Nutrabolics March Athlete of the Month is Fitness Model Caitlyn Bellamy.
Caitlyn is a full time personal trainer who lives, eats and breathes the Nutrabolics lifestyle. From Fort St. John, BC, she is currently prepping for the BCABBA Western Canadian All Natural Competition in May.
A common term used in weight training is the “pump”: a collection of blood in the muscle as a product of intense exercise, such as heavy lifting. The pump can be esthetically pleasing, but is there any anabolic benefit? Research seems to suggest so.
The scientific term for a pump is “hyperemia” – or an excess of blood in the vessels supplying an organ or other part of the body. It is thought that putting the muscle in this state promotes muscle growth or “hypertrophy.” This is achieved from stretching of the facial layer that occurs from the muscle expanding larger than its regular size, which in turn allows for more muscle growth to occur.
The process involves oxygenated blood increasing and rushing to the muscle, expanding it, and causing micro tears which promote muscle growth. During training a muscle can receive up to 4 times the amount of blood it would under normal circumstances. Lactic acid is produced when the muscle is under strenuous work, causing a release nitric oxide (NO) in response to the high acidity. This allows for local capillaries to dilate, thus promoting increased blood flow. This excess blood flow also helps remove the lactic acid.
There is also believed to be a euphoric feeling associated with a muscle pump. Arnold Schwarzenegger, former professional body builder and ambassador to the sport claims, “The greatest feeling you can get in the gym is the pump.”
So how does one attain the pump?
The first step in achieving a pump and overall quality training is to be sure to breathe properly with each rep and attain a full range of motion. Without proper oxygen intake the muscle cannot receive the oxygenated blood it needs. Exhale on the extension of your rep while inhaling on the negative. Be sure to put your “mind in the muscle,” focusing on a full squeeze at the peak of your rep. Some training techniques to acquire a great pump include drop sets, partials, negatives, extended sets and forced reps. Consult a qualified personal trainer to learn more about these techniques.
A full muscle is a pumped muscle. Having adequate glycogen through a proper carbohydrate intake will promote a greater muscle pump. Electrolytes such as potassium, magnesium and sodium will also support the nervous system’s functions required to attain a pump. It’s beneficial to consult a qualified nutrition coach to ensure you’re timing your nutrients properly for your training goals.
There are a few “tried and tested” supplement ingredients that assist in achieving the best pump possible. Citrulline Malate is sometimes referred to as the “creatine of cardio” due to its adverse effects on increased oxygenation to the muscles, assisting in stamina and endurance. With increased oxygen comes a better pump. Arginine is an amino acid that assists in the production of nitric oxide (NO). NO relaxes the tissue walls of blood vessels, allowing for more blood flow and increased blood circulation. This also gives greater, longer lasting pumps. Arginine is arguably the best substance for attaining great pumps. Creatine helps our muscles absorb water better which is used in the formation of glycogen. Glycogen is composed of one part carbohydrates to three parts water. Greater absorption of water helps the formation of glycogen and in turn creates a fuller muscle. Nutrient Transporters such as R-ALA and AstraGin™ assist in delivering glucose, creatine and other important nutrients to the muscles. A supplement that contains the above ingredients will assist in better nutrient uptake and absorption - ultimately a better pump.
NUTRABOLICS® SWOLLEN™: The Muscle Busting, Pre Workout Intensifier
Be it during an intense workout, a professional photo shoot or simply for esthetic purposes, an effective pump supplement should contain some of the above ingredients, and NUTRABOLICS® SWOLLEN™ has just that. With a powerful mixture of Arginine Ethyl Ester, Arginine AKG and L-Citrulline Malate, you’re sure to have vein popping, sleeve stretching pumps shortly after consumption. To top it off they’ve added the effective nutrient transporter AstraGin™ to further increase absorption as well as an Extreme Energy Matrix of B vitamin, Niacin, L-Tyrosine, Guarana and L-Carnitine precursor Gamma-Butyrobetaine. Enjoy this pre-workout formula in drinkable powder or even pill form and combine it with NUTRABOLICS® other anabolic power punchers; CREATINE 2XC™ and CARNIBOLIC™ for a workout you won’t soon forget.
Article by Nutrabolics Ricky Goodall
March 20, 2013 16:49
Its Friday night, you're bowling with friends. You go to grab that big bad 16oz marble bowling ball. As it leaves your hand, you notice its lovely round shape, and you think to yourself... "Why can't I have delts like that?" Truth is, it's likely you aren't training your delts properly. Many tend to focus on pressing movements, when in reality these primarily activate your front delts. Don't get me wrong, presses are great, but you should also put attention on movements that stimulate all 3 delt heads. You need to focus on the pirate commander movements; cannonball lateral raises (and lots of them - 8 to 12 reps for 6 sets.) Maybe even do a quad drop until failure on your 6th set. Everyone wants to be a wide-load. These widen your taper and give your waste a smaller appearance! Force so much blood in there that you need to install custom wide door frames! You simply won't fit through standard openings anymore. Begin your delt day with high volume lateral raises - make those bowling balls wish they had size and shape like YOUR shoulders! Only when they burn.. Will your brain learn!
