Amazon Prime Day is back this year starting July 16th and running through July 17th. The fourth-annual sale is expected to offer over 1 million deals worldwide. This makes it one of the biggest shopping events of the year, and almost as big as Black Friday!
Amazon first launched Prime Day in 2015 to mark its 20th birthday. The day went so well the company has been running it every year since.
As you probably guessed from the name, this global shopping event is for Amazon Prime members only.
If you’re not an amazon prime member, just register for the 30 day free trial of Prime membership to get access to millions of discounts!. If you prefer not to stay simply cancel your membership before the 30 days are up and you will not be charged.
Here is our list of the best fitness equipment and fitness gadgets you should get on this amazon prime day.
Let’s start with essentials: it doesn’t matter the type of exercise you do. Wether it’s crossfit, jogging or calisthenics, you will always need proper shoes. Make sure you get some on this amazon prime day!
If you’re the type of person that likes to track their progress and results, consider gettting a proper smartwatch like the bestselling FitBits! It’s an awesome way to boost your motivation to go jogging and to keep track of your heartrate and circuit when jogging.
I highly recommend you getting a camera. This is not a typical fitness equipment but if you’re getting into calisthenics (exercise with only your bodyweight), I find that learning the basics of photography and getting a decent DSLR and/or a GoPro is an awesome investment. It will skyrocket your motivation and take your instagram to the next level!
You don’t need very fancy equipment, just get an entry level DSLR like the Canon 1300D and a goPro5 and you’re set! I suggest getting a prime lens for those epic blurred backgrounds, perfect for fitness pictures!
Picture by @achim_goelles
If you’re planning on building a home gym, getting a power rack should be one of your top priorities. It’s an all in one solution where you’ll to do most essential bodyweight moves and target the muscles in your body if you include a barbell and weights.
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So there you have it, I hope you enjoyed our list.
And don’t forget, in order to make the most out amazon prime day you need to be an amazon prime member. Try the 30 day free trial and have fun shopping!
Don’t ask what multivitamin to take if you’re not eating enough fruits and vegetables daily.
EDIT: Amazon prime day is here and is offering a discount in whey protein! Check it out here!!
Now we can talk about the best fitness supplements that will appeal to the majority. Remember, you need to create your supplement program based on your individual needs but the following supplements will suit most of hard-gainers.
What creatine essentially will help you with is putting in the hard work at the gym. It does this by replenishing the high energy compound called creatine phosphate, which the muscles need if they are going to keep contracting with intensity – and you’re going to keep lifting weight.
Creatine is naturally produced in the body and it supplies energy to all of the body’s cells, primarily muscle cells.
Creatine has been widely studied and its benefits are backed up by various studies.
Here are 3 specific ways that creatine can boost your results in the gym:
Bigger muscles: Supplementing with creatine increases muscle hydration and increases their size. Better hydrated muscles are stronger in the gym. This leads to boosted hypertrophy overtime.
Better athletic performance: Supplementing with creatine has been shown to make an athlete both faster and stronger when involved in high-intensity activity.
Faster post-workout recovery: A study done on experienced endurance athletes concluded that supplementing with creatine promotes complete recovery after intense exercise
Creatine use has also been related to better brain function.
Another supplement that everyone recommends and you should consider taking is protein powder. When you work out, your protein needs are going to go up and if your daily routine makes it hard to get enough food, you could risk not getting enough protein and not seeing maximum muscle gains.
Whey Protein is convenient, cheap, and it’s great for before, during, and after your workouts.
Just make sure you don’t’ replace all your food meals with protein powder.
The third supplement you could consider adding to your muscle-building program for hard-gainers is glutamine. Each and every time you do a squat, biceps curl, row, or even just walk up the stairs to get into the gym, you are placing a stress on your body.
Over time, all this stress will add up and when it becomes too much for the body to handle, you’re going to stop showing progress.
Glutamine is a natural substance in the body that comes from the diet and helps deal with all the daily stress you experience. Because of the fact that you’re lifting very heavy in the gym a number of times a week though, the normal amount of glutamine you have circulating in the body may not be enough.
That’s where supplementation comes in handy. If you add an outside source of glutamine to your daily intake, you’re going to be able to handle these stressors that much better, meaning you recover from each workout session faster.
Since you cannot go back into the gym for a second workout before you’ve recovered from the first, it’s quite easy to see why glutamine is a smart supplement to use.
So stop questioning which fitness supplements you should take.
Fix your diet first and then use these 3 supplements and make sure you take the correct dosage, described on each supplement, and you do it consistently.
Many people agree that you don’t need supplements to live a healthy life.
If you follow the right diet, do plenty of physical exercise, get decent sleep and avoid stress, you will prevent serious health problems while gaining muscle and losing fat.
But using the right supplements can absolutely take your health and fitness to the next level and speed up your results.
Here’s a list of fitness supplements you might want to consider taking. And the ones you might want to avoid.
