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5 Detox Drinks to Add to Your Diet

5 Detox Drinks to Add to Your Diet


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Detox Your Diet

Smoothies

Brian Klutch

Detox, the word gets tossed around the weight room like a dumbbell. There have been detox juices and smoothie plans out there, but why put your body through one of the many three-day cleanses? The hunger pangs can spearhead to overeating and set you up for failure. They can also bring unstable blood sugar levels, lightheadedness, and headaches.

Whatever your fitness goals might be, you’ll always be one step ahead if you have a healthy, balanced diet. Yet, incorporating a “detox drink” into your diet can provide that extra punch of nutrition each day. Whether the drink is packed with fruits and vegetables or protein, it can help you get that much closer to achieving your fitness goals.


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1) Energy: Cocoa Chia Smoothie

Chocolate Smoothie

Shutterstock

By two in the afternoon, you’re ready to call it a day. Don’t throw in the towel just yet; what you really need is an afternoon “pick me up.” A cocoa chia smoothie is the way to go. This smoothie is an energy powerhouse that can get your workout ready. Chia seeds provide an array of health benefits, but for our purpose — energy. When dropped into a liquid, the seeds double in size and shape into a gel-like substance. The new formation of the seeds delays the change from carbohydrates to sugar, allowing you to have more energy for longer. And if your muscles are inflamed post-workout, the omega-3 fatty acid content can help reduce the inflammation. Also, if your looking to drop a few pounds, two tablespoons of chia seeds has twice the amount of fiber compared to a cup of oatmeal.

With cocoa powder, you’ll see more muscle pumps. It’s a nitric oxide booster that can improve muscle recovery and growth. A study published by the European Journal of Nutrition had a group of men consume dark chocolate pre-workout. The results: blood glucose levels were improved, insulin levels increased, and there were less oxidative stresses present. Enhanced blood glucose levels can give you more energy during an intense workout, and higher insulin levels can stimulate muscle growth. Experiencing less oxidative stress can expedite muscle recovery.

What You’ll Need

  • 1 cup non-fat milk
  • ​1 scoop whey protein powder
  •  2 tbs chia seeds
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 small banana

​Totals: 332 calories, 4.5g fat, 31.5g carbs, 36g protein


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2) Recovery: Pineapple-Pom Juice

pineapple slices

Make sure you rest enough between workout routines — your muscles will let you know when you don’t. They’ll be sore, swollen, and aching. Before hitting any more workouts for the week, you need to recover, and a pineapple-pom drink will help alleviate the inflammation. Pineapple contains bromelain — an anti-inflammatory property. A study completed by Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise indicated that consuming foods containing bromelain can reduce muscular strength losses after intense workouts. Surprisingly enough, ginger is not just for your stomach but also muscles; it has been seen to help reduce muscle soreness.

What You’ll Need

  • 1 cup pineapple
  • ​½ cup pomegranate juice
  • ½ tsp ground ginger

Totals: 152 calories, 37g carbs


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3) Pre-Workout: Beetroot Juice

Beetroot juice

Chaded Panichsri – Shutterstock

If you’re up on supps, consider reaping more natural benefits from food. Beets are rich in nitrates, which can lower blood pressure, decrease the use of oxygen during exercise, and improve overall workout performance. The American Journal of Physiological Society completed a study where nine healthy individuals drank beetroot juice for six days. After ingesting the drink, they all had to complete moderate to intense workouts. It was seen that their workout tolerance was enhanced when the workout routines became more intense.

What You’ll Need

  • ½ cup beets
  • ​1 cup strawberries
  • ½ peeled navel orange
  • ½ cup spinach

Totals: 118 calories, 26g carbs


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4) Weight Loss: Green Tea Juice

The Power of Matcha Green Tea

If cutting season is upon you, try incorporating green tea into your diet. At only 97 calories and 20 grams of carbs, this recipe won’t destroy your macros. Green tea can help facilitate weight loss — that’s if it is included into your daily diet regime. Green tea contains catechins. A catechin is an antioxidant and the strongest one is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), yet not all green teas have the same amount and there is a significantly lesser amount if the tea is decaffeinated. UCLA’s Center for Human Nutrition compared the catechins and caffeine content of the most popular green tea bags. The two that contained the most were Celestial Seasonings Authentic Green Tea and Lipton Pure Green Tea.

Tip: adding agave syrup can help sweeten this drink without sabotaging the sugar content.

What You’ll Need

  • 1 cup green tea
  • ​½ cup spinach
  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries
  • ½ tsp agave syrup

Totals: 97 calories, 20g carbs


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5) Post-Workout: Peanut Butter Almond Smoothie

Peanut Smoothie

Shutterstock

The No. 1 rule post-workout is to consume protein. To see more muscle, your hard-working muscles need to be refueled. Typical whey protein powders contain branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), and an influential one is leucine, which triggers muscle protein synthesis. To up the protein, simply add peanut butter and non-fat Greek yogurt. Also, pairing a protein with a carb will help replenish your glycogen stores.

What You’ll Need

  • 1 scoop whey protein powder
  • ​½ cup blueberry non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 small banana
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • ½ cup unsweetened almond milk

Totals: 415 calories, 14g fat, 29g carbs, 44g protein

5 Spices to Boost Your Metabolism

5 Spices to Boost Your Metabolism


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The Power Five

spices

Eating right coupled with daily sweat-drenching workouts is a surefire way of making your metabolism run. But sprinkling a few spices to your muscle-building meals can give your metabolism a boost that it needs. Keep in mind, seasoning dishes is not a short cut to a speedy metabolism, but research has shown that incorporating specific compounds from spices can help increase your calorie-burning and fat-loss potential. Transform not only your food, but your body as well by incorporating these five spices. 


