Muscle Building Foods For Women

Muscle Building Foods For Women

Even though we’re located in Denver, CO, our clients are from everywhere in the world. That’s because we provide both workout programs and menus to help bring each person’s body to perfection. We even focus on muscle building foods for women, since women have a harder time building muscle tissue. However, foods that build muscle tissue in women, also build muscle tissue in men, so they should be part of every bodybuilder’s menu.

Protein is the top priority.

Whether you’re building strength, in competition training or just want a body transformation, you need protein to build muscles. The amount of protein varies by your weight and activity. Women need approximately 0.68 to 0.91 grams for every pound they weigh. More isn’t always better. If you have more protein than your body requires it could affect the amount of carbohydrates you eat and negatively impact your efforts to build muscle. You actually can get so much protein, which either flushes out of the body or creates protein toxicity.

You need adequate carbs for workouts.

Your body burns carbohydrates quickly when you workout, so eating low glycemic carbs and some protein before a workout will help you get the most from your exercise time. Low glycemic carbohydrates include beans, nuts, pasta, brown rice, whole grains and vegetables. Low glycemic carbohydrates digest slower and give you a constant supply of energy as you workout. Try to eat at least an hour to an hour and a half before you workout to avoid getting sick. For those who do their workout in the morning, eat a lighter meal about thirty minutes before you start your program. A banana and some whole grain toast will do the trick.

Don’t forget the fat.

Sure you want to lose as much fat as possible, but that doesn’t mean you should restrict it from your diet. You need to include healthy fats, not trans fats. Healthy fats help maintain metabolism and keep your hormones functioning properly. If you don’t have adequate fat, you won’t get the muscle growth you want. Make at least 25 percent of your diet healthy fat from avocados, Greek yogurt, nuts, dark chocolate and other good sources of fat, but don’t go over 30 percent of your caloric intake from fat.

  • Avoid sugary foods and high glycemic carbs that digest quickly before you workout. You’ll run out of steam in the middle of your session, since they provide a quick high that drops rapidly to a low.
  • Don’t try to lose weight at the same time you’re attempting to grow muscles. Restricting calories when building will impede your progress.
  • A good pre-workout combo is apple slices with almond or other nut butter. It has the carbs you need plus a source of energy for building.
  • When you eat after a workout, you’re helping your body with the nutrients it needs to repair and regrow muscle tissue, plus replenishing its store of glycogen. Eating a combination of carbohydrates and protein will help you do that, plus improve recovery.

Motivation For Your Fitness Journey

Motivation For Your Fitness Journey

In order to be successful in any type of goal, motivation that drives you toward success. The same is true when it comes to getting healthy and fit. Your motivation for your fitness journey is the primary determining factor on your success. No matter what your goal, whether it’s to have more energy, lose weight, lower your blood pressure or just feel good again, your motivation is the key. It should be something that’s important to you. There’s no right or wrong motivation, as long as YOU feel it’s important.

I ask clients what their motivation is and some are reluctant to give me the true reason they want to get into shape.

It amazes me that people are often concerned that their reasons for working out aren’t good enough. I’ve had some people that said they wanted to get healthier, but in reality, they just wanted to look fabulous at their class reunion. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. The desire to look good and feel desirable is perfectly legitimate. The fact that you get healthy while doing it is just a bonus. Each motivation requires a different way to measure progress, so being honest with yourself and your trainer is important.

Success is measured differently for each type of motivation.

What constitutes good health? It could be blood pressure numbers, cholesterol numbers and even your weight. What makes you look great? Taking body measurements and weight is the easiest way to check for success. Identifying your motivation means that you also identify the perfect way to measure that success. Remember, there are no right or wrong answers for motivation. It has to be important to you.

Once you get into a routine, look for more motivating factors.

It’s often hard to stay motivated for long, especially when all the reasons you’re working out are so far down the road. That’s why finding motivating factors that you can experience immediately is important, too. Some of these motivations include how great you feel after working out or how stress seems to melt with every exercise. Each time you workout, look for benefits you’re getting right then. It can be as simple as feeling stronger each time or accomplishing one more set or using heavier weights. Those motivations can help you keep going until you start seeing the changes that motivated you in the first place.

