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Regenerative Medicine: Successes, But No Miracles

The public’s expectations of regenerative medicine are great. Some could be fulfilled, others not. 

Hardly any other field within biomedicine has developed so rapidly in the last ten years and is associated with such high hopes as that of regenerative medicine. “Thyroid gland bred for mice” or “Nose cell transplant enables paralysed dogs to walk” – these are just some of the headlines of the past months. Common to all the research approaches described is the motto: regenerate instead of repair.

Indeed, the potential of regenerative medicine is great. But its path into medical care is long. Scientists stated that the vision of simply being able to rejuvenate diseased organs is far from reality. Regenerative medicine has been marked by many successes in recent years, but also by setbacks.

Deficits in skin replacement

In clinical practice, regenerative procedures have already been used for skin, cartilage or heart. But while ten years ago the transplantation of adult stem cells was considered a very promising application of stem cells to improve heart function after a heart attack, large clinical studies have meanwhile put this hope into perspective again.

The situation is similar for skin replacement: Despite intensive research, tissue engineering of human skin has so far disappointed. Despite minor successes, it is not yet possible to prevent the formation of scars, to regress existing scars or to pigment the “new skin”, said the surgeon. He sees future regenerative approaches in treatment with suspensions containing the patient’s mesenchymal stem cells, but also in combination with biophysical therapies.

But there are also success stories: Haematopoietic stem cell transplantation is now considered a standard therapy that saves lives in many leukaemias and lymphomas. “We have now learned that the interaction of the stem cells with the so-called stem cell niches determines the fate of the stem cells such as self-renewal, differentiation and ageing. 

To break the bond between stem cells and the niche, reagents such as Plerixafor are used nowadays, he said, which ensure that the haematopoietic stem cells leave their niche in the bone marrow and are flushed out into the blood, where they can be harvested for transplantation purposes. 

Plerixafor is now approved for stem cell harvesting and represents a good example of the achievements of mechanism research in the development of stem cell technologies. 

However, it took more than 20 years for stem cell transplantation for blood cancer to gain worldwide acceptance as a standard therapy, and another ten years for the treatment to be recognised by insurance providers, the oncologist pointed out: Realistically, we are only at the beginning of a long road in stem cell research for regenerative medicine.

Immune modulation possible

We reported on immunomodulatory procedures for the adjuvant therapy of type 1 diabetes mellitus. 

Children are currently being treated with cells from the blood of their own umbilical cord as part of a study by her research group. It contains a lot of cells that can correct the wrong reaction of the immune system. Whether the therapy will work in the long term, however, cannot yet be assessed.

So far, however, the children have tolerated it well; it does not cause side effects. “The study is an important further step on the way to understanding tolerance induction in autoimmune diseases we emphasised.

Assured the scientists of the support of politics in their research. There is no alternative to a policy that focuses on research, development and innovation

The scientists need support from the legislator, for example, with regard to biobanks. We have to protect the individual rights of donors in the legal regulation of biobanks and at the same time promote research. 

It is problematic that in addition to some large biobanks, there are still about 10,000 small projects for which the same strict regulations are applied as for the large biobanks. The researchers therefore plead for graduated regulations.

Regenerative medicine the alternative

The aim of regenerative medicine is not to replace joints but to reconstruct them. Two paths can lead to the goal: the regeneration of a tissue can take place outside (in vitro) but also inside (in vivo) the human body.

In orthopaedics, tissue replacement of destroyed joints with adult stem cells within the framework of regenerative medicine is an innovative therapy option. Only a few centres, such as Orthopaedics, have the highly specialised knowledge to be able to use the therapy option of differentiating adult stem cells.

Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) are extremely versatile cells from the bone marrow and have the potential to differentiate into various tissue cells. Stem cells are harvested from the patient’s iliac crest without opening the joint. 

This operation is significantly less risky than a second joint operation. hMSCs represent a cellular alternative for autologous transplantation due to their proliferation behaviour and differentiation ability. 

Differentiation is stimulated by the addition of growth factors. In the field of regenerative medicine, the question is therefore increasingly being asked whether the use of mesenchymal stem cells represents a sensible alternative for covering cartilage, bone and tendon defects.

Can You Really Freeze Your Belly Fat Away?

Stubborn rolls of flab just freeze away? It really can be done! More and more beauty practices are offering cryolipolysis, a non-invasive treatment for fat reduction, which is marketed under the brand name Coolsculpting as a gentle solution against problem zones. How exactly does it work, what are the risks and for whom is the treatment really worthwhile we have investigated.

What is Coolsculpting?

Coolsculpting is the brand name of a cooling machine that stands for a new method of fat reduction: cryolipolysis. Unlike liposuction, this beauty treatment does not involve the use of a scalpel. Fat deposits that patients find disturbing are treated with strong cold to achieve the death of the fat cells. The method was developed by scientists at Harvard University and has now been in practice for six years.

For whom is the procedure suitable?

The Coolsculpting device can be used to remove “localized excess fat” – but not severe excess weight. The procedure is therefore primarily suitable for people with isolated problem areas who are resistant to dieting and exercise. The treatment is possible for virtually any adult, he said. 

Exceptions: Pregnant women or women who are breastfeeding, as well as people with certain health impairments. For example, about cold urticaria, a cold allergy that can lead to hives and unpleasant swellings on the skin of those affected from around five degrees Celsius. Regular use of blood-thinning medication is also not compatible with cryolipolysis.

How does the treatment proceed?

The areas to be treated are thoroughly cleaned and protected with a gel pad before the Coolsculpting device is used. The tissue is sucked in through a vacuum cup. The fat that is in this container is the treatment area, so to speak. The Coolsculpting machine uses sensors to keep the skin at a constant plus four degrees Celsius. 