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Cayenne

Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper can kick your metabolism into high gear because of capsaicin – the active compound in cayenne pepper, which causes the burning sensation in your mouth upon consumption. Capsaicin is widely known and studied for its thermogenic effect – its ability to generate extra body heat (and those beads of sweat on your forehead) and raise the  metabolic rate. Research has indicated that the thermogenesis from capsaicin may increase your metabolism by up to five percent, even more so within a few hours of following a meal. Also, it has been seen to increase fat oxidation by up to 16 percent, allowing the body to actively burn fat.

Tip: Pack a punch of flavor by seasoning fish with a cayenne spice blend. You can also add it to roasted nuts for a spicy protein-packed snack, or spice up your love life by making cayenne and cocoa-dusted dark chocolates. 

Also, try this smoothie that has a kick. 


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Ginger

You may be most familiar with the wet, salmon-colored ginger served next to your sushi. Ginger can actually be found in many places — crystallized in candies, infused in ginger ale, fresh in the produce section, and dried in your spice cabinet. It has a pungent flavor and is most commonly used to alleviate nausea and digestive issues due to ginger being an antioxidant powerhouse with numerous pharmacological properties. Its use as a metabolism-booster comes from the active compound called gingerol, which is a relative to capsaicin, the active ingredient in chili peppers.  Recent research conducted on overweight men concluded that ginger consumption enhanced thermogenesis – the production of body heat as food is metabolized in the body. Animal studies have also suggested that including ginger in the diet can increase metabolism, in addition to enhancing fat digestion and absorption.

Tip: Infuse boiling water with fresh ginger, or simply add ginger powder to hot water to rev up your metabolism. You can also grate fresh ginger into a stir-fry, or add ginger powder to marinades. 

SEE ALSO: Recipe Of The Month: Protein-Packed, Honey-Ginger Venison


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Turmeric

Alleviate Joint Pain With Turmeric

Turmeric is a botanical relative to ginger and is often a component of curry powder and a staple in Indian cuisine. Curcumin is the main active component of the golden spice – containing powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that may help combat and/or prevent heart disease, cancer, depression, and age-related neurodegenerative diseases. While presently recognized only in animal studies, the metabolism-boosting and weight-loss effects from consuming curcumin look promising. Research has suggested that regular consumption of curcumin may reduce weight gain and total body fat by directly decreasing levels of insulin and leptin resistance – factors linked heavily to weight gain.

Tip: Add turmeric powder to a soup, rice dish, or frittata. Also toss it with roasted vegetable, or blend fresh turmeric root into a smoothie for a golden hue of metabolism-boosting goodness!

SEE ALSO: The 10-Minute Turmeric Tea


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Cinnamon

A staple in most pantries, cinnamon can do more for your body than stimulate your senses when chowing down on baked goods. Recently, cinnamon has been in the spotlight for helping individuals with type 2 diabetes in reducing glucose, triglycerides, “bad” cholesterol, and total cholesterol, as well as improve blood pressure. It’s underlying mechanism of action stems from its ability to imitate and enhance the activity of insulin by helping move glucose into cells. This explains cinnamon’s impact on your metabolism – helping your body process sugar more efficiently, making it less likely to be stored as fat.  

Tip: Sprinkle cinnamon on air-popped popcorn, apple slices, or Greek yogurt for a healthy, sweet treat, or combine it with cayenne powder to make a metabolism-revving Mexican hot cocoa. 


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Cumin

Cumin Seeds

Shutterstock

Cumin is an extremely popular spice used in cuisines throughout the world, but many Americans only recognize it when diving into a bowl of chili. Though not as widely studied for its metabolism-boosting effects as the other spices discussed, recent research on overweight women concluded that daily cumin consumption reduced blood levels of fasting cholesterol, triglycerides, and “bad” cholesterol and increased HDL or “good” cholesterol levels. Weight, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, and fat mass were also significantly reduced. The reason: Cumin contains phytosterols – plant compounds known to inhibit absorption of cholesterol in the body. Researchers also speculated that cumin decreased body weight due to a temporary increase in metabolic rate, similar to that produced by hot spices. 

Tip: Use cumin powder in curries, soups, spice rubs, or taco seasonings, or add it to a to turkey chili for a healthy, hearty meal. 

30 Days Of Booty-Blasting Moves

30 Days Of Booty-Blasting Moves


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30-Day Butt Challenge

It’s true: You want a bigger butt. It’s one of the top workout requests that we get from readers. But we know it’s not just size that matters—what you’re seeking is a tight, toned, rounded rear, not a flat or flabby one. And our glute-centered guide will help you get it—in just one month. Our 30-Day Glute Challenge was designed to hammer the gluteals with high frequency and volume, with three days of training followed by one off day. Each training session includes at least one exercise that targets the lower glutes and one exercise that targets the upper glutes. You’ll do nine moderate- to high-rep sets each workout to optimize glute activation, metabolic stress, and time under tension while still allowing for quick recovery so that training can resume the following day. In addition, aim to do one to two hours of cardio per week. Try to choose incline treadmill walking, using the elliptical, or riding a stationary bike instead of running. Over the next few weeks, increase the amount of weight and/or reps for each exercise. Then get ready to put your backside front and center, like our fitness model, IFBB Bikini pro Anna Starodubtseva.

30-day butt challenge 

Do three sets of each of the three exercises given per day. Increase the rep count as you progress. 

Days: 1, 5, 9, 13, 17, 21, 25, 29

  • Banded Goblet Squat – 8 to 12 reps
  • Barbell Glute Bridge – 10 to 15 reps
  • Banded Seated Hip Abduction – 20 to 30 reps

Days: 2, 6, 10, 14, 18, 22, 26, 30

  • Dumbbell Reverse Lunge: 8 to 12 reps
  • B-stance Romanian Deadlift: 8 to 12 reps
  • Crouched Sumo Walk: 20 to 30 reps

Days: 3, 7, 11, 15, 19, 23, 27

  • Elevated Glute Bridge: 8 to 12 reps
  • Reverse Hyperextentension: 20 to 40 reps
  • Hip-hinged Abductions: 8 to 15 reps

Days: 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, 24, 28

  • Rest

 


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1. Banded Goblet Squat

Works: Glutes, Quads, Hamstrings

  • Place a miniband just below both knees and stand with feet shoulder-width apart and flared around 15° to 35° outward. Hold the top of a single heavy dumbbell vertically in both hands in front of chest, elbows pointing down and tucked close to body. 
  • Lower down into a deep squat, bringing elbows inside knees as you push outward on the band with both legs. Keep feet flat on the floor and chest tall. 
  • Drive through the heels to come back to standing position. 


