Author Archives: Kyle

Bas Rutten Mass Suit Review – Is it worth the price?

bass rutten mass suit review

  • Product: Bas Rutten Mass Suit
  • Cheapest Place to Buy: Amazon.com for $239.00
  • Rating: 8/10 (Very functional and unique product; Great for athletes)

I must say, when I first saw this crazy workout contraption called the Bas Rutten Mass Suite I thought it was a joke. But after testing it out I have changed my mind. In this review of the Bas Rutten Mass Suit I’ll be going over some details of the product as well as why I know actually like it.

To start off, let me do a brief overview of the product.

Bass Rutten Mass Suit Overview

This product is a resistance suit that uses rubber fitness bands. The fitness bands add resistance to just about every movement you do, giving you a full body workout.

The core of this product harnesses on to your waist area. Then the rubber fitness bands extend from the harness to your elbows, hands, knees, and feet.

This resistance suit is very good quality and the price reflects that. The fitness bands are strong and durable, they will last.

It is intended to be used to supplement your workouts, not to give you a workout in of itself. Sports like crossfit, mma, boxing, etc. are great for this suit. I have even read positive reviews of people using it for anything from physical therapy to shooting a basketball.

It was actually invented by the world champion MMA fighter Bas Rutten.

I’ve used this suit while training in boxing which I will talk about below.

When I first saw it

I was like bruh?? What the heck is this? It looks like a small backpack with a bunch of bungee cords going all around I thought it was absolutely ridiculous and would not be anything worth my time.

It seemed like just one of those crazy stupid fitness inventions that try to make getting in shape easy, which never work out.

But then I was lucky enough to get to try one out from a buddy at the gym. After trying it out I have a completely different opinion of the Bas Rutten Mass Suit.

My Personal Experience

I love it! Seriously I do.

I’m a weightlifter, but I do boxing as cardio as well. I think that boxing is one of the best forms of cardio you can do, and its manly.

But anyway. I got the opportunity to try the Bas Rutten Mass Suit recently and had a great experience.

I put it on and used it to supplement my boxing cardio, and it wiped me out (in a good way). There was added resistance in just about every movement I made, whether it be throwing punches, shuffling my feet, etc.

What I really like about this product is that you can do exactly what you normally do with the suit on. So you can throw punches exactly like you normally would, just with increased resistance.

Do I recommend it?

I do. Like I said, you can go through your normal movements with increased resistance.

I know a lot of people that lift weights for sports like boxing. But the problem with lifting weights for boxing is that the weightlifting movements are nothing like the boxing movements. There is no weightlifting movement that can mimic your form when throwing punches very well.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge advocate of weightlifting and definitely recommend it to pretty much all sports athletes.

But the Bas Rutten Mass Suit is unique because it allows you to go through the functional movements of whatever sport you are training for. There is no doubt in my mind that this suit would increase muscle strength in whatever you are using it for. I could see this suit being a huge plus for athletes trying to take it to the next level.

Wheres The Cheapest Place to Buy It?

Well you can buy it at the Bas Rutten website for $269.00 or you can buy it on Amazon.com for $239.00 (lol). Isn’t that funny, Amazon has cheaper prices than the actual company website.

Its expensive I know. Thats why I would only recommend this to serious athletes. If you are just doing boxing or mma for the heck of it, then I wouldn’t bother spending all this money. But if you are serious about the sport you are training for and competitive, then I would consider buying it.

Its all up to you. Unfortunately you probably won’t get to try it out for free like I did. But I really don’t think you will be disappointed.

Click Here to Purchase the BAS-RUTTEN Mass Suit

Skulpt Chisel Review – A Great Way to Monitor Your Progress

    • skulpt-chisel-reviewProduct: Skulpt Chisel
    • Price: $99
    • Where to Buy: www.Skulpt.me
    • Rating: 9/10 (I love the Skulpt Chisel. You can really  track your progress with both its muscle and body fat measurements)

I decided to purchase the Skulped Chisel recently and I must say, I have been presently surprised. Its actually accurate! The last one of these kinds of product I used was years ago and it was just a fat measurer. I remember it was terrible and didn’t even come close to being accurate. This is one of the reasons I stayed away from these types of products for so long.

But I’m glad I decided to get the Skulped Chisel. Its new technology that actually works.

How the Skulped Chisel works

The Skulped Chisel a takes accurate measurements of both your body fat and muscle.

It does so by using what is called Electrical Impedance Myography or EIM. This is a noninvasive way to measure both fat and muscle. Small electrical currents are passed into the body to measure amount, density, structure, etc, of both body fat and muscle.

EIM technology is NOT new and untested. Its been studied and tested for over 15 years and has been around in the medical community for a while now. It is often used for evaluating neuromuscular diseases.

The technology has been around for some time now, but it hasn’t always been available to the general public. With the Skulped Chisel it is, and its affordable.

