Fitness / Sports

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Fitness / Sports

Post  Admin on Thu Mar 13, 2008 9:49 pm

Fitness (often denoted w in population genetics models) is a central concept in evolutionary theory. It describes the capability of an individual of certain genotype to reproduce, and usually is equal to the proportion of the individual's genes in all the genes of the next generation. If differences in individual genotypes affect fitness, then the frequencies of the genotypes will change over generations; the genotypes with higher fitness become more common. This process is called natural selection.

An individual's fitness is manifested through its phenotype. As phenotype is affected by both genes and environment, the fitnesses of different individuals with the same genotype are not necessarily equal, but depend on the environment in which the individuals live. However, since the fitness of the genotype is an averaged quantity, it will reflect the reproductive outcomes of all individuals with that genotype.

As fitness measures the quantity of the copies of the genes of an individual in the next generation, it doesn't really matter how the genes arrive in the next generation. That is, for an individual it is equally "beneficial" to reproduce itself, or to help relatives with similar genes to reproduce, as long as similar amount of copies of individual's genes get passed on to the next generation. Selection which promotes this kind of helper behaviour is called kin selection.

Measures of fitness

There are two commonly used measures of fitness; absolute fitness and relative fitness.

Absolute fitness (wabs) of a genotype is defined as the ratio between the number of individuals with that genotype after selection to those before selection. It is calculated for a single generation and may be calculated from absolute numbers or from frequencies. When the fitness is larger than 1.0, the genotype increases in frequency; a ratio smaller than 1.0 indicates a decrease in frequency.

{w_{\mathrm{abs}}} = {{N_{\mathrm{after}}} \over {N_{\mathrm{before}}}}

Absolute fitness for a genotype can also be calculated as the product of the proportion survival times the average fecundity.

Relative fitness is quantified as the average number of surviving progeny of a particular genotype compared with average number of surviving progeny of competing genotypes after a single generation, i.e. one genotype is normalized at w = 1 and the fitnesses of other genotypes are measured with respect to that genotype. Relative fitness can therefore take any nonnegative value, including 0.

While researchers can usually measure absolute fitness, relative fitness is more difficult. It is often difficult to determine how many individuals of a genotype there were immediately after reproduction.

The two concepts are related, and both of them are equivalent when they are divided by the mean fitness, which is weighted by genotype frequencies.

{w_{abs} \over \bar{w_{abs}}} = {w_{rel} \over \bar{w_{rel}}}

This leads to the well known Fisher's fundamental theorem of natural selection. Fisher's theorem states that: "The rate of increase in the mean fitness of any organism at any time ascribable to natural selection acting through changes in gene frequencies is exactly equal to its genic variance in fitness at that time". This may be somewhat dubious because selection takes place on the individual level, ruling the enrichment of genes (Mayr 2001). In addition, according to Maynard Smith, a population may reach a state of selective equilibrium, in which case the increase of mean fitness is equal to zero, but not necessarily the variance in fitness.

Because fitness is a coefficient, and a variable may be multiplied by it several times, biologists may work with "log fitness" (particularly so before the advent of computers). By taking the logarithm of fitness each term may be added rather than multiplied. A fitness landscape, first conceptualized by Sewall Wright, is a way of visualising fitness in terms of a three-dimensional surface on which peaks correspond to local fitness maxima; it is often said that natural selection always progresses uphill but can only do so locally. This can result in suboptimal local maxima becoming stable, because natural selection cannot return to the less-fit "valleys" of the landscape on the way to reach higher peaks.

The related concept of genetic load measures the overall fitness of a population of individuals of many genotypes whose fitnesses vary, relative to a hypothetical population in which the most fit genotype has become fixed.

As another example we may mention the definition of fitness given by Maynard Smith in the following way: ”Fitness is a property, not of an individual, but of a class of individuals – for example homozygous for allele A at a particular locus. Thus the phrase ’expected number of offspring’ means the average number, not the number produced by some one individual. If the first human infant with a gene for levitation were struck by lightning in its pram, this would not prove the new genotype to have low fitness, but only that the particular child was unlucky.” This measure is certainly useful in breeding programs, but hardly as a basis of a model of an evolution selecting individuals, because evolution would hardly know if the individual may be selected or not.

Yet another possible measure has been formulated by Hartl,1981: "The fitness of the individual - having an array x of phenotypes - is the probability, s(x), that the individual will be included among the group selected as parents of the next generation." Then, the mean fitness may be determined as a mean over the set of individuals in a large population.

