VeeFitness

Bringing you the latest in health and fitness


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Garlic Goodness


Garlic provides numerous health and physique benefits. Not only does it enhance heart health, but research shows that it aids fat burning, can help to lower the catabolic hormone cortisol, and concomitantly raise testosterone levels. Recent research suggests that garlic can actually boost nitric oxide levels (NO).

Researchers from the university of Adelaide (Australia) gave 50 patients with treated but uncontrolled high blood pressure wither a garlic supplement containing 960 milligrams of aged garlic or a placebo everyday for 12 weeks. They measured the subjects’ blood pressure at the start and every four weeks thereafter. The researchers reported in a 2010 issue of the journal Maturitas that the group supplementing with the garlic had a drop in pressure which was on average 10mm hg (pressure units) lower than in the placebo group. The scientists concluded that this was likely to be due to garlic’s ability to boost NO levels, which relaxes blood vessels and causes a reduction in blood pressure. This relaxation in the blood vessels also increases blood flow to the muscles, which is critical for energy and for producing a muscle pump during workouts, as well as aiding recovery and muscle growth.

The researchers suggested that cooked garlic would not be as effective as a garlic supplement because heat destroys the active ingredient, allicin. So go with garlic supplements and take about 200-1000mg with your pre-workout shake. To maintain higher NO levels throughout the day, also consider taking a dose in the morning and late at night.

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Not Eating Enough Fibre


Fibre is probably the least thought of nutrient in bodybuilding, yet it is extremely helpful and beneficial to you as a dieting bodybuilder to keep things moving along smoothly and to help your body digest all that extra protein in your diet. This ensures that you get the proper absorption of nutrients from all the food when you are eating six to eight meals a day. If sufficient fibre is not consumed, your body can become toxic and in some extreme cases you can have impactment, which would require medical attention. The best way to get adequate fibre is a combination of fibre supplements along with fibrous vegetables. Fibre also helps to keep you more satiated.


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Pec Striations


My pecs are thick from heavy bench presses and dips, but I don’t have any striations. Yet I’ve done hundreds of sets of crossovers over the last year or so. What’s wrong?

You could do thousands of sets of crossovers over many years and still see no striations in your pecs. Alternatively, you could no crossovers whatsoever yet still see striations. (Similarly, you could do countless sets of crunches yet never see your abs.) The key issue is your bodyfat percentage. No matter how large your pecs are, and no matter how many crossovers you do, if your bodyfat percentage is too high you will never see your pec striations. (Similarly, no matter how much ab work you do, if you have too much fat over your abs you will never see your six pack.)

If you want your pec striations to be visible, gradually reduce your bodyfat percentage to under 10% – sufficiently under to produce the required visibility.

Also don’t do crossovers thinking that they will build big pecs. They may help you to build some additional detail in your pecs, which you would see only if you are very lean, but they won’t build a lot of muscle, at least not if you are a typical, natural bodybuilder.


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Not Eating Enough Calories


To lose bodyfat and maintain muscle mass, you need to eat barely enough protein and calories to have the energy to train hard, intense and heavy. If calories are too low and you don’t train heavy during a pre-contest phase, the body will adapt to the light weights by getting smaller. So eat lean, but enough to support your training intensity.

Strength loss is an obvious sign of muscle loss, so changes must be made immediately if strength takes a drastic dip. The leaner you get, strength will start to decrease, but it will be gradual and you should really suffer in the in the last few days of a contest diet.


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Going Overboard With Cheat Meals


Staying on a diet too long tends to slow down your metabolism. Cycling your calories or having planned cheat meals are great way to kick-start your metabolism and give your body some nutrients that might be missing from the daily diet. It also gives the mind a break from the rigours of a precontest diet. But binge eating makes it very difficult to get in all the nutrients you need to support muscle retention and fat loss, because such large quantities of fat and sugar will make eating multiple meals per day very difficult.