Improving Overall Health via Goal Setting

The problem most people have when approaching the problem of improving their overall health is the lack of attainable and worthwhile goals. The great Yankee’s manager Yogi Berra was once quoted as saying if you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else. Goals play a number of different psychological roles within an individual. They set the groundwork for action. The provide a sense of direction and a sense of purpose. They also provide a measuring mark for improvement. One can relate their relative progress in terms of how close they are to obtaining their goal. The important things when it comes to the average person and settings goals is that they must select goals that are not completely unrealistic, but that still push them to achieve something great. The following goals are set out to give you an idea of the kind of goal setting I am speaking of. Obviously, the goals that you choose to achieve will vary according to your own personal inclinations, dispositions, and current health states.

  1. Run a Half-Marathon – Running a half-marathon is an achievement that others have expressed to me that they are very proud of. To put it simply, running is not something innately enjoyed by the average person. Yet, there are a number of different ways one can go about training for a marathon and many running experts actually denounce the act of simply running to train for such an event (though it should obviously play a large role.) Other modes of training such as swimming, participation in other cardio-intensive sports (such as soccer or basketball), and high-rep low-weight weight training. The average person is nowhere near running a half-marathon, but the joy that overcomes a person when crossing that finish line is second to none.
  2. Climb a Mountain This may not be a measuring stick of health that many are familiar with, but I can speak from personal experience that climbing a mountain is one of the most grueling physical challenges I’ve ever participated in. I often find comfort in knowing that it is incredibly unlikely that I will be physically tested the way I was when climbing a mountain when approaching new physical challenges. Training to climb a mountain, at least for me, involved weight training, endurance training (in whatever manner you choose to do so), and learning the technical skills necessary to carry out such a feat. Not only are you likely to meet some pretty interesting people during the process, but there are few words that can describe the feeling of looking down on the world from something you’ve conquered.
  3. Obtain a Fitness License – One of the most fruitful tools one can have in the search to improve their health is knowledge. Obtaining a fitness license involves learning what it truly means to become healthy, and how to go about doing that properly. You should obviously try and match the license your pursing to an innate interest of yours, whether it’s to obtain your fitness instructor’s license, becoming a yoga instructing, or teaching a Jazzercise class. The pursuit of this goal will put the subject of fitness and health at the forefront of your mind throughout the entire process, making you a more health conscious and health aware individual.
  4. Remove Three Unhealthy Eating Habits from your Life – Whether they like to admit it or not, people have an innate understanding of what is good for them and what is not. We know that eating a large fast-food meal probably isn’t the best thing for you (how many people feel like going for a jog after a Big Mac?). Choose the three unhealthiest food habits you have an completely remove them from your diet. Whether it be your favorite candy bar or your mom’s fried pork chops, it is likely that the health improvements will be more than noticeable by then end of the six months. Expected improvements from a better diet include: better overall mood, increased supplies of energy, weight loss, improved skin and reduction of acne, and improved sleep.

4 Hour Body Muscle Gain Workout Routine

This is the workout Tim Ferris references when discussing how to build muscle fast. As Tim explains, it was used during the Colorado Experiment in which Casey Viator gained 63 pounds of muscle in 28 days. He gained 45 pounds overall, while losing significant (18 lbs) body fat (resulting in the 63 pound lean-mass gain). There’s obviously a huge diet component that goes along with this workout routine – we’ll be posting a summary soon.

All exercises are done for just 1 set (except calf raises)
There is no rest between sets (unless specified)
The Entire Workout should take 30 minutes (but will likely be a little longer your first few times)
Should be done twice per week
Based on other advice in the 4 hour body, we recommend a 5/5 cadence (5 seconds to raise the weight, 5 seconds to lower)
Aim to be at complete failure on your last rep of each exercise

  1. Leg press × 20 reps
  2. Leg extension × 20 reps
  3. Squats × 20 reps
  4. (Two-minute rest)
  5. Leg curl × 12 reps
  6. Calf raises 3 × 15 reps
  7. Behind-neck let-pull-down × 10
  8. Row×10
  9. Behind-neck pull-down × 10 (I substituted straight-arm, lat-targeted push downs on the tricep extension cable machine)
  10. (Two-minute rest)
  11. Lateral raise × 8 (shoulders)
  12. Press behind-the-neck × 10 (shoulder press)
  13. (Two-minute rest)
  14. Bicep Curls × 8 reps
  15. Underhand chin plus weight for reps
  16. (Two-minute rest)
  17. Tricep extension × 22 reps
  18. Dips (body weight) × 22 reps

Calf Workouts | Build Your Calves Fast!

