When it comes to packing on size and strength, the unfortunate reality is that there is no one-size-fits-all training regimen or meal plan that is going to be ideal for everybody.
However, the good news is that experts and fitness junkies alike have been experimenting for decades with all different kinds of diets and training programs and it turns out, there are a lot of different methods that can be effective.
While there are indeed various approaches to building size and strength, there are some underlying fundamentals that youll need to have in place in order to be successful, no matter which angle you chose to take.
Advice from top practitioners
In order to get you pointed in the right direction on your muscle building journey, where ever it may lead you, weve sought out advice from some of the top practitioners in the field of strength and conditioning. Heres what they had to say.
Quite often I am asked what is the best piece of fitness advice you could give me? Does it have to do with sets, reps, exercise selection, morning or afternoon training, fasting, macro counting, and on and on and on. When after all the years of experience and learning, I have come to one conclusion: consistency. By definition, consistency means: acting or doing something in the same way over time, especially so as to be fair or accurate to a particular outcome.
Knowing that we have the power to make the ultimate changes to our bodies by simply making a decision is very commanding. It should inspire us to learn more and educate ourselves on what that simple change in our lives can be.
Then as that change becomes routine, we can slowly integrate another consistent change. Soon we will have transformed our habits to resemble something that before we thought to be ideal and something difficult to achieve.
Its all about small steps and consistency. Lay the most perfect brick every single day and understand that by the end of the year you will have a beautiful wall.
Packing on Lean Muscle Mass: Ideal timing & drink mixtures for athletes
The latest research clearly shows that what you eat and when you eat, makes a tremendous difference in the speed and quality of the results you get from your workouts as an athlete.
Research shows that one to two hours before your workout, you should eat a light meal, drink a meal replacement drink or eat a large protein bar. Immediately before workouts you should drink a pre-workout drink. Whey protein is the preferred choice since it digests fast. Along with protein, consume at least 30-40g high glycemic carbohydrates such as glucose, maltodextrin or glucose polymers. This helps spare glycogen for improved performance and results.
When you exercise your body produces a stress hormone called cortisol. Cortisol is actually your muscles enemy since it tears muscle down and converts it into fuel. The opposite is true for insulin, which helps rebuild muscle and suppresses the release of cortisol. Drinking a carb-filled drink therefore stimulates insulin and blunts cortisol. The result? More muscle gains!
Misunderstanding how hormones work
Misunderstanding how these hormones work is why so many people hit plateaus in the gym despite their heavy workouts.
If your workout is less than one hour, just drink water. However, if training extends past an hour, during your workout you should consume the same high-glycemic, carb/protein pre-workout drink previously mentioned to help maintain glycogen (stored energy) levels for a longer workout.
After a workout, it is a critical time for proper recovery. You need to rush nutrients into your body preferably within 30 minutes of your workout. By taking a carb/protein drink immediately after your workout, you will double your amino acid uptake and increase subsequent protein synthesis by a whopping 25% when compared to waiting a few hours!
The post-workout formula should contain at least 15g of whey protein (which is fast-digesting) and about 45g of high glycemic carbohydrates. This is about a 3 to 1 ratio of carb to protein in a liquid form for fast absorption.
After about two hours your body is primed to stimulate further muscle protein synthesis and recovery. This is the time to eat a regular meal. Eat about 20-40g of protein along with low-glycemic carbs. Lean meats and steamed vegetables are a good choice. Stay away from refined carbs like breads, pastas, rice, and cereal to minimize insulin stimulation unless you are trying to gain weight.
Enter the Weight Room with a Purpose
The importance of having a plan before entering the weight room is vital to any individual looking to make progress, whether your goal is to increase strength and size or learn to move like a supple leopard. It doesnt need to be perfect to start, nor does it even need to be something you created, but having a game plan before you enter weight room or fitness center will go leaps and bounds towards seeing the gains you want and keeping you motivated in the process.
The body needs different stressors to adapt and see change. Beginners can get away with repeating the basics and still produce great results, but as you get more experienced variety becomes crucial when trying to avoid reaching a plateau and even boredom.
(Michael has a Masters of Science in Sociology and is a former sociological researcher and course instructor at Florida State University. During his tenure at FSU, Michael specialized in the sociology of sports where amongst other things, he worked on research examining football participation and injury amid youth players.)
Festive Freeze promotion
7 Tips for Healthy Kidneys Now
Do you suffer from chronic kidney disease (CKD)?Does your family have a history of kidney and renal issues such as kidnay failures? If so, then you will need to watch out and take good care of your kidneys before they fail. In this article, we are going to share some quick tips on how to keep your kidneys healthy.