Supplements You Should Use
Fish oil has plenty of positive evidence behind it.
Most importantly, it helps your heart. The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and reduce the risk of death for people who have had a heart attack. Fish oil also offers anti-inflammatory benefits that reduce arthritis pain.
If these health benefits aren’t appealing enough, consider this:
Research shows fish oil boosts how much fat you burn while exercising. This study even proved that three weeks of fish oil supplementation slashed body fat by two pounds.
Research shows that less than 3 percent of Americans get enough fiber. But good levels of dietary fiber are associated with all kinds of health benefits like reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, several cancers, and—of course—constipation.
The best way to get fiber is to eat plenty of whole grains, fruits, and veggies every day. But for the moments you can’t, keep a fiber supplement close at hand.
Prebiotics and Probiotics
Inside your gastrointestinal tract, you have more bacteria than you have cells in your whole body. And while not all bacteria are good for you, there are also plenty of good bacteria essential for health, digestion, and your immune system.
Many of us, however, don’t have enough good bacteria in our gut due to poor diets, stress, and even past illnesses. For those who don’t eat fermented foods all the time, try supplementing with probiotics and prebiotics, which feed the good bacteria.
Most of what we think we’re deficient in is exaggerated—except for magnesium. Our diets tend to be low in magnesium despite the large role it plays in our bodies.
Magnesium supplementation can lower blood pressure, reduce depression, enhance exercise performance, improve sleep quality, and protect against Type 2 diabetes. And if you have a deficiency, adding magnesium to your diet can increase testosterone too.
You probably already know about this one, but if want to add more muscle, I recommend you to get some kind of protein powder.
Everyone knows protein is needed for muscle growth, so I won’t get into much detail here.
Plenty of studies show that protein supplementation accelerates your muscle growth more than working out without it and that it is the essential macronutrient for building muscles.
In my opinion, eating chicken breast or a tuna salad is betterfor you than a protein. But nothing beats the convenience of a ready to drink protein shake.
They suppress hunger, elevate your metabolism, and raise your body temperature so you burn more calories. They also commonly include ingredients like caffeine, carnitine, green tea, conjugated linoleic acid, and capsicum.
The evidence with fat burners, however, is dicey. Some research found a slight reduction in body fat while others cite dangerous side effects and urge caution. (Fat burning supplements are regulated as “foods” by the FDA, not “drugs,” and can contain hidden ingredients.)
Pre-workouts are safe, just as long as you don’t take too much.
Research shows that too much pre-workout can have several adverse effects like “cardiac arrhythmia, blood pressure increases, and potential effects on lipids and blood glucose.”
Are they work the risk? No one really knows for sure yet. In my opinion, if you’re looking for a quick boost of energy before your workouts, stick with the standard cup of coffee or black tea—it will give you enough energy without the risk of heart attack.
We all know that you don’t need any equipment to start with calisthenics. But if you want to get into some advanced movements or learn some new skills, you’re going to need some specialized calisthenics equipment. I’ve been doing calisthenics for 6 years now, and bellow I’ve compiled a list of all the calisthenics equipment I’ve found to be the most essential to my training and muscle development. If you’re tired of having to go to the gym every day and want to build your own personal home gym, make sure you get the items on this list.
Let’s start with most important one by far:
Pull-up bars is probably the most essential calisthenics piece of equipment. It’s the only equipment required for one of the pillar exercises of calisthenics: The Pull-Up. And the best part? You don’t even have to buy a specialized pull-up bar to do it, all you need is a place to hang. When I first started calisthenics, I had no pull-up bar to start with. So, instead of buying one, I grabbed a piece of old rusty metal tube from my garage and placed it between two trees in my backyard. It worked perfectly and it even allowed me to practice the muscle up because I had no roof above me, which is not possible with a regular pull up bar. That’s the beauty of calisthenics: As long as you’re creative enough, there are no excuses not to workout.
But of course, not everyone can have this type of bar at home because it takes up a lot of space and you need to have some sort of backyard to do so. So what most people get is a standard home pull-up bar. This piece of equipment is great because it’s more than enough to do most types of pull-ups and takes almost no space inside your house. I own two of theses: A pull-up bar screwed in a doorway, and a portable one.
Even though I don’t find them as comfortable to workout out with, they have an advantage: Convenience. You can place it in your room’s doorframe, and everytime you enter your room, you get a reminder to work out. It may seem like nothing, but it has helped me remain consistent with my workouts and stretch after long computer sessions. Here are the exact ones I use (excluding the rusty pipe):
Iron Gym Total Upper Body Workout Bar
Pull Up Bar by Fitojo
Gym Rings/ Gymnastic Rings
People don’t usually consider gymnastic rings an essential equipment for calisthenics. Mostly because it’s a lot harder to do a simple pull-up in a ring, than it is in a bar. The freedom of movement of the rings means that your muscles have to compensate for instability in all directions during training. Meaning they’re a a lot harder to use, but you get an additional training effect compared to training with dumbbells or with a bar.