This is cold enough to destroy the fat cells, but at the same time does not cause cold burns on the skin. Depending on the area being treated, the cooling modules run for between 35 minutes and an hour. The subsequent and final treatment step is a two-minute massage of the iced area to finally destroy the fat cells and promote their breakdown.

The non-invasive treatment can, in principle, be performed during a lunch break. The patient is not put under anesthesia, and the ability to drive and work are not restricted. Pain afterwards is also unlikely. Only anti-inflammatory drugs such as Thomapyrin or ibuprofen should be avoided during the following days, as they could falsify the results.

Which problem areas are suitable for cryolipolysis?

Excess fat that sticks out – i.e. a small belly, fat pads on the buttocks or thighs, even a double chin. The attachments of the Coolsculpting device must be able to suck in the areas to be treated. Icing fat that is evenly distributed on, for example, strong legs, could lead to dents after the treatment.

What is the CoolSculpting Procedure? 

CoolSculpting non-careful fat decreases innovation tenderly and successfully focuses on the fat cells under the skin while leaving the actual skin unaffected. 

The Science and Technology 

A long time back, researchers at Harvard University saw that a few kids who ate popsicles got dimples in their cheeks. The researchers understood that the popsicles were freezing and dispensing with little pockets of fat cells. 

The possibility that cold can target fat cells—without harming the skin or encompassing tissue—was the knowledge behind Cryolipolysis, the demonstrated science on which the CoolSculpting methodology is based. 

Fat Reduction versus Weight reduction 

Numerous individuals think fat decrease and weight reduction are exactly the same thing. They’re definitely not. The CoolSculpting technique is FDA-cleared to target obstinate fat lumps in explicit zones: midsection, flank/side (“overhang” or “extra padding”), inward thigh, external thigh, twofold jaw. 

Is it appropriate for me? 

You and your CoolSculpting doctor will decide whether you’re a decent contender for non-careful fat decrease.

 

Am I a decent applicant ? 

The CoolSculpting fat-decrease technique is extraordinarily intended for the individuals who have undesirable fat in focused territories. Dissimilar to weight reduction medical procedure (e.g., gastric detour), the CoolSculpting methodology isn’t a weight reduction answer for individuals who are large. Great possibilities for the CoolSculpting system have perceptible lumps in specific regions they’d prefer to dispose of. Numerous individuals need a non-careful option in contrast to liposuction.

Is the treatment painful?

By nature, pain is perceived differently from person to person, as Dr. Heitmann points out. Basically, however, he describes the procedure as easy to endure and in no way comparable to the accompanying symptoms associated with liposuction, for example. After the cold effect is clearly noticeable at the beginning, the unpleasant feeling subsides after a few minutes – the skin is then as if lightly anesthetized and less sensitive to temperature. The least popular part: the two-minute “kneading” following the cold treatment. The idea here is to manually destroy the degenerated fat cells and ultimately achieve greater treatment success. “For some patients, the massaging brings tears to their eyes,” the specialist describes. “Others, however, can relax well during the process and even fall asleep.”

Hormone Replacement Therapy – Hormones During Menopause

In hormone replacement therapy (HRT), the hormone deficiency that develops during menopause is artificially compensated for by medication. 

Hormone replacement therapy does not aim to exactly restore the previous hormone concentration in the body, but rather to specifically eliminate the estrogen deficiency-related complaints and diseases of menopause. 

Menopausal symptoms such as vasomotor symptoms like hot flashes as well as sleep disorders, depressive moods, urological complaints and other ailments, which sometimes considerably impair the quality of life and performance of some women, can be effectively treated casually by hormone replacement therapy. 

The symptoms mentioned can be improved or ideally eliminated if they occur for the first time or intensify during the menopause. 

Medical reasons (indications) for the use of hormone replacement therapy are currently considered to be the treatment of climacteric symptoms such as hot flushes and tissue atrophy of the genital mucosa (atrophy) and associated urogenital complaints. 

The prevention of diseases (e.g. osteoporosis, depression) is not a conventional medical indication for hormone replacement therapy. For primary prevention of osteoporosis, hormone replacement therapy is recommended only when there is a high risk of bone fracture and intolerance or contraindications (contraindications) to other drugs approved for prevention of osteoporosis.

Before hormone replacement therapy is recommended by a gynecologist, a comprehensive examination, thorough questioning and counseling of the patient, and possibly a determination of hormone levels by blood test are essential. 

The doctor and patient will then jointly weigh up the benefits and risks of the therapeutic options. A therapeutic decision for the use of hormones is always made together with the patient – as with other treatments. Two principles are always observed in hormone replacement therapy: the lowest effective dose is used for the individually required duration of treatment. 

There should also be regular assessment of intake. In particular, this should assess whether the menopausal symptoms being treated are receding and whether there is satisfaction with the results of treatment. During the course of treatment, regular annual check-ups should be carried out, including recording of blood pressure, body weight and gynecological check-ups as well as breast examinations.

To date, no binding recommendation can be made regarding the duration of hormone replacement therapy. One can, for example, consider the conclusion of hormone replacement therapy in the form of a slow discontinuation (“phasing out”) of the medication after 3-5 years of use. 

Of course, this must always be discussed with the treating physician. To end therapeutic measures, the dose can be slowly reduced over a period of about 2-3 months, for example. If symptoms reappear, hormone replacement therapy can be prolonged.  

BENEFITS AND RISKS OF HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY

The decision for or against treatment with hormones always focuses on the personal level of suffering and the severity of the symptoms, which are weighed against the individual risks. Ultimately, the therapy is designed according to the personal wishes of the patient, who can decide for or against hormone replacement therapy after intensive information.

