THE ULTIMATE UPPER-BODY EXERCISES AND WORKOUT

THE ULTIMATE UPPER-BODY EXERCISES AND WORKOUT

While we all might have varying different goals, most people who step foot in the gym do so to improve their health and their physiques. And when it comes to that, one common goal is building a bigger upper body. To do that, strengthening the upper-body muscles and knowing which upper-body exercises to incorporate into your workouts is key.

But, no matter the fitness goal, the same theme exists for all of us: success. The best way to achieve it is to first identify the problem or goal, then systematically break down the bigger goal into smaller goals.

So for those that are new to training or have been slow to make progress in the upper-body department, the first step is to identify the right upper-body exercises. Master those exercises in terms of load and form, and start incorporating them into your upper-body workout routine.

Now, there are a professional bodybuilders out there that get to lift heavy weights for a living. Perhaps they’ve been lucky enough to gain major sponsorship or have lucrative contracts with a magazine, or even a sports supplement manufacturer. These guys “get paid” to workout, so for them the gym is their office. But for most of us, finding time to fit in a good workout into our busy schedules.

Between work, family, friends, and errands, we’re lucky to find just 3-4 days per week to train for perhaps 60-90 minutes at a time. Thus, it’s important that every moment we spend working out with dumbbells, barbells, cables, or machines be used with maximum efficiency. That means choosing the “best bang for your buck exercises” that yield optimal muscle-building results in a minimum amount of time.

Below are the best upper-body exercises, and below that are two upper-body workouts that will help you build a stronger chest, shoulders, back, and arms. Perform each one once a week for huge results.

UPPER BODY EXERCISES

BARBELL UPPER-BODY EXERCISES

  • Bench Press: For maximum stimulation of the chest, position your torso on the bench with a slight arch in the lower back; the ribcage held high; and the shoulders shrugged back and downward.
  • Underhand Grip BB Bent Row: Keep the torso bent at an angle of about 75° and pull the bar into the lower abdomen to best stimulate the belly of the lats.
  • Seated BB Military Press: Use a bench with back support and keep your torso upright throughout the set (leaning back engages too much upper pecs). Bring the bar just below the chin before driving it back to the top.
  • Shoulder-Width Grip BB Upright Row: Raise the bar to a level at which the upper arms are parallel to the floor. At the top, the hands should be lower than the elbows to best stimulate the shoulders.
  • Incline BB Press: Use the same torso position that was mentioned above for the bench press. Lower the bar to the top of the chest, just below the chin.
  • Close-Grip BB Upright Row: Take a grip on a BB with your hands spaced about 6″ apart. Raise the bar to about the height of your chin to bring the mid and upper traps into play along with the anterior delts.
  • Partial Rack Deadlift: For complete back development, vary the range-of-motion from just above knee-height to as low as the mid-shins. It is best to stick with one range-of-motion per workout.

DUMBBELL UPPER-BODY EXERCISES

  • Incline DB Press: Vary the incline of the bench workout-to-workout or set-to-set from 30° to 45° to 60° to target different motor unit pools.
  • One-Arm DB Row: Keep your upper body parallel to the floor throughout the set. As you raise the DB, keep the elbow close to the body and do not allow the elbow to go higher than the height of your torso.
  • Seated DB Press: To put the greatest emphasis on the anterior delts, press the DB’s with the palms facing each other. To work the anterior delts but also bring the lateral heads greatly into play, press with the elbows held back in line with the torso and palms facing forward.

BODYWEIGHT UPPER-BODY EXERCISES

  • Wide-Grip Pullup: Vary grip widths and the angle of the torso when pulling to effectively stimulate all areas of the back musculature.
  • Chest Dip: Keep your torso leaning forward throughout the set to more strongly engage the pecs. Lower yourself to a point where you can feel a slight stretch in the chest before pushing back to the top. To keep more tension on the pecs, do not lockout.
  • Close-Grip Pullup: Take a slightly less than shoulder-width grip on the pullup bar. Lift your body up to a point where you feel your biceps are fully contracted, while focusing on keeping lats activation to a minimum. Lower yourself to a point where there is still a slight bend in the elbows to keep tension on the biceps.
  • Triceps Dip: To keep chest activation to a minimum and target more triceps activation, make sure your torso remains upright throughout the set. Lower yourself to the point where your upper arms are parallel with the floor.

CREDIT - Muscle & Fitness

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The Ultimate Fix for Hard or Clumpy Pre-Workout...

We've all had problems with our pre-workout supplement turning hard or clumpy before...but you can fix it!

If you look on bodybuilding forums online, one big re-occurring problem that you'll encounter fellow weight-lifters having is this: their pre-workout going hard or clumpy. So it's no coincidence that almost everyone has this problem.

In fact, you might have regretted buying a certain product or brand after this has happened. Only to go and try a new pre-workout and have the same problem - so what's the cause of hard or clumpy pre-workout powder?