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2. Barbell Glute Bridge

Works: Glutes and Hamstrings

  • Lie faceup on the floor and place a barbell over hips. Keep knees bent and feet flat on the floor, hands wider than shoulder-width apart on the barbell. 
  • Flatten out your lower-back (lumbar spine), tucking your tailbone under, and lift hips off the floor. Raise the hips as high as possible while squeezing glutes. Lower hips, touching the floor with each rep. 


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3. Banded Seated Hip Abduction

Works: Glutes and Outer Thighs

  • Sit tall on a bench or platform with a miniband just below knees, feet hip-width apart. Pulse knees out to sides, keeping feet on the floor and knees bent. 
  • Lean forward while keeping back flat and abs engaged, and repeat pulses out to sides. 
  • Finish the series by leaning back, placing arms on the bench behind you for support. 


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4. Dumbbell Reverse Lunge

Works: Glutes and Quads

  • Stand tall with feet hip-width apart, holding dumbbells at sides with palms facing body. 
  • Lunge back with right foot, bending both knees 90°. The front of your right foot should line up with the back of your left foot. Keep left knee over ankle and left shin vertical as you lower right knee toward the floor. 
  • Step back to starting position and repeat for given reps; switch sides. 


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5. B-Stance Romanian Deadlift

Works: Glutes and Hamstrings

  • Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding dumbbells at sides with palms facing in. Line the front of the right foot up with the back of the left foot and lift the right heel off the floor. 
  • Hinge forward from the hips, bringing weights toward the floor as you push glutes behind you, feeling a stretch along the hamstrings. Keep abs engaged and back flat, forming a straight line from head to hips. 
  • Straighten back to start, keeping heel raised. Repeat for given reps, then switch legs and repeat. 


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6. Crouched Sumo Walk

Works: Glutes and Outer Thighs

  • Place miniband around ankles and bring feet shoulder-width apart. Stand tall with hands on hips, then bend knees in a quarter squat, hinging forward from hips; keep back flat and abs engaged. 
  • Step right foot out to right side, staying in quarter squat and bending forward from hips. Think about pushing your body away from the floor. Then step left foot in toward right. Repeat, stepping out again with right foot. Complete reps standing to the right, then match reps stepping to the left. 


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7. Elevated Glute Bridge

Works: Glutes and Hamstrings

  • Lie faceup on the floor next to the side of a weight bench with arms at sides, palms down. Place left heel on top of bench and raise right leg, knee bent. 
  • Lift hips and lower back off the floor, forming a straight line from knees to shoulders while squeezing the glutes. At the same time, bring right knee toward shoulders. 
  • Hold one count, then lower back without touching floor. Switch legs and repeat. 


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8. Reverse Hyperextension

Works: Lower Back and Glutes

  • Lie down placing torso over the top of an incline bench set to 45°. Hold sides of bench for support and extend legs behind you toward floor. 
  • Lift heels above shoulders, keeping legs straight while squeezing glutes at the top of the movement and moving legs outward as they rise upward. 
  • Lower legs toward the floor and repeat. 


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9. Hip-Hinged Abductions

Works: Glutes and Outer Thighs

  • Stand with a miniband just below both knees, feet about hip-width apart and hands on thighs. Hinge forward from hips, sitting back to stretch the hamstrings while keeping back flat and abs engaged. 
  • Push knees out to sides while keeping feet flat, pushing against the band’s tension. Return to center and repeat. 

The Ultimate Spring Break Nutrition Guide

The Ultimate Spring Break Nutrition Guide

beach-spring-break-body

Spring Break is approaching fast, and even though you’ve put in hours in the gym, you might still feel a bit flabby. It’s time to get that hard-earned physique ready for a summer preview.

To get your confidence back in full swing, you’ll need to push harder than ever in the gym and amp up your diet. A solid diet is the backbone to any training routine — as I’ve said before, you are what you eat. These last weeks of winter offer the perfect opportunity for adjustments.

SEE ALSO: The Ultimate Spring Break Workout Plan 

The Diet

Any cutting phase involves a caloric intake of up to 400 calories a day. Putting your body through a constant calorie deficit can trigger a plateau, which is the last thing you need before spring break. A plateau brings a decrease in thyroid hormones and metabolism; this instigates hunger and testosterone levels will start to drop. You need to find a balance between the appropriate amount of calories and macros.

The goal here is to gain muscle and burn fat; for that, protein is a must. 

Up your protein macros to 40 percent of your daily calorie intake. Having a higher protein content than usual is an efficient way to maintain muscle while dropping calories. Protein and carbs contain the same amount of kilocalories per grams, which are four kilocalories per gram. However, your body uses about 25 percent more energy to digest protein; this is called the thermic effect of food. Use this to your advantage by making sure each meal contains 25 to 45 grams of protein. You should be eating every two to three hours, and the higher protein content will allow you to feel fuller for longer.

Beware the Ketogenic Diet

This diet has been trending in the lifting world as the quick approach to fat loss because you’re using fat as fuel. Stop, if you’re thinking about jumping on to this diet trend — you will gain the weight back. Instead of dropping your daily carbs below 50 grams a day, make this macro 35 percent of your daily caloric intake. A low carb diet will leave you feeling sluggish, light headed, and nauseated. You’ll also have bad breath from the ketones. Keeping your carb macros at 35 percent of your daily caloric intake will allow your body to refuel properly post-workout and allow for you to take advantage of insulin’s role in helping build muscle.   