Tip 1: Keep Fit and Stay Active
Keeping fit helps to reduce your blood pressure and therefore reduces the risk of Chronic Kidney Disease.
The concept “on the move for kidney health” is a worldwide collective march involving the public, celebrities and professionals moving across a public area by walking, running and cycling. By exercising on a regular basis, you can drastically lower the risk of kidney issues.
Tip 2: Take Regular Control of your Bloood Sugar Level
More than half of the people who have diabetes end up developing kidney damage. This is why it is important to people with diabetes to regularly test on their kidney functions. If you are able to detect kidney damage early, you can prevent it. In short, keep the blood sugar levels low.
Tip 3: Regularly Monitor Your Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is actually the most common cause of kidney damage. High blood pressure can also lead to a stroke or a heart attack. While the normal blood pressure level is 120/80, at 140/90 and above, you need to see a doctor and discuss the risks with your doctor.
At Wellaholic , we have Blood Pressure Support, which is a FDA-certified supplement which helps to support healthy blood pressure levels.
Tip 4: Eat Healthy and Keep Your Weight in Check
First of all, reduce your salt intake. Ideally keep it at about 5 to 6g a day, which is equivalent to a teaspoon of salt. Where possible, try to limit the amount of processed food. Try to avoid eating outside as many food outlets and restaurants add more salt to improve the taste. It will be easier to manage your intake of salt if you prepare your own food with fresh ingredients.
Tip 5: Drink lots of Water
The recommended amount of water to drink in a day is about 1.5 to 2.0 litres. By drinking more water, you will help your kidneys flush out sodium from your body's system. This will in turn help to lower the risk of developing chronic kidney disease.
It’s important to keep in mind that the right level of fluid intake for any individual depends on many factors including gender, exercise, climate, health conditions, pregnancy and breast feeding. In addition, people who have already had a kidney stone are advised to drink 2 to 3 litres of water daily to lessen the risk of forming a new stone.
Tip 6: Check Your Kidney Function if You Fall into the High Risk category
How do you know if you fall into the high-risk category?
Tip 7: Consider Wellaholic's Kidney Support Supplement
Kidney Support is a kidney cleanse and support supplement that assists kidney system function. Kidney Support also supports the kidney's normal filtration functions, promote proper urinary fluid excretion and also maintain a healthy urinary tract. Made in USA and under a certified facility.
Study on the Effect of Fat Freeze Cryolipolysis on Abdominal Obesity of Women
As part of Wellaholic's Educational Series, we are reviewing the research report on the effectiveness of fat freezing on women. This is based on the case study published in 2017 by Meyer PF and team on US National Library of Medicine, National Institute of Health.
Summarised from the abstract by Meyer PF and team on Sep 2017 published on US National Library of Medicine, National Institute of Health. (Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29734405)
The study aims to verify the effectiveness of cryolipolysis in the reduction of localized adiposity (obesity) in women. Adiposity: a condition of being severely overweight, or obese. There also is a measurement of body fat used by some researchers known as the body adiposity index (BAI). Unlike the BMI, weight is not taken to account in the BAI, which is based on a person's height and hip circumference.
A group of 15 women, aged between 25 to 50 years were involved in the study.
The fat freeze cryolipolysis was used in the following parameters
--> Temperature -7 degrees
--> Suction power 30 kPa
--> Application time 60 minutes
After the fat freeze cryolipolysis was performed, a follow-up of 2 months was conducted with all the women. This is to verify the changes related to weight, body circumference, fat layer thickness, which were evaluated by ultrasonography and photogrammetry. The aim was to obtain an accurate reading of the before and after measurements in order to validate the effectivenss of fat freeze for the test subjects.
From data analysis, the reductions observed on perimeter (p=0.03) and ultrasonography (p=0.03) showed significant results, considering p <0.05. As of body weight results (p=0.57), the average value varied during the study; however, at the end of the research, no significant weight increase or decrease was reported, as it is known that this method does not interfere with this variable. Additionally, quantitative data were satisfactory. The photogrammetry analysis showed that cryolipolysis positively affected subjects' results.
A change in body contouring, especially in individuals with lower body mass, reinforces the idea that the parameters must be suitable for individual needs.
This recent study reinforces the positive effects of cryolipolysis or fat freeze on women with adiposity. Significant results in the fat tissue perimeter were noted. However, adjust the appropriate parameters for the client is crucial in achieving the best effects for the customer. As Wellaholic adopts the same body contouring techniques as this study, we believe that a regular WellaFreeze fat freeze regime, between three to five times, will improve the results.