This is exactly the answer that we're going to provide in this article. But we'll also give you some fool-proof ways to try and avoid this problem from happening in the first place.

In this article, you'll learn:

  • Why do pre-workout powders turn clumpy or hard?
  • The ultimate fix for hard or clumpy pre-workout powder
  • How to keep your pre-workouts from turning clumpy or hard
  • Conclusion

Why Does Pre-Workout Powder Turn Clumpy or Hard? 

Right, so your pre-workout supplement arrived in a solid block or it began turning clumpy or hard somewhere along the line. Either way, you're here looking for answers.

However, there isn't just 1 reason why your pre-workout powder has turned clumpy or hard. There could be numerous different factors that caused it to happen; we'll go through each different scenario below...

Leaving Your Pre-Workout Unused For Months 

This has been the most common reason why our pre-workout powder has turned clumpy or hard. If you leave it unused for ages, then it'll just sit there - most likely taking in moisture from the air, without being stirred around.

Think about it. You use your protein powder much more than your pre-workout, right? Well, that means your protein powder is constantly being mixed around in the tub, making it much less likely to solidify.

However, pre-workout aren't usually 'everyday' supplements. Instead, you'll just take a pre-workout when you need that 'kick'; this might not be everyday, unless you've become dependent on these products...

As a result, if you've not used your pre-workout for a couple of weeks, then open it up and give it a quick stir to keep it from turning into a solid block.

Leaving Your Pre-Workout In Your Car

This should be one of the most common mistakes made by most lifters. You should never leave your pre-workout supplement in the car, especially on a hot day.

Why? Because it'll increase the pre-workout powder's chances of drawing in as much moisture as possible - resulting in hard or clumpy pre-workout.

In fact, looking through bodybuilding forums, this seemed to be the #1 cause of this problem.

Ultimately, if your pre-workout has turned clumpy or hard after leaving it in the car, then it wasn't a co-incidence. Don't do it!

Taking Out The Silica Gel Packet From Your Pre-Workout Container

This is an absolute rookie mistake to make.

You might not have known what that little packet was in your pre-workout container was there for and took it out. For whatever reason, if you've removed your silica gel packet from your pre-workout container, you've effectively increased your chances of having hard or clumpy pre-workout powder.

Why? Because silica gel packets are literally designed to absorb moisture and keep food or powder dry.

 

The Ultimate Fix for Hard or Clumpy Pre-Workout Powder

Right, so you've eaten your starter and now you want your main course. This is the section that you came here to read.

You're going to feel like it's Christmas too; instead of giving you one 'fix', we're going to give you numerous different solutions to help you revive your hard or clumpy pre-workout supplement - to make it usable again and save you from having to buy more products necessarily!

*Disclaimer: These are just options that we've tried personally. Don't take this as medical advice or anything like that, and ultimately you'll be trying any of these options at your own risk. 

Hard or Clumpy Pre-Workout Fix #1: The Blender

Blender

 

We found this fix in numerous bodybuilding forums online. Almost everyone recommends you to throw your hard or clumpy pre-workout in your blender - pretty logical right?

Well, does it work? Yeah, it works! Our pre-workout was back to powder form after less than a minute in our blender. And we've actually fixed a few different pre-workouts using this method.

So for us, this method is our 'go-to' option when fixing hard or clumpy pre-workout powder. Of course, you'll be using your own blender at your own risk; we've heard of people breaking their blenders by trying this in rare occasions...

As a result, just make sure that you have an effective blender that'll seriously get the job done. If you're not confident in your blender's ability to fix your concrete brick of pre-workout, then you might be interested in our other ultimate fixes.

 

Hard or Clumpy Pre-Workout Fix #2: Break It Up With A Fork 

Powder

 

If you don't have a blender or are worried that you're going to break your blender with your hard or clumpy pre-workout powder, then this is the fix for you.

It's pretty self-explanatory. Grab a fork and start breaking up your powder until it looks like it should look. Or until it's loose enough for you to scoop out accurate servings from.

Before you start complaining, you might not be able to get your pre-workout looking like fine powder again. So you'll have to just settle for being happy with slightly clumpy pre-workout powder with this fork option.

Also, this is going to take more muscle to achieve - but you go to the gym for a reason, right?!

 

Hard or Clumpy Pre-Workout Fix #3: Make Ice-Cubes

Ice Cubes

We saw this idea in a bodybuilding forum too and we were pretty skeptical at first. But it actually works - it does take much more effort than the other 2 options though.

What do you do? Well, we began by adding enough water to fill your container, so the water level is just above the solid or clumpy powder. After that, we left our powder to dissolve in the water, adding more water when necessary (we left it in our fridge during this process).

Eventually, we were left with liquid pre-workout. At this point, we grabbed our ice cube tray, filled that bad-boy up,  and placed it in our freezer.

Ultimately, you'll be left with pre-workout ice-cubes that you can chew before you go to the gym. But in all honesty, we can't completely recommend this option because it'll be hard to determine the exact serving size of each ice cube - so do this at your own risk...