It is clear that vasomotor menopausal symptoms with the leading symptom of hot flashes can be effectively treated by hormone replacement therapy. In addition, other complaints such as depressive mood, sleep disturbances, performance and memory disorders, bone and joint complaints as well as urogenital complaints (skin and mucous membrane changes), which in some cases considerably impair the quality of life of women, can be alleviated. On the other hand, as with almost all drug treatments, various risks exist that necessitate a careful risk-benefit assessment. 

Various constellations have emerged in which hormone treatment has a clear benefit or should be considered only in exceptional cases. Today, treatment considerations are even more strongly geared to the individual medical needs of women, and risk factors and pre-existing conditions can be included in treatment planning in a more defined way. Likewise, the various active ingredients and preparations can be used in a more targeted manner. There are different estrogens and progestins with different risks.

 

For women with menopausal symptoms, a well-founded explanation of the advantages and disadvantages of hormone replacement therapy is very important in order to be able to make a competent and self-determined decision in connection with the treatment of their menopausal symptoms.

Among other things, the age of the women and the timing of their individual menopause are key factors in the therapy decision. Ideally, replacement therapy should begin at the onset of menopause, but no later than age 60 or less than 10 years after the onset of menopause. Furthermore, there should be no contraindications or increased risks, e.g. for cardiovascular diseases or breast cancer. 

For women in the younger age groups, various preventive effects of hormone replacement therapy have been described, which, however, do not constitute an indication for HRT from a conventional medical point of view – but can be taken into account in individual cases: Protective effect against colon cancer (colon carcinoma), risk reduction with regard to the development of diabetes mellitus II and myocardial infarction. 

In women over the age of 60, hormone replacement therapy should be started under a strict risk-benefit assessment, as the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) increases from this age in predisposed women. 

Adverse effects of hormone replacement therapy.

An increased risk of breast cancer (mammary carcinoma) cannot be ruled out with long-term use of hormone replacement therapy (longer than 3-5 years). 

A corresponding increase in risk has been observed for the combination of estrogens with progestins (medroxyprogesterone acetate, norethisterone acetate) for more than five years of treatment. In this context, the treatment does not appear to initiate breast cancer initially, but rather to stimulate existing cancer cells to grow.

With estrogen monotherapy, the risk of endometrial cancer (cancer of the endometrium) is increased after 2-3 years of use. The increased risk is reliably reduced by the additional administration of progestogens. 

Hormone replacement therapy carries an increased risk of blockage of the bloodstream by endogenous substances (venous or arterial thromboembolism), at least in the case of a corresponding pre-existing condition or older age. 

The term “pre-existing condition” is used if the woman has a history of thrombosis, has a family history of thrombosis, is overweight, or has had to lie down for long periods (e.g., after a bone fracture, surgery, etc.). An increase in risk was observed here only with oral hormone replacement therapy. These risks can be reduced by estrogen substitution via the skin (transdermal) with a dosage below 50 micrograms. 

When making decisions, comparison with other factors that increase the risk of heart disease or cancer may be helpful. 

For example, severe obesity, regular alcohol consumption, physical inactivity and smoking increase the risk of breast cancer significantly more than hormone replacement therapy – another factor that has been shown in the past. 

However, the basic rule for the use of hormone replacement therapy is that the lowest effective dosage should be taken over the individually required period of time in order to minimize risks.

ACTIVE INGREDIENTS AND DOSAGE FORMS OF HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY

A basic distinction is made between monotherapy, in which only estrogens are used, and combination therapy, in which a combination of estrogen and progestin is used. 

The use of estrogens with the aim of alleviating hormone deficiency-related symptoms is referred to as estrogen substitution. 

The choice of active ingredients, dosages and dosage forms depends on various factors. Active ingredient administration by mouth through swallowing is also referred to as “oral”, while active ingredient absorption through the skin is referred to as “transdermal”.

Tablets, patches, creams and gels are available as dosage forms. For local treatment of exclusively urogenital complaints (e.g. vaginal dryness, urinary tract infections), estrogen-containing creams and ointments as well as vaginal tablets or ovules, pessaries and vaginal rings can be used.

The dosage of hormones is based on the lowest dose that adequately treats menopausal symptoms.

So far, there are no clear recommendations for the use of herbal medicines (phyto-therapeutics) – also because there is a lack of conclusive studies that clearly prove their efficacy.

LIFESTYLE ADJUSTMENT DURING MENOPAUSE

With age, muscle mass decreases and energy requirements also decrease. Women who do not adjust their dietary habits accordingly must expect to gain weight. With sports and exercise, you can increase your energy needs and prevent weight gain.

Calorie intake can also be reduced by eating a balanced, whole-foods diet with little sugar, fat, sausage and white flour. Dietary or lifestyle changes can also include avoiding nicotine, alcohol, coffee, black tea or hot spices. 

DEALING WITH HOT FLASHES

Women who suffer from hot flashes can dress accordingly. For example, depending on the outside temperature, they can wear several thin layers of clothes on top of each other and flexibly take off individual layers when necessary. 

Functional underwear can better wick sweat away from the body. In addition, it can be helpful for women who suffer from sweating to also have a change of clothes on hand. 

Also, while sleeping in bed at night, they can be flexible to hot flashes and sweats by using two thin blankets instead of a thick one and functional underwear. Also, fanning yourself with a fan during hot flashes can provide relief. 

Hot flashes can also be suppressed during the onset if sufferers run cold water over their wrists. 

Regular exercise and sports, as well as relaxation exercises and alternating showers, can also help relieve the symptoms of hot flashes. Exercise and avoiding stress also helps with sleep disturbances. 

DEALING WITH BLADDER WEAKNESS AND DRY MUCOUS MEMBRANES

Bladder weakness can be counteracted by pelvic floor exercises – combined with ample fluid intake to avoid concentrated acidic urine. However, they should be permanently incorporated into the daily routine. For women with a frequent urge to urinate, there is also targeted bladder training aimed at increasing bladder capacity again. 