To find out more about our WellaFreeze Fat Freeze, click here.
Khloe Kardashian Shares Her Slimming Secrets
There is no denying that Khloé Kardashian went through an amazing transformation in 2015, from head to toe. Living in the public eye, Khloé often has to deal with the public perspective and backlash that comes with her change. This includes stories and rumours of plastic surgery.
"People say I’ve had my butt done or I’ve had liposuction. When I hear that I have fake body parts it frustrates me, but I also take it as a compliment. I bust my ass every day, so I get annoyed when people say I’ve had liposuction and my hard work gets discredited. Yet on the other hand, I take it as a compliment because it’s like I look that good that my butt looks fake,” she says."
No issues with plastic surgery
In fact, the self-proclaimed Botox virgin says she doesn’t have an issue with plastic surgery or fillers for that matter. “I haven’t done Botox or anything like that yet, but I have no problem doing it. If I need a filler, and when I do, because one day I will, I’m going to get it. But until then, I’ll do whatever I can to prevent wrinkles and aging.”
To preserve her looks, Khloé’s anti-aging routine weighs heavy in the facial oil department. “I’m like a creature of habit; I like what I like. I know that oils seem really heavy for your face, but they’re not. I noticed such a change in my skin and its elasticity, especially on my forehead.”
Khloe swears by fat freeze
One beauty treatment she perks up about is lasers. “I love lasers and I do a ton of them on my face; I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. I do them more for discoloration, but they do tighten, too. I’ve also done CoolSculpting fat freeze and body sculpting treatments for the stretch marks on my butt. I’m a huge fan of lasers and I love them.”
7 Essential Ways to Keep Your Livers Healthy
As we approach the year end festivities, there is a tendency for us to drink more. We are often told that too much alcohol is bad for us, but do you really know why? Have you ever wondered how alcohol affects your liver when sipping your favorite cocktail or schooner of beer? Here’s a quick rundown:
Your liver is a robust organ and can usually cope with drinking a small amount of alcohol. However the liver can only handle a certain amount of alcohol at any given time, so if you drink more than the liver can deal with by drinking too quickly, or drinking too much, your liver cells struggle to process it.
When alcohol reaches the liver, it produces a toxic enzyme called acetaldehyde which can damage liver cells and cause permanent scarring, as well as harm to the brain and stomach lining.
Now, here are seven ways to look after your liver:
1. Have a Balanced Diet
It’s also important to watch what you eat. “While nearly every cell in the body is able to metabolise glucose, only the liver cells can handle fructose,” says Dr Sherwood of the Functional Medicine Institute in Tulsa, Oklahoma. “If we consume too much fructose over time, the liver can become overwhelmed and suffer irreparable damage.” Limit foods that are high in refined sugars and high-fructose corn syrup, such as soft drinks, baked goods and sweets. Stick to natural sources of sugar (fruit for example) instead.
2. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Alcohol is not the only thing that can cause fatty liver disease – obesity (or even just being overweight) puts you at risk of developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
People who have NAFLD are at an increased risk of suffering from cardiovascular problems; they also typically have diabetes and high cholesterol. During the early stages of NAFLD, the condition can be managed by losing weight, drastically reducing fat intake and exercising regularly.
3. Exercise Regularly
Regular exercising helps your body burn triglycerides for fuel, which can help reduce liver fat. Following an exercise programme that includes both aerobic exercises (walking, cycling or swimming) and weight training can improve your liver function.
Aerobic exercise helps strengthen your heart muscle, which means it can pump blood more efficiently throughout your body. When this happens, your pulse slows and blood flow improves – it’s easier for your heart to move blood to your liver, and then for your liver to send the filtered blood back into your system.
Building lean muscle mass delays severe muscle wasting, which occurs during the advanced stages of liver disease. Weight training also prevents a build-up of excess body fat, which can cause fatty liver and result in a non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases says that although NASH initially presents with only a few symptoms, it can cause your liver to become non-functional.
4. Stay Hydrated and Drink Lots of Water
Your body needs to remain hydrated. Toxins that affect your kidneys, liver and bowel function will build up when you become dehydrated.
According to Dr Neil-Sherwood, “Dehydration can have a direct effect on our liver’s ability to properly detoxify our body. So as the liver loses hydration, it also loses its organ reserve, or what it uses to take care of the rest of the body.”
Water also helps maintain the fluid content of your blood. When you become dehydrated, your blood becomes thicker – your liver is responsible for filtering blood and the thickness can impact its ability to detoxify.
5. Cut Down on Processed Foods
Manufacturers like to cram in lots of sodium, sugar, and chemicals to “improve” taste and appearance, extend shelf-life, and maximize profits.