 

Hard or Clumpy Pre-Workout Fix #4: Chew The Clumps!

Chew The Pre Workout

This is a really 'last resort' fix.

Basically, if you've failed to really fix your pre-workout supplement and it's still really clumpy, then just grab a chunk and chew it; this was also quite a popular option in bodybuilding forums.

But the main issue with this is that you won't know the exact dosages or serving size you're consuming. So you might consume more caffeine or nutrient in your pre-workout than you want to.

So, we can't really recommend this option either. But it is a option - try this at your own risk!

Hard or Clumpy Pre-Workout Fix #5: A Slice of Bread or Rice

 

As we mentioned, many people remove the silica packets from their pre-workout containers. This inevitably increases your chances of your pre-workout powder turning hard or clumpy.

However, adding a slice of bread (or some dry rice) inside a small open plastic bag, inside your pre-workout container can help fix the issue; this is because the slice of bread (or rice) should draw the moisture away from the powder.

 

How To Keep Your Pre-Workout Powder From Turning Hard or Clumpy

One thing that everyone should be doing is trying to prevent their pre-workout powder from turning hard or clumpy in the first place.

So we'll offer some effective tips to help you do exactly this...

Keep Your Pre-Workout In Your Fridge

A really popular option on bodybuilding forums is keeping pre-workout supplements in fridges. This makes sense, because it'll keep your pre-workout powder cool and dry at all times; it's believed that your pre-workout powder draws in moisture when it's in warm environments.

After seeing this on forums, we've been keeping our pre-workout in our fridge since. And we can agree that it definitely helps!

Add Another Silica Gel Packet or Uncooked Rice In An Open Bag

A great option is adding a second silica gel packet to your pre-workout container; this is if you have one spare, or you can buy them from Amazon for pretty cheap too.

Or if you don't want to buy some more silica gel packets, then just add some uncooked rice in an open bag into your pre-workout container instead. Either way, both options will help keep your pre-workout powder from absorbing excess moisture, which prevents it from turning hard or clumpy.

Use Your Pre-Workout More Frequently

We mentioned earlier that leaving your pre-workout on your shelf for months increases its chances of turning hard or clumpy.

So it should be common sense that using your pre-workout more frequently will help mix-it-up and prevent it from going 'bad'. Not only that, it'll make you buy fresh pre-workout supplements more frequently too, so you'll suffer from this problem much less.

Think about it; pre-workouts usually come in 20-30 serving containers. So they're designed to be fully consumed in the space of 1-3 months - not left on your shelf for 3 months!

 

Conclusion

If you haven't just skimmed through this whole article, then you should have learned some valuable information here.

Ultimately, by saving your pre-workout powder from turning hard or clumpy, you're also saving yourself money too; no-one wants to replace their pre-workout with a new product just because it's gone hard.

 

CREDIT - LEANBULKING.COM

 

Read More
The Ultimate Fix for Hard or Clumpy Pre-Workout Powder | TopDog Nutrition

The Ultimate Fix for Hard or Clumpy Pre-Workout...

We've all had problems with our pre-workout supplement turning hard or clumpy before...but you can fix it!

If you look on bodybuilding forums online, one big re-occurring problem that you'll encounter fellow weight-lifters having is this: their pre-workout going hard or clumpy. So it's no coincidence that almost everyone has this problem.

In fact, you might have regretted buying a certain product or brand after this has happened. Only to go and try a new pre-workout and have the same problem - so what's the cause of hard or clumpy pre-workout powder?

This is exactly the answer that we're going to provide in this article. But we'll also give you some fool-proof ways to try and avoid this problem from happening in the first place.

In this article, you'll learn:

  • Why do pre-workout powders turn clumpy or hard?
  • The ultimate fix for hard or clumpy pre-workout powder
  • How to keep your pre-workouts from turning clumpy or hard
  • Conclusion

Why Does Pre-Workout Powder Turn Clumpy or Hard? 

Right, so your pre-workout supplement arrived in a solid block or it began turning clumpy or hard somewhere along the line. Either way, you're here looking for answers.

However, there isn't just 1 reason why your pre-workout powder has turned clumpy or hard. There could be numerous different factors that caused it to happen; we'll go through each different scenario below...

Leaving Your Pre-Workout Unused For Months 

This has been the most common reason why our pre-workout powder has turned clumpy or hard. If you leave it unused for ages, then it'll just sit there - most likely taking in moisture from the air, without being stirred around.

Think about it. You use your protein powder much more than your pre-workout, right? Well, that means your protein powder is constantly being mixed around in the tub, making it much less likely to solidify.

However, pre-workout aren't usually 'everyday' supplements. Instead, you'll just take a pre-workout when you need that 'kick'; this might not be everyday, unless you've become dependent on these products...

As a result, if you've not used your pre-workout for a couple of weeks, then open it up and give it a quick stir to keep it from turning into a solid block.