Fat’s Bad Wrap

It’s time to stop giving fat such a negative connotation — eating it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll pack on the pounds. To get fat, you have to eat the “bad fats,” they’re the fats that will make your cholesterol skyrocket along with other health consequences. Stray away from them and delve into the “good fats,” the omegas and polyunsaturated fats. Surprisingly, these fats help build muscle by heightening testosterone levels. High testosterone levels burn fat and build muscle. So keep your fat macros at 25 percent of your daily caloric intake.

Fat-Burning Stacks

Once it’s time to ramp up your cut, a fat-burning supplement stack can really expedite the process. If you’re a lifter who experiments with a single supp, it might be time to invest in a stack that hits fat loss from various angles. Stack up with a pre-workout, protein, and fat-burner to help combat stubborn physique-hiding fats.

Pre-workout

Pre-workout powders cannot only revitalize your workouts but they can also burn fat with ingredients like caffeine and yohimbe. Caffeine is the key player in most pre-workout blends and the go-to-supp because of its wide-ranging benefits. For our fat-loss concern, caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, which signals your fat cells to start breaking down. Once the fat cells are broken down, fatty acids get released into the blood stream and are then used as fuel. The Physician and Sportsmedicine journal indicated that caffeine does show a positive effect in fat metabolism during moderate to intense exercise.

Another fat-burning ingredient to look out for is yohimbe, which can enhance lipolysis post-workout. Lipolysis is the breakdown of fats into fatty acids — you’ll be burning off fat in no time. And to back it up, a study published by Medical Hypotheses resulted that yohimbe promotes lipolysis and serum free fatty acid levels during moderate to intense exercise — that’s if it’s taken pre-workout.

To really gain more of an edge in your workouts, keep an eye out for citrulline, beta-alanine, and Rhodiola rosea. In a nutshell, citruilline is the precursor to arginine, which gets converted to nitric oxide (NO) in the body. But when you ingest arginine alone, a majority of it gets used in the intestines — leaving a lesser amount in your bloodstream. That’s why it’s more beneficial to consume citrulline — your NO levels will be higher. Beta-alanine helps promote more muscular strength and endurance and Rhodiola rosea supports your hormones —growth hormone, testosterone, thyroid hormone, and insulin-like growth factor-1. Each of these hormones plays a vital role in the fat loss process.

Protein

If you’re not already doing so, you need to include whey protein in your spring break diet-prep. Loaded with branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), whey protein is fast digesting — providing a rapid flood of fresh, muscle-building tools to hard-worked muscle fibers. Once you down your whey protein shake, your bloodstream absorbs the amino acids and directs them to muscle tissue. Whey is a complete protein that contains a substantial amount of leucine, which triggers the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway. The mTOR pathway regulates muscle protein synthesis. Also whey protein increases blood flow to your muscle, which delivers more nutrients to them — you’ll build muscle fast and expedite your recovery time.

For starters, whey protein concentrate contains about 70-80 percent protein; the rest of it is carbohydrates and fat. It experiences a light filtration process, which allows for whey’s valuable peptides that support the immune system and contain antioxidant properties. Whey protein isolate is more than 90 percent protein because it goes through a longer filtration time and different forms of processing. As opposed to proteins that contain more fat, this type of whey is digested quicker. Lastly, whey protein hydrolysate is most processed via hydrolysis. Hydrolysis breaks down protein chains into smaller portions — making it easier for the body to use. In 2006 The International Journal of Sport Nutrition & Exercise Metabolism published a study in which 13 male weightlifters took whey protein hydrolysate post-workout and strength was measured by one-rep maximum (1RM) in three exercises. The results: subjects had a significant fat loss and were able to build lean muscle and strength. You’ll notice that most whey protein powders contain two or more types of whey so that you can benefit from each one.

Fat-Burner

Proper nutrition and a functional training routine is the foundation to losing fat, but finding the right fat burner can not only help accelerate the process but also target those hard-to-burn fat areas. A quality fat burner should contain these three ingredients: green tea extract, CLA, and 7-keto-DHEA.

Popularized as a “detox drink,” green tea doesn’t just fight free radicals but it also helps to burn fat. Green tea extract is a staple ingredient in top-notch fat burners. But what is it in green tea that helps melt the fat off? Your answer: polyphenols or to be technical catechins. The king of all catechins in green tea is call epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). EGCG has been seen to enhance the body’s fat burning hormone, norepinephrine — you’ll have an increased metabolic rate. And when you pair this ingredient with other ingredients, like yohimbe (ingredient in a pre-workout), expect the fat to burn.

Yes conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), the fatty acid, is a chief fat-burning ingredient. It works by preventing the enzyme, lipoprotein lipase (LPL), which lets fat enter your bloodstream to be stored as body fat. Another added benefit is that CLA also boosts muscle growth and strength. Results from a study published by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition indicated that supplementing with CLA allows for healthy fat loss.

Last but not least, 7-keto-DHEA, a by-product of DHEA. This ingredient boosts thermogenic enzymes, which fuels fatty acid oxidation in the liver. The enzymes make the liver cells use fatty acids for energy; this lowers triglyceride levels in the liver. It also supports the activity of your thyroid, which can play an influential role in fat loss. 

Do the Following, See Your Fat Burn

Pre-workout — 30 minutes before workouts.

Protein — morning and post-workout.

Fat-burner — before meals.

Meal Plan

Check out this sample, fat-cutting meal plan.

