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MAY 2018 • MUSCLEANDPERFORMANCE.COM

6 RULES FOR

FAT LOSS STAY SHARP

9 WAYS TO BOOST YOUR BRAIN

GET SHREDDED BY SUMMER


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CONTENTS 22 SUMMER SHRED Now is the time to put those finishing touches on your body before you hit the beach, go on vacation or just start wearing more T-shirts and shorts. Our hybrid strength cross-training workout will get you lean and shredded in time for summer.

MAY 2018

By Steve Down, CSCS

FEATURES

30 5 THINGS TO DO AFTER EVERY WORKOUT

These easy tips will help you cool down, refuel and recharge after your workout so you can be ready to give it your all the next time. By Maureen Farrar

34 SIZZLING SUMMER SUPPLEMENTS

Summer is the time for family trips and some sun, but it’s not the time to take a vacation from your fitness goals. These supplements will keep you looking and feeling your best this summer. By Dwayne N. Jackson, Ph.D.

38 6 RULES FOR FAT LOSS

Research shows these eating habits can help you slim down. By Matthew Kadey, MS, RD

42 9 BRAIN BOOSTERS

Athletes have always looked for ways to enhance their physical performance, but now they’re looking for ways to get a mental edge. These strategies may boost your brainpower and help keep you mentally healthy. By Jill Schildhouse

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MuscleandPerformanceMagazine

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 Ian Spanier

ON THE COVER › Model: Stephanie Hammermeister • Photographer: Ian Spanier • Hair & Makeup: NancyJ


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GE T S OME T OD AY.


CONTENTS

MAY 2018 • VOL. 10 NO. 5

GROUP PUBLISHER Joanna Shaw

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

COPY EDITOR Jeannine Santiago

MARKETING MANAGER Laureen O’Brien

PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Patrick Sternkopf

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, CPT; Jill Schildhouse; Cory Sorensen; Steven Stiefel; Eric Velazquez, CSCS; Joe Wuebben

PRESIDENT & CEO Andrew W. Clurman

DEPARTMENTS 08 PERFORMANCE NEWS: The Latest Training,

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

12 WORKOUT OF THE MONTH: Jump-Start Your Legs By Michael Berg, NSCA-CPT

14 BODYWEIGHT TRAINING: The Ultimate Bodyweight Exercise By Lee Boyce, CPT

16 BUILD: Why You Should Do Zercher Squats By Lee Boyce, CPT

18 SUPERFOOD SPOTLIGHT: Punch Up Your Potassium By Elizabeth Shaw, MS, RDN, CLT, CPT

20 PRO CORNER: Yami Mufdi By Jill Schildhouse

46 TOP 5: Glute-Building Moves By Maureen Farrar

SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, TREASURER & CFO Michael Henry CHIEF INNOVATION OFFICER Jonathan Dorn

EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, OPERATIONS Patricia B. Fox VICE PRESIDENT, CONTROLLER Joseph Cohen

VICE PRESIDENT, MANAGING DIRECTOR Andy Amill

VICE PRESIDENT, INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY Nelson Saenz Muscle & Performance is produced 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


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PERFORMANCE NEWS

BY JOE WUEBBEN; SUPPLEMENTS BY DWAYNE N. JACKSON, PH.D.

HMB: An Old Dog With New Tricks! BY DWAYNE N. JACKSON, PH.D.

Can you shed body fat while holding onto muscle mass? If you supplement correctly, you can. Intermittent fasting is one of the fastest growing diet trends for fat loss. However, it generally means going 12 to 24 hours without ingesting calories of any kind. Millions of people have benefited from the rapid weight loss associated with intermittent fasting, but when you restrict nourishment, especially without protein or amino acids for hours, you run the risk of elevating cortisol (a catabolic hormone) and putting the body in a state of catabolism — potentially endangering your hardearned gains. One familiar product, however, could very well be your key to avoiding undue muscle loss. A recent study published in the British Journal of Nutrition suggests that β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate — commonly known as HMB free acid (HMB-FA) — may be an ideal supplement for those who partake in intermittent fasting. HMB, found in foods like avocado, alfalfa, catfish and citrus fruits, is an active anabolic metabolite of the essential branched-chain amino acid leucine, which resides in all human muscle cells. In the aforementioned study, researchers from Texas Tech University assessed the effects of HMB-FA supplementation on catabolism (muscle breakdown), cortisol release, testosterone and resting energy expenditure 8

MUSCLE & PERFORMANCE Ÿ

MAY 2018

during a period of acute fasting. Eleven healthy men and women participated in the double-blind placebocontrolled experiment, during which they received either an HMB-FA supplement or a placebo during a three-day meat-free diet, followed by a 24-hour fast. Interestingly, markers of catabolism were unaffected by acute fasting, so there was no observed impact of HMB on muscle breakdown. However, with HMB supplementation, the fasting cortisol response was blunted by a whopping 32 percent, with no effect evident in the placebo group. In males, testosterone-to-cortisol ratios increased 162 percent from 0 to 24 hours of fasting with HMB-FA, mainly because of reductions in cortisol. ACTION POINT: If you’re using intermittent fasting as a dieting strategy or if you just want to keep cortisol levels in check, it seems that HMB-FA might provide some supplemental support. According to research, the best dose for HMB is 38 milligrams/kilograms of body mass daily (about 17 milligrams/pounds of bodyweight), split into three equal doses. Take one dose 30 to 60 minutes before training, another immediately after training and another with a meal. On rest days, take your three doses with breakfast, lunch and dinner. You’ll notice the greatest effects of HMB after two weeks of supplementation and chronic consumption is deemed safe.