If the mucous membranes are dry, care creams can help against itching and soreness in addition to estrogens, while lubricants can protect against pain and irritation during sex. 

To support the skin, care should generally be taken to ensure sufficient fluid intake. This is a prerequisite for the skin to be well hydrated and also to look firmer. 

It should be at least 1.5 to 2 liters per day, unless a heart or kidney disease is against it. (Piped) water, unsweetened juices or tea are best. In addition, it is advisable to ensure adequate protection against UV radiation.

DEALING WITH DEPRESSIVE MOODS

If they occur at the onset of menopause, immediate hormone replacement therapy can be effective. In the case of pronounced psychological problems, psychotherapeutic support may be necessary. 

Depression does not necessarily occur more frequently during the menopause than in other phases of life. However, women who have already experienced depressive episodes are more vulnerable during this phase of life. 

Other women may learn to adapt the demands they place on themselves to their resilience and adjust their lives to meet their needs. (2,6) Depressive mood cannot be safely prevented. But something can be done to reduce the risk and to feel balanced and better. 

In addition to plenty of exercise, preferably in nature, relaxation exercises help to reduce tension and stress and to improve one’s own body awareness and perception of one’s own needs. Healthy nutrition is also an important aspect as well as the perception of social contacts and an exchange with other people. 

How Often To Train To Build Muscle

If you want to really learn how to build muscle then the sad fact is that a lot of what you read online and in magazines is totally useless. So much of it is geared towards making you spend money on supplements, fancy equipment and all manner of stupid items with catchy names. This is NOT how to get huge. It is all bull, if you look at the training routines often given in magazines then they are literally going to floor you in a week. You will be exhausted, burnt out, and you certainly won’t gain.

So, let’s look at real life training for real life people, not workout routines for the minuscule proportion of human beings who are so genetically gifted that they would get huge just looking at a barbell.

  • NEVER COMPARE YOUR SIZE OR PROGRESS TO OTHERS
  • IT IS HOW YOU TRANSFORM YOUR OWN BODY THAT IS IMPORTANT
  • IF YOU LOOK BETTER IN THE MIRROR EVERY WEEK THEN YOU ARE ON THE RIGHT TRACK

If you look at the article on how to get big muscles fast you will see that I recommend training two to three times a week on a full body routine. For many even this is too much. OK, let’s take a look at some options for how often to weight train to pack on the pounds. Please also read the bodybuilding training frequency article for more insights into this topic.

But the one thing to always bear in mind is that we are all individuals. No two routines should be exactly the same. Over time everyone needs to find the best muscle building workout routine for them. The more you listen to your body, and the more that you can customize your routine to make it suit your recovery factors, then the faster you will gain that all important muscle.

The Routine To Build Muscle

See the best routine to build muscle. It is brief to say the least, it should take half an hour or so, and not much longer. But as you begin to advance with your training even a routine like this can be brutal and very taxing. This is because we are not playing here. We are lifting some serious weight and we are giving it our all. So our body needs time away from training to recover and also to grow.

So, how often should we be training on this brief but intense bodybuilding routine to build muscle and transform our bodies?

How Often To Train A Muscle

If you read the articles on the routine then you will note that I recommend full body workouts over split routines. I feel it gives the best return, allows you to train a muscle more than once a week, and means your training time is cut drastically, allowing you to recover fully.

Beginners

For beginners you can train 3 times a week on a full body program. It is simply because the weights are not going to be heavy enough to make any kind of a serious inroad into your bodies ability to recover.

As always, the main thing to keep an eye on is progression. If you can add weight or reps every workout then you are progressing well. If there comes a point where you are going backwards, or are stuck at the same weight for more than a week or two, then the chances are that you are over-taxing the system and are not allowing your body to recover and grow. If your nutrition is in order, and you are getting sufficient calories, then it means that you need to cut down the number of workouts you perform each week.

Intermediates

Once you have reached the stage where you cannot add weight to the bar every week then you are probably in the intermediate stage. You will need to do some experimenting now to find out just how often you should train. It may mean that you take 2 days rest between workouts or it may be as many as 4 days.

There is no hard and fast rule. It all comes down to how much rest you need for your body to recover. Try 2 days off and see how your workout goes. If you are progressing again then stick to this cycle until you milk all that you can from it. It could be that you can continue like this for months and months. And more likely years, with a little bit of tweaking.

As soon as you hit a plateau then it is time to up the rest days even more. Personally, although I am nowhere near an advanced trainee, I cannot recover and grow unless I have 4 days between workouts. Being a Hardgainer I simply cannot recuperate unless I rest for 4 days after a workout. Heavy leg work is taxing on the whole system, but is at the heart of continuing to add muscle. So rest as often as you need to to ensure you keep the momentum going and keep adding weight to the bar.

  • BUT DON’T KID YOURSELF
  • DON’T TAKE EXTRA DAYS IF YOU DON’T NEED THEM
  • THE MORE DAYS YOU CAN WORKOUT AND KEEP PROGRESSING THE QUICKER YOU WILL GET BIGGER AND STRONGER

Advanced

Many advanced trainees may need up to 5 or even 6 days between a full body workout. Once your poundages are very impressive it taxes your system to a very high degree. At this level it may well be better to switch to a split routine, where you are training legs only once a week and training other muscles every 5 days or so.

For most people this kind of consideration is years and years into the future. Most trainees are going to progress for may years with a number of rest days of between 2 and 4.

Considerations

Never neglect to make your routine fit you personally. Just because a friend can gain and keep adding weight by training 3 times a week it does not mean that you will.

If you are not progressing, and are eating enough to fuel your body for the work, then you need more rest days. Workout intensely, rest, and grow.