And no it doesn’t hurt

When you hear that it passes electrical current into your body you might get scared. Well don’t be. Its such a small current that you won’t even notice it. You literally won’t feel a thing.

What measurements does it tell you?

skulped-chisel-measurments

As you can see from the picture to the right, it gives you both MQ ad Fat%, which I will go over briefly.

MQ or “Muscle Quality”

Although it doesn’t sound scientific, this term actually is a scientific term. It refers to the amount of force a muscle can produce relative to its size. This is determined by the density of the muscle fibers and other factors.

Fat%

Of course you probably already know what this is. Its just the percentage of your body weight that is fat. The higher the percentage the more fat you have.

Besides these two muscle and fat statistics there are also some terms around the outer edge of the circle as you can see. They include needs work, average, fit, athletic, and skulpted. These aren’t as important but its still a cool feature of this product.

How to Use the Skulped Chisel

The process is very simple and only takes a matter of seconds.  If you look on the back of the Skulped Chisel you will skulped-chisel-placementsee metal areas. These are electrodes and sensors that need to be pressed against your skin to measure your muscle and fat.

To get the best readings it is suggested that you wet the metal area with water. So you could spray it with a spray-bottle or just wipe it with a wet towel.

Where to place it

You can place the Skulped Chisel on 24 different muscle groups. This includes all the main muscles areas, back, abs, arms, chest, shoulders, legs, butt, etc. Before you place it somewhere it will ask you where you are going to. So you select whatever you want and then place it there.

Once it starts to measuring it will only take seconds. It has an LED light that will be blinking as it is in the process of measuring.

Syncs to your smartphone

The data that the Skulped Chisel finds is then synced to your smartphone. So ya, you should have a smartphone to use this.

The Skulped Chisel app comes with the actual product so you don’t have to go buy anything else.

 

How the Skulped Chisel can help YOU

It can really help you accurately gauge your physical improvement.

One problem a lot of people have when they are trying to get in shape is that they only weight themselves on a scale. All this will tell you is whether you are losing weight. It won’t tell you anything about your muscle or fat.

People give up because the scale isn’t going down fast enough, I see this all the time. Well this is because people tend to gain muscle at the same time they lose fat. So while the scale might not be going down, their physical fitness level IS actually going up.

With the Skulped Chisel you can measure both fat and muscle. Your scale might be staying right around the same, but the Skulped Chisel is showing that you are losing fat and putting on muscle. Thats exactly what you want and now you know you are making results happen.

It also tracks your progress. So you can see at earlier dates where you were at as far as muscle and fat, and compare them to later dates.

Is the Skulped Chisel affordable?

The Skulped Chisel is priced at $99.00 at the Skulpt website. And this is the cheapest you can find it. You can Click Here to purchase the Skulped Chisel

So it is fairly expensive, but if you are serious about getting in shape, then this is better in my opinion than a scale or a regular bodyfat monitor.

And besides the Skulped Chisel measuring your fat and muscle, it also has a lot of other benefits.

Other benefits

The Skulped Chisel app that comes with it provides you with some great additional features. These include:

  • Guest mode
    • can measure clients, friends, etc. and email copies of their results
  • Fitness advice
    • based on your physical standing, the Skulped Chisel app provides you with fitness advice that is tailored just for you. This includes suggested exercises, sets, reps, and weight used
  • Demographics
    • this feature shows you how you stand with people of the same age and sex as you
  • Calorie counter
    • this one is particularly great. It suggests how many calories you should eat based upon your goals, body fat, activity, and more. I know many people will love this one.

Should I get the Skulped Chisel?

Like I said, I have been disappointed in products of this kind in the past, because they have been very inaccurate and a letdown. But I am very happy with my Skulped Chisel. Its accuracy is very good and its an overall quality product.

Measuring both your body fat as well as your muscle is a great way to keep track of your physical fitness level.

What it comes down to is whether or not you are willing to pay $99 to buy the Skulped Chisel. I know for many people this is out of their price range. But if it is in you price range then I say go for it. Its a quality product that provides what it is supposed to. You won’t be disappointed.

==> Click Here to Buy the Skulpt Chisel <==

The Best Beta Alanine Supplement ? – Pure Beta Alanine

nowfoodsbetaalanineBeta alanine, being one of the more clinically proven amino acids in the fitness industry, is a great item to purchase in bulk. But you don’t just want any bulk supplement. You want the best beta alanine supplement.

When buying supplements in bulk you have to be careful. You are ingesting these supplements in potent form and its important that you get them from a reputable source.

For this reason I buy my bulk supplements from NOWFoods. They don’t have every bulk supplement out there, but when they do I buy from them. And they do have some great beta alanine bulk powder which I want to go over for you.