MUSCLEANDPERFORMANCE.COM


SUPPLEMENTS PREWORKOUT POWER

Bolster Energy With BCAAs BY DWAYNE N. JACKSON, PH.D.

❱ Of the nine essential amino acids, the three branched-

chain amino acids (leucine, isoleucine and valine) play a key role in protein synthesis and energy metabolism — accounting for about 20 percent of your total protein intake. BCAAs also make up about 35 percent of the essential amino acids in muscle proteins and 40 percent of the human requirement for preformed amino acids, which is why they’re so critical for athletes. That said, BCAAs are much more than components of proteins. In fact, most BCAA benefits for athletes come from the supplement’s direct impact on energy production and fatigue resistance, specifically when taken preworkout. When we train hard, BCAAs are reduced to their basic components and are used as fuel. Based on this fact alone, it’s clear why BCAA supplementation may benefit those undergoing a heavy exercise regimen:

Either you supplement BCAAs or your body will find them on its own. In the latter case, the body will strip the aminos off protein chains that might otherwise have been used for building muscle. Long story short: You’re better off giving your body additional BCAAs through a supplement than letting it be pulled from your muscles.

ACTION POINT: As always, we recommend taking 5 to 10 grams of BCAAs three times per day in a 2:1:1 ratio of leucine to isoleucine to valine. On rest days, take BCAAs once in the morning and two other times during the day between meals. On training days, take 5 to 10 grams preworkout and another 5 to 10 grams intraworkout. Postworkout, take 20 to 30 grams of whey protein isolate, which naturally contains high levels of BCAAs.

MAX STACK

Fight Fat With Fiber ❱ This isn’t your dad’s fiber supplement. FiberDX by Barn-

Dad Nutrition is an all-natural blend of soluble and insoluble fiber that reduces hunger to promote a lean, muscular physique. Here are three other benefits of FiberDX. A healthier heart: Countless research confirms that diets sufficient in fiber keep cholesterol and triglyceride levels in check and support cardiovascular function. The recommended daily fiber intake for adults is 25 grams — FiberDX provides nearly half that (11 grams) in one serving. Easy on the stomach: Worried about gastric discomfort and bloating from too much fiber? Don’t be. FiberDX’s eight-layer matrix is a time-release formula that’s much more “comfortable” to the system than many old-school fiber products. You’ll feel fuller without feeling miserable! Great for shakes, great for cooking: Do you have a bad habit of munching endlessly on physique-wrecking carbs? Mix FiberDX in water or liquids, add it to a shake or smoothie, or use it as a flour substitute for cooking pancakes, waffles, breads and muffins. The higher fiber content added to these foods will make it much easier to control your portions. Find BarnDad’s FiberDX at Vitamin Shoppes nationwide or at vitaminshoppe.com. For many great FiberDX beverage and cooking recipes, visit barndadnutrition.com. MUSCLEANDPERFORMANCE.COM

MAY 2018 Ÿ MUSCLE & PERFORMANCE

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NUTRITION FIT LIST

Survival of the Fattest ❱ Great music, great sports, friendly people and amazing food are

things you’d like your city to be known for. Unless, of course, great food is part of the reason your town garners this distinction: one of the “Fattest Cities in America,” according to WalletHub.com, who compiles the dubious list annually. One hundred of the country’s most populated metropolitan areas were analyzed by WalletHub across such categories (all measuring adults) as physical inactivity, low fruit/vegetable consumption and cases of diabetes — the higher the percentage, the worse. Is your city in the top 10, listed below? If so, a local public service announcement may be in order.

America’s FATTEST Cities 2018

1 Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, Arkansas 2 Shreveport-Bossier City, Louisiana 3 McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas 4 Memphis, Tennessee* 5 Mobile, Alabama 6 Knoxville, Tennessee 7 Jackson, Mississippi 8 Birmingham-Hoover, Alabama 9 Baton Rouge, Louisiana 10 Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky *Memphis metro area extends into Mississippi and Arkansas as well as Tennessee.