The first you need to consider when building bigger calves is your training frequency. Far too many people think  calves are an “endurance” muscle and therefore, that they respond better to very frequent training in a much higher rep range.

While it is true that your calves typically get worked any time you are standing or walking, the degree of muscular force generated from performing these activities is going to be much lower than when you are in the gym working them out with a more targeted calf exercise. If your goal is building bigger and stronger calves, you will want to train them three days a week, being sure to allow for one full day of rest between each workout.

You should perform just one calf exercise variation each session, but be sure to switch your variation each week. The reason for this is because calves adapt very quickly to a given exercise stimulus; changing the stimulus, or workout variation, will force the calves to keep responding.

One big reason for a lack of growth in the calves for many people is because they perform the same calf raises each workout. You’re far better off using more variations but performing fewer sets. This allows you to really hit them hard and then allow for sufficient rest before hitting them again 48 hours later. When it comes to different calf exercise variations to perform, both seated and standing are good options. From there, you can also turn the feet slightly inward or outward to change the exact angle of force. Performing single-leg calf raises is also a smart move, as this will ensure that you are not overcompensating by using one leg more than the other.

Another additional move you can make for building bigger calves is to utilize a short rest period right at the bottom of the exercise. This will really increase the intensity of the exercise, stimulating the muscles further to grow larger. To do so, take about two seconds to lower to the bottom (where the calf is fully stretched), hold for two seconds and take two more seconds to rise up again. This pause makes a dramatic difference in your calf workout.

Alternatively, yet another variation is to take a short pause at the top of the movement, which will again really increase the total intensity. You should start out aiming to do three heavy sets for each session you perform, trying to increase the weight on each exercise each week.

Work across a variety of rep ranges throughout the week, shooting for a set of eight reps the first day (using the heaviest weight of the week), 12 reps the second day (adjusting the weight downward), and then 15 to 20 reps the third day of the week, using a slightly lighter weight. This third day will help train the muscles to deal with lactic acid. After that week is completed, cycle on to a different exercise for the next week of training.

Finally, be sure to stretch at the end of the workout. This is a common mistake that is made and will really stifle your progress. The reason the stretch is so vital is because not only does the stretch help to promote faster recovery between sessions so you can grow muscle faster, but it also increases your range of motion. As a result, when you are working through various exercises, you will be able to stimulate a higher number of muscle fibers in each rep thanks to the increase range of motion developed from stretching.

Sources:
Pasted from <http://ca.askmen.com/sports/bodybuilding_250/254b_fitness_tip.html>

Tricep Workouts

The 6 Best Tricep Workouts for Increased Size!

Looking for Bigger Triceps? These are the 6 best tricep exercises to build size.

targeting triceps for workoutWe recommend selecting 3 of these for 1 week, and taking the other 3 for the next week. Alternating your tricep workouts each week is the best way to ensure you are always making them sore and always making them grow. If you find that after a few weeks with these tricep wourkouts your triceps are no longer getting sore, then change up the reps and the weight. For example, the first week you feel like shocking them back into getting sore (tearing the muscle enough so that you know they are going to grow) switch to only doing 8 reps with with an additional 10 pounds per hand for individual hand exercises (i.e. overhead dumbbell extenstions), or an additional 20 pounds for tricep workouts that use both hands (i.e. skull crushers/lying tricep extensions). This should shock the triceps back into serious growth. The following week pick a weight that you can do 14 reps with and try to do 3 to 4 sets of 12-14 reps. Then go back to 12-10-8 (see below). Remember: Always eat 30-50 grams of protein within half an hour of finishing your workout! (Protein Powder of the Year -5 years in a row)

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1. Skull Crushers (aka lying tricep extenstions)