P(m) = \int s(x) N(m - x)\, dx

where N is the p. d. f. of phenotypes in the population, and m is its centre of gravity. This measure is a suitable basis of a model of an evolution selecting individuals. It may in principle take even the stroke of the lightning into consideration. In the case N is a Gaussian it is fairly easily proved that the average information (information entropy, disorder, diversity) of a large population may be maximized by Gaussian adaptation - keeping the mean fitness constant - in accordance with recapitulation, the central limit theorem, the Hardy-Weinberg law and the second law of thermodynamics. This is in contrast to Fisher's fundamental theorem of natural selection.

History

The British sociologist Herbert Spencer coined the phrase "survival of the fittest" (though originally, and perhaps more accurately, "survival of the best fitted") in his 1851 work Social Statics and later used it to characterise what Charles Darwin had called natural selection. The British biologist J.B.S. Haldane was the first to quantify fitness, in terms of the modern evolutionary synthesis of Darwinism and Mendelian genetics starting with his 1924 paper A Mathematical Theory of Natural and Artificial Selection. The next further advance was the introduction of the concept of inclusive fitness by the British biologist W.D. Hamilton in 1964 in his paper on The Evolution of Social Behavior.


Last edited by Admin on Sun Mar 16, 2008 5:23 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Do you think fitness / sport is important?

Post  Admin on Thu Mar 13, 2008 9:57 pm

Deffinition: Sport is an activity that is governed by a set of rules or customs and often engaged in competitively. Sports commonly refer to activities where the physical capabilities of the competitor are the sole or primary determiner of the outcome (winning or losing), but the term is also used to include activities such as mind sports and motor sports where mental acuity or equipment quality are major factors.



Sport makes a significant contribution to our wellbeing, palying a role in the development of the economy, environment and society:

Teaching Teamwork - just yesterday, my girls' team finished thrid in a sprint relay. Two of the girls hated each other off the track, but they recognise the need to worj together to achieve success, and after a rocky start, they now actually speak!

Promoting Health - the most obvious benefit. By keeping people fit and healthy, sport is a form of preventative medicine, physically and mentally. Children who are involved in sport are generally fitter and much more alert, this has health benefits as well as helping with the child's academic studies.

Tackling Social Exclusion - participating in sporting activities increases people's sense of integration into their local community in both urban and rural areas. on a football field or basketball court you make friends from a broad social spectrum.

Community Safety - sport reduces the chances of young people slipping into lives of crime. There is a reduced risk of a person re-offending if he can be encouraged to participate in sport.

Increasing Employment - sport fields provide green 'lungs' for towns and cities, while new facilities can regenerate previously derelict land. In the countryside, many sports such as canoeing, sailing and mountaineering, contribute to health and sustainability of the rural economy.

Lesson for Life - children need to learn lessons that will stand them in good stead for the rest of their lives - a process in which sport can play a key role. It teaches people the benefits of self discipline, team work, mutual respect and fair play. It enables youngsters, in particular, to channel their energy, competitiveness and aggression in a personally and socially beneficial way.

Urban Regeneration - improving sports facilities and hosting sporting events can modernise an area's image and improve local self esteem. Such benefits are often intangible, but their knock on effects can be truly substantial.

The Value of Volunteers - voluntary activity is a key element in creating and sustaining an active and inclusive society, and that sport is one of the main ways in which people choose to put something back into their communities.

In short, sport is important to everyone. Millions benefit directly, through active participation. For millions more, the benefits are less direct but no less important.

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Training

Post  Admin on Fri Mar 14, 2008 6:13 pm

I am training regularly in the gym. Between 2 and 3 times a week, when i have to work.
Holidays, i am training between 3-5 times a week.
I think you should reguarly go to the gym and train 2 hours. I think it is not better, when you train only once a week for 3 hours.
That's not good for your body and your health. You should not be younger than 16, when you are starting the training. Running is
also important to get a good condition, because when you are a member of a fitness studio, you also should go up some stairs,
before needing a brake.
Of course, weight lifting strains the joints, but you get muscles, are stong and sportive. Girls also like it, when you have muscles,
to protect them or other reasons. Doing sport also is fun, especially when you go the the gym with friends. So all in all i would say,
it is good to train in the gym and do some sports, because it is good for your body and health.

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Bodybuilding

Post  Admin on Fri Mar 14, 2008 6:41 pm

Bodybuilding is the process of maximizing muscle hypertrophy through the combination of weight training, sufficient caloric intake, and rest. Someone who engages in this activity is referred to as a bodybuilder. As a sport, called competitive bodybuilding, bodybuilders display their physiques to a panel of judges, who assign points based on their aesthetic appearance. The muscles are revealed through a combination of fat loss, oils, and tanning (or tanning lotions) which combined with lighting make the definition of the muscle group more distinct. Famous bodybuilders include Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dorian Yates, Lou Ferrigno, Franco Columbu, Ronnie Coleman, and Jay Cutler.