Unfortunately, our liver gets the task of filtering through all the junk we eat and too much processed food can really take a toll on its functionality.
One particularly pesky ingredient that’s practically ubiquitous in processed foods is high fructose corn syrup. This refined sugar is made up of about 55 percent fructose and 45 percent glucose.
When we consume high fructose corn syrup, the liver uses it to create fat, which slowly accumulates in the liver cells and can lead to liver disease.
6. Cut Down or Limit on Alcohol Consumption
Consuming excessive amounts of alcohol can cause damage to your liver cells. Over time, liver damage can cause a build-up of fat in your liver, inflammation or swelling and/or scarring (cirrhosis). If you already have liver disease, even a small amount of alcohol can worsen your condition.
How much is a moderate amount of alcohol? According to a previous Health24 article, women should limit their consumption to one drink per day, while men should only have two. One drink is equal to 148ml of wine, a 355ml beer or one shot (44ml) of an 80-proof liquor.
7. Consider Liver Supplementation
Milk thistle has been used to treat liver disorders for more than 2,000 years. It’s the herbal ingredient most often used for liver complaints in the United States.
The active substance in milk thistle is silymarin, which is made up of several natural plant chemicals.
Lab studies suggest that silymarin helps regenerate liver tissue, bring down inflammation, and protect liver cells from damage by acting as an antioxidant. A 2017 analysis of studies found that silymarin slightly reduced certain liver enzymes, markers of liver damage, in people with liver disease. More research is still needed to know how well milk thistle might work.
Wellaholic's Liver Support helps boost and support liver function. Milk thistle, is a natural herb that has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and is commonly used to detoxify the body, especially the liver, as well as help liver diseases and gallbladder problems.
Suggested Use: One tablet, taken once daily preferably with meals.
Science of Elight Facials (In-depth Series)
As part of our Elight In-Depth Series, we will be discovering the science behind each part of our Elight Facial Collagen Boost Facial Treatment. This educational series aims to uncover the mechanics behind each technology treatment based on collated findings from the various dermatological reports and case studies from universities and research organisations around the world.
What is Elight Facial?
Elight is a Combination of Radio Frequency and IPL treatment
Elight includes three advanced technologies that combine to deliver effective treatments without sacrificing comfort. Elight includes both the Radio Frequency (RF) as well as Intense Pulse Light (IPL) as well as a "Cool Touch" mechanism.
Radio Frequency (RF) skin tightening is an aesthetic technique that uses radio frequency or radio wave energy to heat tissue and stimulate subdermal collagen production. This is effective in reducing fine lines, wrinkles and loose skin. The nature of RF is such that they are operating at a lower frequency than the light waves used in lasers, RF can go beyond the skin surface more safely to improve skin tone and structure. RF generates an electromagnetic field between two poles, passing through the deepest parts of the skin, resulting in cellular movement. With repeated treatments, it helps to dramatically tighten skin, resulting in a more defined jaw contour, non-sagging cheeks, etc. Because of the nature of RF, it greatly complements IPL and hence enhances the treatment effect.
Evidence-Based Effect of RF Facial Rejuvenation
A study by the Department of Dermatology by Al-Minya Univeristy, Egypt concluded that Monopolar radiofrequency (RF) is emerging as a gentler, nonablative skin-tightening treatment that is able to deliver uniform heat to the dermis at a controlled depth. For the study, Six individuals of Fitzpatrick skin type III to IV and Glogau class I to II wrinkles were subjected to 3 months of treatment (6 sessions at 2-week intervals). Standard photographs and skin biopsy specimens were obtained at baseline, and at 3 and 6 months after the start of treatment. We performed quantitative evaluation of total elastin, collagen types I and III, and newly synthesized collagen using computerized histometric and immunohistochemical techniques. Blinded photographs were independently scored for wrinkle improvement.
RF produced noticeable clinical results, with high satisfaction and corresponding facial skin improvement. Compared with the baseline, there was a statistically significant increase in the mean of collagen types I and III, and newly synthesized collagen, while the mean of total elastin was significantly decreased, at the end of treatment and 3 months post-treatment.
Intense Pulse Light (IPL)
IPL is a special type of light, similar to the laser. IPL uses a specially designed lamp to generate a source of high intensity light, which through the given filter changes its characteristics for different treatments. IPL is an intense, pulsed low-fluence (or density) light used in a non-abrasive way to rejuvenate the skin. During treatment, light pulses are directed evenly over the skin. The light passes through the epidermis and penetrates deeper into the dermis where the pulsed light energy stimulates cells called fibroblasts to produce fresh collagen. Over several treatments, this new collagen smooths and softens the appearance of wrinkles, pores and textural irregularities. It also treats sun-damaged skin with pigmentation abnormalities, spider veins and rosacea, which absorb the light and are damaged until they fade from view.