  • Select a weight that you can do no more than 12 reps with (likely in the 40 to 80 pound range)
  • Do 12 reps for your first set, 10 for the second and 8 for the third

Lying Tricep Extension How To Video

2. Tricep Pushdown (using cable machine)

  • Knees slightly bent, shoulders back, elbos in front of hips, extend your arms from 90 degrees to straight
  • Do 12 reps for your first set, 10 then 8 (really we try to do as many as possible on the final set)
  • Alternate between different bar types (easy curl, stright bar, v-bar, rope)
  • when selecting 3 tricep workouts for a day, try to pick three that use different and positions such as easy-curl skull crushers, straight bar tricep pushdowns and dips

Tricep Pushdown How To Video

3. Dips or Weighted Dips

  • As always, start with 12-10-8 (reps) on the first day doing the exercise (then you can change things ups according to the info at the start of this post)

Tricep Dips How To Video

4. Overhead Cable Tricep Extentions

Overhead Cable Tricep Extension How To Video

5. Overhead Tricep Extensions with Dumbbell

Overhead Tricep Extensions How To Video

6. Tricep Kickbacks

Tricep Kickbacks How To Video

Tricep Pump Workouts

effect of a tricep pump workout

If your looking for the maximum tricep pump, we recommend the following exercise:

  • Cable push downs in slow motion
    • Push the weight down at a medium pace over a 3 second count
    • Squeeze and flex your triceps at the bottom and hold for 4 seconds
    • Bring your arms back to 90 degrees very slowly, over 5 seconds

For this Tricep workout you want to feel the burn as much as possible. Focus on using every bit of energy in the muscle so that by your last rep you can’t even keep the weight down. Do higher reps (12 to 14) for 4 sets, with lower weight and make sure to perform the workout painfully slowly – try to keep your triceps squeezed and flexed the whole time, especially at the bottom when your arms are fully extended.

Check back for new info on the best tricep workouts. We are going to add sections for maximizing strength and endurance. We’ll also let you know the best supplement routine to follow when building triceps and biceps.

Bicep Workouts | Exercises for Bigger Biceps FAST

The 6 Best Bicep Workouts for Increased Bicep Size!

Bicep Targeted workout with emphasis on center of bicepBicep workouts are the most rewarding part of going to the gym.  Seeing those highly coveted muscles bulge does wonders for your ego and tight-ness of that new shirt.  Though some have suggested that a back routine does enough to stimulate these muscles, a truly BIG biceps require incorporating a bicep-targeted workout into your gym schedule. We’ll show you two great bicep workouts that will have your arms pumped and growing immediately.

Week A
Barbell Curls –  3 Sets of 12 Repetitions (with 1 light warm up set of 12 Repetitions to begin)
Preacher Curls – 3 Sets of 12 Repetitions
Standing Cable Curls – 2 Sets of 15 Repetitions, and 1 Set of 20 Repetitions

Week B
Standing Reverse Barbell Curls – 4 Sets of 6 Repetitions (with 1 light warm-up Set of 12 Repetitions to begin)
Seated Dumbbell Curls – 4 Sets of 6 Repetitions
Pull-down Bicep Curls – 3 Sets of 8 Repetitions, and 1 Set 20 Repetitions

These bicep workouts should be done once a week on top of your regular training and alternated each week. For example, I would do Week A’s bicep workout this week, Week B’s next week, Week A’s the week after that, ect. If you don’t know how to do any of the bicep exercises just click on their names above, you will be directed to explanatory video of the exercise.

To keep your biceps growing make sure that you are doing a complete exercise routine and eating a large amount of protein. We typically try to eat 30 – 50 grams of protein within half an hour of completing our workouts. (Protein Powder of the Year -5 years in a row)

Bicep Pump

bicep pump - effects of workout focusing on increasing bicep pump

Want the biggest bicep pump possible from your workout? This is usually the strategy if you are planning on going out the night of your workout. Getting the biggest bicep pump possible is easy – stick to these tips:



  • Start with standing barbell curls and at the top of your rep (when the barbell is closest to your chest) Squeeze and flex your biceps as hard as you can for a full 3 seconds
    • The negative (the action of lowering the weight) is absolutely key for pump – lower the weight very slowly, take 5 seconds (note: towards the end of your bicep set you might have to jerk the weight to get it back up – although normally that is considered bad form, that is OK when your goal is high quality negatives)
  • Move on to single arm, seated dumbbell curls – same goes for this bicep workout – you want to squeeze and flex at the top for three seconds and lower for about 5 seconds (do not focus to much on the timing or form of raining the weight – especially in reps toward the end of you set when you are getting very tired. You want to squeeze every last bit of energy out of the bicep – jerking the weight up quickly, squeezing (HARD) and lowering very slowly is the best way to do this
    • Sit with your legs open, and the lower part of the back of your tricep against the inside of your knee
  • If you are doing these bicep workouts properly, then by your last rep of each set, you will not be able to hold the weight at 90 degrees – no matter how much force you use it will just fall slowly
  • Aim for around 12 reps – with 3 to 4 sets of barbell curls and 3 to 4 sets of seated dumbbell curls (per arm)
  • If you did these bicep workouts properly, your biceps should be incredibly tired and you should have a hard time reaching your shoulders with your fingers

Workouts for Bicep Growth

The big secret to bigger biceps consists of just 2 things:

  1. Make sure to tear your biceps sufficiently every time you work them out
  2. Make sure to give them what they need to rebuild themselves (high quality protein or amino acids)

The second task is pretty easy, do your best to eat 40 to 50 grams of high quality protein (whey protein isolate blend) within half an hour of finishing your workout.

The first task is a little more challenging. In order to make your bicep workouts effective enough to tear your biceps, you will need to change up your workouts regularly. Our favorite way to do this is to start by getting into a routine of doing 12 reps for 3 to 4 sets. On your first week you will definitely be sore the next day (sometimes 2 days later) – Your second week should be pretty similar, but by your 3rd week you probably won’t get nearly as sore. For your fourth week you need to change it up. The best way to shock your muscles back into tearing is increase the weight dramatically. For this 4th week workout (or whenever you want to sock your muscles with a big change to your bicep workouts) increase the weight by 20%. If you don’t feel like getting out the calculator, start by increasing the weight by 10 15 lbs per hand for individual arm workouts (i.e. dumbbell curls) or 20 – 30 lbs for 2 arm workouts (i.e. barbell curls, preacher curls, cable curls). Do as many reps as you can for 3 or 4 sets with this new weight. For your first set aim for 10 reps, but be satisfied with 8 or more. By your last set you should only be able to do 4 to 6 reps.

Check back this week for more bicep workouts and a great schedule for you to sustain maximum bicep growth over the next 3 months.

Workouts and Live Fit Tips

First and foremost, this article is meant for people who are looking for a place to start and seeking out pointers. For people who are looking for a routine, stop reading now, I am only providing some do’s and don’ts based on my personal experience. What works for me, may not necessarily work for you.

Before you start, you should determine what body type you are, there are basically three main body types, ectomorphs, mesomorphs and endomorphs. The ectomorphs are the hard gainers, small frames, small shoulders and petit muscles (I would consider myself to be in this category when I first started). The mesomorphs are the lucky guys, these are the easy gainers, the hard bodied and naturally athletic people we all strive to become (in the most modest way possible, I would consider myself one of these now). And finally, the endomorphs; these are the bigger guys, big boned, round and soft muscled.
This article is aimed towards the smaller scrawnier guys who are looking to put more muscle and definition onto their frames and get some strength along the way. If you are looking for tips on losing weight, this may not be the article for you. . .however you can still get some pointers on where to start, so it wouldn’t hurt to read.