History

Early years
Eugen Sandow
Eugen Sandow

Bodybuilding orignated in India in the eleventh century when men would lift a stone version of the dumbell to see which man had the most stamina. The "Early Years" of Bodybuilding are considered to be the period between 1880 and 1930.

Bodybuilding (the art of displaying the muscles) did not really exist prior to the late 19th century, when it was promoted by a man from Prussia named Eugen Sandow,[1] who is now generally referred to as "The Father of Modern Bodybuilding". He is credited as being a pioneer of the sport because he allowed an audience to enjoy viewing his physique in "muscle display performances". Although audiences were thrilled to see a well-developed physique, those men simply displayed their bodies as part of strength demonstrations or wrestling matches. Sandow had a stage show built around these displays through his manager, Florenz Ziegfeld. He became so successful at it, he later created several businesses around his fame and was among the first to market products branded with his name alone. As he became more popular, he was credited with inventing and selling the first exercise equipment for the masses (machined dumbbells, spring pulleys and tension bands).

Sandow was a strong advocate of "the Grecian Ideal" (this was a standard where a mathematical "ideal" was set up and the "perfect physique" was close to the proportions of ancient Greek and Roman statues from classical times). This is how Sandow built his own physique and in the early years, men were judged by how closely they matched these "ideal" proportions. Sandow organised the first bodybuilding contest on 14 September 1901 called the "Great Competition" and held in the Royal Albert Hall, London, UK. Judged by himself, Sir Charles Lawes, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the contest was a huge success and was sold out and hundreds of physical culture enthusiasts were turned away. The trophy presented to the winner was a bronze statue of Sandow himself sculpted by Frederick Pomeroy. The winner was William L. Murray of Nottingham, England. The most prestigious bodybuilding contest today is the Mr. Olympia, and since 1977, the winner has been presented with the same bronze statue of Sandow that he himself presented to the winner at the first contest.[2]

On 16 January 1904, the first large-scale bodybuilding competition in America took place at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The winner was Al Treloar and he was declared "The Most Perfectly Developed Man in the World". Treloar won a $1,000 cash prize, a substantial sum at that time. Two weeks later, Thomas Edison made a film of Al Treloar's posing routine. Edison also made two films of Sandow a few years before, making him the man who made the first three motion pictures featuring a bodybuilder. In the early 20th century, Bernarr Macfadden and Charles Atlas, continued to promote bodybuilding across the world. Alois P. Swoboda was an early pioneer in America and the man whom Charles Atlas credited with his success in his statement: "Everything that I know I learned from A. P. (Alois) Swoboda."[citation needed]

Other important bodybuilders in the early history of bodybuilding prior to 1930 include: Earle Liederman (writer of some of the earliest bodybuilding instruction books), Seigmund Breitbart (famous Jewish bodybuilder), Georg Hackenschmidt, George F. Jowett, Maxick (a pioneer in the art of posing), Monte Saldo, Launceston Elliot, Sig Klein, Sgt. Alfred Moss, Joe Nordquist, Lionel Strongfort (Strongfortism), Gustav Fristensky (the Czech champion), and Alan C. Mead, who became an impressive muscle champion despite the fact that he lost a leg in World War I.

The "Golden Age"

The period of around 1940 to 1970 is often referred to as the "Golden Age" of bodybuilding because of changes in the aesthetic for more mass, as well as muscular symmetry and definition, which characterised the "early years". This was due in large part to the advent of World War II, which inspired many young men to be bigger, stronger and more aggressive in their attitudes. This was accomplished by improved training techniques, better nutrition and more effective equipment. Several important publications came into being, as well, and new contests emerged as the popularity of the sport grew.

This period of bodybuilding was typified at Muscle Beach in Venice, California. Famous names in bodybuilding from this period included Steve Reeves (notable in his day for portraying Hercules and other sword-and-sandal heroes), Clancy Ross, Reg Park, John Grimek, Dan Lurie, Larry Scott, Bill Pearl, and Irvin "Zabo" Koszewski.

The rise in popularity of the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) added a bodybuilding competition to their existing weightlifting contest in 1939 - and the following year this competition was named AAU Mr. America. Around the mid-1940s most bodybuilders became disgruntled with the AAU since they only allowed amateur competitors and they placed more focus on the Olympic sport of weightlifting. This caused brothers Ben and Joe Weider to form the International Federation of BodyBuilders (IFBB) - which organized their competition IFBB Mr. America, which was open to professional athletes.