Breakfast

  • Egg white omelet
    • ¼ cup reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
    • ½ cup vegetables
  • 1 slice whole wheat bread
  • ½ avocado
Totals: 351 calories, 17g fat, 31g carbs, 41g protein

Snack

Totals: 332 calories, 4.5g fat, 31.5g carbs, 36g protein

Lunch

Balsamic Grilled Chicken Sandwich

Totals: 500 calories, 14.5g fat, 28g carbs, 47g protein

Snack

Totals: 275 calories, 1g fat, 21g carbs, 41g protein

Dinner

Totals: 407 calories, 11g fat, 42g carbs, 32g protein

Dessert

Totals: 522 calories, 8g fat, 83g carbs, 28 g protein

Day Totals: 2, 387 calories, 56g fat, 236.5g carbs, 225g protein

5 Ways to Recruit More Fast-Twitch Muscle Fibers

5 Ways to Recruit More Fast-Twitch Muscle Fibers


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Fast-twitch Fibers

Barbell Deadlift

Fast-twitch muscle fibers have the most potential for growth. To grow these fibers you have to lift heavy and explode in movement. Additionally, those with more fast-twitch muscle fibers tend to carry less fat because muscle is more metabolic. Think about a sprinter’s physique—they don’t do anything slowly and therefore have slabs of dense, lean muscle. To build a better physique, focus your training on developing these fast-twtich muscle fibers. These training techniques will help to amplify the development. 

FREE MUSCLE & FITNESS APP:

We blended bodybuilding with high-intensity interval training to deliver a bigger, leaner body in 21 days. Download the Xtend Perform 21-Day Challenge app for the workout and supp plan. Available for Apple and Android devices.


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1. Lift heavy

heavy squat

Max weight loads are generally moved very slowly, but these lifts require fast-twitch muscle fibers to get the job done. In general, the more weight on the bar, the more fast-twitch fibers come into play. Train with more than 80% of your 1RM. Even though the weight is heavy, you should still have the intention to move the weight as fast as possible. Which leads us to No. 2…


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2. Train like a cat

smith machine bentover row

Compensatory acceleration training, that is. The more force produced, the greater the contribution of fast-twitch muscle fibers. Think back to high school physics class:

Force = Mass x Acceleration

Since a greater bar speed can be produced in a submaximal intensity range, more force will be generated. Train with 55-82.5% of your 1RM in a core barbell movement, and perform each rep as explosively as possible through the full range of motion. This small mental cue will help your brain to rope more fast-twitch fibers into play.


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3. Train eccentrically

ez bar curl

Long before weight lifting became popular in athletics, the Soviet sports machine reaped the benefits of eccentric training via depth jumps and extreme plyometrics. For the lifting enthusiast, you must remember an eccentric emphasis produces greater gains in hypertrophy than concentric or isometric (an added bonus). Furthermore, many lifters can handle 160% more eccentrically (see tip No. 1). Train movements that emphasize the eccentric in order to place a heavier demand on those fast-twitch fibers.


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4. Explode

3 Must-Have Powerlifting Supplements

If your joints are healthy and you possess a good level of base strength, give plyometrics a shot. Plyometrics involve the stretch-shortening cycle to create more powerful contractions, and the explosive movement requires more of your fast-twitch muscle fibers to do the work. Need a real-world example? Here’s an easy one: it is impossible to jump high slowly. Try it.

As a bonus, plyometrics performed prior to a heavy lift can help awaken the central nervous system, allowing you to lift more once you get to your standard heavy lifts. (see No. 1)


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5. Get psyched

screaming-dumbbell-bench-press

We have all heard stories about grandmothers lifting cars off of trapped grandchildren. Everyone possesses this power, it is activated through the psyche. Any big-time weight lifter psyches up before playing with large weights that would destroy most mortals. These lifters are getting into the mindset that recruits fast-twitch muscle fibers for the ensuing war with the barbell. So find what works for you, whether that’s yelling, listening to loud music, or having a training partner smack you across the pecs. Psyching up relays the message to the fast-twitch muscle that it’s go time.

7 Muscle-Building Spring Foods

7 Muscle-Building Spring Foods


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Say Hello to New Flavors This Season

Spring flower

shutterstock

It’s time to start shedding weight from those winter months, so load up your plate with the right fruits and vegetables. Spring is here, which means brighter days and brighter fruits and vegetables that can help you build muscle. The more color a food has, the more nutrient-packed it is—giving your body a jolt of nutrition. This season you could go all natural to help build a lean, ripped physique and to power through workouts more efficiently—you’ll thank us.


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Artichokes

artichoke pizza

I know what you’re thinking, and no, artichoke dip won’t cut it. The cheesy appetizer will kill your macros. Instead, load up a salad with artichokes or use them to top off a pita pizza. Coming in at 64 calories and 10 grams of fiber, this medium-sized vegetable contains less than half the recommended daily allowance for fiber—38 grams. Fiber can play a vital role when you’re trying to drop some weight. For workout purposes, artichokes are packed with magnesium and potassium, which help maintain muscle integrity and control muscle contractions. 


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Beets

Beet

If this past winter left you with less of a pump and had you dabbling in the supplements, you can stop. The reason: beets contain naturally occurring nitrates. Once the nitrates hit your blood, nitric oxide will start to widen your blood vessels — allowing oxygen to be more readily available throughout your body. With more oxygen and an improved blood flow, there’s no doubt that you’ll be pumping more iron this spring.


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Spinach

15 Cheap Muscle-Building Foods That Aren't Chicken

The pump-enhancing action doesn’t stop at beets. Spinach is a solid choice, especially as part of a beet and spinach salad. Like its blood-circulating sidekick, spinach is rich in nitrates—no wonder why Popeye was a fan! Also, one cup of spinach has close to 200 percent of the daily value of Vitamin K—keeping your bones from weakening from all those heavy sets. 


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Asparagus

Grilled Asparagus

The greener the better for this vegetable. Asparagus is another veggie that’s high in Vitamin K and fiber. It’s also a rare holder for glutathione—an antioxidant that’s comprised of three amino acids, which protect your cells’ DNA from damage. In the muscle world, glutathione can help reduce inflammation. Eating asparagus can also improve blood flow to working muscles, that’s because it’s abundant in folate. And to help you really lean out, the amino acid asparagine found in asparagus prevents unwanted water weight. 

