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Core Strength 2 Workouts to Develop Strong & Shredded Abs


CONTENTS 28 RIPPED SIXER BY SUMMER Dreaming of a strong, shredded midsection? Divide and conquer with this dual-threat program that helps you tighten your abs while stripping away the last few pounds of fat hiding them from view.

MARCH 2018

By Michael Berg, NSCA-CPT



Get fitter, faster and stronger with this six-week program designed to help you get the most out of your physique. By Dwayne N. Jackson, Ph.D.


Try these boosters and improved versions for even better results. By Steve Stiefel

46 ARE YOU HOPPING ON THE KETO BANDWAGON? The beginner’s guide to the latest diet craze. By Shoshana Pritzker, RD, CDN, CSSD, CISSN


BPI Sports CEO Jennifer Hughey may be the most powerful woman in sports nutrition.






DISCLAIMER: MUSCLE & PERFORMANCE is an Active Interest Media publication. AIM, as publisher, does not endorse and makes no representation, warranty or guarantee concerning the safety or effectiveness of either the products and services advertised in this magazine or the weightlifting or other techniques discussed or illustrated in this magazine. The publisher expressly disclaims any and all liability relating to the manufacture, sale or use of such products and services and the application of the exercises discussed or illustrated in this magazine. The purchase or use of some of the products, services or techniques advertised or discussed in this magazine may be illegal in some areas of the United States or other countries. Therefore, you should check federal, state and local laws prior to your purchase or use of these products, services or techniques. The publisher makes no representation or warranty concerning the legality of the purchase or use of these products, services and techniques in the United States or elsewhere. Because of the nature of some of the products, services and techniques advertised or discussed in this magazine, you should consult a physician before using these products or services or applying these exercise techniques.

Photo by Michael Neveux

ON THE COVER › Model: TJ Hoban • Photographer: Michael Neveux


ENERGY • STRENGTH • PUMP • INTENSITY † Introducing a perfectly engineered pre-workout designed to maximize your extreme training. If you need super-intense, explosive workouts with performance-driven ingredients in easy to mix, delicious formulas...You need Dymatize PreW.O. Learn more:









3 A M A Z I N G F L AV O R S



© 2018 Dymatize Enterprises LLC. All Rights Reserved. † These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

For more information on branded ingredients visit:


MARCH 2018 • VOL. 10 NO. 3


ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Donna Diamond Riekenberg EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Maureen Farrar ART DIRECTOR Paul Duarte

COPY EDITOR Jeannine Santiago

ONLINE EDITOR Michael Nystrom



CONTRIBUTORS Michael Berg, NSCA-CPT; Lee Boyce, CPT; Elizabeth Brown, MS, RD, CPT, CDE; Erin Calderone, MS, CSCS, NASM-CPT; John M. Cissik, MS, CSCS; Jenessa Connor, CPT; K. Aleisha Fetters, CSCS; Justin Grinnell, CSCS; Dwayne N. Jackson, Ph.D.; Matthew Kadey, MS, RD; Peter Lueders; Stephanie Main, NASM, CF-L2, RYT-500; Michael Neveux; Shoshana Pritzker, RD, CDN, CSSD, CISSN; Robert Reiff; Elizabeth Shaw, MS, RDN, CLT; Jill Schildhouse; Cory Sorensen; Steven Stiefel; Eric Velazquez, CSCS; Joe Wuebben

DEPARTMENTS 8 PERFORMANCE NEWS: The Latest Training, Nutrition and

Supplement Research By Joe Wuebben and Dwayne N. Jackson, Ph.D.

14 WORKOUT OF THE MONTH: High-Achieving Abs

By Michael Berg, NSCA-CPT

16 WORKOUT TO GO: So You Got a Tire …

By Eric Velazquez, CSCS

18 MOBILITY: 5 Exercises to Improve Shoulder Mobility

By Lara McGlashan, MFA, CPT

20 BUILD: Fast-Twitch Hack

By Eric Velazquez, CSCS

22 FUEL: Decoding Supplement Labels

By Jill Schildhouse

24 SUPERFOOD SPOTLIGHT: The Power of Citrus

By Elizabeth Shaw, MS, RDN, CLT

26 INGREDIENT SPOTLIGHT: Get to Know Aminolase TPA

By Jill Schildhouse

56 PRODUCT INSIDER: Stay Hydrated for Success

By Ashleigh Atkinson

58 TOP 5: … Best Stretches for Runners

By Maureen Farrar

PRESIDENT & CEO Andrew W. Clurman





Muscle & Performance is printed monthly in the U.S.A. © 2018 by Active Interest Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is strictly prohibited. The information in Muscle & Performance is for educational purposes only. It’s not intended to replace the advice or attention of health care professionals. Consult your physician before making changes in your diet, supplement and/or exercise program. MUSCLE & PERFORMANCE, 5720 Flatiron Parkway, Boulder, CO 80301 - Toll Free: (800) 423-2874



Get a Beet on Gains BY DWAYNE N. JACKSON, PH.D.

In the last several years, there’s been much interest in the performance-enhancing roles of beetroot supplementation. Beetroot products come in a few varieties, but whether they’re in their natural juice form or a powdered extract, the mechanism is the same: Beetroot is a naturally concentrated source of dietary nitrate and, through a few simple biochemical steps, it becomes nitric oxide. Past studies show that beetroot supplements acting as a precursor to NO production promote increased blood flow to working muscles during aerobic-type exercise. Other studies show that beetroot extract taken before endurance-style training enhances muscle contractile efficiency, allowing you to push more weight with less energy cost. Up to recently, however, there have been few studies investigating the benefits of beetroot supplementation on intermittent, high-intensity exercise. Fortunately, a recent systematic review, published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, did just that. After screening 738 research studies on beetroot juice, the authors found nine studies that met their eligibility criteria (human subjects, direct effects of beetroot determined, high-intensity intermittent exercise). After a comprehensive analysis of these studies, the researchers made the following conclusions: 8


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• Supplementation with beetroot juice reduces muscular fatigue experienced during high-intensity exercise. • Beetroot juice can help recover phosphocreatine reserves between sets (during resistance training and/or sprint intervals), thus providing more high-energy phosphate for ATP (energy) production. • Beetroot juice decreases buildup of metabolites such as ADP and inorganic phosphate, which are known to contribute to muscular fatigue. • Beetroot juice improves calcium release and re-uptake at the sarcoplasmic reticulum, resulting in improved muscle contraction efficiency and power output. The take-home of these findings? Beetroot is the real deal for those who train hard in the gym. ACTION POINT: Effective doses of beetroot juice can be attained by drinking one to two glasses (250 milliliters) of natural beetroot juice per day. Beetroot powders and extracts are commonly found in preworkout formulations. That said, if the amount of nitrate is not listed on the Supplement Facts label, take as directed because potency can vary among products. Remember that nitrate levels can build up over time, so even increasing your daily nitrate intake modestly can result in increases in nitrate levels after several days to weeks.




❱ It should come as no surprise that men’s and women’s

bodies handle some supplements differently. To further complicate things, an individual’s training experience also can affect how some supplements are used in the body — one such supplement is branched-chain amino acids. Case in point: In a recent study, presented at the 14th Annual International Society of Sports Nutrition Conference and Expo in Arizona last June, it was reported that women, regardless of training experience, saw significant decreases in blood BCAA levels during resistance training, which continued to decline into recovery. During aerobic exercise, however, there was no decline in blood BCAA concentration, but there was a significant reduction post-exercise. In contrast, resistance-trained males experienced significantly decreased blood BCAA concentrations whether doing aerobic or weight-training exercises — a deficit that stayed below baseline well into post-exercise recovery. Though endurance-trained men experienced no change in BCAA concentration during either exercise type, they MAX STACK

Pre -pare to Perform

had a significant drop in BCAA concentration in the postexercise period.

ACTION POINT: Keeping BCAAs elevated ensures necessary substrates are available to drive anabolism and protein synthesis while keeping catabolism down — an environment that promotes increased recovery and muscle building. To ensure blood concentrations stay elevated throughout the workout and recovery window, men should always take 5 to 10 grams of BCAAs 30 minutes preworkout, intraworkout and immediately postworkout, regardless of what type of workout is being performed (cardio or weights). Women can follow the same guidelines as men, but they can save a few bucks while not missing any benefits by skipping BCAAs before and during aerobic training. Ladies, just remember to get 5 to 10 grams of BCAAs immediately afterward. Always use BCAA products that contain at least twice as much leucine as isoleucine and valine.

❱ No two preworkout supplements are alike, but all the

best ones have a few things in common — namely, a select group of ingredients that virtually all researchers agree are hugely effective at providing a short-term boost to workouts as well as long-lasting results in strength and size, among other physique and performance benefits. Here are three such superstars of the preworkout game: Citrulline Malate: The combination of the amino acid

L-citrulline and malic acid (malate) is one of the most potent nitric-oxide boosters you can take. Higher NO levels mean wider blood vessels and more blood and oxygen delivered to hardworking muscles during training. The long-term benefit? Greater strength and endurance and more muscle growth over time. Betaine: Not familiar with betaine? You should be because

it’s one of the most potent supplemental ingredients on the market today. Research has shown that it enhances size, strength and power due in part to boosting protein synthesis. However, one University of Connecticut study also found betaine to boost growth hormone levels and decrease the catabolic hormone cortisol. Caffeine: This ingredient is no secret, yet it’s left out of

many preworkouts and other times underdosed. Caffeine is a proven strength and energy booster, and it’s also known to delay fatigue during training. A sufficient caffeine dose is about 300 milligrams. Find all these ingredients and more in PreW.O. by Dymatize. MUSCLEANDPERFORMANCE.COM





(FREQUENTLY ASKED FOOD QUESTIONS) Answered by the scientists at, an unbiased, unaffiliated resource on all things nutrition and supplements

Q: Are cured and processed meats OK to eat, or do they pose health risks? A: Processed meat, like bacon, ham, hot dogs and sausages, can be pretty


Lenny & Larry’s The Complete Cookie What It Is: A cookie like none you’ve

ever had before. The Complete Cookie, as the name implies, checks off all the macronutrients, delivering 8 grams of protein, only 2 grams of saturated fat (another 4 grams of fat that are unsaturated) and a fairly modest 190 calories per treat. It’s a great dessert substitute for those who get fierce sugar cravings after dinner and typically succumb to ice cream and milkshakes.

damn tasty, but they aren’t exactly the healthiest foods out there. In fact, the World Health Organization currently classifies processed red meats as a Group 1 carcinogen with regards to colorectal cancer, which means that it’s very likely to cause colorectal cancer. That sounds pretty scary, but it’s important to note that most of the studies that have linked processed meats to colorectal cancer were epidemiological studies, not experimental studies. This means that you can’t account for all the reasons that could possibly be contributing to the colorectal cancer risk — for example, maybe people who eat processed meats are more likely to eat junk food and avoid fiber, possibly increasing their risk of colorectal cancer. So you can’t really pin down a cause-and-effect relationship with these types of studies. Also, the associations that linked processed meat consumption to colorectal cancer were not very strong, making it even more difficult to come to a strong conclusion about their relationship. However, a lot of studies in animals do suggest that the interactions between sodium nitrite (a preservative used to lengthen the shelf life of processed meat) and the amino acids naturally found in meat produce compounds called nitrosamines, which lead to cancer-causing byproducts. The formation of these byproducts could possibly be contributing to the associations that we see between processed red meat consumption and colorectal cancer risk. Interestingly enough, there’s also some preliminary evidence suggesting that incorporating fruits and vegetables into one’s diet may reduce the formation of some of these cancer-causing molecules. So while we can’t conclude that processed meats cause colorectal cancer, we can conclude that the age-old advice that vegetables are good for you is probably true. — Kamel Patel, MPH, Director

What It Tastes Like: A real, legitimate,

delicious cookie. It tastes great and has the softness that all great cookies have. And it comes in a variety of flavors, including double chocolate, peanut butter, oatmeal raisin and snickerdoodle.

