Maintaining Testosterone Levels

2 03 2011

Most athlete’s and weight warriors don’t worry too much about their testosterone levels, but maintaining a healthy testosterone level is a key ingredient in building lean muscle mass.  I’m no expert on the subject, but through research I’ve found that there are three area’s that are effecting our daily testosterone levels and ultimately effecting our fitness and health goals.

Even though the most common reason for decreased testosterone levels is aging, levels can also decrease due to emotional stress, over training, use of anabolic steroids, excessive use of alcohol, and other factors.  By eliminating factors for decrease, improving your diet, modifying your exercise program, and reducing stress you can improve your hormonal balance, increase testosterone, and improve the way you look, feel, and perform in all areas of life.

Diet

Remember, you are what you eat!  I believe in eating as they did in the prehistoric days, before food processing.  Eating things that are natural and organic is easier said than done with the way we buy our foods today.  A good rule of thumb I use is to just eat foods that are ONE ingredient, not a processed creation of TWENTY ingredients.  Broccoli, Chicken, Steak, Almonds, Eggs, Oats, Buffalo, Walnuts, Apples, Oranges, Blueberries, Green Beans, and so on..you get the point.

In addition to eating foods that are one ingredient, look through the following three area’s to improve testosterone levels:

  • Eat Protein: Protein in latin mean’s “above all else.” Protein stimulates the hormone glucagon and the anabolic response important for adequate testosterone release.

  • Eat More Vegetables/Limit Excessive Simple Sugars and Starches: Excess carbs that raise blood sugar rapidly create excess levels of the hormone insulin and cortisol.  These two hormones oppose the action of testosterone and diminish its production.

  • Eat Fat! Essential fats such as the omega 3 fatty acids found in fish and flaxseed as well as saturated fats are essential for normal testosterone production. All steroid hormones are produced from cholesterol and when fats are deficient in the diet, this process will be inhibited.

Exercise

Both the lack of physical activity and excessive physical activity (over training) will result in decreased levels of testosterone.

The duration, intensity and frequency of exercise will determine the circulating levels of testosterone. Testosterone levels increase most with short intense bursts, while it decreases with prolonged activity especially that of frequent endurance training.

Studies show that testosterone levels will elevate with exercise for about 45 to 60 minutes. After this time period, cortisol levels begin to increase and testosterone levels will decline. This decrease has been detected for up to 6 days.

Because you require testosterone for repair and growth, do not train for more than 45 to 60 minutes at a single session. If you feel like you want to exercise or train more, split sessions are recommended.  It is also a good idea to vary your workouts and cycle them throughout the year.

Keep up the HARD WORK, enjoy your time off,  and keep these simple tips in mind! Remember no excuses and no reason to fail!

Continue to daily..

DEFY THE ODDS


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Anaboic Power Shake

21 02 2011

We try to reach our fitness goals through HARD TRAINING and CLEAN EATING but there’s a little more science behind the process.  When you train your applying a load on your muscles that is greater than usual, obviously; however your muscle fibers tear and proteins are damaged.  If you were to look at your muscles under a microscope after you train, you’d actually see the torn fibers.  With proper nutritional support and sufficient downtime, your body rebuilds them, only they don’t just return to their original form –  they get bigger and stronger, a process called hypertrophy.  To fuel hypertrophy, you need plenty of protein and its building blocks, amino acids.  With protein on your side, you can push your body into an anabolic state – a state during which your body creates more muscle protein than it breaks down.  You need the proper nutrition to flip your body into that anabolic state, and this concoction is designed to do that.

This is my ideal home made Post-Training recovery shake.  Tastes great and you can make it the night before, freeze it in a disposable plastic drink container, and throw it into your gym bag in the morning.  It will thaw by the time you set down the last weight from your last rep.  Be sure to leave some room under the lid so it won’t burst open the container when it freezes.

  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup low fat or fat free strawberry yogurt
  • 30 grams whey protein powder (plain or vanilla)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 cup fat-free milk
  • 1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 3 grams creatine monohydrate
  • 5 grams glutamine

Blend all ingredients until smooth.  Contains 589 calories, 100 g carbs, 48 g protein, 2 g fat, 4 g fiber.