I am of the opinion that you should integrate ring training in your routine as soon as possible. That way you’re getting a much more complete workout and most importantly, you’re getting your muscles used to that instability and type of practice. I only picked up ring training later in my calisthenic journey and I regret it immensely. It brings a lot more variety into your workouts and helps you target muscles that you never targeted before, giving you that extra burn and muscle growth. If you usually work out with just a bar, and you think you’ve mastered the muscle up, go and try to do it on the rings. When I first tried the rings I could do 10 strict muscle ups on a bar, and guess how many in the rings? Zero. It requires a very different movement, a totally different type of grip (the false grip) and puts much more emphasis on your muscle stabilization.
And they’re pretty small and easy to carry!
The overall consensus is that the wooden rings are the best ones to grip, the only downside being that you can’t let them stay outside in the rain.
Parallettes and Parallel Bars
Parallels deserve to be on top of the essential calisthenic equipment list. Like the rings, they add a whole new world of different variations that you can try. But their main advantage is that they allow you to have a full range of motion (ROM) on exercises like the handstand pushups and put much less strain on your wrists. If you practice your handstand pushups on the floor you’ll never be able to have a full ROM because your head will hit the floor before you achieve full ROM. But by elevating yourself with parallettes you have enough space to complete a full pushup, making your handstand pushups much more effective (and harder) on your shoulders. But that’s not all. By using paralletes, your handstands will stress your wrists a lot less comparing to a normal handstand on the ground. So if you’re having trouble with the pain on your wrists while practicing your handstands, give paralletes a try and you’ll see that it’ll be a lot easier on your wrists.
While both serve the same purpose, the high version is more suitable for exercises like Dips, and the low version is better for handstands and handstand pushups. The reason is obvious: Try falling down paralletes vs high parallete bars and you’ll notice the difference. There are also different versions of the material: premium parallettes have a wooden handle, which allows an optimal grip even with sweaty hands and is ergonomically adapted to the hand. It is very important that the paralletes don’t wobble and that they maintain firm footing, both indoors and outdoors.
Always be safe and don’t put yourself in danger when there’s absolutely no need to. I’m currently using my good old metal paralletes, but I’m planning on making the change for wooden paralletes very soon.
The Beam Store 24-Inch Parallettes
YOGABODY Birch Wood Parallettes
Body Power NEW Push up Stand Parallettes
So those are my top 3 essentials. Next, we have the calisthenics equipment that’s not essential but can help you overcome certain difficulties, help you progress on your skillwork, or just have more fun with your workouts.
While I’m usually against using gloves during your workouts, there are some case where you just have to use them. After some hard workouts you hands may fail before the rest of your body, and wearing some gloves can help you get some extra work before you’re completely exhausted. Another reason is when the surface that you’re gripping is way too though to handle. for example, if you’re doing pull-ups hanging from a wall or when your bar is rusty. I have several pairs (most of them destroyed), and recently wrote an article about them.
Pull-Up Bands/ Resistance Bands
If you’re having trouble progressing with a specific exercise, a resistence band may help you overcome a plateau. The bands take away some of your body weight depending on the strength you use, so you’re able to do more reps while maintain good form. But they can also be used as the exact opposite: As an additional resistance (for exercises such as push-ups, dips, squats, etc) if some exercises are already too easy for you. Resistance Bands are also a perfect calisthenics equipment for warming up as well as for stretching and for mobility exercises. Resistance bands are available in different strengths – depending on the desired resistance or desired support. Check them out here:
WENFENG Resistance Band Set
Fit Simplify Resistance Loop Exercise Bands
Jumping Ropes is one of the most effective and accessible cardio exercise there is. They are ideal to warm-up before any type of marcial art or workout. You can do them pretty mch anywhere and all you need is a piece of rope. Rocky Approved!
It also helps your coordination, speed, strength and burns calories like crazy. Very few exercises burn calories like jump rope. Research shows that even jumping at a very moderate rate can burn up to 10 to 16 calories a minute.
A good jump rope should have non-slip handles so you can always have a good grip even with sweaty hands. In addition, if you’re starting to get serious with it, it should have a fast rotating ball joint and an adjustable rope length. You can find some proper ones here, or if you just want to start right now, grab a piece of rope!
CSI Cannon Sports Polyester Jump Ropes
Jump Rope – Premium Quality
Dip Belts/ Weight Vest
If pull-ups and dips are a piece of cake to you and you want an extra challenge, consider getting into the so-called “weighted calisthenics” by using Dip Belts and Weighted Vests.
Dip belts are placed around the waist and loaded with additional weights and they usually have an adjustable chain that can be adapted to the required length.