What’s in It: 190 calories, 8 grams pro-

tein, 27 grams total carbs, 6 grams fat, 3 grams fiber Where to Get It: The Vitamin Shoppe

and; $19.99 for a box of 20 cookies 10


MARCH 2018



Take a Stand ❱ Here’s a magic number for you:

six hours. Stand for this amount of time every day instead of sitting and you’ll be healthier and weigh less because of it. At least that’s what a recent study from the European Society of Cardiology reports. The researchers explained that standing burns about 15 more calories per minute than sitting. All other factors being equal, they explained, a 143-pound individual who stands for six hours daily would burn an extra 54 calories per day, be 5 pounds lighter over the course of a year, and more than 20 pounds lighter after 10 years than someone who sits for the same amount of time. Those weighing more than 143 pounds would theoretically burn even more calories. The take-home here is simple: Limit the amount of time you sit every day, whether it’s on your couch or even at your desk at work. A good place to start is with a stand-up desk for your office. And putting a cap on how much TV you watch will help immensely, too.


Gaiam Yoga Mat ❱ Tired of standing? Don’t sit. Lie down and do some yoga instead,


and do it on the Citron Sundial yoga mat by Gaiam. With earth-tone colors and added floral imagery, it’s the rare fitness accessory that won’t be an eyesore in your office, den or media room. It’s as comfortable as it is durable, and it might even make that couch or plush chair in your living room sound a bit less appealing. Buy the Citron Sundial yoga mat at for just $14.94. MARCH 2018 Ÿ MUSCLE & PERFORMANCE



HIIT is an effective, efficient workout that burns fat, not muscle.


HIIT Safely ❱ Include high-intensity interval training in your program at least

once or twice a week to boost calorie burning. Keep it simple with a 1:1 work-to-rest ratio — 30 to 60 seconds of intense cardio activity (i.e., running or biking fast) followed by 30 to 60 seconds of low-intensity exercise (walking) or full rest. Do that for anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes, depending on your fitness level. Speaking of, don’t bust out of the gates too fast. If you haven’t run in years, or even months, don’t do all-out sprints on Day One — that’s a recipe for getting injured, not shredded. Instead, start with four to six “hard runs” at about 70 percent of sprinting speed — again, for no more than 30 to 60 seconds per interval. Don’t worry about it being too easy — better too easy than too hard, especially when the latter results in a pulled or torn hamstring, or worse.


Get the Whole Truth on Bread ❱ When shopping for bread, go to the “Ingredi-

ents” list and look for the word “whole” — as in “whole-wheat flour.” If it simply says “wheat flour,” keep shopping; that’s basically just white flour, and it’s high-glycemic. Stay away from breads that list “enriched bleached flour” as the first ingredient. When in doubt, choose sourdough or rye bread — both are favorable low-glycemic carbohydrate sources.  12


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High-Achieving Abs Y

ou’re about to finish your workout when a nagging sensation stops you in your tracks: You should do something for those shabby, oft-neglected abdominals of yours, shouldn’t you? You shrug, head over to the mats and, after a few halfhearted sets of crunches, call it a day, feeling slightly more satisfied with yourself. Sure, a few crunches are better than nothing, but wouldn’t you prefer a solution 14


MARCH 2018

that’s a little more effective and satisfying? And courtesy of an Olympic gold medalist, no less? Enter Charles Austin, a worldrecord-holding high jumper who earned his coveted medallion in the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta and is now a certified fitness trainer and owner of So High Sports & Fitness in San Marcos, Texas. Austin devised a dynamic core routine for Muscle & Performance

Have you been ignoring your midsection lately? This Olympic gold medalist–designed ab routine, which you can tack on to any workout, will quell the guilt and get results. BY MICHAEL BERG, NSCA-CPT

readers that’s perfect for the tail end of any workout, when your muscles are warmed up and ready for action. It’s made up of five exercises done for three sets each. Here’s how to do them right: Crunch Low Reach

Lie on your back with your head on the floor, your legs in the air and knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Put your hands on the sides of your


your arms out to the sides of your body. Lift your legs about 5 inches off the floor, and keep your feet together as you tap your heels to the floor to the right of your body. Then raise your legs again and tap your heels to the center, and finally lift them again and tap them to the left side. Repeat the sequence, always tapping in the center between the right and left taps. Once to all three positions and back to the center equals one rep. “If you feel a strain on your lower back, bend your knees to perform the movement instead,” Austin suggests. Side-Up

Assume a lateral plank position with your lower elbow resting on the floor

thighs. Raise your upper body as you reach forward and touch the floor near the level of your knees. Return to the starting position and repeat.

and your feet elevated on a bench, chair or platform, holding your body aligned from head to heels. Lower your hip to the floor as far as you can comfortably go and then raise yourself up to the starting position. Complete 10 to 15 reps on one side, then switch to the other side to complete the set. Spinal Unwind Leg Lift

Lie on your back with your head on the floor, your arms out to the sides of your body, and your legs straight with your feet together and heels down. Keeping your feet together and your legs straight, raise them until they’re at a 90-degree angle to your torso. Bend your knees and then lower your legs to the starting position. 

To ensure maximum core strength, focus on maintaining muscle tension throughout each move.

Crunch Low Reach With Twist

Assume the same starting position as the crunch low reach except extend your arms straight over your head on the floor. Raise your torso, and as you come up, rotate your body to one side and touch the floor with both hands on that side, again near the level of your knees. Lower yourself to the starting position and repeat, rotating to the other side. Once to each side equals one rep.




Crunch Low Reach



Crunch Low Reach With Twist



Double-Leg Eagle

Double-Leg Eagle



Lie on your back with your legs straight, body touching the floor from head to heels, and straighten



10-15 (per side)

Spinal Unwind Leg Lift







So You Got a Tire …

What does one do with a 400-plus-pound tire, exactly? Lots of stuff. Let this intro to abusing your new tire in the name of fitness be your guide. BY ERIC VELAZQUEZ, CSCS


o after watching your internet man crush going all alpha male with one on Instagram, you finally decided that you, too, need to get your hands on a cumbersome, space-hogging, 450-pound tractor tire. And after scouring the interwebs for a reasonable deal, clearing out the requisite space on the side of the house and convincing your family that it’s worth the hassle, you throw on your best workout gear and … now what? 16


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Uh, I guess I’ll flip it and stuff. Yeah, that’s the response most tire-wielding fitness buffs have initially. But the tire is a more versatile strength-and-conditioning tool than it is given credit for. Unlike barbelldriven moves like deadlifts, rows and overhead presses, which require you to generate force in a strictly vertical plane, the flipping of a tire requires you to produce force upward and forward, helping you propel the tire

horizontally over a set distance or for a certain number of repetitions. But don’t become so focused on the flip that you miss out on the other uses of the tire. Unlike the more delicate machinations of adjustable dumbbells or selectorized equipment, the tire is built for abuse. Among other frenetic activities, the tire is suited for flipping, beating and jumping on. Sledgehammer swings are a great stress reliever that also happen to MUSCLEANDPERFORMANCE.COM

thrash your entire core musculature, shoulders, lats and forearms. With a heavier sledge (20 pounds) and fewer reps, it becomes a power-andstrength-focused exercise. With a lighter sledge (10 pounds) and more reps, you have a near-perfect, fullbody cardio activity. No sledge? No problem. Try simulating the motion with two hands using a medicine ball or a sandbag. Plyometric jumps hold obvious benefits, including power development, greater athleticism and increased fast-twitch muscle recruitment for other lower-body-focused movements, including the barbell squat. The size of your tire will dictate the best prescription for your plyos — a bigger tire will merit fewer jumps at max intensity, while a smaller tire is better suited for higher-repetition jumps for speed. Those who actually manage to secure the money, space and nerve to get themselves a tire often find themselves floundering to find the right kind of programming to keep the gains coming. Use this minimenu of beginner tire programs to continue challenging your body and charging your metabolic engine day after day. 



Tire Flip


Rest one minute between sets.



Tire Flip — superset with — Sledgehammer Swing

5/5 5/30 seconds

On sledgehammer swings, alternate which side you swing from on each rep.



Tire Flip


Overhead Sledge Swing

4/20 seconds

Box Jump


Lateral Sledge Swing

4/20 seconds

Perform these exercises in circuit fashion, moving from one exercise to another without rest. Rest 90 seconds between sets and perform five total circuits. On sledgehammer swings, alternate which side you use from set to set for balance. If your tire is 18 inches or lower, perform 20 seconds of box jumps, stepping down on each rep and keeping your pace as brisk as possible.

TIRE SHOPPING There’s no single best shopping method when it comes to tires of unseemly proportions. Here are a few savvy tactics for getting your hands on one.

1. Junk/Salvage Yards: Though we’ve never seen it done, legend has it that you can drop in at your local junk or salvage yard and simply ask whether they’re willing to part with any. Some of these establishments may be willing to let you have a tire — free of charge, or for a minimal fee — if you have the means of transporting it off the lot. 2. Local Online Ads: Think Craigslist or Facebook community pages. You’re not getting a tire direct from the Decepticon assembly line — you’re getting one second hand. A little internet sleuthing at these types of sites will usually help steer you toward someone who is getting rid of his or her flipping tire, gyms that are going out of business or other sources of cheap tires. 3. Online Vendors: Some gyms go out and buy their tires in bulk for the expressed purpose of selling the overstock. If you’re turning up zeroes on private vendors, one of these commercial sellers may be your last, best route. In any scenario besides “Look what I found in the giveaway pile at the local Salvation Army,” you can expect to pay $20 on the low end and up to $500 for a larger tire from a commercial vendor.





5 Exercises to Improve Shoulder Mobility

Got tight shoulders? These five mobility moves will loosen them up, improve your form and amp your results. BY LARA McGLASHAN, MFA, CPT


verhead lifts are challenging to many athletes because the combination of lower-body power, core stability and overhead strength is a brutal trifecta of skills that you must master for optimal performance. And if your mobility is limited, it can compromise form and even set you up for injury.

Ideally, in an overhead movement, your hands should 18


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line up vertically with your ears, shoulders and midfoot, and your arms and/or forearms should remain perpendicular to the floor throughout. If your shoulders are inflexible, you’ll have trouble assuming this position, and as a result, you won’t be balanced: Your weight will be in your toes, the bar will be too far in front of you and you’ll fall forward.

Inflexible shoulders also can limit your potential on just about any other upper-body exercise you can think of — bench presses, push-ups, dips, pull-ups, etc. — and can impede performance in sports that involve throwing, hitting or pushing. To keep your shoulders in good working order, implement these five PVC pipe moves as part of your warm-up. Do eight to 10 reps of each


Photos by Cory Sorensen

Back Scratcher

exercise, moving at a moderate pace and using your full range of motion whenever possible, and in a few weeks, you should notice a marked improvement in your performance.

External Rotation


Take a wide, overhand grip on the PVC pipe in front of your thighs, arms straight. Slowly lift the pipe up over your head and behind you until it touches your glutes. Reverse the move and return to the start to complete one rep. Inch your hands inward on the pipe as your shoulders warm up to increase the stretch. Figure-8’s

Begin as with the pass-throughs with the PVC pipe in front of your thighs. Circle one end of the pipe up, across your body, over your head and around to the back, following with the other hand in the same direction to return to the start. Do all reps in one direction before switching. Back Scratcher

Hold the PVC pipe vertically along your spine with one hand at the base of your skull and the other at your midback. Slowly alternate between lifting up with your right hand and pressing down with your left hand to stretch both arms. Complete all reps on one side, then swap the positions of your hands.


