Archive for April, 2015

Hamstring Training

Hamstring training, an essential part of bodybuilding and my take on this matter.

Firstly where are the hamstring and calf muscle? The hamstring, or leg bicep, is the muscle situated to the rear of the leg area. The hamstring is upper leg and the calf is back of lower leg. Keep that thought for one minute please and I will explain now.

As these two muscles are situated behind us we cannot see ourselves training them however we sure can feel them if we training correctly.

Lets start with the hamstring training: like the bicep they are flexor muscles so its all about curling the weights up and still working the negative part of the rep by controlling the weight back down in slow manner NOT using momentum on the descent.

My workout today on these two muscle groups looks like this:

1) Seated hamstring curls: 4 x 20 reps (key points keep your toes flexed towards your chins throughout curl the weight trying to kick your bum with your heels)

2) Lying leg curl: 4 x 20 reps (last set is drop set, again keep toes flexed throughout, try to kick bum with heels and work the negative part of the rep)

3) 15 minute walking lunges: 4 sets (keep body upright, if weight needed use weight across chest this keeps body upright)

4) Stiff leg dead lift: 3 x 15v reps (keep slight bend in knees, stick bum out to opposite wall behind you, clench bum on the up part rep, if flexible you will need to stand on box step)

The calf muscle need weight and variety of rep range. So owing to this I tend to go heavy one week and lighter the next but I train my calf twice per week as these are my weak muscle groups and find by training them twice per week they respond well and grow.

Session one looks like this

1) Standing calf raises 4 x 20-30 reps (go right up onto the tip toes and hold for two counts)

I alternate this movement with hack squat calf raises on a weekly basis.

2) Seated calf raises: 4 x 20 reps (be careful not go too low on the lowering part of the rep as you can run into trouble with Achilles muscle, still get onto those tip toes)

Cardio training is done on the stair climber 20 minutes followed by walking on an inclined treadmill for 25 minutes too.

My first session of cardio was done upon waking after consuming 1 scoop Extreme Whey and 5 BCA-311, this was done on the bike 40 minutes.


Power lifting, A Winners Tale by Joanne Stanger

Power Lifting – A winners tale from the BDFPA British finals.

    It’s been a few weeks since I competed at the BDFPA British Powerlifting finals in the under 70kg unequipped class and I’m ecstatic to say I won and this post is a Winners Tale!

    Apologies for the delay in updating my blog, I wrote this during my journey home from FIBO – which was amazing!

    Anyway back to my comp… the day started off really well! First was the weigh in, I wasn’t sure how much under the 70kg mark I would be, I carb loaded two days prior to the comp as I was still dieting for FIBO the following weekend but wanted to feel full and strong for the British finals. Anyway, I weighed in at 67.7kg which was perfect.

    The first lift was squat. My aim was to beat my previous Personal Best which was 107.5kg in competition. I opened with 100kg, I went too deep and it felt like a ton of bricks, but I got the lift. I over thought the depth of my second lift at 107.5kg and didn’t go deep enough, I failed the lift. My third lift was 110kg it was perfect. Final lift for squat was 110kg.

    The next lift was Bench Press, my weakest lift. I opened with 65kg I knew I was guaranteed to get this lift and I did easily. My second lift was 70kg this was a breeze too. My third lift was 72.5kg however I failed as I was unable to move the weight off my chest! Unreal how an extra 2.5kg can feel like an extra 22.5kg!

    My third and final lift was the Deadlift. Since I started competing in power lifting I have noticed deadlifts are my favourite & strongest lift, in my first power lifting competition I broke a British record and pulled a 172.5kg deadlift. I opened with 140kg….Boom no problem! 150kg…..Boom easy! I set my next lift at 160kg but then moved up to 162.5kg as getting this lift was the difference between 1st place and 3rd place! I wanted 1st place!

    162.5kg wasn’t easy but I did it and dare I say I it, I felt like I still had more in the tank. I won my class & a British Title!

    Next stop is the World Championships!!!

    Jo Stanger

    Jo powerlifting

Back routine

Hi all as I am so jealous that the rest of the Extreme Nutrition team are off to one of the biggest sporting expo’s in the world, FIBO. I thought I would give you my back routine completed today.

Firstly I will tell you how things are going prep wise and what my mood is like at this stage of contest prep.

I am 7 weeks out from the IFBB Toronto Pro show and the sleepless night are just starting to creep into the mix. To combat this I take the odd nap during the day or after my morning session of cardio before I train during the day.

My morning session of cardio is 45 minutes and it takes a bit out of me after a restless night sleeps. I have my cardio clothes at the bottom of my bed and literally climb into them upon waking in the morning. Quick brush of the teeth and fat burners town the hatch with my branch chain aminos and its a way we go.