Obviously, these are not for beginners. But once you feel like pull ups or dips are becoming too easy for you and can do more than 10-12 reps with ease and with proper form, it’s time to step up your game.
This type of training, was used centuries ago by the roman empire. They used swords and shields 3 times heavier than normal during their trainings, so that when the real battles came, normal swords and shields felt like feathers to them. The same mentality is applied here. When you can do pull-ups with an extra 90lbs/40kg on top of you, regular pull-ups will be nothing to you.
Dip Belt By Rip Toned
CAP Barbell Olympic 2-Inch Weight Plate
RUNFast/Max 12lbs-140lbs Adjustable Weighted Vest
The Ab Wheel
I usually do most my ab exercises hanging from the bar because I’ve found them to be much more effective for me than any other type of exercise done on the ground. Except for one. Ab Rollouts with an ab wheel. This exercise will completely destroy your abs if you’re not used to it. And all you need is a simple ab wheel. It’s a great exercise if you can’t do any hanging exercise yet or simply want to change things up a little.
A Power Tower as Calisthenics Equipment
If you’re one of those that prefers to buy an all-in-one package, check out Power Towers. If you ever find me in a gym, you’ll see me hogging the powe rack 90% of the time as they have everything you need for a full calisthenic workout. A pull-up bar, handles for dips, and some even have back support to do the “Captain’s Chair” exercise. So if you’re thinking about making a home gym, make sure you have a power tower on top of your shopping list or a squat rack like this one.
Stamina 1690 Power Tower
Cap Barbell Power Rack Exercise Stand
KiNGKANG Power Tower
Ainfox Power Tower
So there you have it. You can get most of the equipment listed here on amazon or ebay. These are all the essential calisthenics equipment you’ll need to get an awesome body and muscle development with just calisthenics. Make sure you check out the best fitness supplements section and our workouts so you can start putting that equipment to some good use!
It is estimated that about 30-70% of travelers get some form of travelers diarrhea. And people who are careful (like me) not to consume fresh fruits or vegetables, and who make sure everything is cooked and peeled, can also get sick.
While getting sick while visiting countries like India is sometimes inevitable, especially if you’re not used to those types of environments, here a few supplements you can take to help you on those difficult times, or even prevent them.
Today we’re going to list a few of the basic and most needed fitness supplements you should starting use if you want to build quality muscle and gain the strength necessary to learn new calisthenics skills.
Please note that as the name suggests, these are only supplements, and a healthy diet is a lot more important and effective in building muscle than any type of supplementation available on the market.
Protein Shakes ensure that you have enough building blocks to repair the damaged muscles. For best results you can have three protein shakes a day. One of them (25-30g of whey) about 2 hours before your workout, one right after your workout (25-30g of whey) with 40-50g of simple carbs and one shake before you go to bed. The last shake should be casein proteinshake for slow absorption during the night.
Creatine has great effects on recovery as well building muscle mass. When it’s loaded in your system, creatine drastically increases the strength by loading more water and nutrients into the muscles as well as increasing the ATP levels. This will help you lift heavier weights and do more reps which will increase muscle size in the long run. The dose is anywhere from 5-10g of creatine a day split in two doses – with one of your meals a few hours before a workout and right after your workout with some simple carbs (a great way is to add it to your post-workout protein/carb shake).
Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid (building block of protein) in the body. It supports your immune system and recovery. It also helps the absorption of food and prevents muscle mass from breaking down (this happens when your body has depleted the glutamine reserves during intense physical activity). You can have up to 3 servings of glutamine a day – right after you wake up (5g), one before your workout (5g) and another 5g after you complete your workout.
Arginine helps in creating NO (nitric oxide) which helps in “pumping” the muscle. The “pump” is an effect created from dilatating the blood vessels and loading the muscle with blood. During this effect, more oxygen and nutrients are being stored into the muscle cells. The dosage is about 3-5 grams a couple of hours before the workout and another 3-5 grams some time after the workout.
BCAAs or branched chain amino acids are represented by leucine, isoleucine and valine and make up for 35% of the amino acids present in the muscles. They have a significant role not just in building muscle mass, but also in supporting the already gained muscle during intense diets. They work best when taken on an empty stomach in the morning (5-10g) as well as right before and after the workout. (5-10g each dose)
Vitamins and minerals don’t build muscle mass, but you can see them as your insurance policy. There are times when the body needs vitamins and minerals to speed up recovery, to support the immune system, to absorb certain foods and during many more biological functions. A good vitamin/mineral supplement should contain Vitamin C,D,E, vitamins from the B group as well as Zinc, Magnesium, Chrome etc.
Today’s fast pace of living, unfortunately, does not allow enough time for daily consumption of enough protein required to maintain your shape and muscle mass. In a hurry to get a meal, people often turn to junk food which is full of sugars and trans fats.
Protein meals can be prepared with ease (with protein bars even the preparation phase can be avoided) and most of these formulas available today taste great. However, there are different categories of supplements, each with its own set of rules for use. Because of this, we are going to elaborate the protein sources in these supplements.