External Rotation

Hold the PVC pipe vertically outside your right shoulder with your left hand, then reach back with your right hand to grasp the pipe close to your shoulder and lift your elbow. Grip the pipe with your left hand underneath your right arm and gently pull it to the left side. Do all reps on one side before switching. Propeller

Hold the PVC pipe straight in front of you at shoulder height with both hands in an alternating grip — one palm up, one palm down. Using the hand with the palm up, rotate the pipe toward the opposite side, moving as far as you comfortably can. Change your grip to do the other side.  MUSCLEANDPERFORMANCE.COM



BUILD your muscles are as smart as you think. They interpret intensity with far greater ease than they do movement patterns. This means that you can put PAP to work for you in many different ways, so long as you’re performing a higher-intensity activity followed by another less-intense activity. Bryant offers these sample methods for maximizing the benefits of PAP. Isometrics: “Do a maximal

Fast-Twitch Hack

Post-activation potentiation (PAP) is one of the best ways to trick your body into calling more fast-twitch muscle fibers into play on every rep. BY ERIC VELAZQUEZ, CSCS


hether you’re into training for aesthetics, athleticism or both, you have dedicated yourself to the pursuit of maximizing human performance. Doing so clearly requires clean eating, beast-like training and smart supplementation. But a deeper understanding of how the body works is critical for developing a stronger, more powerful physique. Yes, strength is accrued over time, but there are methods you can put to use in your very next workout to speed things along a smidge. Josh Bryant, MFS, CSCS, PES, founder of JoshStrength .com and author of Keto Built (Amazon, $15), has worked with hundreds of elite powerlifters and high-level bodybuilders. One tool he always puts to use is post-activation potentiation (PAP), a simple but effective hack that tricks your body into recruiting more of your power-and-strengthfirst fast-twitch muscle fibers on every single rep. “Post-activation potentiation is a strategy used to improve performance in power activities and refers to the enhancement of muscle function following a high-force activity,” Bryant says. “Famed Russian sports scientist Yuri Verkhoshansky explained PAP this way: ‘When you perform a 20


MARCH 2018

three- to five-rep max followed by a light explosive set, to your nervous system, it’s like lifting a half can of water when you think it’s full.’” Put another way, performance is instantly increased because of previous muscle contractions. Remembering that your body is an adaptable organism, once it is subjected to a highintensity activity, it wants to continue performing at that high level. So just let it. PAP PLAYBOOK

A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that sprint performance in rugby players improved after performing a heavy set (three reps at 90 percent of your one-rep max) of barbell squats. Unrelated activities, right? The beauty is that

isometric contraction for six seconds before an explosive or heavy lift and you will perform the subsequent lift with more weight and speed,” he says. For example, if you try a set of isometric curls — curling a bar against a set of rack pins — and follow it immediately with a set of heavy (think six- to eightrep max), full range-of-motion curls, you will find that you can rep out with greater ease. Max, Then Rep Out: One

strategy used by would-be NFL draftees at the Combine is PAPdriven. “Lift a heavier weight for a single before performing a max-reps activity,” Bryant says. “With the bench press, that could be a single rep at 300 pounds before getting under the bar for max reps at 225.” Jump, Then Pull: The deadlift

is a man-making lift that trains the entire body. Those who train it regularly find that gains come regularly and with ease — and that’s without PAP. Wanna crush your personal record? Bryant has a trick: “Do one to three max-height vertical jumps prior to your set of deadlifts.” He says this excites all the same muscle groups and convinces them to summon your heavy-hitter, fast-twitch muscle fibers into action on the reps that follow. This method also applies for the squat, Bryant says. 



Decoding Supplement Labels

Labels on supplement bottles can be confusing. Learn how to decode them to get the maximum value from your supplements. BY JILL SCHILDHOUSE


hen’s the last time you tried to read — and understand — the label on the back of a supplement bottle? It can be as tricky as decoding the mystery that is nutrition labels on foods. Yet it’s important to review these labels to ensure there are no surprises and that you are spending your money wisely.

“As a rule of thumb, the more information that is provided on the label in terms of what the supplement does, details on proper dosages and proper matching of ingredients, the better,” says Brandon Mentore, BS, CPT, NASM-PEC, a Philadelphia-based strength and conditioning coach and sports nutritionist. “The exception to this is isolated ingredients that are sold as solitary units — they tend to have less information. But when it comes to complexes and formulas, such as preworkout supplements or vitamin B complexes, you want to find as much detailed information as possible.” So how do you know what to look for? And maybe, more important, how do you know what to steer clear of? Mentore shares his insights: Green Flags

Look for full disclosure of ü



MARCH 2018

source information about where the product is produced and manufactured. If the supplement company ü lists where the ingredients for the product are sourced and/ or includes a brief explanation of its process, this indicates that the manufacturer places a premium on proper care in formulation. Detailed instructions on ü dosage — such as taking the supplement on an empty stomach or with food, a specific time of day, or a cycling or titration protocol —indicates the company is aware of how the dynamics of its supplement can


best be used as well as mitigate any adverse effects. It’s a positive sign if a company ü distinguishes small details about the ingredients such as “active” ingredients versus “other" ingredients, as well as disclosure as to the purpose of “other” ingredients (which usually serve as binders, emulsifiers or chelation agents. You can breathe a sigh of relief if ü the supplement company has certifying stamps and credentials for GMP-certified (Good Manufacturing Practices), quality control, quality assurance and a certification such as NSF for Sport (National Sanitation Foundation). Red Flags

Companies that appear to invest 

more in the look and feel of their label versus actual information on how to use the product indicates marketing hype. This company may capitalize on impulsive or uneducated buyers. Beware of companies that have  inconsistencies between the product MUSCLEANDPERFORMANCE.COM

they’re selling versus what’s in the ingredients. For example, a “protein powder” designed for postworkout may contain a lot of carbohydrates but market themselves as a protein supplement — this is where lines can blur with the difference between a protein shake and meal-replacement supplement. Watch for marketed benefits that  are truly a moot point. For example, a fish-oil complex that is marketed as “low calorie” or “low sugar” is suspect — while this is not a lie, it’s not exactly relevant, either. They may be focused on marketing hype and not on the quality of their product. Steer clear of any supplement  that includes everything plus the kitchen sink. Some products have dozens of ingredients in addition to the “other” or “inactive” ingredients, and it’s rare for all the claims that are marketed for all those ingredients to be redeemed in the body, biochemically speaking. If a product is too bloated and jammed with ingredients, buyer beware.

Perhaps the biggest red flag of all 

is the absence of information when it comes to formulaic and complex-style supplements. Generic dosing instructions, lack of storage instructions, and no information about what the supplement does or where the ingredients were sourced shouldn’t instill consumer confidence.

“Consumers are much more educated these days, so vague and vacuous descriptions like ‘proprietary blend’ seem suspect because it has been used as a cover for dishonesty in the past by companies that operated unethically,” Mentore says. “That — in combination with food sensitivities, allergies and autoimmunity, which are on the rise — leaves consumers rightfully wanting full disclosure of what they are ingesting. Additionally, the clean-eating movement that is gaining in popularity means consumers are expecting more disclosure and due diligence from the supplement companies that they purchase from, just as they do with their food.”  MARCH 2018 Ÿ MUSCLE & PERFORMANCE



The Power of Citrus

Not only are they zesty, juicy and delicious, but citrus fruits are also loaded with healthy goodness. BY ELIZABETH SHAW, MS, RDN, CLT


emperatures may be brisk in some parts of the country now, but one thing’s for certain, citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruits, tangerines and pomelos are in abundance during the winter season. Though there are a variety of citrus fruits on the market, all contain some level of vitamin C, an important antioxidant that helps boost your immunity while also acting on free radicals within your body that can cause harm. The Recommended Dietary Allowance for vitamin C varies between 75 to 90 milligrams per day for adult men and women, with increased needs seen during pregnancy and lactation. Citrus fruits have been found to contain high levels of citrus flavanones, a class of antioxidants that helps lower oxidative stress in the body. Research has found that citrus fruits can have multiple positive effects on the body, some of which include antioxidative, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer, as well as cardioprotective and neuroprotective. Adding citrus into your daily diet can help combat the environmental exposures our body experiences just by participating in daily life activities. While you were probably aware that citrus fruits are a powerhouse of vitamin C, did you know just how important this nutrient becomes when you exercise? “Active individuals put extra stress on the heart and lungs as compared to the general population, increasing their needs for vitamin C,” says certified sports dietitian Kelly Jones, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN. “Vitamin C is not only involved in collagen production to support stressed out tissues but also to support lung cells.” While there’s certainly no black-and-white recommendation for the number of citrus fruits to eat per day, as with all our produce-loving friends, eating the rainbow is encouraged. Increasing your consumption of citrus fruits also may help boost your body’s absorption of iron, too. Vitamin C binds iron in the digestive tract, creating a complex that increases absorption within the body. Given that spinach is a source of non-heme iron (iron found in plant foods), layering citrus on top of your salad bed is a great way to get the best of both worlds. Since different antioxidants are found in the different-colored pigments of citrus, spicing up your intakes is highly encouraged. (Hello, bright pink Cara Cara oranges and zesty limes!) Take a look at this citrus marinated shrimp salad with Cara Cara oranges and lime vinaigrette that provides 100 percent of the RDA for vitamin C to get your creative citrus juices flowing! 24


MARCH 2018

Citrus Marinated Shrimp Salad With Cara Cara Oranges and Lime Vinaigrette Tags: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Option for: Paleo, Whole30 Serves: 1 Prep Time: 30 to 60 Minutes Cook Time: 10 Minutes Total Time: 40 Minutes

INGREDIENTS • 6 oz wild-caught tail-off shrimp, thawed and deveined


• ½ small lemon, thinly sliced • ½ small jalapeño, thinly sliced • 1 garlic clove, mashed • 3 tsp olive oil • 2 tbsp water • ⅛ tsp ground black pepper • ⅛ tsp sea salt

Lime Vinaigrette

• 1 tsp fresh lime juice • 1 tsp honey • 2 tsp olive oil • ⅛ tsp garlic powder • pinch of black pepper and sea salt


• 3 cups baby spinach, washed and chopped • ½ medium Cara Cara orange, peeled and thinly sliced • ½ medium (2 oz) avocado, thinly sliced • ½ oz red onion, thinly sliced

PREPARATION 1. To a zip-top bag, add shrimp, lemon, jalapeños, garlic clove, 2 teaspoons olive oil, water, black pepper and salt. Seal shut and vigorously shake one minute. Place in refrigerator to let marinate. 2. In small bowl, add lime juice and whisk in honey, olive oil, garlic powder and pinch of black pepper and sea salt. Set in refrigerator until ready to serve salad. 3. After 30 minutes but no longer than one hour, remove shrimp from refrigerator. 4. Heat medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat with remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil. Place shrimp into pan, cooking four to five minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees. Discard remaining marinade. 5. Once shrimp is thoroughly cooked, remove from heat. 6. Assemble salad by placing spinach on bottom of bowl, topping with thinly sliced Cara Cara oranges, avocado, red onions and shrimp. Drizzle homemade vinaigrette over top. Notes: • Shrimp can be substituted for boneless, skinless chicken breast. • To comply with Whole30, feel free to swap out the dressing with a lemon and olive oil drizzle. MUSCLEANDPERFORMANCE.COM

NUTRITION INFORMATION (per 1 salad): calories 450,

total fat 25 g, saturated fat 2.5 g, cholesterol 215 mg, sodium 600 mg, carbs 29 g, fiber 10 g, total sugar 14 g, added sugar 6 g, protein 29 g, calcium 247 mg (20%), Iron 6 mg (35%), potassium 510 mg (19%), vitamin C 100 mg *Analysis calculated using the MUSCLEANDPERFORMANCE.COM Food Processor SQL

Bio: Elizabeth Shaw, MS, RDN, CLT, is a nutrition expert, published author, communications MARCH expert 2018 Ÿ at MUSCLE & PERFORMANCE 25 consultant at Shaw’s Simple Swaps and fertility nutrition


Get to Know:



or decades, elite athletes and bodybuilders have known that consuming large amounts of protein is essential for muscle growth and recovery — and their consumption commonly ranges from 1 to 2 grams per pound of bodyweight daily. However, the significance of proper protein digestion and absorption has not been emphasized through the years, leaving many to wonder whether this extra protein is actually being used by the body or negatively affecting digestion and other metabolic processes?