Do’s
● Eat properly.
There is a reason why every live fit article you will ever read says the same, its true.
I curbed junk food and excessive drinking when I decided to work out. I know it sounds hard but it becomes habitual once you get into a routine of it, then it becomes second nature for you to avoid bad food.  Since carbs are you bodies main energy source, you should eat these in the morning, lots of fruits and vegetables so you burn these throughout the day and stick to meat in the evening, this will give you the protein your body needs to build and repair muscle.
I avoid the typical 3 meals a day, I eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day (on average about 5 or 6). The reason for this is because your metabolism works like a furnace, the more you keep fueling it (with small meals and snacks) the more it burns (fat) and provides energy for you. Also, this is a minor detail that many people miss but CHEW YOUR FOOD! The smaller your food is, the more surface area there is for enzymes to catalyze their breakdown.
● Invest money into it (sort of)
This is kind of misleading but let me explain. You don’t need fancy supplements or pills to get in shape. If you show me a person who takes two pills a day vs. a person who runs two blocks a day I will bet you the latter is more in shape everytime. What I mean by investing money is that I personally found that when I bought supplements such as multi-vitamins and protein I was more motivated to workout simply because I put money towards it and didn’t want it to go to waste.
● Get into a routine and get a partner!
Honestly once you’re into a routine you find yourself out of place when you miss a day of working out. Start early in the day as possible so you get it out of the way and always go on Mondays, this will start you off on the right foot for the rest of the week. Also, workout with a partner if you can, one who is the same strength and fitness level as you preferably and you will motivate and push eachother. Plus it is invaluable to have a spotter on a bench press.
● Do body weight excersices and do a high intensity run to start your workout.
When I first started working out, I could not do a single pull-up or a single dip and this was extremely discouraging but you just need to be persistent and you’ll get yourself above the bar in no time. Your body has this amazing ability to adapt and become stronger as long as you put enough stress on it. Now pull-ups and dips are no problem and I use weights to increase the resistance. I recommend body weight exercises because  they don’t target specific muscles but rather groups of muscles together (I always found that the gymnasts were the most defined people in the Olympics) . Also, do a short but intense run to warm up to get your whole body started, don’t get yourself too tired or you’ll be dead  for the workout.

Don’ts
● Don’t workout in groups
Avoid this at all costs, I found that when I did this, there was a lot of just fooling around and talking as opposed to working out. If you can get a group of people that are determined and focused then it wouldn’t be so bad, as long as you can avoid taking long breaks in between in set.
●Avoid machines if you can
This is essential if you want to build muscle. Sure, you can lift more on a machine, but you’re restricted in your movements and you don’t use your stabilizers as much. Also, I’ve been told by a personal trainer that you’re prone to serious injuries using the leg extension machine and squatting on a smith machine. Why go through all the trouble with for fewer gains? Just stick to free weights.
●Don’t Give Up!
Sure when you first start, you can’t lift as much as the regulars at the gym, but everyone had to start at some point. You just need to get over that fear, and trust me, nothing will motivate you more than seeing some gains when you look in the mirror.
●Don’t slack off
I can’t tell you how often I go to the gym and see people just slacking off and not working hard. If you’re at the gym to workout then stay focused and give it everything you’ve got, otherwise you’re just wasting your time.
●Don’t stick to a routine
This is important because once you stick to a routine your body adapts and then it plateaus and you don’t get any gains. Change up your exercises often and don’t stick to what you’re comfortable doing, get outside your comfort zone and challenge yourself.

All in all, this is just my advice and you swallow it how you want, what works for me won’t necessarily work for everyone else. In case you’re wondering yes that is me in the picture, I wish I could show you a before picture but trust me, I was tiny. I’m not big but its an improvement!

Writer: Louis Le

Lose Weight FAST with Ephedrine and Caffeine | ECA stack

First of all, I am not a medical professional and the information below is for entertainment purposes only. It requires you to take ephedrine and caffeine for at least 2 weeks ramping up the dosage. These ingredients were the backbone for the original hydroxycut formulas, the ones that actually worked…

What is it?

Ephedrine and Caffiene act in synergy to supercharge your metabolism, burning more calories at any given time in any given state of exertion. This means that you can carry on your regular routine, consuming the same number of calories and still lose some weight. That said, combining the “stack” with a reduced calorie/carb diet  will lead to a much more remarkable results. This isn’t too hard to do while your taking these compounds because they are pretty powerful appetite suppressants. You should be careful to make sure your eating lots of small, protein rich snacks and meals throughout the day so that you don’t waste away too much solid muscle mass or become malnourished. Traditionally, the combination contains asprin to help reduce blood pressure (hence the A in ECA) but usage of the drug for extended periods of time has recently been linked to stomach ulcers so we recommend against using it. If you’re very concerned about your blood pressure, taking half a tab (162.5 mgs) per day probably won’t put you at too much risk.

