is high in,

  • Carbs
  • Protein
  • Helps burn fat
  • Helps build muscle
  • Improves cardiovascular health
  • Provides pain relief

Now I could dive straight in and talk about foods that most of you know and that others are aware of. But I won’t! That’s just boring. What we will cover here are,

– Unique food combinations (with uncommon foods and those foods you are familiar with)
– Foods from across the globe

These are foods that some of the top performing sports men and women that you know of are stacking away in their guts, which help them rocket down the runway in their sport leaving their competition at the terminal!

I don’t plan to cover all of these in one week; I think that would be information overload for almost anyone. Besides, I don’t want you to get too excited from feeding you the secret formulas all in one go. 😉

Week by week there will be an update and most of this will come from myself, but also from community members and contributors.

Lets begin

Porridge with bread

Porridge to build muscleEat porridge to build muscle

I’m starting with porridge, as this is an athlete’s favourite. It is made up of rice, wheat, barley and corn and my favourite brands that provide this are Ready Break and Quaker Oats. Eating this every morning will fill you up till lunch for sure, but if you want to really boost your carb intake,

Add Bread

White or wholemeal, both are good. Bread is filled with carbs so you really are packing it in here. But be warned if you do this make sure you wake up early and give yourself plenty of time to digest it. It will take an hour at least. If not, you might just throw it all back up.

Instructions

  • Get 1 or 2 slices of bread
  • Spread butter
  • Slice into medium sized pieces
  • Mix and blend with porridge

Salmon rolls in Nori

Eat fish oil

Good for cardiovascular fitness

The reason for eating fish is because of the oil inside of it. By eating fish, it will lower your heart rate and you will consume less oxygen during intense training or exercise. The fatty acids in fish oil need to become incorporated into muscle and heart cells to have an effect, and that takes weeks of consumption.  So either,

– Take fish oil pills
– Or eat Salmon rolls in Nori

Why salmon in Nori?

Nori is a sushi wrapper made of seaweed. So along with the benefits of the fish oil you consume, you can add seaweed to that. Seaweed is good because,

  • Great for digestive health
  • High in nutrients, low in calories
  • May improve heart health
  • Good for de-toxing your body
  • May help regulate hormones (helps in preventing cancer)
  • Goes well will other healthy foods (like salmon)

Now that’s a mix!

Here’s what you need to make Salmon rolls in Nori

  • 1 pack of Japanese Yaki Sushi Nori (roasted seaweed – .75 oz pack)
  • 3 cups uncooked Japanese sushi rice
  • 1/2 cup Japanese rice wine vinegar
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons of sugar
  • 1-tablespoon salt
  • 4 oz thinly sliced smoked salmon
  • 1 tube Wasabi paste (Japanese horseradish paste)
  • Strips of thinly sliced carrot
  • Strips of thinly sliced peeled cucumber
  • Optional thinly sliced ripe avocado
  • Optional sesame seeds
  • Optional: favourite dipping sauces for the Nori rolls (soy sauce, wasabi sauce)

Chocolate milk

chocolate-milk to rehydrate

Good for hydration

Milk is better than water or sports drinks at re-hydrating the body after exercise, as milk has more electrolytes and potassium.

Add chocolate

The addition of chocolate gives milk the perfect balance of carbs, protein, and fat for a speedy muscle recovery.

Peanut butter and jelly/jam sandwiches

It always is a good idea to eat after a workout. The perfect meal would consist of

  • 400 calories
  • 20 to 30 grams of protein (to build new muscle)
  • 50 to 65 grams of carbohydrates (to repair old muscle)

And Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches contain just that!

This is a favourite in Europe and the UK and I definitely grew up eating it. But I didn’t realise its greatness until I was much older,

Recommended

  • Pepperidge Farm Bread
  • Plain white bread
  • Or toasted if you find it the bread is too soft
  • Santa Cruz Organic Dark Roasted Creamy Peanut Butter

Peanut butter and banana toast

This is one of my favourites, especially as a pre-workout snack. It works best with by using a proper toast maker as it prevents the filling from spilling out of the sides.

This meal has a good source of fat, protein and carbs.

Ingredients

  • Bread
  • Peanut butter
  • Banana (sliced)

Instructions

  • Toast the bread in toaster
  • Spread peanut butter on toast
  • Arrange banana on top of peanut butter
  • Eat and enjoy!

If you really want to spice things up add honey. That’s it for this week, but I’ll leave you with a picture.

Peanut Butter, Banana and Honey Open Faced Sandwich - Food for health

See you in the comments.

Incoming search terms:

« Previous PageNext Page »