Most people consuming large amounts of protein have experienced digestive distress at some point, while others may even deal with these symptoms on a daily basis. Unfortunately, much 26


of the protein ingested may be completely wasted because of improper digestion. Are You Flushing Your Pricey Protein Powder Down the Drain?

In order for protein to be used for its positive benefits — such as muscle building, repair and immune function — it must be broken down into a smaller particle size within approximately 90 minutes of consumption. This transit time represents the time from which protein passes from the stomach through the small intestine where absorption primarily occurs; from there, it will be assembled into muscle-building protein. Protein that has not been digested within this 90-minute window will move into the large intestine, where it will be broken down. However, because pathogenic bacterial counts are so high in the large intestine and colon, protein broken down here will be consumed by bacteria and not absorbed by the user. When pathogenic bacteria break down protein, large amounts of toxins, including ammonia, are produced. This will cause the user to experience abdominal discomfort, including gas and bloating. Ammonia has also been shown to be extremely toxic as well as one of the causes of colon cancer. Additionally, because absorbability of nutrients in the large intestine is so low, protein that has not been consumed by bacteria will simply be excreted from the body, resulting in increased kidney stress and wasted amino acids. New Protein-Digesting Enzyme Eliminates Digestive Stress

Recently, Arthur Andrew Medical scientists discovered

a breakthrough in accelerated protein digestion and breakdown: The team tested hundreds of enzyme combinations and ingredients to find out exactly which enzymes and their components could degrade all types of dietary protein into amino acids during digestion with little or no help from the human digestive process. What they eventually found was a particular enzyme that is virtually able to release 100 percent of amino acids from dietary protein. This extremely potent proteindigesting enzyme is called Aminolase TPA (Total Protein Assimilation). Aminolase has been the focus of several human university trials and has earned Food and Drug Administration GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status. Athletes using Arthur Andrew Medical’s Aminolase product will notice an immediate improvement in digestion, organ health and the ability to build muscle. Increased strength and muscle mass can be expected as well as an improvement in overall health and digestion. Simply consume one capsule of Aminolase per 25 grams of protein by taking it with 8 ounces of water at the beginning of each proteinfortified dietary or supplemented meal. When Aminolase capsules are opened and added directly to a protein beverage, the enzymes will rapidly begin converting protein into amino acids. Amino acids have a significantly different taste profile compared to protein, which may impact taste and texture. For best results, drink within five minutes of mixing, or swallow capsules and immediately follow with your favorite protein beverage.  MUSCLEANDPERFORMANCE.COM


D O N ’ T J U ST W I S H FO R G O O D H E A LT H . Neprinol is a blend of all-natural systemic enzymes formulated by a team of experts. Simply put, it’s created to work. An abundance of contaminants in the bloodstream can lead to a wide range of symptoms including pain, sore joints, tissue damage, and other undesirable states of health. Neprinol’s superior enzymatic potency can help cleanse your blood of these contaminants and support your body’s natural inflammatory response and repair processes.* By helping cleanse your blood, Neprinol also serves to increase and maintain healthy cardiovascular and liver function. Learn more about how science, stats, and standards play a role in supplement selection and why you should always CHECK3 at *From everyday activity

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Learn more by calling (800) 385-9596.

Dreaming of a strong, shredded midsection? Divide and conquer with this dual-threat program that helps you tighten your abs while stripping away the last few pounds of fat hiding them from view. BY MICHAEL BERG, NSCA-CPT • PHOTOGRAPHY BY MICHAEL NEVEUX PROGRAM BY SAMANTHA CLAYTON • MODEL: TJ HOBAN

Everyone wants ripped, defined abs. Putting in the hard work to achieve them, however? That part doesn’t excite too many of us. Blame it on the excruciating muscle burn that builds up when training our midsection, leaving us curled in a sweaty, fetal ball of agony after an especially long set. Or maybe the fact that, after a bout of interesting exercises focusing on bodyparts like back, chest, shoulders, legs or arms, we often tend to tack on a few sets of (boring, monotonous, tedious) crunches at the end of our workouts to give our abs a nudge. To that second hurdle at least, we have an answer. To help you ditch the halfhearted crunch sesh, we’ve recruited an expert to devise not just one but two workouts, each aimed at a critical goal: one core strength and the other maximum definition. Oh, and our expert? She knows a thing or two about elite, powerful, athletic abs. Samantha Clayton is a former Olympic runner, having competed for Great Britain

at the 2000 Sydney Games in the 200-meter and 4x100 meter relay events. After retiring from competition, the mother of four became an in-demand personal trainer and group exercise instructor — in 2017, she was spotted training soccer phenom Cristiano Ronaldo, causing a stir in the U.K. media — and joined Herbalife as a vice president. “We are all born with six-pack abs, but for the majority of us, they’re hidden behind a layer of abdominal fat,” Clayton points out. “Working your core muscles with specific exercises — like the ones I show you here — will help make them stronger and more defined. Meanwhile, you should continue with a comprehensive workout and cardio routine for your whole body while remembering this: Six-packs are made in the kitchen. Good nutrition is essential.” That said, here is Clayton’s two-pronged approach to ab-solute perfection.

Lying Bent-Leg Raise


While the bent-leg raise doesn’t “isolate” your abdominals, that’s not the point here — what it does is target a key muscle that contributes to overall core strength. “The hip flexor muscle, called the psoas major, is used for all activities that involve moving your legs,” Clayton explains. “This is my favorite exercise for working that particular muscle.” How-To: Place a mat on the floor and lie faceup, knees bent about 90 degrees and feet elevated a few inches. Place your hands under your glutes to stabilize your pelvis. Without letting your lower back lift up off the floor, pull your legs toward your chest, maintaining the same angle in your knees throughout, and then return to the starting position.  How Many: Start out doing 10 raises, three sets. “If your back starts to lift, stop because you’ll be engaging the incorrect muscles,” Clayton warns. Make It Harder: To increase the resistance, try the exercise with straight legs. MUSCLE & PERFORMANCE Ÿ

MARCH 2018



Side Plank

“The quadratus lumborum is a muscle that connects the upper and

Beast Kick-Through

A great exercise with a cool name, the beast will blast your core (and as a bonus, your shoulders). How-To: Get into the “beast pose” position: You’ll be on the floor facing down in a modified tabletop position, with your hands and balls of your feet on the floor, hips up,



lower body,” Clayton says. “It helps stabilize the hips and the spine, and it also plays a role with the

diaphragm for deep breathing.” The side plank engages it, along with the other muscles of the abdominal wall and lower back. How-To: Lie on a mat on your right side, balancing yourself on the outer edge of your left foot and your left forearm, elbow bent. Your body should be straight head to heel, your hips off the floor, and your right arm can either be held straight up overhead or placed on your right side. How Many: Hold this position for 45 to 60 seconds, and then repeat on the other side. Make It Harder: Try to increase your total hold time to 90 seconds to two minutes.

and bent knees elevated about an inch or so from touching down. From here, twist your torso to the right, simultaneously lifting your left leg and right arm out to the right side of your body in the air. (You’ll remain balanced on your planted right leg and left hand.) Return to the start and repeat for 11

more reps, then do the same number to the left side. How Many: Do 12 reps on each side for three sets. Make It Easier: Practice the beast pose to master it. As you become proficient in that, you can start adding a twist of the body without kicking the leg over.










“A burpee is a combination of a squat, step-back, plank, push-up and jumpup at the end,” Clayton says. “It can help enhance your coordination and strengthen almost every muscle in the body at the same time.” How-To: Stand upright with your feet shoulder-width apart. Start by squatting down as you put your hands out in front of you, then kick your legs out behind you after your hands reach the floor, with your body now in the “up” position of a push-up. Perform a push-up and then quickly pull your feet in underneath you again. Extend at the hips and knees to return to standing, continuing through with your hands overhead into a jump. When you come back down, immediately descend into the next rep. How Many: Perform four sets of 15 burpees with a 30- to 60-second rest in between each set. Make It Easier: If you need to, eliminate the push-up or the jump, allowing you to practice and learn the base burpee movement. MUSCLE & PERFORMANCE Ÿ

MARCH 2018


Superman Hold

“This exercise works the erector spinae in your lower back, which helps to ensure you’re building a balanced core,” Clayton says. “It also engages the muscles in the whole posterior chain, including butt and hamstrings.” How-To: Lie on the floor facedown. Extend your arms overhead and reach your legs straight behind you while maintaining a neutral spine, head and neck position. Engage your core to lift your arms and your legs just an inch or so off the floor so you’re balanced on your midsection. Hold for 15 seconds, then lower yourself back to the start.

How Many: Hold for 15 seconds four to five times total. Make It Easier: If you need to work up to the full Superman, you can try a

modified version by lifting just one arm and the opposite leg up each time, alternating which two limbs you’re lifting from hold to hold.

Spider Push-Up



“Push-ups are a great way to add intensity to your workout, especially when you make them a little more difficult than the standard military version,” Clayton says. “The chest and back benefit greatly from doing push-ups, but it’s considered a total-body exercise, as the core, arms and glutes are all working hard, too. The spider push-up does all that and targets your obliques.” How-To: Assume the start of a traditional push-up. As you bend your elbows out to the sides and lower your torso toward the floor, lift your right toe up and bend your right knee to bring it forward until it touches your right elbow. Straighten your elbows to return to the start position, putting your right foot next to your left. Lower yourself again, this time touching your left knee to your left elbow. How Many: Do three sets of 10 to 12 reps — two push-ups, one with your left knee coming up and the other with your right equals one rep. Make It Harder: Twist to bring your left knee to your right elbow and vice versa. MARCH 2018 Ÿ MUSCLE & PERFORMANCE


Weighted Crunch

“Crunches are a simple yet very effective exercise that will activate the rectus abdominis, the most external of the core muscles that form the famous ‘six-pack,’” Clayton says. “Adding resistance takes the move up another level.” How-To: Lie faceup on the floor with your knees bent, feet planted, holding a weight plate over your chest. Begin by contracting your abs to curl your shoulders toward your pelvis. Hold the max contraction for a onecount, then return under control to the start. How Many: Do three to five sets of 15 to 20 crunches, focusing on textbook form. Make It Harder: Instead of holding the weight to your chest, hold it over your head, elbows straight with your upper arms alongside your ears.

