Archive for the tag - muscle

The Downside Of Energy Drinks…

rugbycroppedEnergy drinks are more popular than ever, especially among athletes. In fact, more than 50% of athletes report consuming energy drinks before training or competitions. The belief is that these energy drinks can give athletes a competitive edge.

But is it true? And what are the side effects?

To answer those questions, researchers from Camilo José Cela University published a four-year study that evaluated the pros and cons of energy drinks on athletes. Top athletes from various sports consumed either three energy drinks or three energy drink placebos before competitions. Using GPS, dynamometers and potentiometers, researchers evaluated performance.

According to the data, energy drinks do have a significant positive impact on performance. Overall, athletes were typically able to boost performance by 3% – 7%. They ran further, jumped higher and had more endurance. In competitions where fractions of a second make the difference between winning and losing, the findings are notable.

But it wasn’t all good news. Post competition, athletes who consumed the energy drinks reported higher levels of insomnia, nervousness and stimulation. These side effects are typical for any caffeinated beverage.

It’s also worth noting that energy drinks don’t provide energy. Energy is often measured in calories. One calorie can raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree Celsius at sea level. In that sense, energy drinks don’t have any more “energy” than other soft drinks. However, due to the concentration of caffeine, energy drinks have an energizing effect.

P.S. If you’re looking to increase muscle size and strength, I recommend downloading Size Matter’s: Davey Wavey’s Foolproof Guide to Building Muscle.

Myth: Extra Protein Builds Muscles.

JedHillbyRickDay02

A body like this wasn’t build by protein alone.

Think eating extra protein is enough to make your body big and buff? Think again.

It’s a common misconception that increasing one’s protein intake is enough to cause muscle development. In reality, the following three conditions must ALL be met for muscle growth:

  1. Effective strength training program
  2. Adequate calorie intake
  3. Sufficient protein intake

Yes, protein is a part of it. But all three conditions must be met together.

Drinking a protein shake is easy. Training for increases in muscle size – a process called hypertrophy – requires some real work. Our bodies are very efficient machines and muscle mass takes a lot of calories to maintain. Therefore, your body won’t build extra muscle unless it’s absolutely required. The first step in bulking up is employing an effective strength training workout – thereby signaling to your body that it’s time to add muscle.

In order to gain any sort of mass, you need to consume more calories than you burn. Thus, the second step in adding muscle consuming a surplus of calories. It’s simple math, but it’s something that many aspiring muscle guys and gals overlook.

Last but not least, is protein. The truth is, most people already get more than enough protein. And, often times, any additional required protein can come from food. First, calculate your protein requirements. Then, if there is a gap, figure out the best way to close it. Only avid exercisers require protein supplementation through protein shakes or powders.

The bottom line: Drinking protein shakes isn’t enough to buff you up. Without an effective strength training routine and enough calories, you’ll be spinning your wheels and wasting your money.

Want more help in building muscle? Download my muscle building program right now! Use discount code “YouTube” to save during checkout.

 

 

Thinking About Your Muscles Makes Them Work Harder!

chest-pressEarlier in the year, I posted about mind muscle control. While it sounds like something from a science fiction movie, mind muscle control is really pretty simple:

Mind-muscle control refers to the feeling of connection between your mind and the muscles that are being worked.

While some of us have a tendency to let our minds wander elsewhere during exercise, turning your attention inward to the muscle being worked can actually result in a more effective workout. But you don’t have to take my word for it.

A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research concluded that thinking about a muscle during exercise makes that muscle work 22% harder.

Why? There are probably a number of reasons. When you’re being mindful about an exercise, you may be less likely to rush through it – or to cheat during a repetition. You might be more likely to maintain proper form and less likely to engage other muscles to help out.

Regardless of the reasoning, the takeaway is clear: Keep your head in the game. Make paying attention to your muscles part of your exercise practice.

What is Mind-Muscle Control?

MMCLogo1When performing a given exercise, we sometimes fall into the rut of simply going through the motions without paying attention to what we’re really doing.

Bicycle crunches can be a perfect example. As you bring in that opposite knee to the opposite armpit, are you really feeling your core and oblique muscles contract? Or are you just using momentum to peddle your legs in and out?

Mind-muscle control refers to the feeling of connection between your mind and the muscles that are being worked. In the above example of bicycle crunches, you’d bring awareness to the contraction of the oblique as you pull your knee into the opposite armpit. This ensures that you’re working the muscle that you’re intending to work.