There are many protein sources which can be used in the production of protein powders or bars. The protein quality is measured according to its biological value (BV – unit of measurement used for calculating the amount of protein that the body can absorb and utilize, based on the nitrogen retention. Protein supplements with higher BV allow your body to easily absorb and retain nitrogen.
Subsequently, the proteins with the highest BV are the most beneficial for muscles development. Whey protein has the highest biological value. The egg protein ranks second with BV of 100, followed by milk proteins with 91, beef proteins with 80, soy proteins with 74. The beans proteins have the lowest biological value of 49. We will address each protein source individually.
1. WHEY PROTEIN
A number of studies have shown that whey is an excellent source of protein. This is the reason why:
Whey protein helps in improving sport results, by alleviating stress and reducing cortisol release. Cortisol is known as “the stress hormone” that breaks down muscle tissue. Constantly high cortisol is a precursor for many health problems).
Whey protein strengthens the immune system by increasing the level of glutathione, a water soluble antioxidant.
It serves for reduction of blood pressure
Helps in relieving the feeling of training fatigue (which is also related to low levels of glutathione or GSH).
Whey protein is easy to digest and has a better amino acid profile than egg whites. In other words, whey proteins have the highest biological value. Whey protein is not a steroid based substance as it is believed by some people. According to the latest studies, it is an important food supplement, which is evident from the listed reasons.
It is also important to know that not every whey protein is produced in the same way. The whey protein as described above, must be micro filtrated. Otherwise, it will be just a residual product of milk pasteurization. The microfiltration should be performed at low temperatures, in order to avoid production of high concentration of undenatured proteins, with minimum concentration of fats, lactose and cholesterol.
WHEY ISOLATES AND CONCENTRATES
There are whey isolates and concentrates.Whey protein is created with filtration of the liquid portion of of milk. The mass that’s left behind is whey concentrate. The percentage of protein in whey concentrate can vary in the range from 30 to 80 percent. Respectively, whey concentrate also contains varying percentages of fat and carbohydrates in the form of lactose.
Whey isolate is a further purified and filtered whey concentrate. Large proteins that exist in the concentrate are broken down to sub fractions and individual amino acids. These sub-fractions of whey proteins, are easily absorbed by the body. They are a good choice as an addition to your post workout meal, because during this period, the body needs fast absorbing amino acids.
However, whey isolates are not a good supplement for the rest of the day, because the body does not require all the amino acids which are released in the bloodstream, and shall use them in production of energy, and not for muscle growth.
It is also important to stress out that the whey isolates do not provide most of the above mentioned health benefits, as the process necessary for production of whey isolate burns up many sub-fractions important for strengthening the immune system, such as lactoferrin, beta-lactoglobulin, and immunoglobulin. Hence, you should use whey concentrate during the day, and after practice it is better to use whey isolate.
2. EGG PROTEINS
The egg protein is an outstanding widely available organic protein. Its only inferior to whey protein. This protein is released more slowly into the bllodstream than whey protein, making it ideal for use throughout the day. One of the things you can do is to mix the eggs with whey protein, thus creating the best organic shake in the whole world.
3. MILK PROTEINS (CALCIUM CASINATE AND MICELLAR CASEIN)
Milk proteins are similar to egg proteins – excellent widely available organic proteins. Their BV is somewhat lower compared to the egg protein, and they are released in the blood stream at a much slower rate. Calcium casinate is the dominant protein in milk and dairy products. Micellar casein is a natural undenatured form of casein found in milk. It is derived from the milk by employing ultrafiltration without application of chemicals. This increases the quantity of bioactive milk peptides, boosting the immune system and improving the muscles growth.
One of the characteristics of micellar casein is that it provides balanced amino acid release in the bloodstream, making it a perfect choice as a prolonged release anti-catabolic protein (protein that helps muscle growth).
4. BEEF PROTEINS
Beef proteins are released in the bloodstream at a slower rate, and their biological value is 80. Although they are not available at the market as protein powder, they are available in form of beef liver capsules, which provide you with all the benefits of beef proteins. These proteins are rich in iron and vitamin B complex, factors that contribute to improved utilization of nutrients and energy production.
5. SOY PROTEINS
Several studies have revealed that soy proteins have positive effects on the health of both of men and women. It has also been proven that they can reduce the risk of many diseases, including the hormonal ones (breast cancer, prostate cancer, etc.) The primary health benefit of soy protein consumption is reduction of cholesterol levels, and alleviating the menopause symptoms. They also help in osteoporosis treatment, because they stimulate the growth of bone mass.
Because of this, experts recommend that women should consume one meal of soy proteins. However, when it comes to muscle growth, soy proteins are not sufficient (their BV value is 49). These proteins are rich in BCAA amino acids, and can be optimally utilized in combination with protein with higher BV.
