Building Big Arms

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Most men seem to fall into one of two camps when it comes to arm workouts:

Guys who do chin-ups (complex exercises that work multiple muscles), and guys who do curls (isolation exercises targeting a single group).

Complex movements are functional and great for people beginner and intermediate lifters, but may not deliver the pure muscle size you want. On the other hand, isolation exercises are great for hypertrophy but not function, meaning they’ll pack on some muscle, but won’t necessarily help your total body strength. Combine the two, and you get the best of both worlds.

Look at your isolation exercises and complex movements as lobster and steak: Each is good on their own, but together they’re unstoppable. Workouts that have curls and chin-ups, or bench presses and tricep pushdowns, are more likely to deliver both the size and strength you’re looking for.

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Determining a Calorie Deficit for Weight Loss

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A pound of fat equals 3,500 calories, which means, to lose 1 to 2 pounds per week, you need to burn off 500 to 1,000 calories more per day than you consume — or between 3,500 and 7,000 calories per week. Losing weight fast isn’t recommended by most major health organizations — it’s usually unsustainable and can lead to nutrient deficiencies, muscle loss and a stalled metabolism.

Use an online calculator to determine your daily calorie needs, given your current age, size, gender and activity level. Add exercise without increasing your calorie intake. If you eat more calories in response to exercise, it won’t result in weight loss. For example, a 155-pound person burns 2,000 calories per day and eats 2,000 calories will maintain her weight. But, if she exercises and burns an extra 500 calories per day — perhaps by jogging at 5 mph for 45 minutes — but continues to consume 2,000 calories, she can lose a pound per week.

Exercise helps burn calories and also maintains lean muscle mass while you’re losing weight. If you reduce calories without exercise, one-quarter of every pound you lose comes from lean muscle mass. Muscle also requires more calories for your body to sustain, so it boosts your metabolism. A more muscular body also looks taut and fit.

Measure the benefits exercise provides to weight loss in more than just calories burned, too. Cardiovascular exercise, which involves raising the heart rate for an extended period of time, such as cycling or running, burns a lot of calories per minute as compared to strength training. But, strength training is better at developing muscle mass when compared to cardio.

You may burn just about 100 calories per half-hour session of strength training but reap numerous, additional benefits. Ten weeks of resistance training can increase your lean muscle mass by 3 pounds, decrease your fat weight by 4 pounds and increase your metabolic rate by 7 percent, reports research published in a 2012 issue of Current Sports Medicine Reports. A balanced approach to exercise that includes both forms is best for your health and weight loss.

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Building Muscle on a Calorie Deficit

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Because the human body is designed to sacrifice muscle when losing weight as a survival mechanism, only a certain body type will permit the simultaneous growth of muscle and loss of overall mass. If you’re significantly overweight, your body may be able to support increased muscle mass even on a caloric deficit, provided it has less fat to maintain. If you’re relatively lean and/or muscular, however, it is much more difficult for your body to increase muscle mass while experiencing a caloric deficit.

While a caloric deficit implies that you’re eating less food overall, it is possible to increase your protein intake during a caloric deficit by adjusting your diet to include more protein-rich foods. To succeed in building muscle and losing weight simultaneously, consume 1.6 g of protein per kilogram of bodyweight daily. To meet this goal, you’ll likely have to rely heavily on protein sources, such as meat, fish, beans, eggs and tofu. You may also consider a powdered protein supplement.

To build muscle while losing weight, you’ll have to train with a high degree of intensity. Since the body’s natural inclination is to sacrifice muscle when losing weight, training is the only way to provide a stimulus that lets your body know that muscle is needed. To maximize this stimulus, focus of heavy, compound exercises, such as the bench press, shoulder press, bent-over row, squat and deadlift. For each exercise, perform three to four sets of eight to 12 repetitions for maximum muscular hypertrophy potential.

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Carbs go First and Fats Second

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Primarily Carbohydrates

The first fuel that your body breaks down for energy is carbohydrates. After a meal, your body is in the “fed” state and preferentially breaks down carbohydrates since they are easily accessible and turned into energy. After your body has used up the carbohydrates from a meal or snack, your cells begin to break down glucose stored in your muscles and liver known as glycogen. Glycogen stores vary in each person, but are typically depleted within 24 hours, meaning your body has to begin breaking down other compounds for energy.

Fat Preferentially Metabolized

When glucose and glycogen are not available, your body preferentially breaks down fatty compounds known as triacylglycerols which are present in adipose or fat tissue. Because fat is a high-energy source with nine calories per gram, fat provides an efficient fuel source. Additionally, your body metabolically prefers to preserve lean body mass and, when possible, breaks down fat stores for fuel as much as possible. Only when your fat stores are extremely low or depleted does your body have to then break down protein.

Muscle Breakdown

When glucose and fat stores are depleted, your body will then turn to muscle to break down into individual amino acids for energy. Unlike carbohydrates and fat, your body does not store amino acids, which is why muscle breakdown is the only way to release amino acids for fuel. In typical conditions where you are eating on a regular basis, your body will not use muscle for energy. Typically, protein is used for fuel only in a starvation state. Because you need muscle tissue to survive and move, the natural tendency of metabolism is to spare muscle tissue and break down carbohydrates and fat first.

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Sports Performance Coach

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Offering one on one coaching for athletes and everyday people who want a challenge and the truth into achieving realistic long term results. I have a cabinet filled with trophies and medals from various sports. So I know exactly what it takes to reach goals and results.

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Turmeric

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Turmeric (Curcuma longa), the bright yellow of the spice rainbow, is a powerful medicine that has long been used in the Chinese and Indian systems of medicine as an anti-inflammatory agent to treat a wide variety of conditions, including flatulence, jaundice, menstrual difficulties, bloody urine, hemorrhage, toothache, bruises, chest pain, and colic.

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Apples

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Apples are a ‘good carb,’ and they’re packed with fiber. Eating two apples is enough to fill your fruit intake for the day, and you’re not adding a lot of calories. Apples also have vitamin C, and satisfy your sweet tooth. They make your stomach feel fuller, so you’ll eat less during the day, without having to worry about working off a lot of fat.

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Blueberries

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Blueberries are a superfood that you can enjoy anytime. They are one of the highest antioxidant-containing fruits in the world, and you can eat them raw, in smoothies or in yogurt. Studies have shown that eating blueberries after a workout can help your muscles recover much quicker because antioxidants help promote healing. Blueberries are also packed with vitamin K, vitamin C and fiber.

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