 


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Tart Cherries

10 Summer Superfoods to Help You Muscle-Up

Don’t throw out this fruit for the sugar content—you’ll regret it post-workout. A study published by Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise indicated that tart cherries could decrease muscle damage after intense workouts. Why: Tart cherries contain the antioxidant compound anthocyanin, which has anti-inflammatory properties.


7 of 8

Strawberries

Pump Up Your Muscle Meals With A Sweet Flavor

Besides the fact that strawberries will add more flavor to a post-workout shake, they’ll also help speed up recovery. Strawberries’ bright color gives it away that they’re rich in antioxidants. When you’re pushing through a hard workout, your body produces free radicals, which can delay recovery time. However, adding strawberries to your post-workout shake can help offset this. 


8 of 8

Peas

peas

Have you ever found it odd that there’s a pea protein powder? Peas are packed with branched-chain amino acids—leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Also, one cup of peas contains nine grams of protein along with two other vital amino acids: arginine and lysine. Arginine is the precursor to NO, and lysine can help speed up recovery post-workout as well as play a possible role in hormone production. 

7 Muscle-Building Spring Foods

7 Muscle-Building Spring Foods


1 of 8

Say Hello to New Flavors This Season

Spring flower

shutterstock

It’s time to start shedding weight from those winter months, so load up your plate with the right fruits and vegetables. Spring is here, which means brighter days and brighter fruits and vegetables that can help you build muscle. The more color a food has, the more nutrient-packed it is—giving your body a jolt of nutrition. This season you could go all natural to help build a lean, ripped physique and to power through workouts more efficiently—you’ll thank us.


2 of 8

Artichokes

artichoke pizza

I know what you’re thinking, and no, artichoke dip won’t cut it. The cheesy appetizer will kill your macros. Instead, load up a salad with artichokes or use them to top off a pita pizza. Coming in at 64 calories and 10 grams of fiber, this medium-sized vegetable contains less than half the recommended daily allowance for fiber—38 grams. Fiber can play a vital role when you’re trying to drop some weight. For workout purposes, artichokes are packed with magnesium and potassium, which help maintain muscle integrity and control muscle contractions. 


3 of 8

Beets

Beet

If this past winter left you with less of a pump and had you dabbling in the supplements, you can stop. The reason: beets contain naturally occurring nitrates. Once the nitrates hit your blood, nitric oxide will start to widen your blood vessels — allowing oxygen to be more readily available throughout your body. With more oxygen and an improved blood flow, there’s no doubt that you’ll be pumping more iron this spring.


4 of 8

Spinach

15 Cheap Muscle-Building Foods That Aren't Chicken

The pump-enhancing action doesn’t stop at beets. Spinach is a solid choice, especially as part of a beet and spinach salad. Like its blood-circulating sidekick, spinach is rich in nitrates—no wonder why Popeye was a fan! Also, one cup of spinach has close to 200 percent of the daily value of Vitamin K—keeping your bones from weakening from all those heavy sets. 


5 of 8

Asparagus

Grilled Asparagus

The greener the better for this vegetable. Asparagus is another veggie that’s high in Vitamin K and fiber. It’s also a rare holder for glutathione—an antioxidant that’s comprised of three amino acids, which protect your cells’ DNA from damage. In the muscle world, glutathione can help reduce inflammation. Eating asparagus can also improve blood flow to working muscles, that’s because it’s abundant in folate. And to help you really lean out, the amino acid asparagine found in asparagus prevents unwanted water weight. 

 


6 of 8

Tart Cherries

10 Summer Superfoods to Help You Muscle-Up

Don’t throw out this fruit for the sugar content—you’ll regret it post-workout. A study published by Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise indicated that tart cherries could decrease muscle damage after intense workouts. Why: Tart cherries contain the antioxidant compound anthocyanin, which has anti-inflammatory properties.


7 of 8

Strawberries

Pump Up Your Muscle Meals With A Sweet Flavor

Besides the fact that strawberries will add more flavor to a post-workout shake, they’ll also help speed up recovery. Strawberries’ bright color gives it away that they’re rich in antioxidants. When you’re pushing through a hard workout, your body produces free radicals, which can delay recovery time. However, adding strawberries to your post-workout shake can help offset this. 


8 of 8

Peas

peas

Have you ever found it odd that there’s a pea protein powder? Peas are packed with branched-chain amino acids—leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Also, one cup of peas contains nine grams of protein along with two other vital amino acids: arginine and lysine. Arginine is the precursor to NO, and lysine can help speed up recovery post-workout as well as play a possible role in hormone production. 

7 Muscle-Building Spring Foods

7 Muscle-Building Spring Foods


1 of 8

Say Hello to New Flavors This Season

Spring flower

shutterstock

It’s time to start shedding weight from those winter months, so load up your plate with the right fruits and vegetables. Spring is here, which means brighter days and brighter fruits and vegetables that can help you build muscle. The more color a food has, the more nutrient-packed it is—giving your body a jolt of nutrition. This season you could go all natural to help build a lean, ripped physique and to power through workouts more efficiently—you’ll thank us.


2 of 8

Artichokes

artichoke pizza

I know what you’re thinking, and no, artichoke dip won’t cut it. The cheesy appetizer will kill your macros. Instead, load up a salad with artichokes or use them to top off a pita pizza. Coming in at 64 calories and 10 grams of fiber, this medium-sized vegetable contains less than half the recommended daily allowance for fiber—38 grams. Fiber can play a vital role when you’re trying to drop some weight. For workout purposes, artichokes are packed with magnesium and potassium, which help maintain muscle integrity and control muscle contractions. 


3 of 8

Beets

Beet

If this past winter left you with less of a pump and had you dabbling in the supplements, you can stop. The reason: beets contain naturally occurring nitrates. Once the nitrates hit your blood, nitric oxide will start to widen your blood vessels — allowing oxygen to be more readily available throughout your body. With more oxygen and an improved blood flow, there’s no doubt that you’ll be pumping more iron this spring.