NOW Foods Beta Alanine Powder (500g)

First off, you won’t find better quality beta alanine anywhere. NOW Foods uses pure CarnoSyn® beta alanine. For those of you who don’t know, CarnoSyn® is the best quality beta alanine you can get. Its a patented quality of beta alanine that is becoming the most popular in the industry.

And NOW Foods uses PURE CarnoSyn®.NOWfoodsbetaalanine

So you would think that because NOW Foods uses the highest quality beta alanine it would be expensive, right?

Well you are wrong. Their beta alanine powder is BY FAR the cheapest there is. If you have been a customer in the supplement market for a while you have probably heard of BulkSupplements (the brand). They are well known for their pure bulk supplement powders at the lowest prices around. But they are NO match for NOW Foods when it comes to beta alanine powder.

The cheapest place to buy either product is on amazon and take a look at the differencebetaalaninesupps

Do you see the difference? $19.99 for 500g by NOW Foods or $13.96 for only 100g by BulkSupplements.

Another thing you might notice however, is the number of customer reviews and ratings. NOW Foods’ beta alanine powder has much less. I am not sure the reason for this but I am guessing that their product has not been on the market as long yet.

But there is no doubt that NOW Foods is reputable

The supplement industry is well known for cutting corners, substituting in cheaper ingredients, mislabeling bottles, etc. A study done in 2004 showed that only 1/4 of supplements had the potency that their bottle claimed.

With NOW Foods you can trust the label.

The company has been around for over 45 years and has a solid reputation. They have a great track record with the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), which monitors consumable products and is very strict when it comes to regulations. See latest FDA report here

NOW Foods’ labels are checked for accuracy by the FDA and pass all tests.

So if you want the increased muscular endurance, increased nitric oxide production, bigger pumps, and that tingling sensation that gets you moving in the gym

Buy NOW Foods Beta Alanine Powder before any others

Its the quality that people deserve. No false advertising, no contaminates, just high quality beta alanine for the cheapest price you will find anywhere.

Where to Buy

The cheapest place to purchase NOW Foods Beta Alanine Powder (500g) is on Amazon.com as you might have guessed. And, as mentioned above, its priced at $19.99.

==> Click Here to Buy <==

Still unsure if this product is worth it?

Read hundreds of customer reviews here and then decide.

Do you have a review of this product? Be sure to comment below.

Vegetables to Boost Testosterone

Low T is a part of life. Everyone will experience it someday, some earlier than others. You can in fact have low testosterone levels even at young age, although much more rare.

Well why not use a natural testosterone replacement? One obtained from foods. That way its all around healthy and can be added into your regular diet. And they are not all that bad tasting!

Have You Every heard of eating Kale for testosterone?

Well, not just kale, but other cruciferous vegetables as well, like broccoli and cauliflower. But to Cruciferous_Vegetablesassociated these with testosterone boosting? Its understandable if you have never thought of these foods in this kind of way.

They contain a variety of nutrients that help that area all around GOOD for your body, but what I want to talk about is a little compound called Diindolylmethane (DIM). This little guy can have a big impact on your hormones. And your hormones as, you should know, have a huge impact on strength, muscle mass, sexual desire, etc.

The phytochemical Diindolylmethane has proven to reduce estrogen levels and increase testosterone levels. DIM for testosterone boosting is gaining more and more popularity over the years.

It can effect your hormones in 3 main ways

First off, it is able to inhibit the aromatase enzyme, keeping testosterone from converting into estrogen. Aromatase is active in the key step of estrogen biosynthesis. Aromatase inhibitors are actually becoming quite common supplements in the bodybuilding world due to proven research of the effect of aromatase and the ability to inhibit it.

The DIM in kale is also able to convert potent forms of estrogen into less potent forms. These less potent metabolites are known as 2-hydroxy estrogens. DIM makes estrogen metabolize down the pathway that results in these 2-hydroxy estrogens.

2-hydroxy estrogens are good for a number of reasons. With the creation of more of this “good” estrogen there is a simultaneous decrease in bad estrogen. Too much bad estrogen can have many negative effects, one of which is its ability to cause cancer. Good estrogen, on the other hand, is overall great. When it comes to working out it can benefit you in the way of helping your body release fats to be used as energy and also to regulate cell growth.

With these less potent forms the overall effects of estrogen is much less. And the effect it has is overall better.

The last important benefit of DIM that has to do with hormones an testosterone is that it is able to “free up” bound testosterone.

The “good” estrogen metabolites, which DIM increases the production of, compete with testosterone to bind to proteins. This competition leads to more testosterone not being able to bind because they simply don’t get a chance. And this is good. This free non-bound testosterone is more active in your body.

The overall objective of DIM on hormones is just to give your body a healthy balance of hormones that are already there. It does so in the most natural way possible, adjusting the way they act to avoid imbalance.

How much kale, broccoli, etc should I eat to get enough DIM?