BAR EXAM

Quest Hero Bar What It Is: The Quest Bar formula taken to the next level of delicious-

ness. The Hero offers a similar nutrient profile as the bar that put Quest Nutrition on the map — highlighted by 17 grams of protein, 10 grams of fiber and only 4 grams of net carbs — only with more of a “candy bar” taste and texture. What It Tastes Like: Chewy, sweet, crunchy goodness. Unlike standard Quest Bars, all four flavors — chocolate caramel pecan, chocolate caramel peanut, blueberry cobbler, vanilla caramel — are layered on the inside to give the Hero Bar all the makings of your favorite candy bar. Only this one is packed with protein and won’t wreck your diet. What’s in It: 170 calories, 17 grams protein, 30 grams total carbs (4 grams net carbs), 7 grams fat, 10 grams fiber Where to Get It:

The Vitamin Shoppe and vitamin shoppe.com; $20.99 for a box of 10 bars 10

MUSCLE & PERFORMANCE Ÿ

FAFQ

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

Q: Type 2 Diabetes runs in my family, and I’d like to do everything I can to avoid becoming diabetic. What foods do I need to avoid? A: “While low-carbohydrate diets have

emerged as a very helpful strategy in treating Type 2 diabetes mellitus, it’s important to remember that it’s not a simple condition and that individuals vary in their physiology and response to foods. Hence, there’s not a set list of foods for everyone to avoid. “That being said, ultra-processed foods are often a culprit in developing diabetes. There are many reasons why. For example, ultra-processed foods are energy dense, and cells can eventually respond to energy overload by limiting the amount of glucose they take up. Ultra-processed foods are also low in nutrients and high in anti-nutrients, which can damage tissues over time and cause inflammation. “Hormones are, in general, quite responsive to diet. And Type 2 diabetes is the most common example of hormonal reaction to a mix of dietary, environmental and genetic factors. Out of those, diet is the most clearly controllable. So with a family history of diabetes, there’s great incentive to limit your consumption of the most common ultra-processed foods. Three of these are flour, added sugar and cheap vegetable oil. None of these contain nutrients in high levels, all are easy to consume in hyperpalatable packages (think donuts and cookies, which typically contain all three ingredients) and all have been tied to worse blood sugar regulation.” — Kamel Patel, MPH, Director Examine.com

MAY 2018

MUSCLEANDPERFORMANCE.COM


TRAINING / EXERCISE / FITNESS

FAST FITNESS

Just 5 Minutes ❱ Don’t have an hour, 30 minutes or even 10 minutes to

exercise at the moment? No problem! According to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, if you have just five minutes to spare, you’ve got time for a workout. Analyzing data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey of nearly 5,000 adults, ages 40 and older, researchers found that individuals who did “moderate-to-vigorous” exercise at least 30 minutes a day had a lower mortality risk than those who

didn’t exercise. And here’s the good news: The results of the analysis showed that it made no difference whether those 30 minutes came from dedicated exercise bouts longer than 10 minutes or for as little as five minutes. So if you’re short on time for a workout, squeeze in an extra five minutes here or there when you get the chance — a short but intense run, a brief bodyweight workout, whatever. Those five-minute slivers of time could save your life, not to mention your physique. 

NUMBERS DON’T LIE

$147 to $210 Billion The estimated annual health-care cost in the United States caused by obesity, according to the State of Obesity annual report (stateofobesity.org)

MUSCLEANDPERFORMANCE.COM

MAY 2018 Ÿ MUSCLE & PERFORMANCE

11


WORKOUT OF THE MONTH

5

Jump-Start Your Legs Want to give your “classic” leg routine a lift? Time to get dynamic. BY MICHAEL BERG, NSCA-CPT

L

eg day” can take on a hallowed air in bodybuilding lore. It’s the rite of passage, separating the serious from the squeamish. Ask that old, grizzled iron vet with the tree-trunk lower limbs who has been haunting your local gym for decades, and he might regale you of leg-day tales perhaps embellished by years of retelling yet still impres12

MUSCLE & PERFORMANCE Ÿ

MAY 2018

sive by any measure. Squatting until exhaustion, leg pressing with every single plate in the building piled precariously on the machine, sets of lunges and extensions and Romanian deadlifts cycled until the participants’ stomach linings were turned inside out. Yet you might notice something interesting when he heads back to

his workout. Those same exercises he just talked about in workouts of decades past? They’re exactly what he’s doing today. Same order, same sets and reps, if perhaps not the same superhuman intensity. As creatures of habit, we all tend to settle into the comfortable confines of our training routines. And so it is with leg day. Not that those

MUSCLEANDPERFORMANCE.COM

Photo by Cory Sorensen

Lunge Jump


WORKOUT OF THE MONTH

5

Jump-Start Your Legs Want to give your “classic” leg routine a lift? Time to get dynamic. BY MICHAEL BERG, NSCA-CPT

L

eg day” can take on a hallowed air in bodybuilding lore. It’s the rite of passage, separating the serious from the squeamish. Ask that old, grizzled iron vet with the tree-trunk lower limbs who has been haunting your local gym for decades, and he might regale you of leg-day tales perhaps embellished by years of retelling yet still impres12