4 of 8

Spinach

15 Cheap Muscle-Building Foods That Aren't Chicken

The pump-enhancing action doesn’t stop at beets. Spinach is a solid choice, especially as part of a beet and spinach salad. Like its blood-circulating sidekick, spinach is rich in nitrates—no wonder why Popeye was a fan! Also, one cup of spinach has close to 200 percent of the daily value of Vitamin K—keeping your bones from weakening from all those heavy sets. 


5 of 8

Asparagus

Grilled Asparagus

The greener the better for this vegetable. Asparagus is another veggie that’s high in Vitamin K and fiber. It’s also a rare holder for glutathione—an antioxidant that’s comprised of three amino acids, which protect your cells’ DNA from damage. In the muscle world, glutathione can help reduce inflammation. Eating asparagus can also improve blood flow to working muscles, that’s because it’s abundant in folate. And to help you really lean out, the amino acid asparagine found in asparagus prevents unwanted water weight. 

 


6 of 8

Tart Cherries

10 Summer Superfoods to Help You Muscle-Up

Don’t throw out this fruit for the sugar content—you’ll regret it post-workout. A study published by Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise indicated that tart cherries could decrease muscle damage after intense workouts. Why: Tart cherries contain the antioxidant compound anthocyanin, which has anti-inflammatory properties.


7 of 8

Strawberries

Pump Up Your Muscle Meals With A Sweet Flavor

Besides the fact that strawberries will add more flavor to a post-workout shake, they’ll also help speed up recovery. Strawberries’ bright color gives it away that they’re rich in antioxidants. When you’re pushing through a hard workout, your body produces free radicals, which can delay recovery time. However, adding strawberries to your post-workout shake can help offset this. 


8 of 8

Peas

peas

Have you ever found it odd that there’s a pea protein powder? Peas are packed with branched-chain amino acids—leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Also, one cup of peas contains nine grams of protein along with two other vital amino acids: arginine and lysine. Arginine is the precursor to NO, and lysine can help speed up recovery post-workout as well as play a possible role in hormone production. 

7 Muscle-Building Spring Foods

7 Muscle-Building Spring Foods


1 of 8

Say Hello to New Flavors This Season

Spring flower

shutterstock

It’s time to start shedding weight from those winter months, so load up your plate with the right fruits and vegetables. Spring is here, which means brighter days and brighter fruits and vegetables that can help you build muscle. The more color a food has, the more nutrient-packed it is—giving your body a jolt of nutrition. This season you could go all natural to help build a lean, ripped physique and to power through workouts more efficiently—you’ll thank us.


2 of 8

Artichokes

artichoke pizza

I know what you’re thinking, and no, artichoke dip won’t cut it. The cheesy appetizer will kill your macros. Instead, load up a salad with artichokes or use them to top off a pita pizza. Coming in at 64 calories and 10 grams of fiber, this medium-sized vegetable contains less than half the recommended daily allowance for fiber—38 grams. Fiber can play a vital role when you’re trying to drop some weight. For workout purposes, artichokes are packed with magnesium and potassium, which help maintain muscle integrity and control muscle contractions. 


3 of 8

Beets

Beet

If this past winter left you with less of a pump and had you dabbling in the supplements, you can stop. The reason: beets contain naturally occurring nitrates. Once the nitrates hit your blood, nitric oxide will start to widen your blood vessels — allowing oxygen to be more readily available throughout your body. With more oxygen and an improved blood flow, there’s no doubt that you’ll be pumping more iron this spring.


4 of 8

Spinach

15 Cheap Muscle-Building Foods That Aren't Chicken

The pump-enhancing action doesn’t stop at beets. Spinach is a solid choice, especially as part of a beet and spinach salad. Like its blood-circulating sidekick, spinach is rich in nitrates—no wonder why Popeye was a fan! Also, one cup of spinach has close to 200 percent of the daily value of Vitamin K—keeping your bones from weakening from all those heavy sets. 


5 of 8

Asparagus

Grilled Asparagus

The greener the better for this vegetable. Asparagus is another veggie that’s high in Vitamin K and fiber. It’s also a rare holder for glutathione—an antioxidant that’s comprised of three amino acids, which protect your cells’ DNA from damage. In the muscle world, glutathione can help reduce inflammation. Eating asparagus can also improve blood flow to working muscles, that’s because it’s abundant in folate. And to help you really lean out, the amino acid asparagine found in asparagus prevents unwanted water weight. 

 


6 of 8

Tart Cherries

10 Summer Superfoods to Help You Muscle-Up

Don’t throw out this fruit for the sugar content—you’ll regret it post-workout. A study published by Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise indicated that tart cherries could decrease muscle damage after intense workouts. Why: Tart cherries contain the antioxidant compound anthocyanin, which has anti-inflammatory properties.


7 of 8

Strawberries

Pump Up Your Muscle Meals With A Sweet Flavor

Besides the fact that strawberries will add more flavor to a post-workout shake, they’ll also help speed up recovery. Strawberries’ bright color gives it away that they’re rich in antioxidants. When you’re pushing through a hard workout, your body produces free radicals, which can delay recovery time. However, adding strawberries to your post-workout shake can help offset this. 


8 of 8

Peas

peas

Have you ever found it odd that there’s a pea protein powder? Peas are packed with branched-chain amino acids—leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Also, one cup of peas contains nine grams of protein along with two other vital amino acids: arginine and lysine. Arginine is the precursor to NO, and lysine can help speed up recovery post-workout as well as play a possible role in hormone production. 