The amount of studies done on the amount of DIM needed to see improvements in estrogen metabolism are few. But it is thought that at least 50mg of DIM/day is required.

The unfortunate thing is that to get this amount from cruciferous vegetables you would have to eat somewhere around 2 pounds a day! Its possible but very very unlikely.amazedface

Many DIM supplements are dosed even higher, around 100-200mg per daily serving. To get that much your life would revolve around consuming these vegetables.

I would recommend eating more cruciferous vegetables and then supplementing as well. If you eat more vegetables such as those mentioned you won’t have to supplement as much DIM and you can save some money that way.

Want to learn more about DIM?

If you are interested in learning more about DIM and its effects on the body’s hormones I suggest the book “All About DIM” by Dr Michael Zeligs and Scott Connelly. In this book they explain “good” and “bad” estrogen and the effects DIM has on them.

If you have any questions or comments please leave them below and I will get back to you.

 

 

 

Healthy Carbs List – You Need Carbs

Carbohydrates provide energy for muscle function and they fuel the central nervous system. They are very important for anyone’s diet and should not be avoided. Below is a healthy carbs list. If you aren’t consuming these foods, you and your body are missing out. These aren’t just any carbs, they are healthy complex carbs.

1. Sweet Potatoessweetpotatoimage

The orange color is what makes sweet potatoes so good. It comes from the high amount of beta carotene, which serves as a precursor for Vitamin A. Vitamin A is important if you are looking to keep a strong immune system as well as good eyes. And with just one medium sized sweet potato you will get about 400% of your daily need. nutrients included are Vitamin B-6, Vitamin C, and potassium. And you can’t forget the loads of fiber (even though not a nutrient).

Sweet potatoes have more nutrients overall than regular potatoes. They also have fewer calories even though they have more natural sugar.

One cooked medium sized sweet potato (114g) approx. 5″ in length and with a 2″ diameter will give you:sweetpotato

 

2. Beansbeansimage

Black beans, pinto beans, and kidney beans just to name a few… will give you a good amount of fiber which will help with digestion. They contain both soluble and insoluble fiber to meet your fiber needs. Another health benefit is that they are proven to lower LDL cholesterol. And for every 1% decrease in overall cholesterol there is thought to be around a 2% decrease in the risk of a heart attack.

They have a good amount of carbs and also will give you some extra protein. For one cooked cup their nutrition is as follows:beans

 

3. Dairy MilkMilk_glass

Milk is a great choice for a post workout beverage. It will give you protein, carbs, and lactose. All of which will benefit your recovery process.

Lactose is often looked at in a bad light because it is a sugar. However, as long as you aren’t consuming an extreme amount, it is good for you. It is produced naturally from some mammals to feed their newborn babies.

It can be helpful as a quick source of energy to kick-start the muscle recovery process.

One cup (whole milk) will provide you with about 8g fat, 13g carbs, and 8g protein.

milk

 

4. Ricerice

There is controversy on which type of rice is better for you, brown or white. Brown rice is often thought of as being a healthier choice than white rice due to containing much more nutrients. However, with all those nutrients it also contains more phytic acid which decreases your body’s ability to absorb such nutrients. During the process of making white rice “white” the bran is removed which contains the majority of the phytic acid and about 75% of its nutrients.

So brown rice has more nutrients but also has phytic acid which leads to less nutrient absorption. White rice has less nutrients but it does not have the phytic acid, so your body is able to more easily absorb the nutrients.

One important benefit of rice consumption is that it contains some of protein’s building blocks, amino acids. It has a good amount of cysteine and methionine, and a little of lysine.

Rice contains a decent amount of carbs. In one cup of both cooked enriched long grain white rice & brown rice there is about 45 grams of carbohydrates.rice

 

5. Whole Oats/ Oatmealoatmeal

If you want a healthier heart start eating whole oats. Whole oats contain avenanthramide, which is an antioxidant that protects your heart. Oats are also extremely high in manganese, with one cup giving you about 96% of your daily need.

Its beta-glucan content also has several important benefits. Beta-glucan has been shown to strengthen the immune system and decrease chances of infection. It has also shown to stabilize blood sugar levels and can be a good food source for those with type 2 diabetes or at risk.oatmeal

 

 

Vintage Blast Review – The Best of Pre Workout

vintageblastI want to bring to your attention one of the best pre-workouts on the market. I present Old School Lab’s Vintage Blast. This is about the best of pre-workout I have ever had (well at least in the past couple years). It is the first of its kind with a 2 stage formula and is made with safe ingredients, no chemical mess here.

vintageblast2 Stage Formula

Have you ever had a pre-workout that kicks in hard but dies off before you are even finished with your workout. If long workouts are your normal gym routine I am sure this has happened before. This is where Vintage Blast excels.

Its formula is designed to kick in in 2 stages. The main ingredient in the 2nd stage is, as you could guess, caffeine. It is micro encapsulated to keep your body from absorbing it right away.