After the introduction of different types of protein found in the protein supplements, we will overview several different types of protein supplements available at the market.
1. WEIGHT GAINER SHAKES
Most of these shakes available at the market have a high content of calories consisting of carbohydrates and 30-40 g. of proteins (per dose). The protein in them may be whey protein (mostly concentrates, with not as many isolates) and/or other sources of protein, such as milk and eggs. These products also have a high percentage of carbohydrates: usually maltodextrin (glycaemic carbohydrate) and fructose (simple fruit sugar).
Weight gainers were extremely popular in the 90’s, but their demand gradually diminished, because the metabolism of most people is not as fast as the metabolism of professional athletes or bodybuilders. The diet with high amounts of carbohydrates was resulting in increased obesity instead of increased muscle mass.
However, for bodybuilders, which have less than 10% of body fat, these beverages are useful and provide high quality calories, necessary for quality muscle gain in the off-season.
It would be best to drink these shakes in the midmorning, or as an after-training meal, because the carbohydrates are released quickly. You can mix the weight gainer powders with fruit juice or skimmed milk. If you want to increase calories, you should not shy away from linseed and fruits.
2. MEAL REPLACEMENT SHAKES
These shakes contain substantially fewer calories. They are not as rich in carbohydrates as the weigh gainers. When it comes to protein, most of these shakes contain whey protein, yet there are other formulas available at the market consisting of whey and milk protein mixture.
The usual carbohydrate component is maltodextrin (25-27 g. per meal), yet the new generation formula contains slow-releasing carbohydrates, such as the brown rice and rye, in order to reduce the glycemic index. New formulas also have additions of essential fatty acids, vitamins and mineral. Although these products do not contain enough calories for the bodybuilders, they can be of use if supplemented with other ingredients, such as fruit, skimmed milk, essential fatty acids, thus increasing their caloric value.
3. PROTEIN POWDERS
Protein powders largely consist of protein (usually whey protein, but other mixtures as well). Most of them do not contain more than 5 grams of carbohydrates and more than 20-25 grams of proteins per dose. With regards to the calories, they contain about 100 to 125 calories.
According to expert advice, mixed protein powders are the ideal choice for athletes, because they contain proteins which will be released immediately upon entering the body. The other proteins from the mix will be released more slowly, and can remain present in the system during the next few hours (until the next meal). The powders consisting of whey isolate and concentrate are the optimal post workout choice, because they are quickly released in the bloodstream.
4. PROTEIN BARS
Protein bars can contain any of the above listed proteins. The carbohydrate mix in protein bars is usually a combination of glycerol (which is not a carbohydrate, but sugar alcohol) and several sugar types. Compared to the weight gainers, protein bars contain fewer calories. You should choose carefully which brand of protein bars you buy, because some of them have high fat content and are packed with sugar.
If you aim at losing weight, limit your protein bars intake to one a day. If you are preparing for a competition, avoid them entirely.
These shakes are novelty on the supplements market. They are characterised with a high percentage of protein (most of the mixed proteins) with addition of essential fat acids and small percentage of carbohydrates. Also, most of them contain vitamins and minerals. They are highly practical for people who do not have time to mix their shakes due to their busy schedule. These shakes can taste superb.
6. BEEF LIVER CAPSULES
Beef liver capsules are a superb choice of protein used by the bodybuilders for decades. In order to be efficient, these capsules should be produced using beef liver with the highest quality, and should not contain fats, cholesterol and other impurities found in liver.
The beef liver capsules provide heme iron (used in creation of red blood cells), vitamin B complex, lipotropic choline and inositol. They are also a great source of vitamins A, C and D, and other micro nutrients such as the selenium antioxidants, phosphorus, copper, zinc and GTF chromium (which helps the insulin regulation). Take 3-4 capsules after each meal. Each capsule adds 2 grams of beef protein to your meal.
Which protein supplements should you use – weight gainers, meal replacement shakes, pure protein powders, bars or ready to drink protein shakes? Which one should you choose?
Do you want to gain weight? In this case the weight gainers and protein bars (especially those with higher percentage of calories) are your choice.
If you are looking for a complete meal consisting of carbohydrates, proteins, some fats, and you want to maintain lean body, than the best choice would be MRP shake.
Do you want to cut down the expenses? Buy a 2 kg package of mixed protein powders, which, depending on the manner of mixing, can be used for gaining weight or muscles without adding fats.
Do you have a busy schedule? Then, the RTD shake is the best choice. Naturally, you can mix and combine different protein supplements depending on your daily schedule and goals.
Keep in mind that protein supplements are just that: addition to a healthy diet. Do not mistake them for meals, thinking they are better than food, because they are not. The real food (proteins in food) should always be the primary choice in creating the basis of a good bodybuilding and fitness diet.