  • Studies show that people who focused on immediate motivators, such as feeling good after working out, plus had important motivators that got them started, such as weight loss, were more successful.
  • Newton’s first law of motion—the law of inertia—says a body in motion tends to remain in motion. Remember that throughout the day and take all opportunity to move more frequently. It makes going to the gym easier.
  • If you’ve had a stressful day or are experiencing stress at the moment, do something physical and see how much better you feel. Feeling the stress melt helps build the motivation to stick with a workout program.
  • If you’re having difficulty finding motivation, get a workout buddy. Knowing someone is waiting for you is motivation to workout. It’s one reason people are more successful when working with a personal trainer.

Thinking Nutrition

Thinking Nutrition

I see a lot of gyms in Denver, CO focus just on working out to get a sculpted body that’s muscular and lean, but you need more than just a great workout, although that’s a huge part of it. When it comes to the perfect body, thinking nutrition and exercise is the perfect blend for a title winning body that everyone will admire. Great bodies are often created in the kitchen, rather than just in the gym. What you eat makes a huge difference.

You can’t out exercise a bad diet.

No matter how many hours you put in at the gym, if you eat junk that’s loaded with calories, you’ll end up fat! While a Big Mac Extra Value Meal isn’t the junkiest of junk foods, it’s still loaded with calories and low in nutrients, qualifying it to be close to the top, you have to put in a lot of time at the gym or spend loads of time running to burn off all the calories it contains. When you calculate the medium fries, Big Mac and medium soft drink, you consume 1169 calories in just one meal. If you think your run will burn off those calories, then plan over a two hour run, because it takes two hours and thirteen minutes to burn all the calories you consumed in probably fifteen minutes or less. It’s just not worth it.

There are other consequences that come from eating junk food besides gaining weight.

If you’re getting more than 20 percent of your calories from junk food, you’ll not only suffer from weight gain, you’ll be inviting other negative changes to your body. One study showed that after five days of eating junk reduced the muscle’s ability to use glucose for energy. That’s the start of glucose resistance and type 2 diabetes. Junk food not only is short on nutrients, it’s short on fiber, which affects your digestion. Just one meal can spike your blood sugar and even cause higher blood pressure.

Dirty bulking won’t give you the chiseled physique you want.

You need to eat clean when you’re building the perfect body. Clean eating means keeping protein, carb and fat ratios healthy, which is a ratio of approximately 2 to 3 to 1. That helps you boost muscle growth without gaining fat. You need bicep-building protein, not waist-expanding carbs and calories to get the look that turns heads toward you, not away in disgust.

  • Eating healthy and thinking about nutrition as part of your preparation provides you with the nutrients you need to build muscle tissue. The food contains the proteins that break down to amino acids, which repair the micro tears in your muscles and makes them bigger.
  • While you need protein, eating too much won’t build muscles faster. In fact, those extra calories, whether protein or not, will simply increase your weight…and not necessarily with more muscle mass.
  • If you eat junk food and don’t get all the micro-nutrients your body needs, such as zinc or iron, you’ll stunt muscle growth, whether you have adequate protein or not.
  • Eating everything and anything just for the calories can also change your focus. Studies show junk food affect the thinking process, particularly the area that boosts will power. You’ll be more likely to skip or quit working out, which increases fat and decreases muscle-building.

Potential Side Effects Of Supplements

Potential Side Effects Of Supplements

We’re in a take a pill, get healthy mindset in our society, even in the bodybuilding community. I see people who want to take short cuts without putting in the time and effort to get the best possible look and fitness level. I’m here to say there are no short cuts and there are side effects of supplements that may promise quick success. While you can improve your results by working smart and eating healthy, supplements alone won’t do the job. That doesn’t mean all supplements are bad. It does mean that depending on them alone has consequences that aren’t good.

Protein powder is a popular supplement that’s often abused.

One of most popular supplements is protein powder. It’s often used in shakes to help improve cellular function and contains all 20 amino acids. Increasing protein in your diet can help you burn fat, feel fuller longer and lose weight. Protein powder can be abused and can lead to bloating, cramps, fatigue and headache. Taking too much can put a strain on your kidneys, as well. While protein shakes aren’t bad for you, you need to make sure you get enough protein, but not too much. Make sure you track all your protein intake if you’re supplementing with protein shakes.

If you don’t take creatine, you probably know someone who does.