I don’t really know how long it takes for that second stage caffeine to kick in but it definitely works.

The doses of caffeine are pretty good also. The first stage caffeine is dosed at 150 mg per serving. This isn’t all that much but it will give you that boost you need. Then the second stage caffeine is dosed at 100 mg which is a nice mild does to keep you going.

The energy this pre-workout provides is very clean and I think that is partly due to the caffeine being split up and absorbed at different times.

Another ingredient that stood out to me and made me want to try this pre-workout in the first place is L-Citrulline Malate. This is proven to delay muscle fatigue. And look at the dose this gives you, 5000mg. Coming off of another pre-workout before this that did not have L-Citrulline of any form, I swear I could notice the difference.

Healthy Ingredientsvintageblastnongmo

This is another characteristic of Vintage Blast that sets it apart from many other pre-workouts.

Many other pre-workouts are chemical dumps that are just filled with ingredients that have negative long term effects.

With Vintage Blast you will be consuming a safe gluten-free, 100% vegetarian, Non-GMO formula with no artificial colors or flavors and to top it off it is manufactured in a GMP facility.

This pre-workouts formula is an all around masterpiece. Quality and safe ingredients like this aren’t all that common in the majority of pre-workouts. Old School Labs is setting a new standard here.

The Downfall

The only thing I have a problem with in Vintage Blast is the price. I bought mine on Amazon.com for just under $40. It has 20 servings so thats $2 a piece. I guess you get what you pay for.

Even with its price I am glad I decided to give it a try. I needed something different from all the regular pre-workouts out there. If this is you then you should seriously consider this. You will not be disappointed in its performance. It will bring you a good pump, good mental focus, and endurance that lasts throughout.

The cheapest place you can find it is on Amazon.com and you can

Click Here to Buy Vintage Blast 

Or read from thousands of customer reviews and then make your decision.

If you have review of Vintage Blast leave it in the comment section below. Or if you have a question you should also comment below.

Time Under Tension and Muscle Growth

timeundertensionTime under tension (TUT) is a term that is used in the bodybuilding community. It has received much popularity from bodybuilders both natural and unnatural. But does it work? Do time under tension and muscle growth relate?? There are many articles out there that say that TUT is a load of crock but… really, does it work?

The answer is Yes, and to back this I want to bring a recent study to your attention. There are articles out there that are trying to answer this question based on studies of cats and other ridiculous things. Lets keep it simple with one of the only scientific studies out there on TUT with human test subjects. But first what exactly is time under tension?

Time under tension is the amount of time that a muscle resists weight during each set. This is used to determine the amount of work that is done.

Proof It Worksincreasechart

Light amount of weight (30% 1RM) have been proven to increase myofibrillar protein synthesis just as much as high intense heavy loads, when both are performed to muscle failure (Burd et al. 2010b)[1]. But how does this relate to the time under tension a muscle experiences?

To answer this question Nicholas A Burd and colleagues performed a professional study of the amount of protein synthesis that occurred from a strict time under tension standpoint. This has since been published in the Journal of Physiology.

Here 8 participants performed leg extension sets with 30% of their 1 rep max weight. They were tested with this weight using both a “long” time under tension method, and a “short” time under tension method. For the long sets they performed leg extensions at a tempo of 6 seconds up and 6 seconds down. And for the short sets they performed each leg extension rapidly with 1 second up and 1 second down. Both methods were performed for the same number of repetitions, but the slower method of course had much more “time under tension” for the whole set.

After training and receiving equal amounts of post workout protein the participants’  quad muscles, consisting of vastus lateralis, vastus medialis and rectus femoris muscles, were tested for protein synthesis rates. Myofibrillar, mitochondrial, and sarcoplasmic protein synthesis levels were measured at different times post workout.

The results? The “slow” participants experienced higher myofibrillar, mitochondrial, and sarcoplasmic protein synthesis levels at all the different times tested [2].

Discussion

So is time under tension worth trying? Will it lead to more hypertrophy? Well this study here compared a long time under tension method to a shorter method, however, both methods used only 30% of the individuals’ 1MR. Then, as mentioned, another study (Burd et al. 2010b) produced results that showed light weight (30% 1MR) is just as effective at stimulating myofibrillar protein synthesis as heavy loads.

There is evidence to back up effectiveness of longer time under tension training with light loads, but then there are many people out there that swear it is ineffective. You be the judge.

As for me personally, I incorporate long time under tension sets for arm workouts and have noticed good gains with this style.

 

If you have any input on this article or questions comment below.