Where do you get it?

In Canada you can get the two ingredients at any Popeye’s supplement store or online at  livepurehealth.com, which is by far the cheapest option. Ephedrine almost always comes in 8mg tablet and Caffiene usually 200mgs, sometimes 100mgs.

How do I use it?

Ephedrine is a pretty powerful stimulant so when combined with caffeine it can lead to anxiety and “jitters.” In order to curb these side effects we work up to the most effective dose of 25mg of ephedrine and 200mgs of caffeine 3 times a day. Do not exceed 6 weeks of use without at least a 12 week break.

ECA dosing

Important Notes

  • Don’t take this if you are younger than 18 years of age.
  • Do not use EC with SSRIs, SNRIs, MAOI or any other anti-depressants.
  • Do not use EC if you have any sort of heart condition WHATSOEVER, seriously!
  • If you’re having trouble sleeping, reduce to only 2 dosages of the stack so 24mgs of ephedrine and 200mgs caffiene twice a day. This is still effective for fatloss and appetite supression.
  • The stimulating effects will wear off after about the 14th day but don’t worry the positive impacts on your metabolism are still there.
  • Never go over the recomended doseage!

The Protein Shake Cottage Cheese Diet

What is the diet’s objective?

  • Burn fat fast without losing muscle
  • Give your body few enough calories that it will need to feed off its own fat stores, but eat enough protein to keep your nitrogen balance highly positive so that your body does not consume its muscles (to any significant degree)

Who is this diet for?

  • This diet was developed for people who are looking to lose a little body fat (drop from 16% to 13%).

How long does the diet last?

  • The diet should be maintained for 7 to 14 days

What foods are part of the diet?

Obviously there is more to this thing than JUST protein shakes and cottage cheese

Food List

  • Protein Shakes (Whey powder + Milk or Water)
  • Cottage Cheese – 1% or 2% MF
  • Eggs – Fried (in oil or low fat margarine) or hard-boiled
  • Tuna (no mayo though – yogurt/tziki/non-fat sour cream)
  • Yogurt (low or non fat)
  • Apples, bananas, orages, grapefruit, etc – only in the morning or well in advance of bed
  • Vegetables (lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, carrots etc – no overly high fat veggies like avocadoes)
  • Water – lots! But at least 1 hour before easting or 2 hours after as it slows digestion
  • Milk (white 1% or skim, chocolate milk is allowed after a workout or run)
  • Coffee – no cream or sugar, only milk (don’t add coffee to your diet, but don’t feel like you have to give it up)
  • Beans (kidney/black/lima/chick peas ect.)

What level of exercise is required by the diet?

  • Obviously, the more the better
  • The purpose of the exercise is to assist in burning more calories than you consume
    • This can be achieved through diet alone, but if you cut your calorie intake too significantly, your body will go into “starvation mode” and you wont be able to lose weight
  • Exercise with weights (or pushups/chinups) 3-7 times a week
  • Jog/Bike/Walk (light cardio) 2 – 4 times a week

Is this diet healthy?

  • Not really, it’s pretty hard on your system, but it lasts for such a short time (7 – 15 days) that it’s not an issue

Putting it together:

Stick to these pointers and you’ll be set

  • You don’t need to focus on cutting calories too hard – that will happen on its own
  • You cannot eat carbs anytime close to going to bed (within 3.5 hours of bed time)
  • Try to fill up (not stuff yourself, just get to a point where you are not hungry) on high protein, low fat foods – avoids carbs (especially those from sugar) at all times other than breakfast (eat oatmeal at breakfast)
  • Going to bed starving is the worst! If you are hungry at bed time (to the point where it is going to make it tough to fall asleep) eat an egg and some cottage cheese – both of these foods contain lots of slow release protein that will feed your muscles through the night.
  • Protein is the best, carbs are MUCH worse than fat – stick to high protein, medium fat, low carbs
  • Remember you are creating a calorie deficit while preventing your body form going into starvation mode