Creatine is a very popular substance used by many bodybuilders because it’s supposed to build lean muscle mass and improve athletic performance. If you’re doing high-intensity workouts for short periods, there is research that it does help improve performance and potentially may increase the resting testosterone levels, which leads to bigger muscles. One huge drawback is it causes water weight gain, abdominal pain, diarrhea and muscle cramping. Choose healthy foods loaded with creatine, such as wild game, fresh fish and red meat instead.

Prohormones are often used but don’t show any benefit.

You may have heard of the prohormones for testosterone, androstenediol, androstenedione and DHEA—dehydroepiandrosterone. The prohormones occur in the body before the actual hormones and allegedly convert to those hormones, which would provide the same bodybuilding effects as anabolic steroids, if they worked, but there’s no evidence that they do. While some prohormones are illegal, just like steroids, others aren’t and to some, it’s a window for a short-cut technique to fitness. Each of these prohormones has a side effect that ranges from liver damage, male enlarged breast tissue and hair loss to acne.

  • Taking glucosamine may be one of the few things bodybuilders and seniors have in common (except maybe taking protein powder). Glucosamine is for the joints and helps build cartilage. Some research shows it may help osteoarthritis, but it also causes heartburn, diarrhea, nausea and constipation.
  • Glutamine is produced naturally in the body and is important for a healthy immune system, digestion, removing excess waste and brain functioning. Bodybuilders often take it to improve recovery and boost muscle growth, but the side effects can range from mania, seizures and increasing damage from cirrhosis.
  • There are a number of exercises that boosts the body’s production of nitric oxide, so I question why so many bodybuilders take pre-workout supplements that have L-arginine, which converts to it. It can inflame the airway, make asthma worse, produce blood abnormalities and low blood pressure.
  • Caffeine supplements can cause irritated stomach, nervousness, vomiting, increased respiration and heart rate, plus more side effects. While a little caffeine can improve performance, it only takes one cup of coffee to do that, why take a supplement?

Build Muscle And Lose Fat - FAST

Build Muscle And Lose Fat – FAST

When you find yourself discouraged in your efforts to build muscle and lose fat, the problem may come from a lot of areas, but the first two to look at are your diet and exercise program. Your diet may not be right for you or your exercise program may need to be refined. That fit, muscular chiseled looks requires both building muscle tissue and removing the fat that hides it. Getting the right combination of healthy eating and a workout that focuses on problem areas will give you the fastest results.

Take a look at your workout program.

If your workout consists mainly of cardio, you’ve identified the problem immediately. While cardio will help you shed calories, those calories you burn come from both lean muscle tissue and fat. That means you’ll actually be losing muscle tissue every time you workout. Not only does that sabotage your program to build muscle, it actually slows the progress for burning fat, since muscle tissue requires more calories to maintain than fat tissue does. Using complex strength building exercises that work several muscles and joints combined into an interval training program will keep and build muscle tissue while burning tons of fat.

You can get too much of a good thing.

So you’ve increased your strength training to every day and lengthened the time doing the workout, but you’re not seeing the results you want and even feel like you’re sliding backward! You may be over-training or simply eating a diet that’s far too low in calories to accommodate the increased workouts. It can mean there’s no available glycogen that you need for rebuilding muscles. You need to keep lifting to three times a week to maintain the muscles you have, while shedding the extra fat, Once you’ve lost the weight, it’s time to work on building muscles. Over-training can slow progress.

The kitchen is where the true magic takes place.

Honestly, I’ve had clients who are in the middle of a serious discussion about how tough it is to lose weight, as they whip out a bag of chips and crunch them between their woebegone sentences about all the effort they put forth. They don’t realize how much diet affects their progress. Clean eating is a top priority when you want to shed fat and build muscle. You need approximately 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Don’t eliminate healthy fat, either. Healthy fat should be about 20 percent of your calorie intake and come from nuts and other healthy sources, like avocados. The balance should be complex carbs.