MUSCLE & PERFORMANCE Ÿ

MAY 2018

sive by any measure. Squatting until exhaustion, leg pressing with every single plate in the building piled precariously on the machine, sets of lunges and extensions and Romanian deadlifts cycled until the participants’ stomach linings were turned inside out. Yet you might notice something interesting when he heads back to

his workout. Those same exercises he just talked about in workouts of decades past? They’re exactly what he’s doing today. Same order, same sets and reps, if perhaps not the same superhuman intensity. As creatures of habit, we all tend to settle into the comfortable confines of our training routines. And so it is with leg day. Not that those

MUSCLEANDPERFORMANCE.COM

Photo by Cory Sorensen

Lunge Jump


BODYWEIGHT TRAINING

The Ultimate Bodyweight Exercise

Push-ups are the quintessential bodyweight exercise. But don’t underestimate their effectiveness when performed properly. Here’s how to do them. Plus, we share four progressions you should be doing. BY LEE BOYCE, CPT

The higher the elevation of the bench on the decline push-up, the higher the resistance of the exercise. To make them even harder, do single-leg decline push-ups.

14

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ent animal from dumbbell or barbell pressing variations. Here are a few: The shoulder blades aren’t pinned to a surface like they are on the flat or incline bench press. For that reason, the scapula can move through a healthy range of motion as the arms press. The hips and trunk need to remain engaged for a good quality rep. That makes push-ups much more than a chest exercise; they train the entire upper body. It’s easier to manipulate the hand and elbow positions, making the movement safer on wrists, elbows and shoulders than a bench press, which forces a lifter’s hands to be fixed on straight bars. Long story short, you should be doing them regularly. And it’s time to brush up on your technique.

Form Check

Regardless of your starting position, the push-up must demonstrate a proper plank. That means the hips are held high and there’s a straight line from head to heel. The chin should be tucked so the eyes are focused downward to maintain spinal alignment. Looking up can cause neck strain and an overarch in the lower spine. The body should pivot from the toes — in other words, there shouldn’t be a disconnect between the upper and lower body. It all needs to move in sync with each other. Using full range of motion is mandatory. The body should contact the ground or make it just an inch or two away from it, depending on your hand position and shoulder health. MUSCLEANDPERFORMANCE.COM

Photo by Cory Sorensen

T

he push-up must be the most primitive and basically farreaching exercises in existence in the world of fitness. “Drop and give me 20” is one of the most hackneyed statements used by people who think they’re being coy with in-shape acquaintances. The truth is, there are plenty of benefits to doing push-ups, and most intermediate and advanced trainees have stopped doing them for one reason: They’re a bodyweight exercise, and they think they’ve “graduated” from them. Because of human nature, that makes perfect sense. If you’re bench pressing 300 pounds, a simplistic push-up won’t do anything for your strength or gains, right? Wrong. There are several benefits to pushups that make them a largely differ-


Your chest should be what makes it to the ground first — not your face and not your legs. Don’t forget to squeeze your glutes. Not doing so can create an overarch in your lower back and disengage your abs from working.

Narrow-Grip Push-Up: Bring your

To take things up a notch, take advantage of the countless push-up variations that can make a simple exercise much more challenging and technical. They include the following:

a low step or stacked plates under one of your hands and place the other hand on flat ground. Push all the way up, through to full extension on your “top” hand. You’ll be able to reach off the ground with your bottom hand and touch your opposite shoulder. This is your first step toward a one-armed push-up. Switch sides and repeat.

Progressions and Regressions

Decline Push-Up: Place your feet on

a bench or step, and perform pushups using exactly the same cues seen in the checklist above. When your feet are elevated, you’ll target more delts and upper chest. MUSCLEANDPERFORMANCE.COM

hands close together — no more than 6 inches apart — and tuck your elbows during the exercise. You’ll target your triceps and work your core harder because of a narrower base. Single-Arm Deficit Push-Up: Place

Plyometric Push-Up: This one’s simple. Stay tight and explode off

the ground on each push-up. Your hands should leave the floor, but they should not clap. That’s a finger injury waiting to happen. Land softly and keep reps low.

As far as regressions go, it’s fair if you’re not strong enough to do a proper push-up, let alone the advanced variations listed here. We do implore you to avoid doing push-ups from your knees, however. Instead, take advantage of your plank position while raising your hands onto a bench or other raised surface. We recommend the Smith machine for its gradual levels. As you get stronger, lower the bar by another notch (toward the floor) and repeat. You’ll easily be able to gauge your progress and give yourself confidence, too.  MAY 2018 Ÿ MUSCLE & PERFORMANCE

15


BUILD

Why You Should Do Zercher Squats

We’re not going to lie — Zercher squats can be brutally hard. But they are also one of the biggest-bang-for-your-buck squat variations you can do. We break them down for you. BY LEE BOYCE, CPT