 


Study

1. Burd NA, West DW, Staples AW, Atherton PJ, Baker JM, Moore DR, Holwerda AM, Parise G, Rennie MJ, Baker SK, Phillips SM. Low-load high volume resistance exercise stimulates muscle protein synthesis more than high-load low volume resistance exercise in young men. PLoS One.2010b;5:e12033

2. Nicholas A Burd, Richard J Andrews, Daniel WD West, Jonathan P Little, Andrew JR Cochran, Amy J Hector, Joshua GA Cashaback, Martin J Gibala, James R Potvin, Steven K Baker, and Stuart M Phillips. Muscle time under tension during resistance exercise stimulates differential muscle protein sub-fractional synthetic responses in men. J Physiol. 2012 Jan 15; 590(Pt 2): 351–362.

How to Squat for Bigger Glutes – Squats for Women

bigbuttSquats are undoubtedly at the top of the list for butt exercises and lower body exercises as a whole. Being a heavy compound movement (If you go heavy), the mechanical overload principle applies here which leads to mTOR activation and satellite cell activation, then leading to increased protein synthesis and muscle tissue repair.

The real question isn’t whether or not squats work, it is how should I squat to get the best results?

To answer this question we can look at the amount of muscle fiber activation in different squat forms. Muscle activation and muscle hypertrophy do not go together exactly hand in hand, however muscle activation is a great indicator for muscle hypertrophy.

There have been a number of squat studies done on male test subjects, but very few on women. This is a problem. Due to differences in anatomy and center of balance between the sexes a squat is not the same. The all around motion, although very similar, is nonetheless different and the muscles are activated differently [1].

So, for accurate literature on squatting for women, women must be studied. Luckily in the recent years this is
becoming more known and squat tests on women are surfacing.womansquat

A very recent study of this kind was conducted by Bret Contreras et al. and publish in Journal of Applied Biomechanics in 2015. Bret Contreres aka “the glute guy” is an expert on glute activation and his information has been featured in articles on Bodybuilding.com, Muscle and Fitness, Men’s Health, and more. He and his team realized the difference of squatting between the sexes and with this in mind they studied different squat variations with women and the muscle activation that occurred with each.

Study of Muscle Activation in Varying Squat Forms


The subjects of this study were 13 women all with at least 3 years experience in weight training. All 13 subjects had a 10 rep max front squat of 86.4 lbs, 10RM full squat of 103 lbs, and a 10RM parallel squat of 117 lbs.

The testing was simple. Each test subject performed their 10RM with each squat variation. Prior to this they all had at least 72 hours of lower body rest and performed dynamic stretches for better muscle function upon testing. Subjects performed their 10RM’s in ramdomized order for a counterbalanced fashion. Feet and bar placement was the same for all test subjects relative to their bodies.

Muscle Activation Analysis

To measure muscle activation electromyography was used. Electrodes were placed on the upper gluteus maximus, lower gluteus maximus, biceps femoris, and vastus lateralis to test muscle activation in all areas.

Resultssurprised

The results may surprise you. There was no distinct and significant difference in muscle activation between the different squat variations [2].

How is There No (Significant) Difference?


 Parallel Squat Weight > Full & Front Squat Weight

Suggested reasoning behind this has to do with the “relative” load of the different lifts. Parallel squats, as you may guess, are able to be performed heavier than full or front squats. By doing a 10RM for each lift you are going to be able to go the heaviest with parallel squats, as the women did in this study. So front squats as well as full squats give you the same amount of muscle activation with a lesser weight load than parallel squats.

What is most surprising to me is that muscle activation is very similar for front squats as it is for the two variations of back squats. I would expect less glute and more quad activation for front squats, but according to the EMG results there is no significant and notable difference.

So What is the Best Variation for Hypertrophy?


I, along with most, would have to go with full back squats. Full back squats are better for knees than parallel squats and more natural than front squats. Going below parallel brings about the “wrapping effect” which distributes forces more evenly on the knees.

Also, due to a larger range of motion, a full squat will require more time under tension than a parallel squat. Increased time under tension has been proven to lead to increased protein synthesis as shown in a study published in the Journal of Physiology in 2012, conducted by Nicholas A Burd et al. [3]. This increased protein synthesis in theory means increased hypertrophy.

Besides science, most experienced weight lifters who have tried different variations of squatting would recommend full squats. Not only do they seem to bring about more hypertrophy, but they are the healthier form when it comes to taking care of your knees.

 

Have you any input on this matter or questions?? Comment Below.

 

Sources:

1. McKean M, Burkett BJ. Does Segment Length Influence the Hip, Knee and Ankle Coordination During the Squat Movement? Journal of Fitness Research. 2012;1(1):23-30.