  • You need to maintain hydration throughout your day, but especially when you workout. Drinking water helps prevent hunger, boosts your energy and aids in flushing out toxins.
  • Eat your carbs earlier in the day, so you have time to burn them off and they don’t go toward stored energy—fat. Three hours before you workout, eating carbs can be good, especially if you’re doing strength training.
  • Your first priority is always to maintaining muscle mass while you lose fat. If you have extra layers of fat, no matter how much you workout, nobody will see it.
  • One often overlooked training area is getting adequate sleep, especially when losing weight and building muscle tissue is important. The body uses sleep time to repair muscles—which is when they grow—and inadequate sleep can affect the balance of the hunger/satiety hormones, making weight loss tougher.

Small Changes To Your Diet To Boost Your Health.

Small Changes To Your Diet To Boost Your Health.

Sometimes good health comes in baby steps. You might increase your activity bit by bit and make small changes in your diet. Ultimately, you’ll boost your health and improve your energy level and even your appearance. What’s the first small change you can make that’s sure to give you a huge benefit? It’s simple. If you drink soft drinks, fruit drinks or other sugary drinks, switch to water! That seems like a small change, but it reaps huge benefits.

Cutting out cola saves calories and provides other benefits.

When you give up colas, not only will you cut out sugar, you’ll cut out salt. You’ll be more hydrated and look better, too. Cola drinks contain caffeine, which is a diuretic. It also contains salt and that flavor is covered by all the sugar. If you’ve ever had a cola on a hot day and needed another to quench your thirst, you’ve discovered the dirty little secret. It makes you thirstier, so you’ll drink more. Even diet soft drinks are unhealthy. Studies show it can cause visceral fat. Visceral fat is the most dangerous type of fat. It’s belly fat.

Cutting back on sugar and replacing it with fruit and natural sweetness.

There’s no doubt about it, this small change is huge and TOUGH! Sugar is addictive. In fact, it stimulates the same areas of the brain as opioids. It’s no wonder people crave it. Try cutting out foods with added sugar. You can begin by replacing sugary snacks with fresh fruit. You’ll be amazed at how your taste buds start to change after a short time and recognize the sweetness of natural sugar. Your blood sugar levels will normalize and you’ll be less prone to the mid morning or mid afternoon droop. It’s hard to do, because sugar is in everything, so you’ll have to read labels.

Add more vegetables to your meals.

Just adding one more type of vegetable to every meal can make a difference. The more vegetables you eat, the more nutrients you’ll have. Eating more vegetables also fills you up without adding significantly to your caloric intake. It’s fun to experiment with new vegetables that aren’t common to everyone’s plate. Adding avocado might be as easy as making guacamole. Drinking pomegranate juice, not the kind with added sugar, can also boost your intake of fruits and vegetables.

  • If you’re not ready for giving up all sugar or label reading, just give up the obvious sugary treats, like candy, pastries and sugary desserts. It’s a good start.
  • Try going without processed food for a week and eat all whole foods. It takes some planning, particularly if you snack often, but it’s well worth the effort.
  • If you want a super healthy salad, fill it with leaf lettuce and spinach, rather than iceberg lettuce that doesn’t have all the health benefits.
  • Switch your snacks to fresh vegetables, soy snacks or even edamame. Even making one small switch, such as cutting out that soft drink and choosing water instead, can make a huge difference in your health.

You Need More Than Cardio For Good Health

You Need More Than Cardio For Good Health

Cardio workouts are important, so if you love running, don’t stop! You should enjoy the type of exercise you do. However, you need more than cardio for good health. You should add to that workout with strength training twice a week and flexibility training. Cardio or endurance training is great for improving your cardiovascular system, but it’s not the best for losing weight or preventing injury.

Why isn’t cardio good for losing weight?

The more muscle tissue you have, the easier it is to lose weight. That’s because muscle tissue burns more calories for maintenance than fat tissue does, so it boosts your metabolism, increasing the rate of calories used twenty four hours a day. Cardio workouts, particularly running, burns a lot of calories, but it doesn’t discriminate what it burns to get them. It burns both fat and lean muscle tissue to get the calories. That means less muscle tissue and a slower metabolism. To shed weight, strength building exercises are perfect, since they burn calories and build muscle tissue.

Cardio doesn’t create flexibility.

Lack of flexibility or range of motion can cause injuries. It can make a simple movement, like bending over to pick up something light, a situation that can put you out of commission for days. When you work out and include flexibility training in your program, you’ll not only look more graceful and be more graceful, you’ll have fewer injuries, too.

Some exercises combine all three types of workouts.