Nutrabolics Physique Athlete
March 20, 2013 16:37
We were recently asked by a fan "why is beta-alanine not in SWOLLEN™?"
SWOLLEN™ is a Nitric Oxide pre-workout. NO supplements are meant for greater recovery, pump and vasodilation, while beta-alanine is used for muscular endurance and strength. SWOLLEN™ contains our patented AE2™ Nitric Oxide technology - NO affects the release of hormones and adrenaline, speeding growth and recovery time as well as increasing blood flow (thus delivering more nutrients to the muscles.) Athletes take NO supplements because they believe they help them workout harder and longer. With the added stimulant/non stimulant and added circulatory enhancing ingredients, SWOLLEN™ far exceeds any NO product on the market.
Nutrabolics Facebook page has reached an amazing milestone - 50,000 LIKES! We would like to thank all of our loyal fans for helping us get there. Keep it locked on www.facebook.com/Nutrabolics for weekly swag giveaways, training & diet tips, and the latest on our athletes and products.
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February 26, 2013 15:10
The Big T: Testosterone and Training
Testosterone sometimes carries with it a positive or negative stigma, depending on the audience or context; but the fact is testosterone plays a vital role in many bodily functions in men and women, especially in training. This hormone is defined as “a steroid hormone that stimulates development of male secondary sexual characteristics, produced mainly in the testes, but also in the ovaries and adrenal cortex.”
Testosterone is responsible for the development of the male reproductive system, regulating libido, maintaining muscle, bone growth and much more. It also plays a role in increasing mental and physical drive and reversing the aging process. Despite its obvious necessary functions, low testosterone levels are often overlooked in men.
Decreases in Testosterone can cause depression, loss of energy, decreased strength, decreased height, lack of sexual desire, obesity and many other health issues. This can be caused by a variety of factors including hereditary conditions, infectious disease, tumours near or in the pituitary gland, abuse of performance enhancing drugs, excess iron, damage to the testicles, obesity and age.
When it comes to training hard, having a balanced level of testosterone is vital to effective results. In today’s competitive sports many athletes are much younger than the “seasoned” athletes, allowing them to naturally take advantage of their heightened hormone levels. This gives the older competitors a run for their money.
Athlete or not, everyone can all benefit from increased testosterone levels, helping the body to reach its natural potential. Testosterone therapies are available as prescribed by doctors, but there are also some great ways to naturally and safely boost levels. Some of these include:
Healthy Nutrition – As mentioned above a big factor in low levels is obesity. Working towards a leaner physique can relieve depression, increase energy and in turn increase testosterone. Start the process with a balanced nutrition plan from a qualified nutrition coach.
Some “go to” weight loss tips include:
•Never drink your carbohydrates – avoid juices, soda, sugar in coffee and any other beverages containing carbs. Simple carbs like those found in sugary drinks will spike blood sugar levels and cause fat storage.
•Get plenty of dietary fat – dietary fat includes fat from nuts, fish, lean meats, coconut oil, olive oil, walnut oil and more. Dietary fat is essential for promoting the body to burn excess body fat and is also known to naturally boost testosterone. Starting your day with a high, “good” fat meal with a lean protein and no carbohydrates can boost testosterone levels by up to 200%.
•Time carbs around a workout – after periods of exercise our bodies are able to process and store glucose in our muscle as glycogen rather than spilling over as fat. Try to time your carb intake for post-workout.
•Eat plenty of low calorie vegetables – a diet in high vegetables provides valuable nutrients that increase your body’s ability to transport glucose to be burned as fuel rather than stored as fat, not to mention the endless other benefits of “getting in the greens.” Vegetables also help curb appetite and keep our digestive track working more efficiently boosting our immune system and keeping us healthy.
•Get sufficient protein – a sufficient protein intake will promote more muscle growth and more muscle growth means less fat. Individuals with higher lean body weight burn fat more efficiently than those with less muscle mass. Be sure your meals include a sufficient serving of complete protein such as lean meats, fish or poultry. Some vegetarian sources include beans, lentils, Quinoa and nuts.
Effective Training – Although all exercise will promote a healthier, potentially leaner physique there are specific training methods that can naturally increase testosterone. These include High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and Strength Training. Lower body exercises such as squats and deadlifts are also known to increase testosterone and growth hormone levels. Be sure to consult a qualified trainer before attempting exercises you are unfamiliar with.
Supplementation – although a healthy diet will lend to sufficient nutrients we can also benefit from specific supplements known to boost testosterone levels. These include:
•ZMA – ZMA is composed of zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6 and is known to increase growth hormone and free testosterone levels by up to 300%. ZMA can be purchased as a supplement by itself or in powerful blends like that found in Nutrabolics’ Hemotest 2XC. ZMA supplements are best taken before bed and will also improve sleep quality and recovery rate.