2. Bret Contreras , Andrew D. Vigotsky , Brad J. Schoenfeld , Chris Beardsley , and John Cronin. A Comparison of Gluteus Maximus, Biceps Femoris, and Vastus Lateralis EMG Amplitude in the Parallel, Full, and Front Squat Variations in Resistance Trained Females. Journal of Applied Biomechanics. Aug 6, 2015

3. Nicholas A Burd, Richard J Andrews, Daniel WD West, Jonathan P Little, Andrew JR Cochran, Amy J Hector, Joshua GA Cashaback, Martin J Gibala, James R Potvin, Steven K Baker, and Stuart M Phillips. Muscle time under tension during resistance exercise stimulates differential muscle protein sub-fractional synthetic responses in men. J Physiol. 2012 Jan 15; 590(Pt 2): 351–362

Is Beta Alanine Worth It?

Its in just about every pre-workout on the market, but is beta alanine worth it? The short answer is yes. This non-essential beta amino acid is proven to increase muscular function and strength during long workouts. It is able to betaalaninemoleculebe produced by the body and is also found in food, however not nearly enough to really improve physical performance. The easiest and fastest way to get extra beta alanine is of course through supplementation.

The overall goal of beta alanine supplementation for bodybuilders and other similar athletes is to increase carnosine concentrations. When ingested, Beta alanine combines with histidine to form the almighty carnosine inside muscles.

Why do you want to increase carnosine levels?

increase chart

Because carnosine fights against acidic buildup in the muscles. This is particularly helpful during long workouts. When your body begins to tire during workouts an overload of Hydrogen ions being to flow through your muscles, dropping the pH and creating an acidic environment. This decreases muscle function and power. So since carnosine reduces the acidity it indirectly gives you a muscle strength and function boost after the onset of fatigue.

This boost will not increase your strength prior to fatigue. It simply lessens fatigue and helps you keep going longer so you will be able to keep up the intensity in the gym for a longer time and benefit more.

To better back up the positive effects of beta alanine supplementation lets take a look at couple of studies.

Proof that it works


gymequipmentThe first study I want to present to you was published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition and studied both body composition and muscular performance with and without the supplementation of beta alanine.

During the 8 week double blind study, college athletes were tested in high intensity interval training, sprints, and resistance (strength) training.

The results were pretty definitive in the favor of beta alanine supplementation. While both the placebo and beta alanine group increased their performance, the beta alanine group’s increase was greater. They increased an average of 1.1 seconds on the shuttle run and 3 seconds on the flexed arm hang (strength test)! The placebo’s increases were not even half of that [1].

And besides their increases in athletic performance the beta alanine group gained 2.1 pounds of lean body mass while the placebo group gained only 1.1 pounds [1]. Nearly twice the lean body mass!

And thats not all

A study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology shows that beta alanine can boost your muscular endurance when it comes to long endurance exercise.

In this study 19 elite Belgian row athletes were tested their row times in 2,000 meter all-out races.

With 5 grams a day of beta alanine supplementation for 7 weeks the rowers were able to reduce their time by 2.7 ± 4.8 s. While the placebo group actually slowed down and their time increased in the 2,000 meter test by 1.8 ± 6.8 s [2].

An ncrease in speed with beta alanine supplementation while the placebo group actually showed a decrease? Need I say more.

Is Beta Alanine Worth It?
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Beta alanine is one of the more known amino acids in the fitness industry. It has been the subject of many studies and proves time and time again to be effective. Anyone who uses pre-workouts has more than likely consumed beta alanine before, as it is one of the most common ingredients for “N.O. boosting”.

I have personally taken beta alanine in pre-workouts numerous times over the years, but it is difficult to pinpoint its effect with all of the other ingredients along side it. That is why I decided to purchase “bulk” pure beta alanine powder a while back, along with other pure ingredients to include in my personal pre-workout. From being able to include beta alanine when desired and exclude it occasionally I can undoubtedly conclude that it works for me.

The decreased muscle fatigue helps me push harder for longer in the gym and it allows you to recover faster. And you have got to love the tingles beta alanine gives you. Its that extra psychological boost you need.

So When Should I Take it and How Much Should I Take?stop-watch


The elevated carnosine levels caused by supplementing beta alanine are slow to rise and also slow to fall. This means that it doesn’t really matter when you take beta alanine. Whether you are taking it 30 minutes prior to working out or 10 hours prior, the carnosine levels won’t be significantly effected enough to matter. Just make sure you keep track of your doses and take some every day. Personally, I like to supplement beta alanine about 30 minutes prior to working out for the tingling sensation to be in full effect. However, this doesn’t help you physiologically but it can psychologically.

As for the dosage, 3-4 grams per day is considered optimal. However, up to 6.4g/day for 28 days has been studied without harmful side effects. If you are taking a pre-workout be sure to check its dosage. Often times the dosage is around 1 to 2 grams, making it beneficial to supplement more beta alanine by itself.

Due to the tingling sensation, Paresthesia, it is suggested that you break your doses down into 1.5-2 grams at a time.

Whats To Look For When Buying


Beta alanine is manufactured by hundreds of different countries all around the world. Many countries don’t monitor the regulation of such products and this often leads to it being  impure and potentially hazardous.