My back routine workout normally lasts about one hour and and the routine is as follows:

Hanging Chins – 3 x 10 reps

Bent over barbell rows – 4 x 10-12 reps

Single Arm dumbbell rows – 4 x 10 reps

Wide grip pull downs to the chest – 4 x 15 reps

Barbell Deadlifts – 3 x 10 reps

Seated rows with a close, palms facing, grip – 4 x 12-15 reps

Dumbbell pull overs – 3 x 20 reps

Standing calf raises – 5 x 20 reps

I follow my back routine with 40 minutes cardiovascular work on an incline walker, rowing machine or stationary bike subject to my mood and what machine is available to get on without waiting long enough for me to have cooled down any.

My tip for a good back routine is, when you are training, hold each reps at the contraction point for one count and try to pinch your shoulder blades together on every rep. Elbows must remain close to your side no matter what exercise you perform.


Cardiovascular Training by IFBB Professional Hunni Glanville

Why do we need cardiovascular training in bodybuilding I hear as my first question? I will bounce a question back when answering this question.

What are we doing when lifting weights? My answer is we are doing a sport and I would say that most sporting activities have a good general effect on the body. As an amateur I heard loads of negative myths about cardiovascular training such as:

You lose muscle if you do too much cardiovascular work (true if you starve yourself)
I have no time after my workout for cardiovascular training (lazy persons excuse)
I lose too much strength when doing cardiovascular training (lazy attitude again)
When bulking you have to stay away from any form of cardiovascular training

OK, I will agree with you I made several excuses not to do cardiovascular training when I first started as an amateur and as you may know I struggled with condition at that level. Looking back now, I can now tell you what the mistake was. Plain and simple, I never did any cardiovascular training at any stage of amateur bodybuilding and came from a body weight of roughly 20 stone (off season weight) all the way down to 14.5 stone (contest weight).

The diets were very calorie restricted and bland as hell. Dieting for me as an amateur was pure torture. Throughout these diets I was dieting for 25 weeks with carbohydrates being in the range of 50- 100 grams per day.

Many people said to me it’s not a starving/fasting competition its bodybuilding a sport. When I turned professional I began to understand what I was doing and needed to do so began by asking myself: What are the benefits of this pain in the ass cardiovascular training?

The heart; it is a muscle and by doing cardiovascular training the heart develops more (train the heart like any other body part is what I believe), it is strengthened so is able to squeeze a greater volume of blood out per contraction leading to greater pump.

Recovery after exercise increases, meaning as a bodybuilder you can spend more time under tension leading to greater muscle breakdown when training, leading to more calories needed to fuel the system. Endorphins are be released causing us to feel happier and healthier (healthy bod, healthy mind), increased calorie expenditure and higher metabolic rate.

How much cardiovascular training do we need to do? I now keep CV work in all year round the minimum time spending on CV during the off season being 20 minutes. My reason to keep the CV in all year round is to keep body fat levels in check. Also to train the heart and also not to shock the body when increasing the time and amount of CV during actual contest preparation period.

In the off season I perform cardiovascular training sessions on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays (at 60% intensity) and I still do 1 x 2 hour kick boxing session per week.

During contest preparation I will do cardiovascular training Monday through to Saturday consisting of the following pieces of equipment:
Stationary bike
X- trainer
Rowing machine
Power walk on hills on the grass (great for gluteus and hamstring)

When preparing for contest I believe in starting the CV high as in 2 sessions of minimum 45 minutes each Monday through to Saturday leaving Sunday a total day of rest from any physical activity getting ready for the next weeks training onslaught. At 16 weeks out from contest I will also stop my kick boxing classes.

You may think – why start so high? Well I believe in starting high when my body fat levels are high and my energy levels are higher than what they would be at the end of the diet.

I hear you ask, “where I get my 45 minutes and number of days per week?”
For optimum health results it has been proven one should exercise aerobically for at least 3 times per week and it takes us a minimum 20 minutes to get into our fat burning stage when doing continues aerobic activity.

Recently I discussed this with Douglas Black, MD of Extreme Nutrition, as I was doing 30 minutes and stopped loosing body fat so he suggested I increased this time to 45 minutes and hey presto the body fat continued to drop. So I say the longer we can stay in that fat burning stage the better and I usually work at approximately 65 -70 % of my maximum heart rate (220 – age x 0.65 = ideal number of heart beats per minute to maximize fat burning benefits from your cardio).

Do I ever do High Intensity Interval Training HIIT? Yes, during contest preparation I do HIIT on my last session of CV after my weights session on a Monday and Friday and my reasons are that post exercise lipid utilization is greatly enhanced with HIIT. Meaning even after exercise the body will continue to burn fat.