Barbell back squats can be hard on a lifter’s backs if he has a history of injury or if he has long legs. On a similar note, barbell front squats ask a whole lot of a lifter’s mobility if he wants to attempt a clean grip and use full range of motion. A Californiastyle setup (cross grip) can be quite uncomfortable on the deltoids. To solve all this, the Zercher squat may be the hidden gem you’ve been missing in your training. Because of the bar’s placement, it allows for a lifter to squat deep while minimizing shear on the lower back. In addition, it doubles as a great core exercise. The How-To

Set a bar in the squat rack at waist level. Don’t be over the top with the amount of weight you decide to load. In fact, it’s probably a safe decision to start with very light weight to get the feel for the lift and its comfort level. Next, slide the crook of your arms (elbow joints) under the bar and interlace your fingers. Your knuckles should be facing the ceiling, and the bar should be right in the bend of your elbows. The width of your elbows should be no more than hip width. Stand tall and assume your desired squat stance. If you generally squat with a very narrow stance, it would be helpful to widen out your foot 16

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It isn’t an easy exercise, but the Zercher squat allows a lifter to squat deep while minimizing shear on the lower back.

width a little bit so that your body creates enough space for clearance and to accommodate the new load placement. Remember to keep your fists facing up. Next, keeping your torso as upright as possible, descend slowly. Your intention, like any barbell movement, should be for the barbell to travel in a straight line up and down. In other words, don’t allow it to drift forward as you descend. That will place stress on your lower back and weaken the lift. You’ll keep a linear path by keeping your hands up. Since your elbows will be facing down, be sure to spread your knees to allow you to reach the depth that you’re capable of while not being “blocked” by your thighs. Dig in with your heels and ascend strongly, aiming for the back of your head to go through the roof. Tips and Tricks

There’s no doubt this isn’t a comfortable exercise, but it sure is effective. You should feel a significant amount of added tension in your glutes and hamstrings because of the placement of the load (more proximal to the hip joint). To get the most out of this movement, take these cues to heart: Wear a hoodie or long-sleeve shirt, and dress the bar with fat grips. Doing this will dull the amount of pressure you feel in your elbows, which will come in handy when the

weight starts getting heavy. The fat grips will increase the amount of surface area the bar “cuts into” on your arms and make carrying it much more comfortable. Wear flat shoes — not Olympiclifting shoes. I’ve found that Olympiclifting shoes, complete with their heel wedge, can cause a lifter to drift too far forward during this lift. Since the elbows are down, it’s harder to correct this propensity when it happens. To remain more vertical, it’s a good idea to stick with flats. Keep a low rep range. You’re going heavy with a front load, and that’s already the general cue with other front-loaded exercises like front squats or front split squats. You can only handle that load in your arms for so long before your upper body begins to fatigue (usually before your lower body). With that said, limit your sets to six reps or fewer, and if you’re chasing a pump, simply do more sets with slightly shorter breaks in between. Just a Tool

Remember that we have many resources at our disposal to train around injuries or to train friendly to unfavorable leverages. The Zercher squat doesn’t have to be a new everyday lift, but it can enter the rotation of effective alternatives to get the most out of your strength workouts with the least collateral damage. Your body will thank you. 

MUSCLEANDPERFORMANCE.COM

Photo by Ian Spanier

I

n many cases, a lifter’s leverages, injury history or both can frustrate his ability to perform well in large compound movements. Sadly, it’s left many with no choice but to abandon them and their variations for redundant sets of isolation training on machines or movements that don’t provide as much bang for their buck from a strengthtraining perspective. Squats are one of the biggest victims of this problem.


SUPERFOOD SPOTLIGHT

Punch Up Your Potassium When you think of foods with potassium, you probably think of bananas, but strawberries are a surprisingly good source. They are also high in vitamin C and other nutrients that are essential for performance. BY ELIZABETH SHAW, MS, RDN, CLT, CPT

T

here are three things that get most people excited about this time of year: sunshine, summer and strawberries!

In the summer months, many people amp up their training programs to get ready for a big competition or swimsuit season. What I see often during these times, though, are clients who increase their training frequencies and/or intensities without properly fueling their bodies. That’s where nutrition comes into play. Not only can you have more power during your workouts by properly nourishing your body, but you will also have great muscle gains and repair by focusing on your recovery, too. One superfood that I often recommend clients consider adding into their nutrition plan during this time are beautiful red strawberries. (After all, May is National Strawberry Month!) If you can get your hands on them year-round, by all means continue incorporating them on the reg, but they’re in abundance typically in the summer season and usually on sale, too. First things first, did you know a 1-cup serving of strawberries (or about eight berries) provides the following: • 110% Daily Value for vitamin C (96 milligrams) • 8% Daily Value of folate (35 micrograms) • 7% Daily Value of dietary fiber (2 grams) • 4% Daily Value of potassium (170 milligrams) • Rich source of phytochemicals Besides their stellar vitamin C content (which you can read more about in our Superfood Spotlight series in the April 2018 issue about why you need vitamin C in your workout routine), the potassium content in the strawberry is definitely something to take note of. Potassium is an important mineral and electrolyte that plays a prominent role (alongside sodium) in nerve transmission, muscle contraction and heart functioning. Each and every time you head into a workout, having the proper sodium-potassium balance is essential for performance. However, what’s alarming is the fact that the 2015 to 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans found potassium to be underconsumed and a nutrient of concern, meaning this is definitely a nutrient that athletes specifically need to be aware of. (For reference, the Daily Reference Intake for adult men and women is 4,700 milligrams a day). With strawberries being such a beneficial source of key nutrients that come into play for training and competition, Jenna Braddock, CSSD, founder of OffSeasonAthletes.com, suggests athletes consider incorporating them preworkout and postworkout. “Strawberries contain some carbohydrates, which can help fuel a workout and the recovery period,” she says. “Beyond that, the nutrient profile suggests 18