Leaving Your Pre-Workout In Your Car

This should be one of the most common mistakes made by most lifters. You should never leave your pre-workout supplement in the car, especially on a hot day.

Why? Because it'll increase the pre-workout powder's chances of drawing in as much moisture as possible - resulting in hard or clumpy pre-workout.

In fact, looking through bodybuilding forums, this seemed to be the #1 cause of this problem.

Ultimately, if your pre-workout has turned clumpy or hard after leaving it in the car, then it wasn't a co-incidence. Don't do it!

Taking Out The Silica Gel Packet From Your Pre-Workout Container

This is an absolute rookie mistake to make.

You might not have known what that little packet was in your pre-workout container was there for and took it out. For whatever reason, if you've removed your silica gel packet from your pre-workout container, you've effectively increased your chances of having hard or clumpy pre-workout powder.

Why? Because silica gel packets are literally designed to absorb moisture and keep food or powder dry.

 

The Ultimate Fix for Hard or Clumpy Pre-Workout Powder

Right, so you've eaten your starter and now you want your main course. This is the section that you came here to read.

You're going to feel like it's Christmas too; instead of giving you one 'fix', we're going to give you numerous different solutions to help you revive your hard or clumpy pre-workout supplement - to make it usable again and save you from having to buy more products necessarily!

*Disclaimer: These are just options that we've tried personally. Don't take this as medical advice or anything like that, and ultimately you'll be trying any of these options at your own risk. 

Hard or Clumpy Pre-Workout Fix #1: The Blender

Blender

 

We found this fix in numerous bodybuilding forums online. Almost everyone recommends you to throw your hard or clumpy pre-workout in your blender - pretty logical right?

Well, does it work? Yeah, it works! Our pre-workout was back to powder form after less than a minute in our blender. And we've actually fixed a few different pre-workouts using this method.

So for us, this method is our 'go-to' option when fixing hard or clumpy pre-workout powder. Of course, you'll be using your own blender at your own risk; we've heard of people breaking their blenders by trying this in rare occasions...

As a result, just make sure that you have an effective blender that'll seriously get the job done. If you're not confident in your blender's ability to fix your concrete brick of pre-workout, then you might be interested in our other ultimate fixes.

 

Hard or Clumpy Pre-Workout Fix #2: Break It Up With A Fork 

Powder

 

If you don't have a blender or are worried that you're going to break your blender with your hard or clumpy pre-workout powder, then this is the fix for you.

It's pretty self-explanatory. Grab a fork and start breaking up your powder until it looks like it should look. Or until it's loose enough for you to scoop out accurate servings from.

Before you start complaining, you might not be able to get your pre-workout looking like fine powder again. So you'll have to just settle for being happy with slightly clumpy pre-workout powder with this fork option.

Also, this is going to take more muscle to achieve - but you go to the gym for a reason, right?!

 

Hard or Clumpy Pre-Workout Fix #3: Make Ice-Cubes

Ice Cubes

We saw this idea in a bodybuilding forum too and we were pretty skeptical at first. But it actually works - it does take much more effort than the other 2 options though.

What do you do? Well, we began by adding enough water to fill your container, so the water level is just above the solid or clumpy powder. After that, we left our powder to dissolve in the water, adding more water when necessary (we left it in our fridge during this process).

Eventually, we were left with liquid pre-workout. At this point, we grabbed our ice cube tray, filled that bad-boy up,  and placed it in our freezer.

Ultimately, you'll be left with pre-workout ice-cubes that you can chew before you go to the gym. But in all honesty, we can't completely recommend this option because it'll be hard to determine the exact serving size of each ice cube - so do this at your own risk...

 

Hard or Clumpy Pre-Workout Fix #4: Chew The Clumps!

Chew The Pre Workout

This is a really 'last resort' fix.

Basically, if you've failed to really fix your pre-workout supplement and it's still really clumpy, then just grab a chunk and chew it; this was also quite a popular option in bodybuilding forums.

But the main issue with this is that you won't know the exact dosages or serving size you're consuming. So you might consume more caffeine or nutrient in your pre-workout than you want to.

So, we can't really recommend this option either. But it is a option - try this at your own risk!

Hard or Clumpy Pre-Workout Fix #5: A Slice of Bread or Rice

 

As we mentioned, many people remove the silica packets from their pre-workout containers. This inevitably increases your chances of your pre-workout powder turning hard or clumpy.

However, adding a slice of bread (or some dry rice) inside a small open plastic bag, inside your pre-workout container can help fix the issue; this is because the slice of bread (or rice) should draw the moisture away from the powder.

 

How To Keep Your Pre-Workout Powder From Turning Hard or Clumpy

One thing that everyone should be doing is trying to prevent their pre-workout powder from turning hard or clumpy in the first place.

So we'll offer some effective tips to help you do exactly this...