First of all, I’m sorry to tell you that it’s impossible to lose fat in the area of your choice. There’s no such thing as “localized fat loss”.
When we lose fat, we lose it in general, in our entire body.
We’re all different and tend to store our fat in different places: Most of us have the tendency to store fat in our belly, some in theirs backs, and so on. So the only option you have is lose fat all over your body by following this steps:
It Starts with Satiety
Satiety is the quality or state of being fed or gratified to or beyond capacity.
Basically, your hunger is satisfied. You no longer want to eat. When you aren’t fulfilling this quality, you will eat and eat and eat without getting full. Some ways to increase the chances of you feeling well fed are:
This should go without saying, but 100g of blueberries will fill you up better than 100g of veggie chips. You get many of the satiety benefits from eating real food around the edges of the market.
Time restricted feeding and intermittent fasting help you schedule your feeding period throughout the day. It doesn’t tell you WHAT to eat or how much, it is an answer to WHEN you are “allowed” to eat.
It seems like every week more and more evidence comes out about the benefits to time restricted feeding.
Maintain a Regular Training Schedule
What gets you moving, sweating, and ENJOYING it? Do that (Have you tried calisthenics?). If you want to maintain or build muscle throughout your fat loss journey, it’s best that you lift heavy weights or practice calisthenics. A linear based progression is usually what is prescribed to get and keep those muscle gains.
Walking is the most overlooked activity and can actually help many people make great fat loss gains. Adding a 30–60 minute walk a couple times a week can really make a difference, not only in fat loss but also intellectually: Get a free audible account and start listening to audiobooks while you do your cardio.
Journal and Track Your Results
What gets measured, gets managed.
It is an age old quote about tracking metrics from business to relationships, and it also finds its home with fitness and health. Track what you eat, what you weigh, what you look like in the mirror, your measurements, your workouts, how much energy you have.
Your scale weight can be the most tricky measurement of all, because there are so many variables that go into it. Water weight, when you get on the scale, types of food you’ve eaten all play into that number. Keep tabs on it in 2–4 week averages. If you are hard on yourself with the day to day numbers, you could lose motivation real quick.
Your mirror and measurements are your best friend when it comes to noticing physical and fat loss changes.
Be honest and watch all of your metrics improve with enough patience and consistency.
Change your Enviromnent
Your environment can make or break your fat loss journey.
The environment is more powerful than your internal resolve. As a human-being, you always take on the form of the environments you continually place yourself.
Your mom keeps buying chocolate? Stop her!
Food in the cupboard that could impact your goals? Ditch it!
Have a roommate or family member that won’t adjust with you? Figure out a way to mitigate the issue.
If there is anything that could get in your way, get rid of it or make a plan to make sure it doesn’t get in your way.
It’s best to brainstorm and figure this out beforehand, because the temptations might be too strong to resist while you are on your way.
Least Sexy of Them All: SLEEP
It’s the mother of all unsexy habits. Most of us don’t prioritize it and we just deal with whatever quality we end up with.7–9 hours.
Stop caffeine consumption in the early afternoon.
Limit screen time before bed.
Sleep in a cool environment.
Keep the room as dark as possible.
Have a consistent sleep time and wake up time.
At the end of the day your actions must match the level of your ambitions.
Your actions must match the level of your ambitions.
If you want to be the fittest, healthiest version of yourself, only you can stop you.
Your talking, your planning, your hopes, and your thoughts don’t make a dent in your progress; only your actions do.
Be consistent, be patient, and watch the fat melt away.
Among so many different supplements today, it’s very hard to pick one that really does the job done as advertized.
And they all promise you they will burn fat, increase muscle or make you healthier. So if you are just starting or you don’t know what works and what doesn’t – here are the top supplements you should be using for losing fat, building muscle, improved health and gaining strength for calisthenics.
1. Whey protein
Whey protein is the first thing you need to consider supplementing when you start bodybuilding or any other demanding physical activity. It is a quick and convenient way for everyone who wants to eat (drink) some quality calories and reach daily protein needs. Because whey is a complete protein and also high in branched-chain amino acids, it will aid recovery from exercise and improve your immune system.
2. Fish Oil
Fish oil is a miracle supplement as it promotes muscle growth, fat loss, improves mood, reduces high blood pressure and triglycerides at the same time. The most responsible component for these benefits is the alpha-linolenic acid (Omega- 3) found in fish oil. Omega 3 contains the two fatty acids: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These are acids that cannot be synthesized by our body and need to be taken as a supplement or with the food. When buying fish oil, seek for a brand that delivers at least 1.8-2g of EPA and DHA with the daily dose.
3. Probiotics and prebiotics
Probiotics are the good bacteria that lives inside our gut and are directly responsible for our digestion and immune system. Prebiotics are the food of our gut bacteria. Increasing the prebiotics intake will also increase our “good” bacteria numbers in the intestines. More probiotics in our intestines means that the food we eat will be better digested and used by our body. When buying probiotic supplements look for a product that lists at least 3 billion micro – organisms per serving.