As soon as you stop being able to progress add in another rest day and see how your body responds. And as you get stronger and stronger and larger and larger add in more rest days. It may well be that you are best suited to having 3 or 4 days between workouts for optimal results.

Best Pre Workout For Men

The best pre workout supplements for men are powerful mixtures of components which provide you with optimum energy, focus, endurance, fat loss and strength during your workouts. Whether your workouts focus on cardio, heavy weight lifting, or training for a competitive sport, pre workout supplements will give you a boost in performance and an edge on your competition.

In previous articles we have examined what to expect in a pre workout supplement, but now let’s answer the question: what is the most explosive pre workout supplement? Depending on your budget and your goals, one of these will no doubt suit your needs! Below I’ve outlined the 5 most popular pre workout supplements available on the market; each is a unique offering with different strengths. I encourage you to check them all out and find the one that works best for you personally.

The Best Pre Workout Supplements for Men

  • JACKED FACTORY Altius Pre Workout, 20 Full Servings

ALTIUS is the first pre workout supplement that uses clinically proven ingredients and doses. It is also naturally sweetened and flavored. Finally, Altius contains no proprietary blends or hidden ingredients, making it the best pre workout of 2015.

  • JACKED3d USP LABS, 45 servings, $23.95

Jack3d is one of the most recommended pre workout supplements on the market today. USPlabs’ powerful mixture contains Creatine Monohydrate, Beta- Alanine, Caffeine and Schizandrol A, which has been suggested “to promote a stimulating feeling for the body and mind,” and result in increased physical force. At $23.95 for 45 servings it is also one of the best values among top pre workout supplements.

  • C4 Extreme, Cellucor, 30 Servings, $29.99

C4 Extreme is another great option. While more expensive than Jack3d, C4 Extreme offers a wider variety of ingredients. It doesn’t stop with Creatine Monohydrate, Beta- Alanine and Arginine AKG, but also includes a number of ingredients to increase energy, focus and fat loss, and promote positive mood. Overall, C4 Extreme is a comprehensive workout supplement and potentially ideal for a variety of training needs.

  • Assault, MusclePharm, 32 Servings, $34.95

Armed with a unique Arginine formula, Assault might prove to be the supplement of choice for those focusing on increasing strength and building muscle. Along with specially formulated Creatine, Assault includes a mixture of BCAA’s, Astragin and Cinnulin. These workhorse ingredients help to burn fat while adding lean, strong muscle mass.

  • NO-Explode 2.o, BSN, 50 Servings, $32.75

NO-Explode 2.o is BSN’s premier offering for pre workout supplements. With it’s distinct mixture, NO-Explode 2.0 offers a number of benefits and is a strong contender for the best pre workout supplement. Some of the benefits one could expect to experience while taking this supplement are: increased anaerobic working capacity of muscles, increases in muscular strength and endurance, resistance to fatigue, heightened alertness and mental focus to name a few. Overall, highly recommended!

  • Essential AmiN.0. Energy, Optimum Nutrition, 30 Servings, $17.95

Last but not least we have Essential AmiN.0. Energy from Optimum Nutrition. At $17.95 for 30 servings, Essential AmiN.0. Energy is the most cost effective option out of the group. Don’t let the price fool you, it is a powerful supplement and can greatly improve your workouts. This fast acting pre workout supplement has a blend of Beta-Alanine for longer and stronger workouts, essential amino acids for building muscle, and Arginine for pumps. Essential AmiN.0. Energy also incorporates green tea and coffee extracts for intensified energy and focus; these ensure that you will get to the gym ready for an intense workout.

How To Design A Bodybuilding Cutting Diet Plan

Most people who are new to bodybuilding or start working out for the first time in their lives have one purpose- to lose fat while gaining muscle mass. The majority does so by joining a gym and following some sort of a workout to get shredded or hiring a personal trainer. In most cases it does not yield the kind of results a bodybuilding cutting diet plan would have.

What countless people still do not realize is that more than a fancy gym or a highly recommended trainer, what they need is a bodybuilding cutting diet plan. As the famous saying goes “abs are made in the kitchen”. If you are going to the gym and yet eating a carb loaded sandwich from the deli everyday at lunch then rest assured that there will no cutting happening. When you start to learn bodybuilding, you must also start to learn nutrition.

The only way you can physically transform yourself into a new you is if you pay adequate attention to nutrition and the meals that you consume throughout your day.

Characteristics of an ideal bodybuilding cutting diet plan

When you start designing the ideal diet to reach your goals you must keep three priorities in mind. A good bodybuilding cutting diet plan should allow you to lose as much body fat as possible. It should prevent you from losing muscle mass. And it should not hamper your ability to train in the gym, owing to a lack of energy.

Muscles take a lot of hard work to build and the last thing you want to do is lose them while you were trying to lose weight (which for most people really means to lose fat). If you go on an extreme cutting diet without a scientific approach, your risk doing just so.

The rule of the thumb is that you should aim to cut out 500 calories every day, bringing the total weekly cut to 3500 calories that, non-coincidentally, is equivalent to 1 lbs. As scientists have proven time and again 1 to 1.5 lbs. (max) is the ideal rate at which a healthy human should lose weight.

It is all in the macros

Eating right in combination with working out leads to cutting, that we have already established and the former can only be done efficiently when you have correctly configured your personal cutting macros for yourself.

Macros or macronutrient ratios simply refers to the percentage of carbohydrates, fat and protein that you should consume on a daily basis to achieve your target fitness goal. So instead of following some fad meal plan or a random diet plan from some off the shelf fitness mag, you design your own customized eating plan for yourself. All you need to keep in mind are the macronutrient ratios.

Let us take a look at how you calculate your very own macros.