IPL in Treating Vascular Lesions
In the research study by David J Goldberg filed with the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, IPL has shown to be able to successfully treat Vascular Lesions. (see diagrams below)
One of the main advantages of IPL technology is the absence of postoperative purpura, which minimizes post procedure downtime substantially. Rather than inducing immediate purpura, the goal of treating vascular lesions with IPL is to raise the blood vessel temperature high enough to cause its coagulation, leading to its destruction and replacement by fibrous granulation tissue. Because of its polychromaticity, IPL can target oxyhemoglobin (predominantly found in clinically red lesions), deoxygenated hemoglobin (predominantly in blue lesions), and methemoglobin, with absorption peak wavelengths of 418, 542, and 577. The successful treatment of vascular lesions with IPL depends on the type and size of vessels targeted, with cherry angiomas and superficial telangiectatic veins typically demonstrating the best response. Establishments which offer IPL include Japan IPL, Musee Platinum, Lush Aesthetics, amongst others.
IPL for Treating Photoaged Skin
Among the variety of methods used to treat photoaged skin, IPL has gained significant interest because of the patient’s rapid recovery after the procedure. Dyschromia, especially of the face, is a common complaint of patients seeking photorejuvenation with laser or light technology. Localized epidermal melanocyte, melanin, or ecstatic vessel aggregates enhance the color contrast with the surrounding skin giving it an uneven, heterogeneous tone. Breaks in the homogeneous color palette of the skin are perceived by the human eye as “imperfections” and has been shown to be one of the principal defining features of “old”-appearing skin. When utilizing a light source for treatment of pigmented skin lesions, the localization of the pigment target is a key determinant for the selection of the appropriate therapeutic wavelength. Wavelengths in the range of 630 to 1100nm account for both a preferential absorption of melanin over hemoglobin as well as an effective dermal penetration depth.
The mechanism of action of IPL for treating pigmentary lesions is thought to be the result of rapid differentiation of keratinocytes induced by thermal heating. This process results in an upward transfer of melanosomes along with necrotic keratinocytes, resulting in their elimination as the microcrusts are removed from the skin surface. These effects have been demonstrated in vivo using both reflectance-mode confocal microscopy and optical coherence tomography, which allow precise visualization of melanosomes in the skin in horizontal and vertical dimensions, respectively.
IPL for Rhytids and Wrinkles
Fine superficial wrinkles in the skin are the result of a combination of intrinsic and extrinsic aging processes that affect the skin with the passage of time. Intrinsic aging results in the gradual reduction of extracellular matrix proteins, such as collagen and hyaluronic acids, in the dermis due to a chronological senescence of dermal fibroblasts. Extrinsic aging of the skin is mainly the result of long-term exposure to UV radiation from the sun, which leads to further breakdown of collagen fibers by oxygen radicals. The overall result is a decrease in dermal structural support and volume, leading to a reduction in skin torsion extensibility, thereby causing the overlying redundant epidermis to wrinkle.
The thermal stimulation of dermal fibroblasts by the higher wavelengths within the IPL spectrum has been shown to result in increased synthesis of extracellular matrix proteins, leading to at least partial replacement of the lost dermal volume. Specifically, wavelengths in the 1200nm spectrum are absorbed by water in the dermis, triggering a cytokine reaction, which, in turn, stimulates the formation of new collagen I, III, and elastin. Histological evaluation of the effects of five subsequent IPL treatments with 570 to 645nm wavelengths showed epidermal thickening of 100 to 300µm, a decrease in horny plugs, new rete ridge formation, a decrease in proportion of degenerated elastic fibers, and new dermal collagen formation.
The most commonly targeted wrinkles are those in the perioral and periorbital regions, with finer, more superficial lines typically responding better than deeper furrows. Results are often subtle and require multiple treatment sessions. Recent studies suggest that combining localized or full-face IPL treatments with concomitant botulinum toxin injections for dynamic rhytids produce better results than IPL treatment alone.
As the first step in the Elight Facial Collagen Boost procedure, Elight has multiple benefits which can scientifically help improve the skin layer and texture, and diminish fine lines. Nevertheless, a consistent, regular treatment is essential to reap the benefits of Elight. In our next segment of this In-Depth Series, we will find out more about what our AfterGlow Red Light treatment is all about, and its benefits to your skin.