In 1950, another organization, the National Amateur Bodybuilders Association (NABBA) started their NABBA Mr. Universe contest in the UK. Another major contest, Mr. Olympia was first held in 1965 - and this is currently the most prestigious title in bodybuilding.

Initially contests were only for men, but the NABBA added Miss Universe in 1965 and Ms. Olympia was started in 1980. (For more, see female bodybuilding.)

1970s onwards

In the 1970s, bodybuilding had major publicity thanks to Arnold Schwarzenegger and the 1977 film Pumping Iron. By this time the IFBB dominated the sport and the AAU took a back seat.

The National Physique Committee (NPC) was formed in 1981 by Jim Manion, who had just stepped down as chairman of the AAU Physique Committee. The NPC has gone on to become the most successful bodybuilding organization in the U.S., and is the amateur division of the IFBB. The late 1980s and early 1990s saw the decline of AAU sponsored bodybuilding contests. In 1999, the AAU voted to discontinue its bodybuilding events.

This period also saw the rise of anabolic steroids used both in bodybuilding and many other sports. To combat this, and to be allowed to be an IOC member, the IFBB introduced doping tests for both steroids and other banned substances. Although doping tests occurred, the majority of professional bodybuilders still used anabolic steroids for competition. During the 1970s the use of anabolic steroids was openly discussed partly due to the fact they were legal.[3] However the U.S. Congress in the Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 1990 placed anabolic steroids into Schedule III of the Controlled substance act (CSA).

In 1990, wrestling promoter Vince McMahon announced he was forming a new bodybuilding organization, the World Bodybuilding Federation (WBF). McMahon wanted to bring WWF-style showmanship and bigger prize money to the sport of bodybuilding. McMahon signed 13 competitors to lucrative long-term contracts, something virtually unheard of in bodybuilding up until then. Most of the WBF competitors immediately abandoned the IFBB. In response to the WBF's formation, IFBB president Ben Weider blacklisted all the bodybuilders who had signed with the WBF. The IFBB also quietly stopped testing their athletes for anabolic steroid use since it was difficult to compete thus with a new organization which did not test for steroids. In 1992, Vince McMahon instituted drug testing for WBF athletes because he and the WWF were under investigation by the federal government for alleged involvement in anabolic steroid trafficking. The result was that the competitors in the 1992 WBF contest looked sub-par, according to some contemporary accounts. McMahon formally dissolved the WBF in July, 1992. Reasons for this probably included lack of income from the pay-per-view broadcasts of the WBF contests, slow sales of the WBF's magazine Bodybuilding Lifestyles (which later became WBF Magazine), and the expense of paying multiple 6-figure contracts as well as producing two TV shows and a monthly magazine. However, the formation of the WBF had two positive effects for the IFBB athletes: (1) it caused IFBB founder Joe Weider to sign many of his top stars to contracts, and (2) it caused the IFBB to raise prize money in its sanctioned contests. Joe Weider eventually offered to accept the WBF bodybuilders back into the IFBB for a fine of 10% of their former yearly WBF salary.

In the early 2000s, the IFBB was attempting to make bodybuilding an Olympic sport. It obtained full IOC membership in 2000 and was attempting to get approved as a demonstration event at the Olympics which would hopefully lead to it being added as a full contest. This did not happen. Olympic recognition for bodybuilding remains controversial since some argue that bodybuilding is not a sport because the actual contest does not involve athletic effort. Also, some still have the misperception that bodybuilding necessarily involves the use of anabolic steroids, which are prohibited in Olympic competitions. Proponents argue that the posing routine requires skill and preparation, and bodybuilding should therefore be considered a sport.

In 2003, Joe Weider sold Weider Publications to AMI, which owns The National Enquirer. Ben Weider is still the president of the IFBB. In 2004, contest promoter Wayne DeMilia broke ranks with the IFBB and AMI took over the promotion of the Mr. Olympia contest.

Areas of Bodybuilding

Professional bodybuilding

In the modern bodybuilding industry "Professional" generally means a bodybuilder who has won qualifying competitions as an amateur and has earned a 'pro card' from the IFBB. Professionals earn the right to compete in sanctioned competitions including the Arnold Classic and the Night of Champions. Placings at such competitions in turn earn them the right to compete at the Mr. Olympia; the title is considered to be the highest accolade in the professional bodybuilding field.