Calculating daily caloric intake

First of all, you need to figure out how many calories you need per day. This number helps you draw out a caloric limit that you should stay within to achieve optimal cutting.

Figuring this out is rather easy. Take your body weight and multiple it by the corresponding number according to the kind of life you lead.

Sedentary lifestyle= 14

Light active lifestyle= 14.5

Moderately active lifestyle = 15

Very Active lifestyle = 15.5

Extremely Active lifestyle = 16

For example, if you work at a 9 to 5 desk job that has you sitting in front of a computer all day then you will take your body weight and multiple it with 14. If your lifestyle needs a lot of running around and lifting things then you’d multiple it to 15. If you are active in the gym already and are working out heavy then 16 is your number.

So for Andy who is a 200-pound guy with a desk job, this number will be 2800 (200*14).

Caloric deficit is the magic word

Our goal here is to cut the excess fat without losing muscle. In order to do that we need to initiate a caloric deficit that will allow us to achieve that goal. The key thing to remember with this is that if the deficit you induce is too big, then you will eventually end up losing the hard earned muscle mass. It needs to be well within the optimal range and that range for most of us is 500 calories.

So take the amount of calories you calculated in the last step and subtract 500 from it. Taking the example of Andy again, the number for him would be 2300 calories (2800 -500). From here on it is simply a matter of calculating the right amount of carbs, fats and protein that should be a part of your daily caloric intake.

Fat is not your enemy

By fat, of course we mean the fat content of your meals and not the extra slab of it you got on your belly. A lot of people just assume that eating more fat will make them… fat. That is not true. Foods to eat to get ripped are ones rich in fat help our body regulate vitamins, provide energy, helps in natural production of testosterone and balances hormone levels. Eating fat also prevents your body from using protein as a source of energy, thereby ensuring that you do not lose any muscle mass.

On a cutting diet, you need anything between 0.3 grams to 0.6 grams of fat per pound of body weight. To keep it simple, ask yourself if you like consuming food rich in fat. Things like nuts, bacon, cheese, avocados etc. You are much more likely to stick to a diet if you enjoy eating the food as well.

So for our old friend Andy (who is 200 pounds) a fat heavy approach would see him needing 120 grams (200 * 0.6) of fat per day.

Protein, protein, protein!

It is no closely guarded secret that protein is crucial for anyone looking to get into bodybuilding but like everything else it is really important to ensure that you eat it in the right percentages. This ideal range is anywhere between 0.8g to 1.2g of protein per pound of bodyweight.

To keep it really simple, simply multiple your bodyweight by 1. Protein intake = your bodyweight in pounds. If you are overweight then you could reduce It to ‘bodyweight X 0.8’ ratio and if you are lean and working out regularly, then nudging the multiplier up to 1.2 won’t do any harm. For our old pal Andy, this number would be 160 grams (200*0.8).

Alas, the carbs

To carb or not to carb, is the perpetual question. Eating a low carb diet leads to weight loss, we all know that. The only problem is that a lack of carbohydrates can leave you feeling tired and irritable. It also forces the body to lose muscle glycogen that results in you feeling slugging when trying to workout. Besides the brain uses carbs for energy and without them, it won’t be able to function at 100% of its capacity.

To calculate carbs simply subtract the total of the protein and fat intake that you require from the total calories that you need and you have your number. Let’s take Andy’s example once again.

We established earlier that to function adequately, Andy needs to eat 2300 calories a day. Out of that 120 grams need to be fat and 160 gram, protein.

One gram of fat is equal to 9 calories and one gram of protein is equal to 4 calories. This means that Andy’s required fat intake should be 1080 calories of fat and 640 calories of protein. Subtract the total of these from 2300 (his required daily caloric intake) and we have the amount of carbs that he should eat. That is, 2300 – (1080+640)= 580 calories of carbohydrates.

Since carbs have 4 calories per gram 580 calories of it would amount to 145 grams of carbs. In the end Andy’s ideal bodybuilding cutting diet plan will involve eating 120 grams of fat, 160 grams of protein and 145 grams of carbs. See how easy that was?

It might seem like quite a chore to measure everything you eat but in reality it is not so, especially after you get used to doing it. All you need is a kitchen weighing scale and a My Fitness Pal account. The latter is free to use and can be installed as an app as well on your smartphone. You use it to enter a food item and it spells out the macros for it. Can’t get easier than that.

Once you have learned how to design your very own bodybuilding diets for cutting, you will find the going to be much easier. Now all you need to do is to put your head down and sweat it out in the gym.

The Best Ways To Build Muscle Fast

I am assuming that you want to be a natural bodybuilder or weight trainer. If you aren’t then this isn’t the place for you. I don’t recommend messing with anything that is not based on training and eating, period. If you are looking for the best way to build muscle fast, and to transform the way you look, then I can help.

In fact it is not as difficult as you may think, but it is also the hardest thing in the world to do. And this is because it requires dedication. It requires a person to get into the right frame of mind, and to be consistent. It requires training with heavy weights every week, and it requires you to do this month after month, and eventually year after year. But there are ways to build muscle quickly, here at how to build muscle I can give you some basic advice that will stand you in good stead for the years of sweat and hard labor to come.

Building Muscle Quickly

I am going to be honest and tell you that there simply are no magic routines to get instant muscles. Whatever you do it is going to take months to improve your physique. And in reality it will take years before you look really well muscled. But in just a few months you can certainly change the way that you look quite dramatically, there is no doubt about that.

Once you are out of the beginner stage of weight training to gain muscle you can use things like the Body Solid BB23 bicep bomber to maybe make faster gains in arm size than you could do otherwise, but there are no secrets that will transform you overnight. You must realize that you need to train regularly over an extended period of time to gain a large amount of muscle mass.

But, I want to gain muscle fast.