I also believe that intense exercise also will cause the body to release more human Growth Hormone (hGH). Anabolic hormones such as hGH and testosterone are important to losing fat, building and retaining muscle mass.

HIIT will produce sharp rise in both these hormones which is vital for our purpose in building muscle when calories are restricted. HIIT can also increase fat burning at rest by increasing metabolism. So this is why I keep HIIT into my programme when getting shredded. Please note that you only need to keep these sessions to minimum, i.e. 1-2 per week maximum 25 minutes per session or you run the risk of over training.

When to do cardiovascular activity? I perform my CV activity in the off season first thing in the morning after a 1 scoop of Extreme Nutrition Whey. I have the scoop of Whey to prevent my body from going catabolic.

In the contest preparation faze I still do my first session in the morning then my last session is normally done after training. This means I actually get 2 fat burning stages morning and night.

Conclusion; Train the heart like any other muscle, by doing CV work you will be able to eat more calories during contest preparation.
1. Cardiovascular work helps muscle soreness and helps ease DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness).
2. Cardiovascular work helps overall fitness.
3. Great for overall mood elevation during contest preparation

Don’t be lazy just do it, it’s the only way to get in true contest shape and also keep your heart in as good shape as the rest of you.


Amino Acid With Promising Anti-Diabetic Effects

New experiments conducted by researchers from the University of Copenhagen show that the amino acid arginine — found in a wide variety of foods such as salmon, eggs and nuts — greatly improves the body’s ability to metabolise glucose.

Arginine stimulates a hormone linked to the treatment of type 2 diabetes, and works just as well as several established drugs on the market, the research findings have just been published in the scientific journal Endocrinology.

More than 371 million people worldwide suffer from diabetes, of whom 90% are affected by lifestyle-related diabetes mellitus type 2 (type 2 diabetes). In new experiments, researchers from the University of Copenhagen working in collaboration with a research group at the University of Cincinnati, USA, have demonstrated that the amino acid arginine improves glucose metabolism significantly in both lean (insulin-sensitive) and obese (insulin-resistant) mice. “In fact, the amino acid is just as effective as several well-established drugs for type 2 diabetics,” says post doc Christoffer Clemmensen.

He has conducted the new experiments based at Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen. He is currently conducting research at the Institute for Diabetes and Obesity at Helmholtz Zentrum München, the German Research Centre for Environmental Health in Munich.

To test the effect of the amino acid arginine, researchers subjected lean and obese animal models to a so-called glucose tolerance test, which measures the body’s ability to remove glucose from the blood over time.

“We have demonstrated that both lean and fat laboratory mice benefit considerably from supplementing the amino acid arginine. In fact, we improved glucose metabolism by as much as 40% in both groups. We can also see that the amino acid arginine increases the body’s production of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), an intestinal hormone which plays an important role in regulating appetite and glucose metabolism, and which is therefore used in numerous drugs for treating type 2 diabetes,” says Christoffer Clemmensen, and continues:

“You cannot, of course, cure diabetes by eating unlimited quantities of arginine-rich almonds and hazelnuts. However, our findings indicate that diet-based interventions with arginine-containing foods can have a positive effect on how the body processes the food we eat.”

The research findings were recently published in the American scientific journal Endocrinology under the heading Oral l-arginine Stimulates GLP-1 Secretion to Improve Glucose Tolerance in Male Mice.

    Hormone plays key role

Researchers have known for many years that the amino acid arginine is important for the body’s ability to secrete insulin. However, the latest findings show that it is an indirect process. The process is actually controlled by arginine’s ability to secrete the intestinal hormone GLP-1, which subsequently affects insulin secretion.

“Mice without GLP-1 receptors are not affected to the same extent by arginine. There is no perceptible improvement in glucose metabolism or insulin secretion, confirming our hypothesis of a close biological connection between GLP-1 and arginine,” says Christoffer Clemmensen, who conducted the biological experiments in the USA using a special animal model where the receptor for GLP-1 is genetically inactivated.

The new findings provide optimism for better and more targeted drugs for treating type 2 diabetes; the outlook is long-term, but promising.

“This exciting result has raised several new questions which we want to investigate. Can other amino acids do what arginine does? Which intestinal mechanisms ‘measure’ arginine and lead to the release of GLP-1? Finally, there is the more long-term perspective — the question of whether the findings can be transferred from mice to humans and be used to design drugs that will benefit diabetes patients,” says Professor Hans Bräuner-Osborne , who is continuing work on the project in the research group at the Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology at the University of Copenhagen.

Story Source: The above story is based on materials provided by University of Copenhagen.
Note: Materials may be edited for content and length. For further information, please contact the source cited above.