DEFY THE ODDS





Post Workout Nutrition

19 02 2011

In the world of training there’s always been a lot of discussion on diet.  What to eat, how to eat, what not to eat, how not to eat, cheat days, cheat weeks, high protein, high carbs…and the list goes on and on.  I’m not an expert on diet or nutrition but there are a few surefire things that I know work for me.

Here are a few examples of principles I follow: Personally I don’t eat dairy.  I feel like it keeps me “puffy” instead of helping me stay lean.  I try to stick to organic free range meats.  I eat green veggies at almost every meal.  Healthy fats are a must including avocados, almonds, olive oil, flax seed oil and others.  Also I don’t believe in bombarding the body with loads of unhealthy fats and carbs to “bulk” then spending months to loose the fat so I can finally see the lean muscle.  I feel as if I never progress and it becomes a viscous cycle. But again, to each his own.

Regardless of whether you eat dairy and bulk, one or the other; or you don’t really care, there is one thing EVERYONE should be including in their diet.  After training we should all be quick to grab some sort of post workout recovery shake.  I can’t speak for all formula’s and brands but I did want to share some info about the products I’ve used.

 

 

Optimum Nutrition’s After Max – 40 grams of carbs (Maltodextrin), 40 grams of protein, and 5 grams of both creatine and glutamine.  I found After Max to be a FAIR post shake.  I’m not really I big fan of maltodextrin or at least maltodextrin alone as the only source of carbs for recovery.  I’ve found more success with products that use multiple types of carbs for recovery after weight training.  I also feel like After Max is missing an antioxidant to help with muscle detoxification and BCAA support.

 

 

 

 

Optimum Nutrition’s Glyco-Maize – 35 grams of Waxy Maize Starch.  You know exactly what your getting with Glyco-Maize, no colors or extras (good or bad) just carbs.  Waxy maize starches have been are long-chain, highly-branched, exceptionally-dense complex carbohydrates that are rapidly absorbed.  I usually mix it right in with my protein powder for a post workout shake.  I’ve seen the best results from Waxy Maize if I stick to using it after long runs instead of after weight training sessions.  Again, only the one source of carbs doesn’t work the best for me.

 

 

 

 

Controlled Lab’s Golden Gains – 41 grams of carbs (whole oat flour and waxy maize), 21 grams of protein, 5 grams of healthy fats, and fruit and veggie antioxidants.  Packed with all the essential nutrients for a complete recovery.  Only problem is they only make it in Apple Pie flavor which is really hard to choke down and isn’t very thirst quenching.  If you can get over the gagging taste this is a great choice.

 

 

 

 

 

Max Muscle’s ARM – 32 grams of carbs (Maltodextrin, Dextrose, and Waxy Maize Starch), 28 grams of protein, BCAA’s, glutamine, creatine, and antioxidants.  I like the fact that ARM provides the body with multiple carb sources as well as glutamine and creatine and also taste great!  Comes in Fruit Punch and Lemon Lime, both of which taste like Gatorade.  ARM is my top pick.

 

 

 

 

Muscle Pharm’s Recon – 28 grams of carbs (maltodextrin, dextrose, honey powder), 7 grams of glutamine, muscle detoxifier, 3:1:2 BCAA blend, and EAA complex.  With multiple carb sources and its BCAA blend, Recon provides all the essentials after a grueling workout.  I’ve really noticed less fatigue later in the day and I’m rarely ever sore the next day.  Only problem I have with Recon is you need to have both this and a protein shake for complete recovery, not a bid deal though.  Recon is a GREAT choice!

 

 

 

I know there’s tons of other choices out there but these are just the few that i’ve tested, so I though I’d shed some light.  You can also blend up your own post workout shakes using ingredients like protein powder, almond butter, peanut butter, eggs, berries, cinnamon, etc.  Whichever product you decide to use or blend together, make sure your giving your body the nutrients it needs after a grueling session.

DEFY THE ODDS