Natural bodybuilding

Main article: Natural bodybuilding

In natural contests bodybuilders are routinely tested for illegal substances and are banned for any violations from future contests. Testing can be done on urine samples, but in many cases a less expensive polygraph (lie detector) test is performed instead. What qualifies as an "illegal" substance, in the sense that it is prohibited by regulatory bodies, varies between natural federations, and does not necessarily include only substances that are illegal under the laws of the relevant jurisdiction. Anabolic steroids, Prohormone and Diuretics are generally banned in natural organizations. Natural bodybuilding organizations include NANBF (North American Natural Bodybuilding Federation), and the NPA (Natural physique association). Natural bodybuilders assert that their method is more focused on competition and a healthy lifestyle than other forms of bodybuilding.

Teenage bodybuilding

Bodybuilding also has many competition categories for young entrants. Many current professional bodybuilders started weight training during their teenage years. Bodybuilders such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lee Priest and Jay Cutler all started competing when they were teenagers. Today many teenagers compete in bodybuilding competitions.
A female Bodybuilder lifting
A female Bodybuilder lifting

Female bodybuilding


Main article: Female bodybuilding

In the 1970s, women began to take part in bodybuilding competitions, and was extremely popular for a time. More than ever women are training with weights for exercise purposes with desire for a more attractive body and to prevent bone loss.[4] Many women however still fear that weight training will make them "bulky" and believe weight training is only for men. However strength training has many benefits for women including increased bone mass and prevention of bone loss as well as increased muscle strength and balance.[5][6] In recent years, the related areas of fitness and figure competition have gained in popularity, providing an alternative for women who choose not to develop the level of muscularity necessary for bodybuilding. The first Ms. Olympia contest in 1980, won by Rachel McLish, would resemble closely what is thought of today as a fitness and figure competition.

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bodybuilding.........

Post  Admin on Fri Mar 14, 2008 6:42 pm

Competition

A bodybuilder posing on stage during competition
A bodybuilder posing on stage during competition

For biographies of professional bodybuilders see list of female bodybuilders, list of male professional bodybuilders, and Category:Professional bodybuilders

In competitive bodybuilding, bodybuilders aspire to develop and maintain an aesthetically pleasing (by bodybuilding standards) body and balanced physique. The competitors show off their bodies by performing a number of poses - bodybuilders spend time practicing their posing as this has a large effect on how they are judged.

A bodybuilder's size and shape are far more important than how much he or she can lift. The sport should therefore not be confused with strongman competition or powerlifting, where the main point is on actual physical strength, or with Olympic weightlifting, where the main point is equally split between strength and technique. Though superficially similar to the casual observer, the fields entail a different regimen of training, diet, and basic motivation.

Preparation for a Contest

The general strategy adopted by most present-day competitive bodybuilders is to make muscle gains for most of the year (known as the "off-season") and approximately 3-4 months from competition attempt to lose body fat (referred to as "cutting"). In doing this some muscle will be lost but the aim is to keep this to a minimum. There are many approaches used but most involve reducing calorie intake and increasing cardio, while monitoring body fat percentage.

In the week leading up to a contest, bodybuilders will begin increasing their water intake so as to deregulate the systems in the body associated with water flushing. They will also increase their sodium intake. At the same time they will decrease their carbohydrate consumption in an attempt to "carb deplete". The goal during this week is to deplete the muscles of glycogen. Two days before the show, sodium intake is reduced by half, and then eliminated completely. The day before the show, water is removed from the diet, and diuretics may be introduced. At the same time carbohydrates are re-introduced into the diet to expand the muscles. This is typically known as "carb-loading." The end result is an ultra-lean bodybuilder with full hard muscles and a dry, vascular appearance.

Prior to performing on stage, bodybuilders will apply various products to their skin to improve their muscle definition - these include fake tan commonly called "pro tan" (to make the skin darker) and various oils (to make the skin shiny). They will also use weights to "pump up" by forcing blood to their muscles to improve size and vascularity. Some may also gorge on sugar-rich candies to enhance the visibility of their veins, often considered a sign of high muscle-definition.

Strategy
Bodybuilder posing.
Bodybuilder posing.

Bodybuilders use three main strategies to maximize muscle hypertrophy:

* Strength training through weights or elastic/hydraulic resistance
* Specialised nutrition, incorporating extra protein and supplements where necessary
* Adequate rest, including sleep and recuperation between workouts

Weight training


Weight training causes micro-tears to the muscles being trained; this is generally known as microtrauma. These micro-tears in the muscle contribute to the soreness felt after exercise, called delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). It is the repair to these micro-trauma that result in muscle growth. Normally, this soreness becomes most apparent a day or two after a workout. However, as your muscles become adapted to the exercises, soreness tends to decrease.[7]

Nutrition

The high levels of muscle growth and repair achieved by bodybuilders require a specialized diet. Generally speaking, bodybuilders require more calories than the average person of the same weight to support the protein and energy requirements needed to support their training and increase muscle mass. A sub-maintenance level of food energy is combined with cardiovascular exercise to lose body fat in preparation for a contest. The ratios of food energy from carbohydrates, proteins, and fats vary depending on the goals of the bodybuilder.[8]