If you want quality beta alanine product from a trustworthy source, look for CarnoSyn®. It is a patented brand of beta alanine that is often featured in quality pre-workouts and other supplements due to is purity.

==> Click for Best Pure CarnoSyn® Product <==

 

If you have a question or comment be sure to comment below.

 

Sources:


 

1. Benjamin Kern and Tracey Robinson. Effects of β-alanine supplementation on performance and body composition in collegiate wrestlers and football players. J Strength Cond Res. 2011 Jul;25(7):1804-15

2. , , , , Important role of muscle carnosine in rowing performance. 

 

 

 

 

Top Rated BCAA Supplements

The Branch chain amino acids, leucine, isoleucine, and valine, increase protein synthbestbcaasesis, promoting muscle growth
and recovery. A good BCAA supplement is very beneficial for athletes of all kind, but not just any BCAA supplement out there. The top rated BCAA supplements are dosed properly and you are likely to see better results from them.

The natural ratio is 2:1:1 of leucine:isoleucine:valine and is found in animal proteins. This ratio is suggested for optimal results. Leucine is the key igniter in protein synthesis. However, leucine supplemented alone does not lead to the significant increase that it does with the isoleucine and valine along side. Without a doubt leucine, having the biggest impact, should be supplemented highest. But not too high. Some BCAA supplements go with as high as a 10:1:1 ratio. This leads to somewhat of a waste of leucine. There is not enough isoleucine and valine to accompany it in order to lead to optimal protein synthesis.

Listed below are some of the best BCAA products on the market. They are all powder form because this way they absorb more easily and they are also dosed more appropriately. If you look at the BCAA pills and capsules the dosing is usually extremely low at 1-2 grams BCAA’s per serving.

List of Top Rated BCAA Supplements

1. BPI Sports Best BCAAbestbcaa

Servings – 30

BCAA’s/serving – 5 grams

Price – $19.93 & Free Shipping

Where to BuyAmazon

Comments: This product is very well dosed with 5 grams of BCAA’s at a 2:1:1 ratio. It also includes 250 mg of agmatine sulfate. Agmatine sulfate is a great NO booster, one of the best “pump” ingredients out there. 250 mg isn’t that much but it will make a difference. This comes in 7 different flavors for everyone to like. These include blue raspberry, fruit punch, grape, passion fruit, watermelon ice, cherry lime, and green fusion.

 

 2. Chizled Labs “Unchained” BCAA Supplementchizledlabsbcaa

Servings – 30

BCAA’s/serving – <5 grams

Price – $19.99 & Free Shipping

Where to BuyAmazon

Comments: This product seems adequately dosed. It includes glutamine as well, which has proven very beneficial when supplemented with BCAA’s to slow down muscle loss, help improve nitrogen balance, and increase muscle mass gains. The dose for this supplement is 5 grams. It does not say how much of the 5 grams glutamine accounts for so it is difficult to judge from a dosage standpoint. However, 5 grams is on the higher side per serving when it comes to supplements with glutamine and should do.

 

3. Optimum Nutrition BCAA Powderoptimumnutritionbcaa

Servings – 40

BCAA’s/serving – 5 grams

Price – $21.84 & Free Shipping

Where to BuyAmazon

Comments: Optimum Nutrition brings forth a quality product as usual. They keep this product simple and efficient. It contains an adequate 5 gram dosage of BCAA’s without a bunch of extra nonsense. This is definitely a good quality product at a price that is affordable. Another plus to this product is the fact that it is instantized, which gives it easier mix-ability.

 

4. Cellucor Alpha Amino Acid Supplement with BCAAcellucorbcaas

Servings – 30

BCAA’s/serving – 5 grams

Price – $26.59 & Free Shipping

Where to BuyAmazon

Comments: This product features a lot of ingredients. It has an adequate dosage of 5 grams BCAA’s at a 2:1:1 ratio along with more than 10 other amino acids. Cellucor really did a overdid it with this product. Its more expensive than many other products, but if you are willing to pay a little extra this product is worth it. It also comes in 5 flavors which are icy blue razz, lemon lime, fruit punch, watermelon, and grape.

 

5. BulkSupplements Pure Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA) Powder (250g)bulksupplementsbcaa

Servings – 166

BCAA’s/serving – 1.5 grams

Price – 16.96 & Free Shipping

Where to BuyAmazon

Comments: Bulk Supplements always seems like the best choice when it comes to purity and price. However, the serving size here is very small at only 1.5 grams, so don’t let that fool you. If you take an adequate dose, such as 5 grams for example, you will have 50 servings not 166. Taking 5 grams for 50 servings at a price slightly less than $17 still beats out other BCAA supplements when it comes to price. This product also has the optimal 2:1:1 ratio. A downside to this powder is that it is unflavored. So you may want to buy flavoring or mix it in with something else.

If you have any questions or your own review of these products please comment below.