HIIT—high intensity interval training—and circuit training both can include all three types of workouts, plus balance training. When you’re rapidly moving from one exercise to another or varying your speed of an exercise, you’ll get a cardio workout. If that exercise is lifting weights, you’ll build muscles at the same time with strength training. It also can include range of motion exercises to increase your flexibility.

  • Staying active and doing activities you enjoy are the best way to boost your workout. If you hate running, do something else. If weight lifting isn’t for you, try body weight exercises. Enjoying what you do is just as important as doing it.
  • Varying your workout, no matter what type of training you do, helps work all muscle groups. It also helps prevent plateauing if you’re trying to lose weight.
  • Building strong muscles leads to bone strength. Weight bearing exercise helps do that. Walking is a weight bearing exercise, but bicycling isn’t.
  • No matter what type of workout you do and no matter how good it is, you still won’t get the best results unless you’re eating healthy. The combination of eating healthy and exercise provides enormous health benefits that can keep you healthy, active and at the perfect weight for a lifetime.

 Your Five Systems That Keep You Healthy

 Your Five Systems That Keep You Healthy

When people in Denver, Colorado come to us for help to make lifestyle changes, they often want to lose weight or just boost their energy. What they ultimately end up doing is making themselves more fit and healthy. That’s right, changing your lifestyle has a huge impact on your health. It improves the five systems that keep you healthy. These are the microbiome, angiogenesis, stem cells, immune system and DNA protection.

The microbiome is a more scientific term for healthy microbes in the gut.

Your body is filled with microbes, while most are in the gut, there are microbes on the skin, in the mouth and other parts of the body. There are beneficial bacteria that help us digest food and provide nutrients and those that harm the body. The microbiome can affect your overall health and either keep you fit or create diseases, including mental conditions. Eating healthy means feeding beneficial bacteria with fiber so they can proliferate and create more nutrients for the body. An unhealthy diet boosts the bad bacteria and microbes. Exercise also helps increase beneficial bacteria.

Angiogenesis is the creation of blood vessels.

The body has a perfect balance for creating blood vessels. When it needs more to help repair injury, it sets the system in motion to grow more or split those already in existence. It keeps your heart healthy. However, you can get too much of a good thing. For instance, the body always has cancer cells, but they die off unless those cells have a blood source feeding them. When angiogenesis isn’t working right, new blood vessels develop to feed the cancer cells. If there’s too little angiogenesis, it can cause heart disease. Regulating angiogenesis can come from eating combinations healthy foods and also improving other areas of lifestyle like exercising regularly and getting adequate sleep.

Stem cell therapy doesn’t necessarily mean fetal stem cells.

Even adult bodies have stem cells, so boosting those are what some scientists focus on doing. Exercise boosts stem cells, just as eating healthy does. There’s a whole new area of science using the body’s own stem cells to help repair joints and other damage to the muscles. Healthy living can help avoid damage or improve the potential for recovery.

  • DNA protection comes from the telomeres that protect the chromosomes. Every time a cell replicates, some of the chromosome is lost. In normal replication, it’s the telomeres, so the longer they are, the better. Exercise helps lengthen the telomeres.
  • When your immune system is working properly, you’re protected from a wide variety of conditions and diseases. Exercise and healthy eating boosts the immune system and increases the creation of antioxidants in the body.
  • There is no one “magic bullet,” key nutrient or super food. Each food contains a wide variety of nutrients that boost the body’s health and work in synergy to keep it functioning properly.
  • Supplying the proper nutrition to the body and improving the delivery of the nutrients with improved circulation can be accomplished with a healthy diet and regular exercise.

Workout Hard But Also Smart

Workout Hard But Also Smart

You can’t just go through the movements and expect to get the body you want. You have to put your heart and effort into it. However, effort isn’t enough. You do need to workout hard but also smart in order to maximize your gain. Whether you’re training for competition or just want to get a sculpted body, you need to approach it with knowledge. It takes more than constant work. In fact, constant work can actually diminish your gains if you don’t give your muscles time to repair.

You’ll build a weak foundation when you don’t workout smart.

You need a strong base. The sculpting and final finish muscle work will be for naught if you don’t have a solid foundation. Building muscle more slowly, but doing it right can help prevent future injury while also giving you a better final result. To maximize the results, besides working out, your body requires good nutrition and sleep. Make sure you eat healthy after training and get adequate sleep at night to maximize the benefits.