Of course you do. So get started. Read the best routine to build muscle, the how to get big muscles fast article, and the rest pause training article for maximum gains. Plus the new how to gain weight fast article.

What It Boils Down To

In the end it comes down to a few simple things.

  • An abbreviated routine based around a few compound exercises
  • Working out a few times a week
  • Constantly adding weight to the bar
  • Resting enough to grow
  • Eating enough to add weight without getting fat

Get yourself some cheap weight sets and get training.

In a few months from beginning a routine you will look very different to how you did before. And this is impetus enough to carry on. Consistency is key. Keep working out as often as you can, ensuring that you are rested, and the muscle will come. Beginners need to ensure that they are eating enough. If the scales are not going up then you will not gain muscle.

Eat until you add weight. For some this will be huge amounts of food, for others just a slight increase. Listen to your body and keep an eye on the mirror.

If you are overweight then cut back on the food until you look good, then add food back in as your training progresses and it gets more intense. But ensure that you never return to gross over eating that got you overweight in the first place.

The absolute best ways to build muscle fast are simply working out with heavy weights. Perform each set until you cannot do another rep and you will grow. It is as simple as that. If you can add weight to the bar once a week then you are getting stronger. And if you are getting stronger then your muscles are getting bigger. This is your goal each and every time you perform a set with a barbell.

The Best Routine To Build Muscle

This is the foundation of all the workouts discussed here at the site, where I can hopefully teach you how to gain muscle. It is simple in the extreme, but it is at the very heart of how normal people can hope to gain a good amount of muscle mass, and look different to almost every other person they are likely to meet. Most people either have excess weight and no muscle mass, or are what we call skinny fat.

Thin in most places, but with a slight paunch and still no muscle.

Others are simple skinny, and if this is you then you are in a better position than most.

Workout Routine To Build Muscle

You are going to be shocked by both the brevity and the infrequency of the routine. This is for a reason. Recovery is just as important as training. If you train too often then you will never grow. You need to tax your muscles and then you need to let them rest to recover. And then to also grow a little before you tax them again. Let’s look at the routine and then have a quick discussion about frequency. This really is one of the best ways to build muscle fast.

Trap bar deadlifts or Squats Chin Ups or bent over rows Bench press or Dips Shoulder press Biceps curl

That is it, and to be honest even the curls are optional.

Reps are between 15 and 20 for legs and from 8-12 for the rest.

You need to find out what rep range works best for you. And this is where trial and error comes into play.

Progressing With Weights

At the heart of any successful training program to build muscle is weight progression or reps progression. As you get into the groove of your training and are struggling to eek out the last rep you may find that whatever you do you can never get past performing 10 reps.

Week after week you are stuck at this level.

But you may find that if you drop your rep range to a max of 8 then you can progress with adding more weight a lot easier. So always take the ranges as a guideline. The aim is to consistently add weight to the bar as often as possible. If you find that as soon as you add weight to the bar when you can perform 10 reps, but suddenly drop down to only being able to do 6, you have either added too much weight or you are not suited to that rep range.

Try dropping to 8 reps and seeing if you can stay consistent with that rep number while still adding weight every week.

The faster you can progress at any given rep count whilst adding weight consistently then the quicker you will grow muscle.

Best Bodybuilding Routine

At the heart of a successful bodybuilding routine is the leg work. This is brutal. Reps should always be high, between 15 and 20. This stimulates muscle growth through the whole body and is the core of the whole workout. You should aim to add a lb or 2 each and every workout until you are lifting some very impressive poundages.

Do this for a few years and your whole body will be transformed.

See the article on how often to train to build muscle for guidelines of how often you should perform this workout. And if you perform rest pause training this is of prime importance. Never neglect your leg training, and make sure that it is done in perfect form, keep adding weight, and you will stimulate huge amounts of growth over your whole body. Your legs will grow, your back and shoulders will grow, and so will your arms. And if possible train in one of the power racks for sale that I have reviewed, safety is paramount.

How Many Sets

For the legs a maximum of 2-3 sets is all that you should need. And once you progress to real rest pause training for the legs then you are not going to want to pick the bar back up after 1 set, it is brutal to say the least.

For other exercises 3 sets are recommended.

Reverse Pyramid Training

This is my preferred way of training. You do your first set with your maximum poundage for the given rep range. Then on subsequent sets you will lower the weight so that you can match the rep range. It means you are always using the heaviest weight you can for each set.

Alternatives are that you use the same weight for each set. This means that the first two sets will be hard but nowhere near as tough as the final set, where you will be feeling the burn and getting pretty exhausted. But it is not as intense as reverse pyramid training, and for most it will not give the best results. i.e the quickest progression in terms of muscle gain and weights progression.

Are You Serious!????

I know, the brevity goes against everything that you have read. But this is for a reason. Recovery is so important that it should not be overlooked. Train hard, train very infrequently, and as long as you are progressing with the poundages week after week, do you think that you won’t be getting bigger?

Look at it this way. If you can perform chin ups twice a week and in a years time you can perform 10 reps with 50 lbs around your waist hanging from a belt, how much bigger do you think your arms and your back is going to be? A lot, right?

So, keep is simple, keep it brief, and add weight to the bar every single workout if you possibly can. And don’t forget to eat! If you are thin and simply cannot seem to add weight then you need to eat more and more and more until this begins to happen. See the how to gain weight quickly article for more info on this. If you are overweight then watch your diet, eat clean, cut out the crap, and make a slight deficit under your maintenance level.

Rest Pause Leg Training Workout For Overall Muscle Growth

Get ready for a routine that is simply guaranteed to pack on pounds of muscle. I seriously mean it. This rest pause leg training workout is a KILLER. It isn’t for the faint hearted, the whiners, the losers or the ones that don’t REALLY want it, this is for trainees that want large muscles and want them fast.