Stability-Ball Plank With Leg Lift


The stability ball adds an extra element of balance, forcing your whole abdominal wall and lower back to steady your body throughout. How-To: Assume a modified plank position, elbows on the ball, feet on the floor, balanced on your toes. Lift one foot off the floor 1 to 2 inches and hold for 10 seconds. Then lower that leg to the floor and repeat with your right. How Many: Do five sets, each set consisting of a 10-second hold per leg. Make It Harder: Extend the length of the hold to 15 to 30 seconds. MUSCLE & PERFORMANCE Ÿ

MARCH 2018


Bicycle Ab Crunch

“The muscles at the side of your waist are called the internal and external obliques,” Clayton explains. “They’re essential for stability, especially for movements that involve lateral — or sideways — movements. To activate them, you’ll need to perform exercises that involve side bending or twisting, like the bicycle ab crunch.” How-To: Lie down with your lower back pressed to the floor. Place your hands lightly behind your head, elbows pointed out. Elevate your legs with your knees bent 90 degrees. Straighten one knee as you bend the other, all the while twisting your upper body so that you bring the right-side elbow to the left knee and vice versa. How Many: Do 30 seconds of as many bicycle crunches you can muster, three to five times total. Make It Harder: Increase your sets to 45 to 60 seconds.

Jump Rope Tabata

“Jumping rope is a great cardio-boosting exercise,” Clayton states. “Jumping is also high impact in nature, so you get the muscle- and bone-strengthening benefits at the same time as you’re burning calories.” How-To: Start in a standing position, feet inside shoulder width, holding a handle of the rope in each hand at your sides with your elbows soft. Swing the rope over and around your body, using small, quick leaps that take you just a couple of inches off the floor as the rope passes

beneath you. Throughout, land lightly on the balls of your feet and keep your torso upright. How Many: Rotate between 20 seconds

of jumping rope with 10 seconds of rest for eight sets. Make It Easier: Substitute jumping rope for high knees. 




Lying Bent-Leg Raise


10 reps

Side Plank


45-60 seconds (per side)

Beast Kick-Through


12 (per side)

Superman Hold


15-second hold



15 reps




Spider Push-Up


10-12 reps

Weighted Crunch


15-20 reps

Stability-Ball Plank With Leg Lift


10-second hold

Bicycle Ab Crunch


30 seconds

Superman Hold


15-second hold

Jump Rope Tabata


20-seconds on/10-second rest

Rotate between each workout once or twice weekly for optimal benefits.




Create Your Own Supplement Stack Get the most out of your workouts by mixing and matching FIVE KEY SUPPLEMENTS to build your own stack. BY DWAYNE N. JACKSON, PH.D.


he best way to get the most benefits out of your supplements is by strategically stacking them together, and fortunately, supplement manufacturers have made stacking your supplements incredibly easy. Preworkout, intraworkout and postworkout supplement formulations provide a high level of convenience for most trainers, and these products have been flying off the shelves. However, when you commit to premade formulations, you are at the mercy of the formulator and don’t have a lot of “wiggle room” for personalization. At Muscle & Performance, we realize that there are a bunch of you who prefer to formulate your own supplements by stacking “stand-alone” products into your own personalized blend. After all, this approach can save you money and ensures you are getting every milligram of scientifically proven supplementation you are aiming for. If this sounds intriguing, or like something you want to try, then this article was written with you in mind. Here, we have highlighted five key supplements, offered as stand-alone products by most top supplement manufacturers. So read on to find out how to formulate your own preworkout, intraworkout and postworkout supplement stacks, gain control of your supplementation, and get the most out of your workouts!

1. Branched-Chain Amino Acids

GOALS: Increased strength, focus, energy, muscle building, decreased catabolism BCAAs are the essential amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine. They are called “essential” because the body cannot manufacture them, thus they must be acquired in the foods and supplements we ingest. BCAAs make up a large proportion of the total amino-acid content in skeletal muscle, and during exer-

cise, they are readily broken down (catabolized) to produce energy. Taking BCAAs before, during and after training ensures that the blood has an abundance of essential aminos necessary to fuel your workout and support recovery. Taking BCAAs preworkout and intraworkout conserves your muscle BCAA stores, increases fatigue resistance, protects the body from catabolism and decreases recovery time.

The BCAA leucine boosts the release of the anabolic hormone insulin. You want insulin levels to be rapidly elevated after your workouts because this hormone carries nutrients such as glucose and amino acids into muscle cells — promoting greater protein synthesis and muscular gains. Remember, for the greatest results, make sure that each serving of your BCAA supplement has at least twice as much leucine as isoleucine and valine (i.e., at least 2:1:1, leucine:isoleucine:valine ratio). FORMULATION: Preworkout 3 to 5 grams; intraworkout 3 to 5 grams; postworkout 3 to 5 grams

2. Creatine

GOALS: Energy (ATP), strength, power, anabolism The research supporting creatine as a strength and muscle builder is undisputable. Creatine taken preworkout is rapidly taken up and stored in skeletal muscle where it provides much-needed highenergy creatine phosphate to supply muscles with the substrates to quickly make ATP (energy for contraction). Having elevated creatine stores available in working muscle promotes dramatic increases in

strength and power during explosive and extended performances, with less time needed for rest. When taken after exercise, creatine monohydrate can replenish and boost muscle creatine stores. Having extra creatine around after training not only provides energy substrates for future exercise bouts but also promotes greater protein synthesis (into recovery) by physical and hormonal mechanisms. First, it increases the amount of water taken up by muscle cells — which swells the muscle and signals for increased repair. (It also makes your muscles look bigger.) Second, it increases the production of insulin-like growth factor-1 and decreases myostatin levels (the “anabolic brakes”) during recovery from heavy training. FORMULATION: Preworkout 3 to 5 grams creatine monohydrate or 1.5 to 3 grams creatine HCL; postworkout 3 to 5 grams creatine monohydrate or 1.5 to 3 grams creatine HCL

3. Beta-Alanine

GOALS: Increased exercise intensity and volume, power, strength gains In skeletal muscle, beta-alanine reacts with histidine to produce carnosine. Beta-alanine is the ratelimiting substrate in the formation of carnosine; thus, when it is supplemented adequately, it elevates The best way to get the most out of your supplements is to strategically stack them.



MARCH 2018

muscle carnosine levels. Research shows that just four weeks of beta-alanine supplementation can increase muscle carnosine levels by more than 60 percent. Elevated muscle carnosine increases exercise performance through its ability to reduce skeletal muscle acidity during prolonged high-intensity exercise. Since fatigue during heavy exercise is exacerbated by the accumulation of acidic metabolic byproducts, it makes sense why increased intramuscular carnosine levels would be beneficial to bodybuilders and strength athletes alike. Research has shown that stacking betaalanine with creatine can significantly improve exercise endurance performance. FORMULATION: Preworkout 2 to 3 grams; postworkout 2 to 3 grams

4. Citrulline

GOALS: Vasodilation (increased blood flow to exercising muscle), muscle pump, energy This amino acid also helps prevent muscle fatigue because it assists in production of energy by increasing the rate of phosphocreatine and ATP production. Citrulline converts to arginine (the precursor to nitric oxide) in the body and optimizes blood and nutrient delivery to working muscles. Once L-citrulline is in circulation,

it is converted to L-arginine by the kidneys, leading to increases in blood levels of L-arginine and nitric oxide. Recent research indicates that citrulline supplements increase blood levels of arginine and nitric oxide more effectively than arginine ingestion. Increased production of nitric oxide promotes vascular dilation, which helps support blood delivery and metabolic waste removal throughout the body. It’s this nitric-oxide-potentiating effect that gives L-citrulline supplements their pump-promoting properties. Beyond creating incredible pumps, a single preworkout dose of citrulline was recently shown to combat exercise-induced fatigue, increase time to exhaustion and substantially decrease muscle soreness. Although this may sound like a logical approach, ingesting L-arginine does not boost blood arginine levels as well as pure L-citrulline. This is because the gut and liver contain enzymes called arginases, which serve to break down and eliminate exogenous arginine. So, because of these arginases, L-citrulline is more efficacious in elevating blood arginine and NO than arginine itself. In fact, a study presented in 2006 illustrated that acute ingestion of L-citrulline elevated plasma arginine levels by approximately 227 percent (within four hours of ingestion) compared to only 90 percent with the equivalent dose of arginine. FORMULATION: Preworkout 2 to 3 grams; intraworkout 2 to 3 grams

5. Caffeine

GOALS: Energy, focus, intensity, increased exertion Although caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, its effects on energy levels go far beyond its energetic buzz. Many studies show that preworkout caffeine supplementation dampens perceived exertion and muscle pain during exercise and into recovery. As such, many find that preworkout caffeine promotes higher workout intensity and volume, resulting in greater gains in a shorter time. FORMULATION: Preworkout 200 to 300 milligrams; intraworkout 100 to 200 milligrams (optional) 


The Window of Opportunity Your workout window should be split into three supplemental periods: preworkout, intraworkout and postworkout. Here are the critical time periods.

PREWORKOUT: 30-60 minutes before training In the hour before training, you should be priming your internal environment for work. This means optimizing your mind and body with the right macronutrients and supplements necessary to maximize performance. In a shaker, mix 10 to 20 grams of your favorite whey protein isolate or blended protein supplement in 12 to 16 ounces of water. Leave some room in the shaker cup because you will be adding the rest of your preworkout ingredients to this shake. Whey protein contains high

levels of essential amino acids, which serve to keep blood amino acids high at the onset of exercise.

INTRAWORKOUT: 10-20 minutes into training During your workout, you want to assure that your body and mind are full of key substrates needed to fuel your workout. In fact, there are key amino acids (like glutamine and branched-chain amino acids), micronutrients and electrolytes that can be depleted because of increased metabolism and sweating associated with exercise. Proper fueling dur-

1. MUSCLEPHARM BCAA 3:1:2 offers a ratio of three leucine, one isoleucine and two valine to deliver the ideal amounts of these three amino acids during all phases of muscle development and maintenance.

ing this period will ensure that you sustain your workout intensity from start to finish. In a shaker, fill with 12 to 16 ounces of your favorite electrolyte sports drink (can be sweetened with sugar or sugar-fee — depending on goals). You will mix your intraworkout supplements in this drink and sip it while you are on the gym floor. This cocktail is designed to replenish lost electrolytes and substrates needed to push you through your workout. There are quite a few powders on the market that you mix with water, or simply use a ready-to-drink electrolyte beverage like Gatorade or Gatorade G2.


POSTWORKOUT: Immediately after training Immediately after you train, your body’s internal environment is optimized for nutrient absorption. As such, immediately postworkout is the perfect window to provide macronutrients and supplements that replenish what was lost, for greater gains in recovery, muscular development and performance. In a shaker, mix 10 to 20 grams of your favorite whey protein isolate or blended protein supplement in 12 to 16 ounces of water. This will serve as the vehicle for your postworkout supplements.


2. PROLAB NUTRITION BETA ALANINE offers 2 grams of CarnoSyn beta-alanine per serving to help prolong stamina and reduce muscle soreness. 3. BODYTECH L-CITRULLINE contains 3 grams of L-citrulline per serving to combat exercise-induced fatigue and decrease muscle soreness. 4. MUSCLETECH 100% PLATINUM CREATINE contains 5 grams of creatine monohydrate per serving to help increase strength and performance. 5. KAGED MUSCLE CAFFEINE contains 200 milligrams of caffeine to boost energy and mental alertness.