Carbohydrates play an important role for bodybuilders. Carbohydrates give the body energy to deal with the rigors of training and recovery. Bodybuilders seek out low-glycemic polysaccharides and other slowly-digesting carbohydrates, which release energy in a more stable fashion than high-glycemic sugars and starches. This is important as high-glycemic carbohydrates cause a sharp insulin response, which places the body in a state where it is likely to store additional food energy as fat rather than muscle, and which can waste energy that should be directed towards muscle growth. However, bodybuilders frequently do ingest some quickly-digesting sugars (often in form of pure dextrose or maltodextrin) after a workout. This may help to replenish glycogen stores within the muscle, and to stimulate muscle protein synthesis.[9]

Protein is probably one of the most important parts of the diet for the bodybuilder to consider. Functional proteins such as motor proteins which include myosin, kinesin, and dynein generate the forces exerted by contracting muscles. Current advice says that bodybuilders should consume 25-30% of protein per total calorie intake to further their goal of maintaining and improving their body composition.[10] This is a widely debated topic, with many arguing that 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight is ideal, some suggesting that less is sufficient, while others recommending 1.5, 2, or more.[11][12][13][14] It is believed that protein needs to be consumed frequently throughout the day, especially during/after a workout, and before sleep.[15] There is also some debate concerning the best type of protein to take. Chicken, beef, pork, fish, eggs and dairy foods are high in protein, as are some nuts, seeds, beans and lentils. Casein or whey are often used to supplement the diet with additional protein. Whey protein is the type of protein contained in many popular brands of protein supplements, and is preferred by many bodybuilders because of its high Biological Value (BV) and quick absorption rates. Bodybuilders usually require higher quality protein with a high BV rather than relying on protein such as soy, which is often avoided due to its claimed estrogenic properties.[16] Still, some nutrition experts believe that soy, flax seeds and many other plants that contain the weak estrogen-like compounds or phytoestrogens can be used beneficially as phytoestrogens compete with this hormone for receptor sites in the male body and can block its actions. This can also include some inhibition of pituitary functions while stimulating the P450 system (the system that eliminates chemicals, hormones, drugs and metabolic waste product from the body) in the liver to more actively process and excrete excess estrogen.[17][18]

Bodybuilders usually split their food intake for the day into 5 to 7 meals of roughly equal nutritional content and attempt to eat at regular intervals (normally between 2 and 3 hours). This method purports to serve two purposes: to limit overindulging as well as increasing basal metabolic rate when compared to the traditional 3 meals a day. However, this has been debunked as the most reliable reasearch using whole-body calorimetry and doubly-labelled water finds no metabolic advantage to eating more frequently.[19][20]

Dietary supplements

Main article: Bodybuilding supplement

The important role of nutrition in building muscle and losing fat means bodybuilders may consume a wide variety of dietary supplements.[21] Various products are used in an attempt to augment muscle size, increase the rate of fat loss, improve joint health and prevent potential nutrient deficiencies. Scientific consensus supports the effectiveness of only a small number of commercially available supplements when used by healthy, physically active adults[citation needed]. Creatine is probably the most widely used performance enhancing legal supplement. Creatine works by turning into creatine phosphate, which provides an extra phosphorus molecule in the regeneration of ATP. This will provide the body with more energy that lasts longer during short, intense bits of work like weight training.

Performance enhancing substances

Some bodybuilders use drugs to gain an advantage in hypertrophy, especially in professional competitions. Although these substances are illegal without prescription in many countries, in professional bodybuilding anabolic steroids and precursor substances such as prohormones are used very frequently. Anabolic steroids cause muscle hypertrophy of both types (I and II) of muscle fibers caused likely by an increased synthesis of muscle proteins. Some negative side-effects accompany steroid abuse, such as hepatotoxicity, gynecomastia, acne, male pattern baldness and a temporary decline in the body's own testosterone production, which can cause testicular atrophy.[22][23][24]

Growth Hormone (GH) and insulin are also used. GH is relatively expensive compared to steroids, while insulin is very readily available yet fatal if misused. See Growth hormone treatment for bodybuilding.

Rest

Although muscle stimulation occurs in the gym lifting weights, muscle growth occurs afterward during rest. Without adequate rest and sleep, muscles do not have an opportunity to recover and build. About eight hours of sleep a night is desirable for the bodybuilder to be refreshed, although this varies from person to person. Additionally, many athletes find a daytime nap further increases their body's ability to build muscle. Some bodybuilders take several naps per day, during peak anabolic phases.