Keep Your Pre-Workout In Your Fridge

A really popular option on bodybuilding forums is keeping pre-workout supplements in fridges. This makes sense, because it'll keep your pre-workout powder cool and dry at all times; it's believed that your pre-workout powder draws in moisture when it's in warm environments.

After seeing this on forums, we've been keeping our pre-workout in our fridge since. And we can agree that it definitely helps!

Add Another Silica Gel Packet or Uncooked Rice In An Open Bag

A great option is adding a second silica gel packet to your pre-workout container; this is if you have one spare, or you can buy them from Amazon for pretty cheap too.

Or if you don't want to buy some more silica gel packets, then just add some uncooked rice in an open bag into your pre-workout container instead. Either way, both options will help keep your pre-workout powder from absorbing excess moisture, which prevents it from turning hard or clumpy.

Use Your Pre-Workout More Frequently

We mentioned earlier that leaving your pre-workout on your shelf for months increases its chances of turning hard or clumpy.

So it should be common sense that using your pre-workout more frequently will help mix-it-up and prevent it from going 'bad'. Not only that, it'll make you buy fresh pre-workout supplements more frequently too, so you'll suffer from this problem much less.

Think about it; pre-workouts usually come in 20-30 serving containers. So they're designed to be fully consumed in the space of 1-3 months - not left on your shelf for 3 months!

 

Conclusion

If you haven't just skimmed through this whole article, then you should have learned some valuable information here.

Ultimately, by saving your pre-workout powder from turning hard or clumpy, you're also saving yourself money too; no-one wants to replace their pre-workout with a new product just because it's gone hard.

 

CREDIT - LEANBULKING.COM

 

Read More
Want to Be Lean and Healthy? Eat Superfoods

Want to Be Lean and Healthy? Eat Superfoods

The term ‘superfood’ has grown in popularity over the last few years, but what exactly makes a food a superfood?

On the one hand, some apply the term superfood to exotic plants like acai and goji berries, wheatgrass, chia seeds, and maca.

On the other hand, others refer to healthy but boring staples like blueberries, oats, and almonds as superfoods.

So, do superfoods exist, or is it just a slick label applied to healthy foods of all kinds?

Yes and no.

On the one hand, compared to what the average Western diet, eating plenty of so-called superfoods will make a noticeable improvement in your health.

On the other hand, if you already eat a healthy diet, you’re probably already consuming what many people consider superfoods on a daily basis.

We’re going to get to the bottom of all of this in this article.

By the end, you’ll know what makes a superfood (and where the term came from) and how to include 31 foods commonly thought of as superfoods in your diet.



What Is a Superfood?
Technically, there’s no such thing as a “superfood.”

The term “superfood” was created in order to sell people on particular health food products that allegedly possess unique benefits that you can’t get from normal foods.

For example, supplement companies have been promoting wheatgrass and acai and goji berries for over a decade.

After artificially creating demand for these foods through aggressive advertising, supplement companies released thousands of products based around these low-cost, high-margin “superfoods,” which are super for their bottom line but mediocre at improving your health.

They applied the same formula to boring, everyday healthy staples like blueberries, kale, and dark chocolate.

After hyping these foods as “superfoods,” supplement companies created products based around these foods, too.

Don’t want to eat blueberries, kale, or dark chocolate?

No problem!

Just buy our organic blueberry kale powder infused with cocoa for just $79.99 a month!

In other cases, some people also label normal, healthy foods as superfoods in order to encourage people to eat more of them. While understandable, this has also led to the incorrect notion that some healthy foods are drastically healthier than others.

Here’s the truth: if you were to dismiss the idea of superfoods and superfood-based products entirely and stick to practical, simple, time-tested healthy eating principles, you wouldn’t miss anything.

There is a shred of truth to the idea behind superfoods, though.

It’s true that some foods do contain more of some nutrients than others.

For example, strawberries, oranges, and lemons contain more vitamin C per gram of weight than most other fruits.

Some foods also contain compounds that have unique health benefits.

For example, broccoli is a good source of sulforaphane, which may have powerful anti-cancer properties (and which may also negate some of the unhealthy chemicals produced from grilling meat).

The problem with the term “superfood,” though, is that it implies that the only way to get these benefits is to consume these specific foods.

This isn’t true.

For example, although strawberries, oranges, and lemons contain more vitamin C than most other fruits, almost every fruit contains large amounts of vitamin C—enough to help you reach the recommended daily value with only two to three servings.

Likewise, although broccoli is a good source of sulforaphane, so are Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, and other cruciferous vegetables.

So, in the final analysis, what makes one food a “superfood” and another food just “healthy” are often minor and meaningless differences in their nutritional content.

The truth is that so long as you’re eating a variety of different fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seafood, and various meats, you’ll likely be consuming all the nutrients your body needs.

That said, the idea of superfoods has become thoroughly entrenched in the fitness world, so we might as well look at some of the foods most often considered superfoods.