This is based on the muscle building routine I recommend, i.e the one I devised And is part of the rest pause training for mass collection of articles. It is super abbreviated, intense, a killer to perform, but it delivers results. Combine it with the how to gain weight quickly guide and you are going to be transformed, and quickly. But it requires an insane amount of will power and effort to see it through to the end.

Rest Pause Leg Workout

You will be surprised by the brevity, people often are, but it is like this for a reason. Too many sets in the workout will simply fry you. This is a specialization routine intended to be done every third or fourth or even every fifth day for a month. Much longer than that and you run the risk of over training and getting nowhere, or even losing strength and mass as your body simply will not be able to recover.

Chin Ups 3 Sets 8-12 Reps Bench Press 3 Sets 8-12 Reps Trap Bar Deadlifts or Squats 1 Set Rest Pause Style 20 Reps

Super abbreviated but super productive. Perform the routine as often as you can as long as you are recovered. For normal people it will mean doing it twice a week or maybe on every 4th or even 5th day. It is intense to the extreme.

Building Up To It

As stated in the rest pause main article, you need to begin by just adding 10% to the normal weight you use for your top set of Squats or Deadlifts. This is so it is not too much of a shock to the system. Gradually build up until you are using a much heavier weight than normal.

Now our month of training in this manner begins.

Each rep is like a workout in its own right. It is exhausting. Obviously the first few reps will be easy but it should get hard very quickly.

To illustrate this point here is the scenario you should find yourself in when performing this workout for the legs to guarantee muscle.

Let’s take the Squat as an example, although I do prefer the Trap bar deadlift. And make sure you train in a power rack. Set the bar catchers just at the bottom point of the rep so you can drop the bar if need be.

A Set Of Rest Pause Squats

Remember, this weight should be built up to. But it should be at least 50% more than you would perform a usual set of 20 rep squats with. I told you it was brutal!!!

It begins…………..

Deep breaths, bar set up in the power rack.

Nerves hit, the fear grows, you know what is in store for you and it is going to take all your will power to complete the task ahead. But HUGE muscles don’t build themselves.

Step under the bar and shoulder it. Time to get busy.

Down and up. 2 deep breaths.

Down and up. 2 deep breaths.

Down and up. SHIT! This is hard. 3 deep breaths.

Lower down, keeping good form and push up, this is tough.

Another one. Woo Hoo! 5 done, 15 to go!!!

And on it goes.

By rep ten you will be sweating. You will be taking longer between each rep. It will be killing you.

By rep 15 you will be trying to keep from giving up.

Don’t. This is where you will make the most gains in terms of muscle growth.

Each of the last 5 reps will take all of your will power to complete. You will be struggling for breath and you will want to lie down on the floor and collapse. And you will, after the last rep.

The last rep will see you resting for a good ten seconds if not more before you attempt it. And it will still feel like you are shouldering a truck not a bar with plates on it.

And finish.

And collapse.

It will take you a good 5-10 minutes to even recover from this enough to move properly. And this is why I recommend you perform it at the end of your workout. I simply cannot complete the other exercises if I do it first in the routine.

This is a brief workout for a reason. The 1 set or resp pause deadlifts or squats is enough of a workout in its own right really.

Do this as often as you can once you are rested and recovered, and do it for a month and you will have made massive gains.

You will need to eat like a horse to get the full benefit. But your appetite will take care of that. You will be starving day and night as your body tries to recover.

Pull Up Dip Stations Cheap

In the large arms workout I showed just how impressive the size gains can be, but it relies on having access to a dip stand and a pull up bar.

Rather than buying both separately, the economic answer is to buy a cheap pull up dip station. Luckily they are now cheaper than ever before.

Amazon currently have some great prices, so I wanted to simply let everyone know that they don’t need to spend a fortune if they want to be able to perform these most excellent compound movements to pack on the muscle.

View the many options here

I am not going to make a specific recommendation, it will depend on a number of factors. Space being just one of them.

What Is The Best Pull Up Dip Station

A combination pull up and dip station needs to be sturdy. That should be the basis of any buying decision. There are enough cheap ones that you are not going to have to spend a great deal, even for something of a very good quality. My advice is to read reviews of the products on offer to see just what comes the most highly recommended.

Personally I have tried both the Body Vision PT600 power tower and the Stamina 1690 power tower, both are nice and rugged. But there are so many different options that there is no point looking at them all here. Price and available room are going to dictate what you buy.

If I had to give you a solid recommendation then the Stamina tower is cheap, very cheap. And it does the job. I am all about not paying more than I have to.

I simply recommend that you take a look and see what takes your fancy. All of them are going to allow you to do chins and dips, you will just find that a few options are a little more versatile. i.e. you can use them to perform bent leg crunches and the like. Although if you perform heavy leg work, like rest pause training, then you will be developing a solid core without the need for any abdominal work at all.

If you are going to buy a station for chins and dips then don’t discount a power rack instead though. They come with chin bars and dip handles on many models, and also allow you to train in safety.

Whatever you do buy, remember one thing. The aim is not to just be able to perform dips and pull ups with bodyweight. To really pack on the muscle you want to be aiming for adding weight to your body. Use a dip belt and add a few pounds, or even a single pound, once you can get up to ten or twelve reps.

When you begin you may well find that even getting close to this is a struggle. But keep at it and you will be amazed at how quickly you can get into the groove.

If you can’t do a full set then do as many as you can. Then use negative training to finish the set. This means you jump to the top position with a bounce, and then lower your weight to the bottom, 4 seconds a rep is a good figure to aim for.

If you can do this for a number of workouts you will be able to very quickly get to a point where you will be hunting around for extra plates to add around your waist. And this is when the muscle realy begins to get added to your frame.