Overtraining

Overtraining refers to when a bodybuilder has trained to the point where his workload exceeds his recovery capacity. There are many reasons that overtraining occurs, including lack of adequate nutrition, lack of recovery time between workouts, insufficient sleep, and training at a high intensity for too long (a lack of splitting apart workouts). Training at a high intensity too frequently also stimulates the central nervous system (CNS) and can result in a hyper-adrenergic state that interferes with sleep patterns.[25] To avoid overtraining, intense frequent training must be met with at least an equal amount of purposeful recovery. Timely provision of carbohydrates, proteins, and various micronutrients such as vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, even nutritional supplements are acutely critical.

It has been argued that overtraining can be beneficial. One article published by Muscle & Fitness magazine stated that you can "Overtrain for Big Gains". It suggested that if one is planning a restful holiday and they do not wish to inhibit their bodybuilding lifestyle too much, they should overtrain before taking the holiday, so the body can rest easily and recuperate and grow. Overtraining can be used advantageously, as when a bodybuilder is purposely overtrained for a brief period of time to super compensate during a regeneration phase. These are known as "shock micro-cycles" and were a key training technique used by Soviet athletes.[26] However, the vast majority of overtraining that occurs in average bodybuilders is generally unplanned and completely unnecessary.[27]

source

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Stretching Before A Workout?

Post  Admin on Sun Mar 16, 2008 5:20 pm

Not all stretching exercises are created equal. Some types of stretches will help you perform better if used before you exercise, while others may put you at risk of injury.

By Weston Lyon


Not all stretching exercises are created equal. Some types of stretches will help you perform better if used before you exercise, while others may put you at risk of injury.

There are 2 kinds of stretches to be aware of:

1. Static Stretching

2. Dynamic Stretching

Static stretching is the kind of stretching where you HOLD a position for a set amount of time (i.e. - 10, 30, 60 seconds). Dynamic stretching, on the other hand, is the kind of stretching where you move a muscle throughout its range of motion ten or more times.

Both types of stretches lengthen your muscles, but static stretching should NOT be done before you workout. Why?

Your muscle fibers are surrounded by a fatty tissue called fascia. If the fascia hasn’t been properly warmed up (meaning an increase in temperature and an increase in blood flow) you risk tearing it. This is bad news.

Static stretching doesn’t properly warm up your muscle fibers and fascia. In other words, when you perform a static stretch before your workout you can injure yourself.

Also, static stretching actually weakens the muscle fibers. It does so for only for a short period of time, but this is why static stretching is best done AFTER a workout.

Dynamic stretching is different. Dynamic stretching can and should be done BEFORE your exercise routine. It can also be done after you workout in conjunction with static stretching for some killer benefits.

Dynamic stretching allows your muscles to properly warm up. It helps increase blood flow and temperature, which helps your fascia become more pliable.

This, in turn, cuts down on injury.

Here’s an example of a dynamic stretch you can use before you workout:

1. Stand upright with your feet shoulder width apart

2. Clasp your hands in front of your body with your arms straight

3. With your knees soft (legs straight, but knees slightly bent) and your back straight bend over as far as you can

4. When you reach the bottom do not pause. Immediately come upright in a smooth, fluid fashion.

This dynamic stretch will increase blood flow in your hips, hamstrings, and low back. Perform 10-15 repetitions.

So, the bottom line is: Perform Dynamic Stretches BEFORE your exercise routine and Static Stretches AFTER your exercise routine.

This is the safest way to stretch, so give it a whirl. If you still feel better using static stretching before a workout feel free. Just be careful and don’t complain if you injure yourself during your workout because your muscle fibers were weak and tear.

source

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Alcohol And Diets - How Does Drinking Affect Your Diet?

Post  Admin on Sun Mar 16, 2008 5:22 pm

So you've committed to making the lifestyle change and have changed your eating habits for the long term. Or maybe your going on a short diet to shed a few extra pounds because spring and summer is on the way and you want to see if that swimsuit from last year still fits. But you also enjoy a drink or two with friends and neighbors. How will drinking affect your diet plans? Here are a few key point to remember when mixing alcohol and diets.

By Ronald Godlewski

So you’ve committed to making the lifestyle change and have changed your eating habits for the long term. Or maybe your going on a short diet to shed a few extra pounds because spring and summer is on the way and you want to see if that swimsuit from last year still fits. But you also enjoy a drink or two with friends and neighbors. How will drinking affect your diet plans? Here are a few key point to remember when mixing alcohol and diets.