For the sake of consistency, I’ll refer to them as superfoods throughout the rest of this article. Just remember that it’s not entirely accurate.

Summary: “Superfood” is a marketing buzzword created to sell exotic, expensive, superfood-based supplements, and most “superfoods” are really just regular fruits, vegetables, and other healthy staples.

Superfood Fruits


1. Apples
green-apples superfood

Apples are rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients that fight free radicals. They’re also packed with vitamins and dietary fiber to keep you full.

In one study, non-smoking women between the ages of 30 to 50 were randomly assigned one of three dietary supplements, adding three apples per day to their diets, three pears per day, or three oat cookies per day.

Of course, you’d expect the fruit group to lose more weight than the oat cookies group, and this was the case. The fruit group lost a pound on average more than the oat group.

That’s a small difference, but when you consider the other added benefits of fruit, it shows that having something packed with fiber is especially helpful.

It’s also worth pointing out that this small difference in weight loss was achieved after only a few weeks and with no other dietary changes.

2. Bananas
bananas superfoods

Bananas are one powerful fruit.

They’re high in potassium, magnesium, fiber, and easily digested carbohydrates to fuel your workouts.

They’re also extremely convenient thanks to their peel, which serves as a natural form of packaging.

3. Blueberries
blueberries superfood

The deep blue color that comes from blueberries lets you know that they are rich in antioxidants that ward off free radicals.

They can also be helpful for weight loss thanks to the combination of fiber and water found in blueberries, which reduces appetite.

I like to add blueberries to my smoothies, salads, or on top of my oatmeal.

4. Goji Berries
goji-berries superfood

Goji berries have become extremely popular “superfoods,” and while they don’t quite live up to the hype, they do have a number of health benefits on par with other berries.

These tiny, bright berries help control appetite and blood sugar levels. They also contain a good chunk of fiber.

Goji berries are generally sold as a dried fruit, so I’ll sprinkle them on my salads or oatmeal for a little added sweetness.

Be careful not to go overboard, as all dried fruits are easier to overeat than their fresh counterparts.

5. Grapefruit
grapefruit superfood

If you can get past the super tartness of grapefruit, you’ll be well on your way to quick weight loss.

One study examined 91 obese patients and split them into four groups. One group was given a placebo, one received grapefruit capsules, one had to drink grapefruit juice, and the last group ate fresh grapefruits. The participants had to consume their allocated supplements three times a day before each meal over 12 weeks.

The results?

The fresh grapefruit group lost the most weight, the grapefruit juice drinkers came in second place, and the capsule consumers fared better than the placebo takers.

The reason for this is probably that the grapefruit eaters got more whole fiber, which generally helps control appetite better than plain juice.

If it’s hard for you to enjoy the tartness of fresh grapefruit slices, try blending them in your smoothies.

6. Pears
pears superfood

Pears are incredible for controlling appetite.

Since pears have an average of 5.5 grams of fiber per serving, they keep our digestive systems moving.

Fiber has a number of health benefits including improving blood sugar levels, reducing appetite, and supporting proper digestion.

If you’re feeling a little backed up or constipated, slice up a juicy pear and enjoy.

7. Pomegranate seeds
pomegranate superfood

This low-calorie snack option also packs a healthy dose of fiber, making it an ideal afternoon treat.

I like to buy containers of pomegranate seeds so all I have to do is sprinkle them over some greek yogurt.

8. Oranges
oranges superfood

I have to admit that I love oranges, but I don’t drink much orange juice. It’s too easy to consume more calories than I want that way.

I don’t do anything fancy with my oranges. Occasionally, I’ll slice one up for an acai bowl, but other than that the fresh slices are where it’s at.

Superfood Veggies


9. Avocados
avocados superfood

Do you ever get that feeling after you eat that you could go for something else, despite having eaten a full meal already?

I used to until I learned that adding half an avocado to your lunch could help prevent this issue from happening.

A study published in the Nutrition Journal on 26 healthy but overweight participants, asked them to either replace other foods with avocados or simply add avocado to their meals.

The results showed that those who added the fresh avocado to their lunches had a decreased desire to snack between meals by 40% over the course of three hours. Twenty-eight percent even reported feeling satiated (full) as long as five hours later.

I like to add half an avocado to my smoothies, sandwiches, or salads.

10. Black beans
black-beans superfood

The combination of fiber and protein makes beans so healthy for you. Not only will black beans keep you full, but they provide slow-release energy from complex carbs.

I like to make black bean burritos using fresh salsa, avocados, and brown rice.

11. Broccoli
broccoli superfood

Instead of severely limiting your food intake, you can add more nutrients and cut calories simultaneously by eating broccoli.

With broccoli I keep it simple and steam it as a side dish or use it in a stir fry. I also like to cut it up raw for salads or hummus.

12. Chiles
chilies superfood

Chiles are high in fiber, nutrients, and flavor, making them an ideal choice for many meals.

If I’m feeling up for some heat, I’ll add chiles to my black bean burritos.