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it could be very beneficial for supporting optimal recovery both because of the vitamin C and the other polyphenols.” Braddock recommends trying an eight-strawberry serving before or after workouts or competition and observing how your body responds. “If it contributes to good energy and a great workout by eating it before, then consider that one of your “power food” options,” she says. “Or try strawberries as part of a recovery snack and pair with a protein source and [potentially] additional carbohydrates.” A key component to experimenting with any new fueling food is to test your tolerance. Use a light workout day to try the strawberries and take note of how your body responds. The best way to include the strawberry superfood is one that agrees with your body specifically. One way to focus on getting your potassium in is to consider adding a smoothie like this potassium powerhouse strawberry banana smoothie below. This nutrient-packed combination provides nearly 20 percent of your daily needs and makes a terrific postworkout snack to enjoy. If for some reason the fresh berries aren’t yet in season at your market, Braddock reminds us that frozen strawberries are an excellent option to include, as well. “Frozen strawberries maintain their nutritional value and allow you to enjoy them year-round,” she says. Winter, spring, summer or fall, looks like we’ve got a new smoothie recipe that’s right for us all! Now who’s ready to dive in? 

Strawberry Banana Smoothie Tags: Vegetarian, Gluten-Free; Dairy-Free/Vegan Option Serves: 1 Prep Time: 5 Minutes

INGREDIENTS

• 1 small (3 oz) frozen banana • 1 cup strawberries, halved, stems removed • ½ cup 2% milk • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt • 3 ice cubes • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional)

PREPARATION

1. To a blender, add all ingredients. Note: To make this smoothie dairy-free and vegan, substitute a plantbased milk and consider replacing the yogurt with a plant-based protein powder to increase the total protein content of the smoothie. Serving Suggestions: Pair with a hard-boiled egg and mashed avocado over whole-grain toast for a complete meal. MUSCLEANDPERFORMANCE.COM


NUTRITION INFORMATION (per 1 serving): calories 250, total

fat 3 g, saturated fat 1.5 g, cholesterol 15 mg, sodium 115 mg, carbs 42 g, dietary fiber 5 g, total sugar 27 g, added sugar 0 g, protein 17 g, vitamin D 1 mcg (6%), calcium 288 mg (20%), iron 1 mg (6%), potassium 904 mg (20%) *Analysis calculated using The Food Processor SQL

Elizabeth Shaw, MS, RDN, CLT, CPT, is a nutrition expert, published author, communications consultant at Shaw’s Simple Swaps and fertility nutrition expert at BumpstoBaby.com. MUSCLEANDPERFORMANCE.COM

MAY 2018 Ÿ MUSCLE & PERFORMANCE

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PRO CORNER

When Enough Is Enough BY JILL SCHILDHOUSE

W

hen Yamile “Yami” Mufdi was told her dancing was beautiful during an audition for her college dance team, she thought she had the position on the squad clinched. But that positive feedback was quickly overshadowed by the harsh critique that came next: She was “too fat” and her butt was “too big.” Mufdi quickly went careening down a gloomy path of extreme dieting and obsessively working out, doing everything in her power to transform her physique. Upon moving to New York City to pursue her dream of being a model, she was met with the same body-shaming criticism. Finally realizing she had to take a less conventional path to achieve her dreams, she became a certified personal trainer, a certified yoga instructor and an NPC bikini competitor. Mufdi is now an Optimum Nutrition–sponsored athlete living in Houston who has started her own YouTube channel that helps her 18,000 female followers find the strength to create a life they love. How did you break the vicious cycle of unhealthy behaviors and finally accept yourself?

Hearing that criticism all the time made me believe that something was wrong with me and that I had to fix it. That’s essentially why I started on this fitness journey — to fix myself. But it was in that process that I realized that I am perfect the way I am. Instead of being defined by what my 20

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MAY 2018

Do you still sometimes struggle with meeting expectations?

There are many things that I still struggle with, but somehow this one is always at the forefront of my mind: not being “enough.” For example, not being “fit” or “skinny” enough, not being “muscular” enough, not being “pretty” or “flexible” enough. I’ve noticed that when I feel like this, it’s because we are always surrounded by all these beautiful photoshopped images of people who “have it all.” We allow these social pressures to influence how we feel and view ourselves. But I’ve also noticed that once you go back home, all those negative connotations disappear. This is why I think it’s crucial to have some “me time.” Whether it’s meditating, doing a yoga flow, going for a walk — whatever it is, do it and come home to your soul. You refer to your YouTube community as your “Yam Fam.” What do they mean to you?

