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Vegan Chocolate Cake


A yummy and very easy to bake vegan cake.

 

Preparation: 45 minutes

Serves: 8

Energy: 244 calories per serving

 

Ingredients:

– ½ tsp salt

– 1 tbsp vinegar

– 1 tsp vanilla

– 1/3 cup canola oil

– 1 cup cold water

– 1 tsp baking soda

– 3 tbsps cocoa powder

– ¾ cup sugar

– 1 ½ cups flour

 

Method:

1)      Pre-heat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Spray a Bundt pan with cooking spray and then wipe out the excess.

2)      Combine all the dry ingredients into a bowl. Mix well with a fork.

3)      Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and then add all the wet ingredients to the well.

4)      Mix together with the fork until well blended. Pour into the bundt pan and bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

5)      Let it cool completely.

6)      Dust with powdered sugar when completely cool.


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Bodyweight Moves in a Leg Routine


Here is an example of how you might include bodyweight moves to boost the intensity your leg workout. Start with leg extension to pre-exhaust the quadriceps.

Here is an example of how you might include bodyweight moves to boost the intensity your leg workout. Start with leg extension to pre-exhaust the quadriceps.

Leg extension – 3 sets, 10-12 reps

Smith Machine Squat – 3 sets, 10-15 reps
Superset with
Plyo jump squat – 3 sets, to failure

Leg press – 3 sets, 8-10 reps
Superset with
Wall squat – 3 sets, to failure

Lying leg curl – 3 sets, 15 reps
Superset with
Split-jump squat – 3 reps, to failure


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The Best Bodyweight Moves


Below are a few of the exercises for certain body-parts where bodyweight moves can add both depth and definition.

Back:

Pull-up

Inverted pull-up on Smith Machine

Legs:

Wall squat

Jump squat

Sissy squat

Split-jump squat

Chest:

Push-up

Incline push-up

Decline push-up

Plyo push-up

Abs:

Hanging leg raise

Crunch

Double crunch


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Bodyweight Exercises


I would be foolish to try and convince you that a bodyweight workout is somehow going to magically add pounds of muscle. But that is not to say there isn’t some value in bodyweight exercises, and if you learn how to employ some strategic tactics, you can actually take your training to a whole new level.

1)      Always take body weight moves to failure

As you are only using just your bodyweight, it does not make any sense to stop a set before you are fatigued. You need to get the most out of the particular move when bodyweight is the resistance. Since you can’t manipulate the resistance by adding or decreasing weight, and adding weights is the only way to go, you need to perform as many with good form as you can.

2)      Use bodyweight moves as a way of flushing the muscles or finishing a particular body-part routine.

Placing finishing moves at the end of a routine to flush the muscles with water, blood and nutrients is one of the best strategies a bodybuilder looking to squeeze every last bit of effort out of his muscle bellies can follow. Getting a pump by using your own bodyweight is ideal because once you reach failure you draw water inside your muscle cells, and as with a balloon, the more water the muscle cell can hold, the bigger the pump you will experience. The bodyweight pump essentially stretches the muscle cell, making the muscle itself temporarily bigger while initiating biochemical pathways that promote permanent growth.

3)      Incorporate techniques such as plyometrics and isometrics to help make bodyweight moves that much harder and more beneficial.

As you know plyometrics involve explosive, rather than the usual strong but controlled actions, which require a high proportion of fast-twitch muscle fibres. Fast-twitch muscle fibres are responsible for power, size and strength. With plyometric-type moves you can incorporate the bodyweight exercises between free-weight exercises. Exercises like the plyo push-up between sets of bench presses or plyo jump squats in between sets of leg presses can add intensity to an already brutal routine. That intensity will further break down your muscles causing long-lasting change in size and strength. You can also practice timed holds using your bodyweight. For example, wall squats in which you hold your body at 90 degrees as long as possible.

4)      Keep a log to monitor your progress on sets and reps for all bodyweight moves from week to week.

From one workout to the next you should journal all reps and holds on the different exercises, making sure that you beat your time or reps each week or month. That progressive overload is a sure-fire way of knowing whether you are getting stronger, bigger and better at each exercise.


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Preventing The Cold and Flu


When the weather is cold outside, people tend to spend more time indoors. This makes it easier for viruses to spread from one person to another. The most common cold/flu viruses survive better when the humidity is low, which is during the colder months. Cold weather may make the inside lining of your nose drier and more vulnerable to viral infection. If you’re going to cover anything when going out in cold weather, it’s perhaps best to cover your nose/mouth. Lack of sunlight helps the common cold/flu viruses survive longer. The winter months typically have less sunlight than the spring/summer months.

 

As winter is fast approaching don’t get stuck with a cold. Here are seven ways to help prevent a cold this season.

1)      Drink water

Water flushes your system, helping you stay hydrated and healthy.

2)      Avoid touching your face.

The cold and flu viruses easily enter through the mucous membranes of your body such as the eyes, nose or mouth.

3)      Wash your hands

Most cold and flu viruses are spread by direct contact such as through a handshake or by sneezing into your hand, then touching an object, and thus infecting it.

4)      Exercise

Exercise (especially aerobic exercise) increases your heart rate, rate of breathing and core body temperature. Collectively, this can help boost the white blood cell count of your body (white blood cells fight off infections)

5)      Eat your fruit and veg

Foods that come from plants (especially dark green, red and yellow types) are rich in antioxidants that can help boost your immune system.

6)      Minimise alcohol

Alcohol has been shown to suppress your immune system. Additionally alcohol can dehydrate your body.

7)      Don’t over-train

While exercise is good, it can be too much of a good thing. Ensure you incorporate adequate recovery, rest and relaxation into your training programme to keep your immune system strong.