13. Garbanzo beans
garbanzo-chickpeas superfood

You may be familiar with garbanzo beans, or chickpeas, thanks to the rise in popularity of hummus, a ground up and seasoned version of chickpeas.

These tan colored beans are packed with soluble fiber to absorb water and help you feel full. Chickpeas are also nutrient dense and provide you with 7 grams of protein and 22 grams of complex carbohydrates.

I prefer eating chickpeas in a cold salad or ground up as hummus.

14. Lentils
lentils superfood

Similar to beans, lentils are packed with protein. In fact, a single cup can contain as much as 18 grams of protein for just over 200 calories.

Not only does this significant amount of protein help you build lean muscle mass and control your hunger, but it will also help you cut calories.

I like to eat lentils as a cold salad mixed with quinoa, pomegranate seeds, and green onions.

15. Kidney beans
red-kidney-beans

You could argue that all beans are superfoods, but I’ve found that black beans, kidney, and white beans are especially tasty.

Kidney beans, in particular, are popular among vegetarians as a hearty meat substitute. Thanks to their iron, protein, potassium, and magnesium content, they’re very nutritious.

My favorite way to eat kidney beans is in a vegetarian chilli. I’ll set up a crockpot with some tomatoes, corn, peppers, black beans, and onions and let it simmer for about two hours on high.

16. White beans
white-beans superfood

White beans have all of the benefits of other beans, but come with a unique flavor that many enjoy.

If you’re unsure of how to use white beans, I recommend adding them to a simple chicken noodle soupthat has some fresh carrots and onions in it.

You could also use white beans to top off a tasty kale salad.

17. Kale
kale superfood

One cup of kale is only about 33 calories, yet it’s packed with nutrients to keep you feeling full and satisfied.

This helps you whittle down the amount of calories you consume each day without sacrificing essential vitamins and minerals, making it a perfect weight loss superfood.

I like to add kale to my smoothies or substitute it for watered down lettuces like iceberg. I even like to pair it with my next favorite superfood, spinach.

18. Spinach
spinach-bowl

Spinach has recently taken a backseat as a result of the kale craze, but it shouldn’t be overlooked in your diet, especially if weight loss is your goal.

Three cups of raw spinach deliver 2.9g of protein for a mere 23 calories.

Although I find it easy to add spinach to salads and smoothies, it’s easier to access some nutrients in the spinach after cooking

Plus, you can’t beat the simple fact that when sauteed, spinach reduces drastically in size, making it much easier to consume a healthy serving of veggies without having to chew on salad for 20 minutes.

Superfood Nuts and Seeds

19. Almonds
almonds

These powerful nuts tide you over between meals and can be added to salads and oatmeal for a boost of omega-3s, fiber, and protein.

Almonds also help curb the urge to overeat by keeping you full between meals.

20. Almond Butter
almond-butter

If you like almonds then you can’t go wrong with almond butter.

As I mentioned earlier, it’s perfect on bananas and apples or even on a slice of whole wheat toast.

Almond butter is high in nutrients, and has a distinct flavor that’s quite different from peanut butter.

21. Chia Seeds
chia-seeds

When consumed, chia seeds expand and create a jelly-like substance in your stomach, which leaves you feeling full.

They also digest slowly so you have long-lasting consistent energy rather than high spikes that leave you sluggish on the comedown.

I add chia seeds to my smoothies and salads as well as sprinkle them over anything involving almond butter.

22. Flax seeds
flax-seed

Flax seeds are also high in fiber, and do an excellent job of filling you up.

In order to get the most benefit out of your flax seeds, grind them up yourself or purchase them already ground.

The easiest way to eat flax seeds is by mixing them into smoothies.

23. Pine nuts
pine-nuts-bowl

Pine nuts are often overlooked in supermarkets, but they pack appetite suppressing goodness, which shouldn’t be avoided.

Plus, the healthy mix of protein, iron, and monounsaturated fat also gives you a boost of energy.

I love to sprinkle pine nuts over salads or add them to soups and they taste great slightly pan roasted.

24. Pistachios
Pistachios

Pistachios work their weight loss magic in two ways.

First, having to de-shell each pistachio helps slow your eating down. It also makes you less likely to overeat since un-shelling eventually becomes a chore. In other words, they help you eat more intuitively.

To avoid eating too many, you’ll want to set aside a portion instead of consuming them directly from the bag.

Superfood Starches
The next four starches have a few things in common:

They’re complex carbohydrates
They digest slowly
They help keep you full
They provide sustained energy


25. Oats
oats-bowl

If you haven’t been convinced to eat it by now, I urge you to give oatmeal another chance. Oatmeal isn’t just for breakfast; it makes a great snack between meals.

I know that may not sound tasty at first, but trust me, you’ll get used to it in no time.

Especially if you know that you’ll be less tempted to eat a huge meal or snacks before bedtime. It’s a great little weight loss trick. Oatmeal is also a great way to consume more healthy calories while lean bulking.