After pretty much starving myself to fit someone else’s standards, my goal is to reach as many young girls and women as possible to let them know that they don’t have to do what I did to reach that “goal body.” There is so much false information out there, and if I could reach just one person and help her, then I have succeeded. The community that we have built is just awesome. They always say that I inspire them, but at the end of the day, they are what keep me going.

You incorporate things like yoga, dance and other activities beyond strength training to your fitness routine. Why?

I get bored easily, and I can’t do the same workout six times a week anymore. I like to switch it up to keep me

sane. If fitness is going to be a part of my life, I need to enjoy it. I feel like a lot of people think of fitness and immediately think about dying on the treadmill or doing 50 biceps curls — but the reality is that fitness is so much more than that. My advice is to keep trying new things, stimulate your mind and body, and have a blast doing it! What advice do you have for others struggling to reach their goals?

My philosophy is rooted in self-love and helping both men and women find their best self as they work toward their goals. Fitness should be part of your life, not your entire life. We can’t be so focused on losing that last pound or getting that next PR that we forgot to enjoy life and those around us. It’s all about balance — from your food to your workouts. 

YAMI’S MUSCLE RECOVERY DRINK

I love adding Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Plant to my acai bowls or smoothie for that extra protein. It combines organic pea, brown rice and sacha inchi proteins to ensure a complete profile of essential amino acids.

SOCIAL MEDIA HANDLES instagram.com/yamimufdi youtube.com/yamimufdi yamimufdi.com twitter.com/yamimufdi Facebook.com/YamiMufdiFit

MUSCLEANDPERFORMANCE.COM

Photo Courtesy of Optimum Nutrition

Once Yami Mufdi realized she was starving herself to meet industry standards, she knew she had to switch her approach.

body looked like, I started thinking about who I am as a person and what I can offer those around me.


2X

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*Based on USDA data **8g of saturated fat per serving


Summer Shred Now is the time to put the finishing touches on your body before you hit the beach, go on vacation or just start wearing more T-shirts and shorts. Our hybrid strength cross-training workout will get you lean and shredded in time for summer. BY STEVE DOWNS, CSCS PHOTOGRAPHY BY IAN SPANIER MODEL: STEPHANIE HAMMERMEISTER


W 24

ant to get your body chiseled and shredded for summer? The key, my friends, is to get your butt moving. You don’t need to be an exercise physiologist to know that burning calories is the function of muscle contractions and movement. Of course, you need to watch what goes down the hatch, and metabolism-boosting supplements are certainly helpful. But the base starts with what you do in the gym. This should include cardiovascular exercise, strength training and stretching. In today’s workout universe, there are many methods to get this done. According to the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub MUSCLE & PERFORMANCE Ÿ

MAY 2018

Association, good old-fashioned free-weight training still reigns at the top of the 10 most popular workouts among gym members. Use of resistance machines was notched as third most favorite. And with well over 36,000 gyms and 7,300 CrossFit boxes in the U.S. today — and growing — those activities show no sign of abating. Meanwhile, with regard to fitness trends worldwide, the American College of Sports Medicine reports that the 2017 top 20 rankings put strength training as No. 5 and exercise for weight loss at No. 10. Only bodyweight training and highintensity interval training cardio rank higher as actual workout methodologies. (Note that “wearable technology” and “certified fitness professionals” were trends also identified in the top five.) So what does this mean to you? Fortunately, you don’t have to commit yourself to cult-like group training (à la CrossFit) or aban-

don your longtime favorite lifting exercises such as bench presses or curls in favor of battle ropes or medicine-ball tosses. Likewise, you needn’t pay extra membership dues for cross-training facilities or take calorie-burning (but mindnumbing) Spinning classes to torch excess body fat. Instead, you can use the standard equipment in any fitness facility or hardcore gym and be in total control of your workout destiny. All it takes is 30 minutes (plus 15 minutes of HIIT cardio, if you can commit to the extra time) to totally reshape your body in just a few weeks of exciting, sweat-dripping, strength-building resistance training.