5. 3.







any sports supplements provide benefits for improving your workouts and the results you get. Over time, some supplements have been upgraded or reformulated, often offering you options. Most important, research has often determined benefits of specific nutrients (vitamin D3 compared to vitamin D), and supplement companies have responded, reformulating their multiingredient products to give you the biggest bang for your buck. Research also has demonstrated the complimentary benefits of certain supplements. For example, creatine and beta-alanine are great supplements on their own for supporting increased strength and muscle growth, but science shows that they work well together. All the supplements on our list are valuable in their own right, but we’ve shown you how to upgrade the supplements you’re currently taking for potentially better results. Supplement: VITAMIN D Primary benefits: This fat-soluble vita-

min is known for supporting health in many different ways. Research shows that diabetics often have lower levels of vitamin D, which can support insulin function. “It also helps calcium concentrations in muscle for strong contractions,” says Luke R. Bucci, Ph.D., CCN, CNS, author of Nutrients as Ergogenic Aids for Sports and Exercise (CRC Press, 1993). Upgrade to: Vitamin D3 (cholecalcif-

erol) in oil (softgel form)

Reason: Vitamin D3 version is par-

ticularly beneficial for increasing strength, boosting testosterone levels and improving immunity, which helps support better recovery. “Vitamin D3 controls calcium, which is used as an intracellular messenger, making sure there is enough to go around for what cells normally do,” Bucci says. This includes making sure that calcium is available for muscle-contraction cycles. Bucci explains that taking vitamin D3 in oil helps absorption and notes that you should make sure you’re getting D3, not D2, which is somewhat less effective.

Supplement: WHEY PROTEIN Primary benefit: Whey protein is a

fast-digesting protein source that gets to work almost immediately, providing your body with the aminos it needs for physiological processes and the muscle tissue you’re training. After workouts, whey quickly supplies amino acids to start the repair process caused by intense training. Upgrade with: An equal amount of

casein protein

Reason: Before and after workouts,

you need protein, and the science has

long supported whey’s effectiveness in this regard. Recent research shows that casein, the slow-digesting fraction of milk protein, delivers results equivalent to whey when taken after workouts. Casein releases amino acids longer than whey, continuing to stimulate muscle growth. Prior research shows that a combination of whey consumed after workouts is better than either alone, giving you the benefits of immediate and sustained delivery. Get dosed: You can take a mix of

whey and casein proteins before and after workouts, getting in an amount that serves your protein needs based on what you’ve recently ingested, the intensity of your training and your bodyweight. As a rule of thumb, consume about 0.25 grams of protein for every pound of bodyweight before and after your workouts, and split these evenly between whey and casein. In other words, a 180-pounder should get in about 45 grams of protein before and after training. That works out to about one scoop of whey and one scoop of casein per dose from most protein powders, unless your product contains both sources.

Combine casein with whey protein for bigger gains.

Get dosed: Take at least 4,000 IU of

vitamin D3 per day. Doses less than 10,000 IU per day are safe but no better than 4,000 to 5,000 IU. “You can check your body status by getting a doctor to order a 25(OH)D blood test,” Bucci says. “You want high-normal ranges to keep vitamin D3 and calcium working for you.” MUSCLEANDPERFORMANCE.COM



Krill oil allows your body to absorb omega-3s more easily.

nesium and 30 milligrams of zinc) on an empty stomach before you go to bed. If you want to get in a bedtime snack, take your ZMA about 30 minutes before eating or drinking a protein shake (which is likely high in calcium). That will give the zinc and magnesium time to absorb. Supplement: FISH OIL Primary benefits: Fish oil is one of

the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, the healthy fats that are scarce in the diets of most Americans. While eating foods that are high in healthy fats is helpful, it typically isn’t enough. That’s because most foods have many more omega6s than omega-3s. And while the omega-6s are beneficial, we get more than enough and sometimes too much. Supplementing with fish oil helps to correct this problem. Omega-3s are beneficial for many reasons: They help support heart health. In addition, they provide numerous athletic and physique benefits, such as burning body fat, driving muscle growth and supporting joints. Upgrade to: Krill oil

Reason: Krill oil is a specific form of



ing exercise. While you may be taking a multivitamin and multi-mineral, that doesn’t necessarily help boost the levels of these minerals. “Your body preferentially takes in calcium over magnesium and zinc, reducing absorption of these other minerals,” Bucci says. That’s true even when you’re already low in them. ZMA was designed to help you overcome this physiological quirk. It also supports better sleep and exercise performance.

builders have low levels of some minerals, including zinc and magnesium, even if they take a multi. That’s because these minerals are used dur-

and multi-mineral in the morning or earlier in the day with a meal. Then take a dose of ZMA (usually containing about 450 milligrams of mag-

& MULTI-MINERAL Primary benefits: Taking a multivitamin and multi-mineral every day provides a range of nutrients to help make sure that you don’t have any deficits in your nutrition program. This also boosts immunity, helps you recover from training and supports muscle growth. Upgrade with: ZMA (zinc magnesium Reason: Many athletes and body-



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Get dosed: Take your multivitamin

omega-3s — derived from tiny crustaceans that reside at the bottom of the food chain. This is important for ecological and health reasons: Krill harvested from Antarctic waters have less contaminants because their food supply and environment are far less tainted than other aquatic sources of omega-3s. In addition, “krill oil is more bioavailable, allowing your body to absorb more omega-3s because krill oil mixes easily with water,” Bucci says. “The phosphatidyl form of omega3s, more plentiful in krill than other fish sources, is the precise type of omega-3 molecules our bodies use in cell membranes.” Get dosed: For best results, take up

to 1 gram of krill oil at whole-food meals throughout the day, getting a total of up to 2 grams per day.


Supplement: CREATINE

MONOHYDRATE Primary benefits: This amino acid compound has long been the most popular sports supplement for those seeking increases in strength, performance and muscle mass. Creatine works through a few different mechanisms. First, it donates phosphate to your ATP cycle, the form of energy that helps your muscles fire — that’s why you’re able to lift more weight and perform more reps when you supplement creatine. Next, creatine pulls more fluid into muscle cells, which also helps make them stronger, and it boosts insulin-like growth factor-1 to help support longer, more anabolic phases. Upgrade with: Beta-alanine

Reason: Beta-alanine is an amino

acid that significantly strengthens creatine’s benefits. Beta-alanine combines with histidine, another amino acid, to form carnosine, which helps make you stronger and more resistant to fatigue, allowing you to lift more weight for longer periods. “Carnosine is a reservoir for zinc and also a buffer to soak up excess acid produced during intense exercise,” Bucci states. Research shows the combination of creatine and beta-alanine is better than either alone.

Reason: While you need arginine

to support NO production, citrulline may be even more crucial than arginine itself because it converts to arginine, and recent research indicates that citrulline supplementation increases arginine and NO levels more effectively than arginine supplementation. However, research also shows that taking a combination of arginine and citrulline may be even more effective in boosting NO levels than taking either alone. Get dosed: To enhance muscle

pumps, take 3 to 5 grams of arginine about 30 minutes before weight training. Add 3 grams of citrulline to support arginine production and NO conversion.

Supplement: CAFFEINE Primary benefits: This stimulant

heightens the central nervous system response, allowing you to lift more weight for longer. Caffeine also works as a fat burner, activating the release of stored body fat. When you take caffeine before workouts, your body releases fat that can then be burned as fuel to boost strength and endurance. In addition, caffeine improves focus. Upgrade with: Green-tea extract

Reason: Green-tea extract is also

an excellent fat burner and a great companion to supplemental caffeine. Green tea burns fat by increasing your body’s metabolic rate, the

Increase your metabolism and burn more fat when you supplement with green-tea extract.

Get dosed: For best results, take 3 to

5 grams of creatine monohydrate before and after workouts for a total of up to 10 grams per day. Combine these doses with 1 to 2 grams of beta-alanine for a total of up to 4 grams per day. Supplement: ARGININE Primary benefits: Arginine is an

amino acid that’s necessary to produce nitric oxide, a gas molecule that allows blood vessels to relax so that more blood, oxygen and nutrients are delivered to working muscle tissue. Arginine also boosts growth hormone levels and insulin release. Upgrade with: Citrulline




amount of calories you naturally burn. “It does so because it contains epigallocatechin gallate [EGCG], a thermogenic [fat-burning] catechin that helps prevent norepinephrine — a stimulating brain hormone that signals cells to burn fat — from being broken down,” Bucci says. While caffeine releases fat from storage, green-tea extract helps assure that the fat will be burned as fuel instead of moved back into storage.

Whey hydrolysates are more readily available, supporting postworkout recovery.

Get dosed: Take 200 to 400 milli-

grams of caffeine about two hours before your workouts. You can do this by ingesting coffee, strong green tea or a preworkout supplement. Add in 500 milligrams of green-tea extract standardized for EGCG. “Note that caffeine blocks and reduces creatine uptake into muscles,” Bucci says. Separating caffeine and creatine by an hour dodges this effect.

Supplement: WHEY CONCENTRATE Primary benefit: This is among the

least expensive forms of whey protein, and it’s readily available. When whey protein is processed, many of the carbs and fats are removed, yet some remain in the concentrated form. Generally, concentrated forms are about 70 percent protein. In addition, the protein molecules in concentrates tend to retain their longer amino configurations, making them larger and, often, bioactive. This means that these molecules often play a direct role in physiological processes such as boosting immunity. But they need to be broken down and reconfigured to more directly support muscle building. Upgrade with: Whey hydrolysates

Reason: “Hydrolysates are proteins


broken down into much smaller units of two to three amino acids per piece,” Bucci says. Many of these small molecules are able to be transferred directly into your intestinal cells — more quickly even than single, free-form amino acids — making MUSCLE & PERFORMANCE Ÿ

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them available to support muscle tissue and recovery as quickly as possible. Many whey isolate products derive 90 percent or more of their calories from protein. However, they don’t provide as many bioactive proteins as concentrates do. In addition, hydrolysates spur a stronger insulin response, an effect many athletes seek postworkout but may

want to avoid at other times of day. Get dosed: In a perfect world, you

probably want to emphasize hydrolysates around your workouts and other forms of whey throughout the day. Many protein products contain a blend of hydrolysates and concentrates (as well as isolates), and these deliver the advantages of both. 


NORDIC NATURALS VITAMIN D3 is cholecalciferol, the natural, most easily absorbed and used form of vitamin D. Each softgel provides 1,000 IU of vitamin D3 in organic, extravirgin olive oil, naturally rich in oleic acid, a “heart heathy” monosaturated fatty acid.

ALLMAX NUTRITION BETA ALANINE delays muscular fatigue, allowing you to increase your performance output. Greater intensity and exertion in the gym or on the field result in increased signals to tell your body to build muscle.

DYMATIZE ELITE CASEIN delivers 25 grams of sustained-release protein, with more than 10 grams of critical branched-chain amino acids and glutamine/ glutamine precursors per serving.

KAGED MUSCLE L-CITRULLINE powder is designed to support muscle growth by helping boost L-arginine and nitric-oxide production to maximize muscle pumps. Each serving contains 2 grams of thoroughly researched pure L-citrulline, which has been shown to be more effective than the commonly used L-citrulline malate.

BODYTECH ZMA TECH contains 30 milligrams of zinc, 450 milligrams of magnesium and 10 milligrams of B6, which has been shown to increase muscle strength, size and recovery when used in conjunction with intense weight training.

NATROL OMEGA-3 KRILL OIL is a unique source of cardioprotective omega-3 fatty acids that offers support for healthy cholesterol within the normal range. It also supports heart, joint and brain health.


THE VITAMIN SHOPPE GREEN TEA EXTRACT contains 250 milligrams of green-tea extract with 30 percent EGCG to assist with burning fat as fuel.