•Tribulus – when consumed in dosages of 500mg or more Tribulus is said to increase testosterone levels, enhance mood and libido. There is much speculation on the effectiveness of Tribulus, however. Tribulus is suggested to be taken when you wake up and afternoon, preferably before workouts.
•D-Aspartic Acid – D-Aspartic Acid is “an endogenous amino acid and is found in the neuroendocrine tissues of humans.” It has been shown to increase testosterone levels in men after about 12 days of usage, however additional more extensive studies on other mammals have shown that D-Aspartic Acid may also increase progesterone and estrogen levels.
•Bulbine Natalensis – Bulbine Natalensis is a South African herb backed by various research studies to raise testosterone by up to 350% while also decreasing estrogen levels by 35%. It is also effective in increasing libido, mood and overall sexual performance. Doses are suggested to be taken at levels of 25-50mg per kilogram of bodyweight.
•Fenugreek – fenugreek is a plant commonly found in the Indian Subcontinent. It is used as a spice, an herb and a vegetable. Fenugreek is also used as an effective libido enhancer and testosterone booster. Fenugreek also reduces the height of insulin spikes and blood sugar levels which can in turn reduce fat storage. Effective doses of 500-2000mg are recommended.
Put the best to the test with Hemotest 2XC
Of all the rumored substances known to boost testosterone, the ones backed with the most research are ZMA, Bulbine Natalensis and Fenugreek. As mentioned in my article “The Importance of Rest and Recovery,” Nutrabolics® has their bases covered in the ZMA department with Hemotropin 2XC™. Hemotropin 2XC™ has a “partner in crime” so to speak with the complimentary supplement Hemotest 2XC™. This product has a powerful blend of Fenugreek Extract, Bulbine Natalensis and AtraGin, allowing effective testosterone release and efficient absorption of nutrients. It also includes Acetyl L-Carnitine, an amino acid that increases nerve conductivity; and Luteolin, a flavonoid effective in reducing inflammation as well as lowering the risk of prostate and other types of cancer. Direction for use of Nutrabolics® Hemotest 2XC™ are (1) serving in the morning and/or (1) serving before training with plenty of water.
Written by Nutrabolics Athlete Ricky Goodall
February 22, 2013 19:24
BREE LIND IFM V-LOG SERIES - MMA CONDITIONING
Nutrabolics Bree Lind takes us through one of her intense MMA conditioning classes as 1 of her 6 part video series leading up to the Inside Fitness Magazine Model Search. Stay tuned for weekly V-log updates on Bree's prep to this exciting competition.
February 21, 2013 14:14
eating out is possible
People are usually surprised on how often I eat out and I have heard the same questions every time - What do I order? How do I make healthy choices? It's actually quite simple, so I decided to write a blog on how to make healthy choices when eating out at a restaurant.
Most restaurants I've been to are very accommodating to healthy eating since they want to make your experience at their restaurant enjoyable and memorable. The number one rule is: Don't be afraid to ask!
You can always take a meal on the menu and MAKE it healthy, though I definitely stay away from anything with bread or noodles, which automatically eliminates burgers, sandwiches, and pastas. I also make sure to ask them NOT to bring the bread and butter at the beginning so Im not even tempted to nibble.
Here are some examples of things I will ask to be taken out of my meal or change:
• If my meal comes with white rice, I will get it changed to brown rice and I will ask for half the original portion. Also, if they don't have brown rice at all, I will substitute for some STEAMED veggies with no butter or oil.
• If my meal comes with a starchy carb such as potatoes, fries, yam fries etc. I will always substitute for steamed greens or a green salad.
• If my meal comes with cheese, nuts, croutons, or bacon, I will always ask for it without
• If my meal comes with a dressing or a sauce, I will ask for them to come on the side so I am in control of how much I am consuming. Also, if my meal comes with a creamy dressing or sauce, I will always substitute it for a vinaigrette dressing or a lighter sauce.
• Chicken and fish are always ordered "skinless" and cooked "dry" (without butter or oil)
• When ordering steak, I'll go for a leaner cut such as the tenderloin or the T-bone, also cooked "dry"
• Definitely stay away from ANYTHING deep-fried!!
Sometimes I find that after all my requests, the meal I get is NOTHING like the one on the menu! But hey, If that's what it takes to look good and feel great, then so be it! Because fitness is a lifestyle!
Stay sexy people,
February 19, 2013 15:23
Nutrabolics Men's Photoshoot
Sneak peak of Nutrabolics Athlete Jonni Shreve from the Nutrabolics Men's Shoot this past weekend. The shoot took place at Fitness FX Gym in Halifax, NS, and was captured by the #1 photographer on the East Coast - Wayne Forrest.
Stay tuned for the release of other photos, some of which will be used in the 2013 "I TRAIN" Campaign.