When you focus on the contraction, you’ll discover that you’re producing stronger contractions than if you were just mindlessly going through the movements. In turn, you get a better and more effective workout. A bicycle crunch is only as good as you’ll let it be!

There are other mental techniques that you may wish to explore. Some exercisers find it helpful to visualize a workout before they complete it. Or they’ll see themselves completing a new, higher level of resistance – or an extra repetition or two. Doing so may help you to clear your mind, build confidence and boost performance.

Needless to say, tapping into mind-muscle control requires focus and present moment awareness. To do this, you’ll need to leave your cell phone in the locker room and commit yourself to your workout. You may even find that it means turning down (or off) any music/iPods to reduce distractions. And you certainly can’t do it while chatting with friends or socializing.

The mind is a very powerful tool. Put it to use for your workout.

Build Muscle with Davey Wavey’s New Workout Program!

I have some exciting news!

With the New Year’s holiday just around the corner, it’s time to make your resolution for 2013! For that reason, I’m thrilled to launch my brand-new program, Size Matters: Davey Wavey’s Foolproof Guide to Building Muscle.

And I have a special discount for you!

Many people want to add muscle to their body, but few understand how to do it. This program changes all of that! If adding muscle is part of your goals for the new year – whether it’s building a bubble butt or a total body transformation – then this is the program for you!

I know that this program works because it has worked for me. If you follow the step by step guidelines, there’s no doubt that your body will build muscle exactly where you want it. Period.

Size Matters: Davey Wavey’s Foolproof Guide to Building Muscle is:

  • A complete, comprehensive exercise and nutrition program with sample workouts and exercises
  • The perfect solution for men and women of all ages and fitness levels
  •  Based on real science – not gimmicky marketing or the latest fads

This program is already helping people build the body of their dreams, and I know it can work for you, too.

Because you’re a loyal blog buddy, I also have a special discount for you. Use discount code size13 during checkout to save 25%. This coupon expires January 5th at midnight, so don’t delay! AND, if you order before January 5th at midnight, you’ll also receive my Get Ripped Workout exercise video series (a $59 value) for free!

(Already have my Get Ripped Workout and don’t need another copy? Email me and I’ll give you a code for a 50% discount on Size Matters: Davey Wavey’s Foolproof Guide to Building Muscle.)

Start the new year off right by downloading this program – and creating the body of your dreams. I can’t wait to see your results!

Here’s to a happy, healthy and loving 2013!

Love,
Davey Wavey

P.S. This special discount expires on January 5 – so don’t delay! Use discount code size13 during checkout to save 25% today!

Exercises for Bigger Arms: Davey Wavey and Phil Fusco.

A few weeks ago, I interviewed male model Phil Fusco about his workout routine. Today, I’m excited to share a video that we made together while visiting New York City. In it, Phil and I share some of our favorite arm exercises.

And trust me, it was almost more hotness than I was able to handle. I think I’m still sweating. Take a look!

Why Did My Muscles Stop Growing?

Hey Davey,

I’ve been following your advice for about a year to build my muscles. For the first 8 or 9 months, I had a lot of success and my muscles increased in size pretty dramatically. I haven’t changed my workout strategy and I’m still eating what I’ve always eaten. So what gives?

From,
Ryan

This is a common problem – and the solution is surprisingly simple.

Of course, all of this assumes that your workout plan is designed around muscle growth and that it will include low reps of heavy weights and constant progressive overloading. Since you were able to see muscle gains for so many months, it seems likely that your workout strategy is very effective. Good job!

The culprit is most likely your diet – and here’s why.

To build muscle, you must have a calorie surplus. Without the extra calories, your body won’t have the fuel to build your increased muscle mass. As such, it’s generally recommended that individuals who are looking to build muscle through their workouts consume a surplus of 250 – 500 calories per day. In other words, if your daily calorie requirement is 2,500 calories for maintenance, then you’d want to eat at least 2,750 calories for muscle growth.

But as your body becomes more muscular, you burn more calories each day. With added muscle, your calorie requirement increases. And so while 2,750 calories may have been sufficient a year ago, it’s no longer resulting in the required calorie surplus. And without the surplus, your body won’t build muscle. This is why you were able to see muscle gains for many months, but then things tapered off – even though nothing in your workout strategy or diet plan changed.

To solve this issue, simply increase your daily calorie intake by another 250 calories. It’s basically one extra snack per day. As simple a fix as it is, it’s the number one reason why muscles stop growing.

Is It Okay to Run with Sore Legs?

Dear Davey,

I’ve started a new lower body workout, and it leaves me sore for a few days thereafter. I know you’re not suppose to strength train muscles that are still sore, but is it okay to run with sore legs?