OPTIMUM NUTRITION HYDRO WHEY is made with hydrolyzed whey protein isolates for fast delivery. Each scoop contains 30 grams of protein with just 1 gram of fat and 2 grams of carbs.



Are You Hopping on the Keto Bandwagon? The beginner’s guide to the latest diet craze. By Shoshana Pritzker, RD, CDN, CSSD, CISSN


the ketogenic diet is taking over your talk space. But just because keto is the latest diet to build a buzz doesn’t mean it’s anything new. In fact, bodybuilders have been using the ketogenic diet for decades to lean out and burn body fat quickly leading up to a competition. And don’t forget about the Atkins diet staking claim on the very low-carb diet universe. Though competition gurus and Dr. Robert Atkins have brought “going keto” into the 21st century, we can’t let them take credit for this novel diet idea — it’s been used as a treatment for epilepsy since the 1920s. The ketogenic diet is based on a very low-carb dietary approach — not NO carbs but LOW carbs — we’re talking 50 grams or less of carbohydrate intake per day. This MUSCLE & PERFORMANCE Ÿ

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includes carbohydrates coming from starches, fruits and vegetables. The idea is that when you restrict carbohydrate intake, your body learns to rely on your body’s fat stores as energy. You heard that right — your less-than-loved love handles will be used to help you do everything from tying your shoes to maxing out in the gym. To be successful with the ketogenic diet, you have to achieve a state of “ketosis” for a consistent period. When in ketosis, your body is using ketones derived from your fat stores as fuel. To determine whether you’re in ketosis, you can test your urine daily using ketone sticks. Problem is, one day of cutting out carbs won’t miraculously bring you into the fun zone — it takes time to teach your

body to use fat as energy over its preferred choice of carbohydrates. That’s why most people get the “keto flu” the first three to four weeks on the diet, during which you’ll experience fatigue, tiredness, moodiness and even a foggy head. Think of it as a withdrawal of sort from carbs. But if you can get past the first weeks of going keto, you’ll be rewarded with increased mood, energy and fat loss. To follow a true keto diet, you’ll want to keep carbs to about 50 grams or less per day, protein at 1.2 to 1.5 grams/kilograms per day and 60 to 80 percent of your daily diet coming from fats. For a 132-pound relatively sedentary woman, this would equal roughly 50 grams or less of carbs, 72 to 90 grams of protein and 122 to 129 grams coming from fats per day. To determine the breakdown of your ketogenic diet, divide your


Your keto meals should contain high amounts of healthy fats.

bodyweight by 2.2 to get your weight in kilograms. Multiply this number by 12.5 to calculate calories, then by 60 to 80 percent to determine how many calories from fat you should be getting per day, and finally multiply your weight in kilograms by 1.2 to 1.5 to get the total amount of protein in grams per day.

The Pros

Once you become fat-adapted (aka keto-adapted), your body is then efficient at burning fat as fuel. It’s at this point, about four weeks or more of being in ketosis, that you begin to reap the benefits of going keto. The ability to lose body fat on a ketogenic diet is partly because of the diet's hunger-suppressive effects. Funny right? Restrict carbs and eat tons of fat and protein and experience a reduced appetite. Sounds contradictory, but that’s MUSCLEANDPERFORMANCE.COM

what much of the research suggests. On top of that, once keto-adapted, increased ketones in the blood help burn an extra 100 calories per day. And if you’re goal is to maintain or build muscle while losing body fat, you can stop right here. Studies suggest that if you eat enough protein while restricting carbs and calories, the protein acts in a protective manner, sparing your hard-earned muscle from being used as energy during your workouts. It’s as if you can have your keto cake and eat it, too!

The Cons

Going keto isn’t for everyone. In fact, most people will find it extremely challenging to eliminate carbs from their diets. Shocker, people love carbs! And it’s no surprise that at the first sign of a

social event, many people get off the keto bus. Not to mention, the verdict is still out on whether the ketogenic diet is superior in terms of weight loss compared to other diets that are liberal with carbohydrate intake. A recent review published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that there has, in fact, never been a study testing the effects of weight-loss diets with equal protein and fat that has shown greater fat loss with a low-carb ketogenic diet. That means as long as you are creating a caloric deficit, you may be able to lose the same amount of weight whether you eat carbs or not. The best way to determine whether a ketogenic diet is right for you is to give it a try and see for yourself. It’s easier than you think. This one-week keto meal plan will help get you started.  MARCH 2018 Ÿ MUSCLE & PERFORMANCE


MUSCLE & PERFORMAN Based on a 1,650-calorie diet; ~50 grams carbs, 7290 grams protein, 122-129 grams fat






2 eggs fried in 1 tbsp butter + 3 slices bacon + ¾ cup steamed spinach + ½ avocado, sliced

1 container full-fat Greek yogurt + 1 tbsp chopped walnuts + 2 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut

1 avocado + 2 eggs (place 1 egg in each avocado half) + 1-2 tbsp cheddar cheese + pinch of salt and pepper (Bake at 425 degrees for 14 to 16 minutes, or until egg is cooked through.)


Loaded Egg Salad: 2 hardboiled eggs diced + 1 tbsp full-fat mayo + 1 tbsp each chopped onions, celery and bacon + 1 tsp each dill and relish + squeeze of ½ lemon) Combine and season with salt and pepper.) Serve with garden salad.

Grilled Chicken Cobb Salad: 2 oz chopped grilled chicken breast + 1-2 cups chopped romaine lettuce + 1 hard-boiled egg, sliced + 1 slice chopped cooked bacon + ¼ avocado, cubed + 1 oz crumbled blue cheese + 2 tbsp diced tomatoes + 1 tbsp diced red onions + 1-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar and 1 tbsp olive oil

3 oz grilled salmon + 1 cup kale and spinach salad topped with sliced cucumbers, celery, peppers, cooked asparagus + 2 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar


¾ cup guacamole with sliced peppers, celery and cucumber

1 cheese stick of choice + 1 oz almonds

Keto Ice Cream: ½ cup canned coconut milk + ½ cup sour cream + 1 heaping tbsp dark chocolate powder + ½ tsp cinnamon and stevia (Mix in bowl and chill in freezer before serving.)


4 oz grilled filet mignon or rib-eye steak + ¾ cup steamed mashed cauliflower mixed with 1 tbsp butter, 2 tbsp sour cream, salt and pepper, to taste

3 oz grilled salmon + 1 cup kale and spinach salad topped with sliced cucumbers, celery, peppers, cooked asparagus + 2 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 baked chicken thigh + ½ sliced avocado + 1-2 cups roasted vegetables of choice

Nutition Totals

Nutrition Facts: calories 1,557, total fat 125 g, saturated fat 52 g, trans fat 1 g, protein 75 g, sodium 2,769 mg, carbs 43 g, fiber 11 g, sugar 15 g

Nutrition Facts: calories 1,636, total fat 130 g, saturated fat 8 g, trans fat 0 g, protein 76 g, sodium 1,819 mg, carbs 41 g, fiber 14 g, sugar 21 g

Nutrition Facts: calories 1,634, total fat 129 g, saturated fat 52 g, trans fat 0 g, protein 82 g, sodium 655 mg, carbs 44 g, fiber 17 g, sugar 8 g


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3-egg omelet with ¼ cup feta cheese + 1 tbsp diced tomatoes + ½ cup chopped spinach + ½ avocado, sliced

2 hard-boiled eggs + 2 mozzarella string cheese sticks + ½ avocado (pinch of salt and pepper)

2 scrambled eggs cooked in 1 tbsp butter + ½ sliced avocado + ¼ cup diced tomatoes

Beef Scramble: Using leftover ground beef, saute ¼ cup beef in pan with some onions; add 2 large eggs and continue cooking like scrambled eggs. Top with ¼ cup shredded cheese of choice and ¼ avocado, sliced.

1 baked chicken thigh + ½ sliced avocado + 1-2 cups roasted vegetables of choice

Leftover baked chicken with mozzarella, mushrooms, bacon and asparagus

Leftover baked chicken with mozzarella, mushrooms, bacon and asparagus

Coffee Coconut Cooler Smoothie: ½ scoop vanilla protein powder + ¾ cup canned coconut milk + 1 tbsp instant coffee granules or previously brewed espresso + ice (Blend until smooth.)

Chocolate Almond Coconut Protein Smoothie: 2 tbsp almond butter + ½ cup coconut milk from can + 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder + ice (Blend until smooth and enjoy!)

Keto Ice Cream: ½ cup canned coconut milk + ½ cup sour cream + 1 heaping tbsp dark chocolate powder + ½ tsp cinnamon and stevia (Mix in bowl and chill in freezer before serving.)

1 oz each walnuts, almonds and cashews

Keto Chocolate Mousse: ½ cup full-fat ricotta cheese + 1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder + ¼ tsp vanilla extract + stevia, to taste (Stir well to combine or use hand mixer until smooth. Serve chilled or immediately.)

3 large chicken breasts topped with sliced mushrooms, 6 slices bacon and 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (Bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.) Serving = 3 oz chicken breast, 2 slices bacon, 1/3 cup mozzarella cheese and 1 cup steamed asparagus

3 oz grilled filet mignon or rib-eye steak + ¾ cup steamed mashed cauliflower mixed with 1 tbsp butter, 2 tbsp sour cream, salt and pepper, to taste

Taco Zucchini Beef Boats: ½ cup cooked 80/20 ground beef seasoned with taco seasoning + 1 large zucchini cut in half and seeds removed (Place zucchini on lined baking sheet. Stuff zucchini with cooked ground beef and bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. Then sprinkle ¼ cup shredded cheese of choice and return to oven for another three to five minutes until cheese is melted. Garnish with chopped chives.)

Roasted Chicken Thigh With Garlic and Butter Spaghetti Squash: 1 chicken thigh with 2 cups cooked spaghetti squash topped with ½ tsp chopped garlic and 2 tbsp butter

Nutrition Facts: calories 1,553, total fat 112 g, saturated fat 46 g, trans fat 0 g, protein 107 g, sodium 1,640 mg, carbs 48 g, fiber 21 g, sugar 11 g

Nutrition Facts: calories 1,622, total fat 124 g, saturated fat 70 g, trans fat 0 g, protein 95 g, sodium 1,613 mg, carbs 37 g, fiber 12 g, sugar 11 g

Nutrition Facts: calories 1,628, total fat 123 g, saturated fat 38 g, trans fat 1 g, protein 102 g, sodium 1,426 mg, carbs 43 g, fiber 17 g, sugar 13 g

Nutrition Facts: calories 1,595, total fat 122 g, saturated fat 73 g, trans fat 0 g, protein 91 g, sodium 1,021 mg, carbs 41 g, fiber 7 g, sugar 10 g




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In 2009, BPI Sports began as two people, one desk and 1,000 square feet of warehouse. Since then, it has quickly become one of the fastest growing, premier sports-nutrition companies, both domestically and internationally. The corporate headquarters, located in South Florida, is now 100,000 square feet and includes a full-size commercial gym that the company uses to put its products to the test. BPI has four distribution hubs nationwide and a presence in more than 83 countries. Its sales are approaching all-time highs. And the company is still only in its infancy. To help take BPI Sports to the next level, the cofounders recently brought in Jennifer Hughey. The new president and CEO has a 20-plus-year track record of building teams, driving cost savings, improving efficiencies, and providing the leadership necessary to support both top- and bottom-line growth. Most recently, her resume includes COO of Glanbia Performance Nutrition, the largest acquirer of sportsnutrition products in the country. She managed brands, including BSN, Optimum Nutrition and Isopure and more than 1,100 employees. “With a pedigree like hers, there was no doubt she was the right woman for the job,”