26. Barley
barley

If you haven’t been acquainted with barley, let me introduce you to this superfood.

Barley loves to control blood sugar spikes, just like bananas and goji berries.

Barley can be cooked like quinoa and used as a base with a variety of delicious toppings. From risotto to fiesta salads, barley and quinoa are as versatile as it gets.

27. Quinoa
quinoa

Similar to brown rice, quinoa is a low-calorie option filled with both protein and fiber so you’ll feel full on fewer calories.

I usually make quinoa for dinner, but I’ve also found that it makes a great substitute for oatmeal in the morning. You can sprinkle in some cinnamon, almonds, and fresh berries for a hearty breakfast.

It’s also great on salads.

Superfood Proteins


28. Salmon
salmon

A 3 ounce serving of salmon has over 20 grams of protein, along with a large dose of omega-3 fats. With that high protein content you won’t be tempted to snack after dinner.

29. Sardines
sardines

For such tiny fish, sardines pack a whole host of nutritional benefits.

With sardines you’ll get 7 grams of protein for a mere 59 calories. Plus, you’ll also enjoy a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids.

My favorite way to eat sardines is from a recipe I found on Chow.

All you have to do is combine smoked sardines with cottage cheese, greek yogurt, and the juice of one lemon to make a delicious pate. This is equivalent to a smoked fish dip without having the added calories of the mayo.

Superfood Extras


30. Avocado Oil
avocado-oil1

Earlier in this post I mentioned the benefits of avocados and they carry over when you use avocado oil too. By using it as a salad dressing, you’ll be feeling more satisfied with your salad of choice.

As a tip, I generally skip the avocados if I’m using the oil.

Avocado oil is also unique in that it has a very high smoke point, which means it can be used during high-temperature cooking without burning.

31. Cinnamon
cinnamon-spice

Cinnamon is great for adding flavor to otherwise “boring” foods like oatmeal.

I like to add it to oatmeal, yogurt, smoothies, and even chili. It provides the perfect amount of flavor and just enough of a healthy kick.

If you made it this far, you’re probably overwhelmed with the amount of superfoods to choose from. My hope is that this list doesn’t scare you off and instead provides a ton of options to suit your needs.

What’s more, you can also see that many everyday healthy staples are in fact superfoods, even though they don’t have fancy names, a big price tag, or require you to buy an expensive supplement to enjoy their benefits.

When it comes to eating healthy and losing weight, variety is key; you don’t need to go out and buy every item on this list. Instead, you can mix and match items and use a different combination each week.



Credit - Legion Aesthetics

https://legionathletics.com/31-super-foods-super-charge-weight-loss/

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Get Dense: Big Back Workout 101 | TopDog Nutrition

Get Dense: Big Back Workout 101

Big Back Workout 101

Your back might be ripped to shreds, but if it's missing that dense muscle mass, you won't perform as well as you want to. Add some size and strength to your back with this basic workout. It might be simple, but it gets the job done!

A strong back helps protect the spine and allows for correct posture when training every other body part. If you're spending all your time trying to bring up those little details, then you're missing out on a much more important training aspect: building a big, thick back.

Let's build one. Here's how the Big Back Workout is done:

WARM-UP

Pull-Ups

(100 reps, for time)

I like to use pull-ups as a warm-up. It's a great compound bodyweight exercise that will prepare your back for the upcoming work.

Rather than doing traditional sets and reps, I like to go just short of failure before I dismount and recover. Feel free to change hand positions and types of pull-ups to ensure that you hit your back at different angles.

EXERCISE 1

Deadlift

(5 sets of 5 reps)

I consider the deadlift one of the best exercises out there, including variations like the sumo deadlift. The deadlift should be a staple in everyone's training routine. Because it's a full-body exercise, you move more weight and burn more calories than you would doing isolation movements like the hamstring curl.

The deadlift is all about building strength—the stronger you are the more weight you can lift. When you lift more weight, your muscles are forced to adapt. The result of that adaptation is more quality muscle.

EXERCISE 2

Pendlay Row

(3-4 sets of 6-8 reps)

This exercise is named after Olympic lifting coach Glenn Pendlay. If it's good enough for Olympians, then it should be good enough for anyone. This exercise will strengthen your back and teach you how to keep you core tight when you do other lifts like squats and deadlifts.

The Pendlay row is a bent-over row that starts at a dead stop each rep. You won't be able to lift as much as you can on the barbell row, but the amount you can lift on your barbell row will improve by doing this movement.

EXERCISE 3

Dumbbell Row

(3-4 sets of 6-8 reps)

This is an awesome movement for the lats, rhomboids, and traps. Guys usually love this exercise because you can move some heavy weight. However ego tends to get in the way; I see a lot of guys doing more cheating than lifting. Avoid excessively rounding your back, pull with your lats, and focus on maintain control of the weight on each rep!

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