From,
Matthew

Well, there are a few points that need to be made here.

First, there are two types of soreness. There’s delayed onset muscle soreness (called DOMS) which occurs 12-48 hours after you complete your workout. It’s normal to experience DOMS – especially when you start a new workout regimen.

The other, less-desirable type of soreness occurs immediately and is often asymmetrical (i.e., it occurs only in one leg or one hamstring), and it’s most-often injury related. If your soreness is injury related, then you need to avoid using the injured muscle until you’ve recovered.

If you’re experiencing a low-level of DOMS in your legs, it may be okay to do some cardiovascular training. Ensure that you do a warm-up and proper stretch before engaging in your cardio. If the soreness or discomfort increases during your cardio, then you should stop immediately – as the increased pain may be indicative of an injury.

Keep in mind that DOMS typically fades within a month or two of a new routine, so you probably won’t be dealing with issue long-term. As you become more accustomed to your routine, the soreness will dissipate in subsequent workouts. And remember: Soreness isn’t required for muscle growth.

The bottom line: If you’re experiencing a slight amount of DOMS, then it’s okay to engage in cardio so long as it doesn’t exacerbate the soreness. If your soreness is injury related, avoid cardio until you’ve healed.

When it Comes to Fitness: Don’t Cut Corners.

I heard a great fitness quote today:

If you start cutting corners, you’ll end up going in circles.

A few weeks ago, we talked about how you can use an occasional cheat rep to break through a workout plateau. Used sparingly, cheat reps should only be employed to make an exercise harder – not easier.

Cutting corners, on the other hand, makes your workout less intense and, ultimately, less effective. For example, you might ease up on that last sprint interval. Or perform 6 repetitions of an exercise instead of 8. You might even skip a muscle group and leave the gym early. Indeed, cutting corners is easy to do.

We tell ourselves it won’t matter if we take it easy… just this once. And it’s true. The impact of any one workout is negligible. The problem is that it sets a bad precedent – and that when we lower the bar for ourselves, we put ourselves on a downward trajectory of reduced standards and reduced results.

To illustrate this point, let’s take a look at muscle mass. Muscle requires a tremendous amount of energy to maintain. Your body, by default, is programmed to be efficient with its energy expenditures, and so it won’t maintain or build unnecessary muscle mass. If you want to build additional muscle, you need to demonstrate to your body that your current muscle mass is insufficient for the tasks at hand. This is accomplished not by cutting corners, but rather by pushing yourself beyond your current limitations.

If you want to transform your body or your performance, you have to give it all that you’ve got. Literally. Push yourself. Push yourself. Push yourself.

When is the Best Time to Take Protein Supplements?

Last week, I wrote about the best type of protein to take before going to sleep for the night. After posting the article, I received a number of emails from exercise enthusiasts who didn’t realize the importance of consuming protein before bed. With that in mind, today’s post will cover the four times (including before bed) when protein consumption is most often recommended.

Obviously, protein requirements vary greatly from person to person. So, first things first, it’s important to calculate your daily protein requirements. For some people with high protein diets or lower protein needs, protein supplementation in the form of powders and shakes may be less important. For others, it can be crucial for success.

1. First Thing in the Morning

When you wake up, your body is in a catabolic state and hasn’t received proper nutrition for a good eight hours. It needs protein, and it needs protein quickly. I usually opt for a whey protein shake because the protein is absorbed quickly by the body. Just like brushing my teeth and flossing, protein consumption is part of my morning routine.

2. Before Your Workout

Some trainers recommend protein consumption 30 minutes before exercise. This will set up your “anabolic window” to help repair and rebuild the damage done during lifting. Again, a fast-acting whey protein works well here.

3. After Your Workout

After exercise is the most important time to consume protein. If you only take one protein supplement a day, this is the time to take it. Research has shown that sooner is better, so you may even want to take your protein powder or shake to the gym. Whey protein, due to its fast absorption, is the best choice.

4. Before Bed

Because your body will essentially be fasting during sleep, it’s important to consume a protein that’s slow to absorb. Before going to bed, I recommend casein protein because it takes 5 – 8 hours to fully breakdown.

Obviously, protein supplements are really just that – they supplement the protein that we get through a proper diet. The extent to which you’ll need to supplement depends on your fitness regime and diet, so just use this advice as a general guideline.

And, keep in mind that more protein isn’t always better! Too much protein can result in weight gain, kidney problems and even heart disease. So don’t overdo it!