4. Vitamin D
The deficiency of vitamin D is manifested trough a few symptoms, such as muscle weakness, depression, weak immune system and some skin conditions. In order for the skeletal muscle to function properly you need vitamin D. Unfortunately it’s very hard to get the quantities of this vitamin only from the food you eat and sun exposure. That is why it’s important to supplement your diet with around 1000 UI of vitamin D a day.
This is one of the most studied bodybuilding supplements for the last 20 years or so. It’s a supplement that works without a doubt. It gives you more strength and energy during intense exercise and increases muscle mass. You consume creatine when you eat red meat, but that’s in very low doses – around 3-5 grams per 2 lbs of red meat. There are a few types of creatine on the market, but nothing beats the good old creatine monohydrate. When taking creatine you would want to start with 5-10 grams a day (depending on your weight), divided into two doses.
If you’re looking to reduce your body fat, the idea of purchasing CLA may have already crossed your mind.
CLA reduces body fat by increasing basal metabolic rates. In other words, it helps the body convert food more efficiently into energy.
L-carnitine is an amino acid and its job is to transfer long-chain fatty acids, such as triglycerides into mitochondria, where they may be oxidized and used for energy production, meaning that glycogen is spared during exercise. In other words – you burn fat while your energy and strength levels stay increased. A good start is to take 2 grams of L-carnitine a day divided into two 1-gram doses, one of which, will be taken before an intense workout.
This spice has the ability to control blood sugar levels, by eliminating or moderating blood sugar and insulin spikes. Keeping the blood sugar levels low is the main element of fat loss. For a start you can sprinkle cinnamon on your oatmeal, on fruit, on your dessert or in your shakes. Start with 1-2 grams of cinnamon a day.
9. Magnesium and Zinc
Magnesium has many roles in the body, and is required for many enzymatic reactions, including those involved in the synthesis of fat and protein, neurological activity, muscular contraction, cardiac activity and bone metabolism.
Zinc is also important for many processes in the body like protein synthesis, immune system functioning, blood sugar control, growth etc.
When combined, these two minerals increase the production of testosterone – one of the most anabolic hormones in the body. There is also a product called ZMA (Zinc monomethionine aspartate and Magnesium Aspartate) that improves testosterone levels and sleep.
You just can’t beat the perks of a home gym: you don’t have to find a place to park, there’s never a crowd, and it always plays music you like and not that commercial crap. But is it worth it?
An average gym membership costs around $50 a month. If you save that money for a while, you can build your own personal home gym in just a few months.
A home gym eliminates monthly dues for good. You buy it for life.
And unlike most people who don’t last 3 months in the gym, you’re more likely to capitalize on your investment—and reap the hard-body rewards.
Here are 9 essential pieces of equipment for your home gym.
1. Power Rack
No home gym is complete without a power rack. This is the one of the most important pieces of gym equipment you can have, especially you are into calisthenics/bodyweight training.
You can also get a squat rack so that you can do both pull ups and squats on the same equipment.
2. Olympic Bar
Unlike “standard” bars, which typically weigh less than 30 pounds, a 45-pound Olympic bar can handle heavy loads without permanent bending. Its heavier weight also makes it more stable when loading and removing plates. If you care about your floor, bumper plates (named for their rubber coating) are the weights you want.
There’s a reason for the ungainly design: A kettlebell‘s center of gravity shifts during an exercise, increasing the challenge.
4. Cardio Machine
You can choose from treadmills, ellipticals or spin bikes. My personal favorite is the Airdyne.
Unlike a Spin bike, an Airdyne uses a fan instead of a front wheel to generate air resistance, which is exponential—the harder you pedal, the harder pedaling becomes.
5. Resistance Bands
Not only are resistance bands great for mobility work, but you can also use them to make body-weight moves like pullups and pushups easier or harder.
6. Suspension Trainers
A comprehensive training tool in its own right, a suspension trainer is also the ultimate workout accessory. You can attach one to your power rack to instantly accommodate 100 body-weight exercises of all difficulties. Suspension trainers, like the gymnastic rings, are also ultraportable, making them ideal for working out while you’re travelling.
7. Adjustable Bench
Like the power rack, an adjustable bench sets the stage for hundreds of different types of exercises, from standard bench presses to dragon flags.
Dumbbells are the most versatile weights you can own. Use one at a time to develop stability, or grab a pair to build strength and power. Short on room? Save money and space with adjustable versions like the PowerBlocks which can replace an entire rack of conventional dumbbells for about half the price.
9. Rubber Flooring
Rubber mats help protect both floors and weights from damage and also help muffle the sound of dropped weights. If you ever need to bail on a deadlift, you’ll be glad you did it on rubber and not wood or concrete. It’s also great to use bellow your gymnastic rings so you can jump down more safely.