Combine cardio with strength training.

The more you can combine various types of workouts, the more you’ll get from a workout. Use HIIT—high intensity interval training for your strength training and weight lifting. HIIT is a form of interval training, which is also good. HIIT training involves going at top speed for a short period, followed with a recovery period and then back to full throttle. It gives you a cardio workout, plus strength training. You can even include flexibility training in the mix. It burns more fat than muscle and boosts the amount of human growth hormone, which helps build strength and muscle growth.

Focus on compound exercises.

When you do compound exercises, you’re working several muscle groups and joints at once. Compound exercises are excellent for developing that foundation of muscle tissue mentioned earlier. You work more muscles in less time when you do them. However, you still need isolation exercises that target a specific muscle group. They’re perfect for the final finish to create a perfect sculpted look and enhance specific muscle groups.

  • Compound exercises include deadlifts, pullups and leg presses while isolation exercises include dumbbell incline bench flyes and standing barbell curls and are just a small a sampling of each.
  • To build muscles, you either need to lift heavier or continue to increase the number of reps you do. Both high reps and lighter weights and higher weights with lower reps built equally well.
  • No matter which system you use, high reps w/lighter weights or heavier weights and lower reps, you have to lift to failure to build muscles.
  • When you eat makes a difference. Eat carbohydrate calories earlier in the morning. The body tends to store calories eaten later in the day in the form of fat. Spread your meals throughout the day.

Training Programs To Gain Weight

Training Programs To Gain Weight

There are a lot of Denver personal trainers who specialize in weight loss. I specialize in transformations, which means I even have training programs to gain weight. Too often people neglect those who have problems gaining weight, even though it’s just as big of a drawback being the skinny guy or gal as it is being one overweight. In fact, I’ve had clients come to me for transformations because they’re tired of the skinny shaming. Some are even accused of eating disorders, even though they eat as much, if not more than others.

It starts in the kitchen.

Proper nutrition is important for everyone, whether you want to gain weight, lose weight or just be healthier. It can help you shed fat, while building muscle at the same time. When you want to gain weight, you want muscle mass, not just extra pounds. You want quality protein to help build that muscle mass. Food like eggs, salmon, chicken breast and shrimp contain quality protein. Eggs and salmon also provide healthy fat, which is necessary. Try to consume approximately one gram of protein for every pound of body weight. The good news for lean guys and gals is that when you gain weight, most of it is in the form of muscle, rather than fat. It’s all about keeping your diet healthy while you’re packing on the muscle.

Make sure you workout smart.

Some people go gung-ho. They workout day and night without resting in between in hopes of building muscle mass. In reality, they’re really impeding their muscle growth. Using strength training as an example, you’re creating micro-tears in the muscles that mend to make the muscle stronger and bigger, to prevent future injury. The heavier weights you lift, the more it increases your strength and builds muscle tissue. However, overtraining, working on strength building too often and too long, can result in a loss of muscle mass. A program created specifically for your needs can be created by a personal trainer that will help you gain muscle mass faster, while it reduces the potential for injury.

Training to gain means getting adequate sleep to let the “magic” happen.

When you sleep, the body goes into repair and recovery mode. You know that pressing weights and doing strength building causes tears in the muscle that need repairing to build. Not only is the right frequency and intensity of the workout important, so is adequate sleep so your muscles have a chance to heal while your body rests. It’s when the recovery phase takes place and the real muscle building begins.

  • You don’t have to add a ton of calories to your diet to gain weight, but you do have to add some. It’s all about what you eat and the workout you do that makes the difference. It might mean adding a bowl of oatmeal with raisins or a couple of lean burgers.
  • If you’ve never had to count calories before, since you’ve always been thin, you might have to start now. Counting calories to gain weight is just as important as counting them to lose weight.
  • Don’t expect the transformation to be fast. Slow and steady means you’ll be building more muscle mass. Gaining too quickly could mean gaining more fat than muscle, which isn’t the ultimate goal.
  • You need all types of exercise, but too much cardio can be counterproductive. Cardio burns calories from both muscle tissue and fat tissue, while strength building burns fat calories. You want to make sure you maintain muscle mass to gain weight.