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says James Grage, one of BPI Sports’ co-founders. “What the founders have achieved in such a short period is amazing,” Hughey says. “My goal is simply to build on it. We’re going to continue to push the boundaries of the industry with innovative products. We’re going to continue to cultivate our company culture. And we’re going to continue to hire people who live and breathe our brand message.” That brand message is centered around the idea of helping people become the best version of themselves. It’s the mission BPI was built on and the inspiration behind the tag line, “Be better, be stronger.” It’s also one of the reasons the company has amassed such a tremendous following of loyal users, including high-end athletes, trainers, competitors and fitness enthusiasts. They’ve all recognized the role that BPI plays in helping them reach their goals. MUSCLEANDPERFORMANCE.COM

Many people believe that there is a secret formula to success, but BPI employees and fans know better. The qualities necessary to succeed in business, or just in general, are mirrored by the qualities necessary to reach any fitness goal — hard work, discipline and consistency. “Once you discover that the ‘secret’ to accomplishing anything lies inside you, the real change happens,” Grage says. “All of a sudden, you’ve taken control of your life, you find the confidence to be yourself and, more important, you find purpose. Teaching people how fitness can help them lay the foundation for this transformation is what BPI Sports is all about.” Hughey couldn’t agree more. Moving forward, she plans to focus more on the brand message both internally and externally. “‘Be better, be stronger’ doesn’t just apply to fitness,” she notes. “It’s a guideline and reminder to conMUSCLEANDPERFORMANCE.COM

tinue to improve as an organization and as a brand.” Combined with her experience, this vision has helped make Hughey’s transition onto the BPI team seamless. According to members of every department in the company, she’s the perfect fit. “This was a no-brainer,” Grage says. “Jennifer has helped us turn our roller coaster into a high-speed locomotive.” “Our business has already grown under her leadership,” says Whitney Reid, national sales manager. “She understands the balance between ecommerce and maintaining our core at brick-and-mortar retailers.” “Sports nutrition is a male-dominated industry,” says Andrea Damico, senior director of creative and content. “Having Jennifer here as a mentor is so exciting for that reason alone, but her outgoing personality and opendoor leadership style make her someone I look forward to working with, not just someone I look up to.”

“One of the strengths BPI has had over the years is honest, organic love for the supplement and nutrition space,” says Chris MacKenzie, senior vice president of sales. “For the company to continue the amazing growth it’s seen since inception, the challenge is maintaining leadership that has the same passion, paired with the complementary skill sets to scale the business. I’ve been thrilled with Jen’s ability to jump on to this fast-moving train and make positive impacts on our business since day one, and we couldn’t ask for a better person to lead our growth!” As these sentiments affirm, BPI Sports may have a new face at the top, but it’s clear that the company hasn’t changed. It will continue to grow, adapt and lead the way for customers who want to improve the way they train, the way they use supplements, the way they look and, most important, the way they feel.  MARCH 2018 Ÿ MUSCLE & PERFORMANCE


Improve Your Gains

This month’s selection of products will aid your efforts before and after your workouts.

t Arthur Andrew Medical Neprinol AFD Neprinol AFD is recommended for everyday aches and pains (due to overexertion from exercise) and complete cardiovascular health. Neprinol AFD supports the body’s ability to naturally purify the blood of decayed cells, fibrin, fatty proteins and other toxic materials

MuscleMeds Carnivor Beef Protein ▶ Everyone knows beef builds muscle! MuscleMeds Carnivor provides 23 grams of 99 percent beef protein isolate and contains no fat or cholesterol, allowing you to get the benefits of beef protein in a delicious, fast-digesting and convenient protein shake — without the excess calories. Plus, it’s lactose-, sugar-, dairy- and gluten-free, making it easier to digest.

t Novex Biotech Growth Factor-9 When taken daily, Growth Factor-9 has been clinically shown to raise your body’s natural production of human growth hormone. HGH has been associated with restoring youthful vitality, increasing lean muscle mass and energy, improving recovery, getting better sleep and enhancing sex drive. The patented Growth Factor-9 formula is a nonprescription, non-injection dietary supplement clinically validated to naturally increase your own HGH levels up to 682 percent. 54



Kaged Muscle Pre-Kaged ▶ Pre-Kaged preworkout primer is scientifically formulated to deliver some of the cleanest, purest and most powerful researched-backed ingredients designed to prime your central nervous system, increase nitric oxide and give your muscles the edge they need to perform maximally — every workout. Informed-Choice and Informed-Sport certified and tested clean of banned substances, Pre-Kaged provides superior support for athletes looking to maximize their performance.

t Finaflex Stimul8 Loaded Stimul8 Loaded is a new ultimate complete preworkout designed for men and women to increase activity levels during workouts. Built with an unmatched formula that features fully disclosed amounts of all active ingredients, so you know exactly what’s in every scoop. It's available in yummy gummy bear flavor.

Dymatize ISO100 ▶ The difference between striving for your goals and crushing them is ISO100. Fast-digesting, hydrolyzed 100 percent whey protein isolate, ISO100 is available in tons of flavors and developed with the proven amounts of protein and branched-chain amino acids per serving. Use ISO100 before your workouts, after workouts or anytime you need to up your high-quality protein intake. ISO100 contains 25 grams of hydrolyzed 100 percent whey isolate, 5.5 grams of BCAAs to help build muscle memory and aid in recovery, 2.7 grams of L-leucine to support activation of muscle protein synthesis and 1 gram or less of sugar.

t BodyTech L-Citrulline L-citrulline has become one of the most popular amino acids in preworkout supplementation because of its support of L-arginine production and nitric-oxide levels in the body. BodyTech now features flavorless L-citrulline so you can enhance your favorite sports-nutrition products.





Stay Hydrated for Success

The importance of hydration doesn’t end when you leave the gym. Ensuring your electrolytes are balanced all day long will yield better performance. BY ASHLEIGH ATKINSON


uring training sessions, physical cues such as a high body temperature and sweat dripping from your brow are clear reminders that you’re losing vital fluids that need to be replaced. However, these needs don’t stop after you’ve cooled down. In fact, for those who train intensely, maintaining the proper balance of hydration and electrolytes is a 24-hour task. Muscle Hydration

With water making up about 60 percent of the body and being responsible for a wide variety of functions, hydration is vitally important. Of specific importance for athletes, skeletal muscle is made up of 70 perfect water and enables muscular contraction. When training has drained the body’s water, it will quickly pull from the muscle cells — resulting in a less-than-stellar workout.

Fatigue will quickly set in, and your muscles will never achieve that full, pumped feeling because the cells are running on empty. Electrolytes for Performance

There are several common electrolytes in the body, each serving a specific and important role, but most are responsible for helping to maintain a balance of fluids inside and outside your body’s cells. This balance is critically important for things like hydration, nerve impulses, muscle function and pH level. An electrolyte imbalance, whether too much or too little, can be detrimental to your performance. Muscular contractions, for example, require calcium, potassium and sodium; deficiency may result in muscle weakness or severe cramping. Other electrolyte deficiencies can lead to symptoms such as irregular heartbeat, headaches, fatigue and even nausea — all of which have the power to shut down a training session. The five major electrolytes when it comes to athletic performance are calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium and potassium, which can be depleted rapidly during training. In terms of hydration, electrolytes are responsible for directing water (and nutrients) to the areas of the body where it’s needed most and maintaining optimal fluid balance inside the cells. Free-Radical Defense

Electrolytes aren’t the only micronutrients important to your performance. Training stresses the body, taxing the central nervous system and causing damage, which needs to be repaired. This stress also can result in excess free radicals, which can damage cells. Antioxidants — from fruit, vegetable and herb extracts — play an important role in protecting cell membranes from damage. Supplementing with antioxidants may help protect the body from the harmful effects of free radicals and ultimately help enhance performance. Athletes’ Needs

KAGED MUSCLE HYDRA-CHARGE Hydra-Charge supports hydration and the body’s natural defenses before, during and after intense training. HydraCharge contains five essential electrolytes. For more info, visit



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While hydration is key to overall health, when it comes to athletic performance, simply drinking water doesn’t cut it. Consuming a product containing these vital electrolytes as well as antioxidants will keep your body functioning in top form. Staying hydrated all day, especially with a specialized product for athletes, will ensure your body is ready for your most demanding training sessions.  MUSCLEANDPERFORMANCE.COM


When you’re pushing your body to its limits, you’re losing fluids. Every drop of sweat can steal important minerals that affect how your body performs. Hydra-Charge® helps quickly replenish lost electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals. The unique formula gives you five essential electrolytes from freeze-dried coconut water for superior hydration support and is combined with SPECTRA™ Total ORAC blend, a fusion of fruit, vegetable and herbal extracts that work to boost your body’s natural defenses by helping combat free radicals within the body. For more info on patented ingredients, go to

Third-party tested and certified to be free of any banned sustances.

Available at:

… Best Stretches for Runners


That’s why safely stretching these muscles before and after each run is necessary. Experts agree that you should avoid static stretches before your workout because cold muscles are tight muscles and you’re likely to cause a strain or worse. Pre-run stretches should consist of dynamic stretching, which involves light movement through an increasing range of motion. Focus on the major muscle groups you’ll be using — quads, hamstrings, glutes, hip flexors and calves. Perform these five moves before you pound the pavement to warm up joints and muscles and to help prevent injury.

ROTATION 1 ANKLE Runners tend to focus on hamstrings and quads,

but the ankles take a beating, too. To keep them flexible, sit on the floor with your legs apart and grab one ankle with both hands and rotate it clockwise and counterclockwise through a complete range of motion. This helps gently stretch tight ligaments. Repeat 10 to 20 times in each direction. Switch ankles.

RAISES 2 CALF Every time your foot leaves the ground when you

run, your calf muscles contract. Give them some love with simple calf raises. Stand on a step so the balls of your feet are on the stair and your heels are hanging over the edge. Rise up on your toes, then slowly lower your heels so they come below the step, giving you a gentle stretch through the calf muscle. Pause, then rise up and repeat. Do 10 to 15 reps. You also can peform these one calf at a time.

LUNGES 3 WALKING Lunges involve a lot of hip flexion, which warms

up the exact muscles you’ll be using while running. Take a large step forward with your right leg and bend at the knee until your thigh is parallel to the floor and your knee is in line with your ankle. Push up, and walk your left leg forward to meet your right and then step forward with the left. To engage the glutes more, take bigger steps. To focus more on your quads, use shorter lunges. Do 20 lunges (10 per side).

FLEXOR AND GLUTE-ACTIVATING SWING 4 HIP If you suffer from hip flexor tightness, this stretch

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f there’s one thing you need to know about stretching before and after a run, it’s this: Do it. Whether you’re jogging on trails or on the road or trotting along on the treadmill, running is physically demanding on your body. The repetitive motion of moving your body forward requires strength and coordination. Each step you take requires your quads, hamstrings, calves and hips to extend and flex repeatedly, which, over time, causes tightness and imbalances, paving the way for overuse injuries. MUSCLE & PERFORMANCE Ÿ

MARCH 2018

helps improve hip mobility. Hold on to a steady object, stand on your right leg and swing your left leg forward and back. Repeat this 20 times, then switch sides and do 20 on the right leg. Each swing should build until your leg reaches its full range of motion.

ABDUCTOR AND ADDUCTOR LEG SWING 5 HIP Hold on to a steady object, stand on your right leg

and swing your left leg across the right leg and then out to the side. Do 20 swings before switching to the right leg. Keep your chest upright and your core tight. Each swing should build until it reaches its full range of motion. 


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Muscle and Performance March 2018  
Muscle and Performance March 2018