6 Spicy Recipes to Help Burn More Fat

6 Spicy Recipes to Help Burn More Fat


1 of 7

It’s All From A Chili Pepper…

corbisimages.com

Hot sauce and salsa makes any dish better, and it isn’t just a meal pick-me-up. Capsaicin is an active compound that’s found in chili peppers, which is the foundation for salsa and hot sauce. A study completed by the British Journal of Nutrition found that incorporating capsaicin-containing food into a daily diet can lead to sustained fat oxidation. Fat oxidation is when stored fat is broken down into smaller particles, ultimately leading to weight loss. To get your fat burn on, click on through to find out what recipes you should start cooking. 

Recipes provided by Rojo’sLee Kum Kee, Bibigo, and Beanitos


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Spicy Sriracha Chili Wings

Lee Kum Kee

What You’ll Need

  • 22 oz chicken wings
  • 1/3 cup Lee Kum Kee Sriracha Chili Sauce
  • 1 cup Lee Kum Hoisin Sauce
  • 2/3 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil

Directions

  1. Mix 2/9 cup of Lee Kum Kee Sriracha Chili Sauce, 2/3 cup of Lee Kum Kee Hoisin Sauce with ground black pepper and cooking oil as marinade. Marinate wings for 4 hours or overnight. 
  2. Preheat oven to 450 for 15 minutes. Bake wings for 45 minutes.
  3. Add 1/9 cup of Lee Kum Sriracha Chili Sauce and 1/3 cup of Lee Kum Kee Hoisin Sauce in a bowl and add baked wings. Mix well and serve. 


3 of 7

Spicy Sriracha Chili

Bodybuilding Recipes - Turkey Chili

What You’ll Need

  • 1 Ib of ground turkey
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 4 oz onions, chopped
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, chopped, garnish

Marinade

  • 2 tbsp Lee Kum Kee Sriracha Chili Sauce
  • 2 tbsp Lee Kum Kee Oyster Flavored Sauce

Directions

  1. Heat oil on high heat in a medium pan. Brown ground turkey in batches.
  2. Add onion, Lee Kum Kee Sriracha Chili Sauce, and chili powder. Cook mixture for 2 minutes. 
  3. Stir in Lee Kum Kee Premium Oyster Flavored Sauce and the remaining ingredients, except cilantro. Bring mixture to a boil. Then, simmer until thickened.
  4. Garnish with chopped cilantro. 

SEE ALSO: Absurdly Hot Chili Peppers Are Actually Amazingly Good For You


4 of 7

Veracruz-Style Tilapia

Rojo’s

What You’ll Need

  • 1 (15-oz) Rojo’s Homestyle Fresh Cut Salsa – Hot
  • 2 tbsp capers, drained
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1 Ib tilapia filets (about 4)

Directions

  1. In a zip top bag, combine Rojo’s Homestyle Fresh Cut Salsa — Hot, capers, lime zest, and juice. Place filets in salsa mixture, close and seal top and refrigerate 1-2 hours. 
  2. Preheat oven to 325. Remove bag from refrigerator, pour contents into baking dish, spooning salsa over to coat fish. 
  3. Bake 30 minutes or until fish is firm and looks white. 

SEE ALSO: Spice It Up: Cajun Catfish Tacos


5 of 7

Fire Roasted Ribs

Rojo’s

What You’ll Need

  • 1 rack pork ribs, cut into 3 rib sections
  • Salt & black pepper to taste
  • 1 (15-oz) Rojo’s Fire Roasted Salsa

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Place ribs into baking pan prepared with pan spray and season with salt and pepper. Bake, uncovered, at 400 for 15 minutes.
  2. Cover ribs with Rojo’s Fire Roasted Salsa and cover pan. Reduce oven to 300. Bake for 3 hours or until pork pulls away easily from the bone. 
  3. Uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes. 

SEE ALSO: Championship Spareribs Recipe With Sweet Apple BBQ Sauce


6 of 7

Athlete Nachos

Beanitos

What You’ll Need

  • 1 Ib ground bison
  • Taco seasoning mix
  • 1 red pepper, cut into small pieces
  • 1 bunch fresh spinach, cut into thin strips
  • Shredded white cheddar cheese
  • Slices of fresh jalapeno
  • Grape tomatoes, sliced in half
  • Avocado slices
  • Cilantro
  • Scallions
  • Beanitos Restaurant Syle or Hinto of Lime chips
  • Lime wedges
  • Pumpkin seeds

Directions

  1. Cook the bison with the seasoning mix in a large frying pan. A few minutes into the cooking process, add the spinach and red pepper. Cook until the meat is no longer pink and the spinach is wilted, 5-7 minutes. Drain off some of the fat at this point.
  2. Arrange the chips on the a baking pan. Top with the meat mixture and sprinkle with a handful of cheese, jalapeno slices, and scallions. 
  3. Broil this for about 90 seconds, keeping an eye on it the entire time. It may take longer or shorter, take it out when the cheese starts to bubble. 
  4. Top with remaining ingredients. Transfer the nachos to a large serving dish. 

 


7 of 7

Bibigo’s Gochujang

Expand your palate by trying authentic Korean flavors. Gochujang sauce contains gochu peppers, which also contain capsaicin. 

What You’ll Need

  • 4 tbsp garlic, sliced
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 6.5 grams cooked brown rice
  • 1 oz Sukjunamul
  • 1 oz Sigeumchinamul
  • 1 oz cooked bulgogi
  • 1/4 cup shitake mushrooms – sliced
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp cooking oil
  • 1 dash sesame oil
  • 1 cup chopped vegetables
  • Gochujuang

Directions

  1. Add oil to a pre-heated pan and saute the garlic for 30 seconds with a pinch of salt. 
  2. Slice shiitake mushrooms and onion into thin pieces.
  3. In an oil coated pan, saute the onion with salt until it turns trasparent. Empty the onion on a place and in the same pan saute the mushroom with salt. When the mushroom and onion have cooled, lightly toss with sesame oil and serve. 
  4. Put the rice in a wide bowl and top with the garlic, sukjunamul, sigeumchinamul, and vegetables.
  5. Top with bulgog and serve with gochujang sauce.