Journal Reference:
1. C. Clemmensen, S. Smajilovic, E. P. Smith, S. C. Woods, H. Brauner-Osborne, R. J. Seeley, D. A. D’Alessio, K. K. Ryan. Oral L-arginine Stimulates GLP-1 Secretion to Improve Glucose Tolerance in Male Mice. Endocrinology, 2013; DOI: 10.1210/en.2013-1529

Now the post baby work begins – Lynsey Beattie IFBB Pro

Now the post baby work begins, not only does the work begin with looking after a new born and my twin girls but I also have my hands full half the week with my step kids and I need to think about getting myself back in shape.

Some may saying I’m a genetic freak or just lucky, but I think having rock hard abs helps to drag my post baby stomach back in every time,  Kaal-El is my 4th child (and my last!) I’m done. I’ve had kids in my life since 16 but I have not let that stop me doing what I wanted to do.

Here is a picture of me 12 days before and 12 days after giving birth.

I am aware I am lucky with my genetics, I don’t gain fat easily and after 10 years of being an IFBB Professional Bodybuilder I am used to eating good all the time so I didn’t end up with the mentality that I was eating for two!

This is a problem for a lot of pregnant women, as they get bigger, become less mobile it often leads to them eating more and gaining fat which they will eventually want to lose once again after giving birth.

I never stopped exercising in one way or another until very close to the day I gave birth, I believe it is good for the baby and for me too by not allowing me to gain too much fat or get used to the sofa either.

My diet was clean all the way through my pregnancy although I did have more treats than I would have ordinarily but it was still less than the average person would have from week to week. I still had my Pro-6 each night at bedtime, just as this is the time when my body would carry out it’s maintenance I wanted to ensure there was enough protein in my system for us both, baby and me.

I think due to all of the factors above you can see the proof that by keeping active and eating well my post baby recovery was definitely faster than most women experience.

Lynsey Beattie, IFBB Pro

Baby arrives with Extreme speed

    Baby arrives with Extreme speed!

So it’s Sat morning and I’m totally fed up, I feel like a beached whale and cannot move and still no sign of any baby arrival. My pelvis has well and truly given up the ghost and the bed is so squishy I cannot get up!

Asking Aarron (my other half) to help is no point as he just looks at me in disgust, I’m meant to be a top athlete but I look like a bloody couch potato so I’ve trying to do everything to bring on labour so I can finally have this baby, but nothing is working. The midwife has give me a few secret tips to try so I will see how that goes.

So we have all the kids today and we are going out and I can hardly walk and Aarron isn’t the best with all the kids, no patience what so ever, so the Clampets head out.

4 hrs later we are back home and after trying a few techniques from the midwife, I’m getting some pains, its about 16·30 and the kids are running riot and the pains are coming quite often but not lasting long,  so they say I’m not ready to go in but I’m thinking that I’m not going to last long.

Aarron decides it may be great to start catching it all on camera, he is a bit used to catching things on camera recently!  So I’m sitting on the couch timing the contractions when I have a funny rumble in my belly and a pop which meant I’d became very incontinent or my waters broke and oh my God did they break I’ve never seen so much water!

Now Aarron is running round with the camera panicking on what to do, the first thing he thinks of is make a protein drink and get some food for himself because he may get hungry, never mind me being in pain, I’m OK I will just suffer!

The kids and they cannot stay with us so now, in between contractions I’m trying to figure out childcare for the kids and breathe and breathe! OK, so they are coming bloody quick now I’m needing to go hospital pronto!

Before we go we have to go the shop for Aarron on the way, so I ask for some chewing gum and water while he is in there, whilst he is in the shop I’ve had 3 contractions, OMG hurry up Aarron I’m goin to give birth in the car!

He strolls out with not a care in the world. FFS will you hurry the f**k up!

So we head to the hospital and we can’t park outside, so he parks in the furthest spot he can possibly find. Now I have to walk to the entrance with no help so I send Aarron to get a wheel chair and get me inside its about 7·30 now, they get me straight in and on the bed to examine me, bloody hell the contractions are not easing up, 20 mins later and this baby is on its way!

Aarron finds it funny to steal my gas and air this is where the exodus appears now while I try and get it back, through all this I’m being filmed by knob head (Aarron) as this was his new name for putting me through this.

When I look back on the videos I have veins appearing in my head that I never thought I had!

An hour and half later baby is born, the quickest birth for me ever and he shot out like superman with one arm straight up so the name was chosen, Kaal-El, was born you pronounce it Kal-El as no one knows how to say it lol.

This baby was conceived on Extreme Nutrition products and proved he was an extremist by the speed he came into the world, lets wait and see if he is a little Extremist!

Lynsey and bairn Lynsey.Supergirl.small


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