Since you’re going to have an alcoholic drink, ORDER A DISTILLED PRODUCT like vodka, gin, or whiskey on the rocks or with a diet soda mix, a low-carb beer, or a glass of dry red or white wine. If you are on a low-carb diet, any alcoholic beverage with less than 7 carbohydrates per serving is considered low-carb, and remember that one serving of alcohol is 12 ounces of beer (not a six pack!), 5 ounces of wine (that’s the small glass, not the goblet), or 1.5 ounces of a distilled spirit (that’s definitely much smaller than my typical serving size!).

If you’re going to have a couple of drinks, START WITH A GLASS OF WATER. Actually, don’t stop there. Have more water between drinks but remember, the USDA recommends no more than one serving of alcoholic drink per day for women and two drinks maximum per day for men. Alcohol tends to dehydrate people - one of the reasons why you have the hangover in the morning - so drinking plenty of water before, during and after your one or two drinks will help keep you hydrated.

If you’re drinking wine and know the carbohydrate count for the brand, CONSIDER A WINE SPRITZER. Mix 2.5 ounces of wine with an equal amount of seltzer or soda water and garnish with a thin slice of lemon or lime. Now you can enjoy two drinks for the carb count of a single serving of wine!

Now here’s where we really get into how alcohol affects your diet. There is a fuel hierarchy that your body uses for energy sources. ALCOHOL COMES FIRST IN THE FUEL HIERARCHY, followed by fat, protein, and then carbohydrates. WHEN YOU DRINK, YOU STOP THE WEIGHT-LOSS PROCESS. Sorry, but it is true. Your body needs between 1 and 2 hours to burn off a serving of beer, wine, or distilled spirits. Once the alcohol has been processed, your body will revert back to utilizing fat, protein, and carbohydrates for energy. Simply put, THE MORE YOU DRINK AND THE MORE OFTEN YOU DRINK, THE SLOWER YOUR WEIGHT LOSS.

Which means if you’re working hard all week with your diet and exercise routine, eating right and taking your nutritional supplements, but then party like mad on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights then you are at best, just maintaining your weight. If you’re not in the diet and exercise routine during the week, but still partying, then you’re probably gaining weight due to the empty alcoholic calories. Moderation is the key.

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5 Tips For Infomercial Fat Loss Products

Post  Admin on Sun Mar 16, 2008 5:24 pm

TV infomercials are screened 24/7 with everything from cook wear to magic beads. There is a fair assortment of fitness and fat loss related products available, how do you spot a dust collecting machine from an invaluable tool that actually gets you the results you are looking for?

By Tim Goodwin

Infomercials for Fat Loss products captivate even a seasoned Fitness Professional from Luxembourg. As I stood and got sucked in by the TV screen, despite it being in German, a language I am not at all familiar with, I wondered how many people to decide to buy these products!

What was I watching!!!

Hell, as a fairly cynical viewer of adverts I was surprised about how easily drawn in I was, which made me wonder how many people get hooked in to those “fitness” products that promise so much but rarely deliver.

Don’t get me wrong I have actually seen some genuinely good products advertised… …so how can you spot a pointless gadget that will gether dust under your bed, from a practical tool that can help?

1. If it promises to help you lose weight by simply sitting in your sofa, vibrating your flab away, OR, giving you 60 electric shocks a minute, make sure your remote is close to hand to zap the TV instead!

2. If the promise is to burn fat from ONLY your butt, hips and thighs, please avoid this obvious spot reducing LIE! You know that it is impossible to just lose fat from your abs by just doing ab exercises? If it did work, all the guys and girls doing hundreds of crunches a day, would have perfect abs, but a flabby butt!

3. Take a close look at the before and after photos, the colours and lighting used on the photos is designed to trick the eye. The business of infomercials has become extremely smart with this now, the pictures used on the before and after shots are taken on the same day. It is relatively easy to blow out your stomach, round your shoulders forward and puff your cheeks out to make yourself look fat. Then simply stand up tall with good posture and suck in your stomach for a remarkably different look. Add in to this the lighting, some clever makup and you’ll get yourself a super model in 5 minutes!

4. Take a note of all the small print at the bottom of the screen, relating to results only possible with a strict calorie controlled diet! Yup, the machine is not gonna do it all for you! You can’t out train a bad diet!

5. If it focusses on just one movement, normally flexion (bending) of the torso to “work” your abs, lock away your credit card. You do know that focussing all your training on this tiny strip of muscle is wasting your time and likely to cause imbalances in your body and higher risks of back injuries!

Yep, I got sucked in by the bronzed bodies and ripped abs. Before we get carried away and pick up the phone, do a quick reality check as we know most of these things don’t work. However, good honest hard workouts and sensible eating habits are the obvious solution that we already know.

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