Breaking Down the SCT Workout The base of this Summer Shred 30-Minute SCT Workout is the “STC” itself. This stands for “strength cross-training.” This is

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Hair & Makeup: Nancy J / Sport Bra & Leggings: Michi / Shoes: Adidas

Triceps Skullcrusher


a hybrid of traditional bodybuilding workouts and high-intensity cross-training. Like the popular CrossFit-type workouts, the focus is on building muscle and strength, burning fat and increasing overall conditioning in a limited time requirement. However, unlike those workouts — which require specialized resistance implements such as kettlebells, heavy ropes or giant “jungle gym” apparatus — the SCT workout employs the dumbbells, barbells and cable machines you love the most. And it delivers results in just 30 minutes a day. The foundation of the Summer Shred 30-Minute SCT Workout is to perform one basic muscle-building compound “base” exercise followed by a series of two nonstop exercise combinations, known in bodybuilding circles as “supersets.” These groupings combine two movements performed back-to-back without any rest between them. (The only rest you get is how long it takes you to get to the next movement, which should be only a matter of a few seconds.) Between these supersets, you will rest 45 seconds to two minutes and then take a respite of at least 90 seconds before moving to a new superset, depending on which training day you’re on. (See full schedule on page 28.) Your workout week will be divided into five sessions, with each concentrating on three muscle groups. Monday and Thursday will focus on the same upper-body groups, but the exercises will be different. The same goes for Tuesday and Friday. Wednesday is devoted only to the lower body and core.

minutes, jogging three minutes, sprinting two minutes, jogging two minutes, then walking one minute to warm down. 2. Stretch five minutes after the cardio to help slow down your breathing and heart rate while taking advantage of your increased circulation to stretch out the muscles you will be training. 3. Your 30-minute SCT workout comes last. On leg day and the following day, do jumping jacks or other calisthenics instead of HIIT to warm up your body for three to five minutes before stretching. 4. Overall, that’s a lot of activity for just over 45 minutes in the gym! Make no mistake — this is a hardcore, high-intensity workout series. But it

will help you build the shredded, muscular and highly conditioned physique you wanted in less time than you ever thought possible.

Summer Shred Training Notes Selecting Your Weights. Because of the

nonstop fashion of these supersets, you should have a pretty good idea of what weights to use for each exercise before you begin each one. The easiest way to do this is to adjust the poundage up or down based on earlier sets, as well as previous exercise sessions. It’s basically very simple — if the rep range is eight to 10, you want to reach muscular failure within that range. If you fail before you reach the prescribed rep range, the weight is too heavy. Adjust it for the next set or superset. If you can do more than

HIIT It for 15 Minutes Daily

When planning your use of the Summer Shred 30-Minute SCT Workout, keep the following caveats in mind: 1. Begin each training day (except for legs and the day afterward) with 15 minutes of HIIT cardio. This would entail walking two minutes as a warm-up, jogging three minutes, sprinting two MUSCLEANDPERFORMANCE.COM

Barbell Squat

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Dumbbell Shoulder Press

the repetitions recommended, by all means do so — but on the following set, increase the weight a little. Remember, for the supersets, you should have a good idea of the weights you’ll need for each grouping. You should bring a notebook with you that has the workout already mapped out. In the short rest between the supersets, jot down working weights. Once you get a good feel for selecting weights, it’ll be easier to get everything planned out and follow the routine. Repetition Speed. Although the SCT

workout is designed to be conducted in 30 minutes or less, it should not be a track meet. The goal is to exercise deliberately to fully activate muscle tissue stimulation and then reduce rest periods to keep the intensity high. Timing of each rep should be in a 2-1-2 speed. That’s two seconds on the lifting phase of each exercise (concentric contraction), a one-second hold in the contracted position (isometric contraction) and two seconds on the return lower phase (eccentric contraction). Training at this speed constitutes about five seconds per repetition. Coordinating Exercises During the Workouts. Because you are integrat-

ing two exercises into each particular superset, training during busy times can be difficult. You need to be resourceful to get the program done right. Feel free to substitute exercises on the fly if you can’t get to the station you need. In other words, if the workout calls for straightarm pullovers and barbell curls but you can’t get to the cable machine, substitute dumbbell pullovers at the start. That way you can keep your speed and not worry about waiting between sets. Timing Your Rest. The SCT workout

26

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is designed to get you in and out of the weight room in 30 minutes, plus 15 minutes for cardio. Timing rest periods is necessary to ensure you keep the intensity high and minimize delays between sets. That’ll

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Incline Flye

keep your metabolism running fast so you burn more calories. Use the closest clock or a stopwatch on your cellphone to monitor rest times for best results. If you feel like you need more rest on a particular day because you didn’t get enough sleep the night before or haven’t eaten properly, be flexible without being lazy. Training should be personal. However, don’t confuse a day you’re feeling particularly bad with a reason to dog it in the gym. Taking it easy won’t lead to the results you’re looking for. Nutrition. It is essential to fuel your

body properly in order to get the best out of any program, but this is especially true with high-intensity cross-training such as this SCT program. Building muscle and strength, burning fat and improving conditioning requires nutritional support. This begins with a sound MUSCLEANDPERFORMANCE.COM

eating plan in which you consume five to six meals per day. To keep your metabolism stoked and your muscles growing, you should be eating about every three hours. As for the best macronutrient breakdown, no matter how many calories you are ingesting, these should be divided between 45 percent carbs, 35 percent protein and 20 percent healthy fats. It’s not difficult to figure these calculations, but you do need to be accurate. You also need to estimate your total caloric intake with a calorie-counter book or by using rough estimations. For instance, if you’re eating about 2,500 calories, this would equate to about 1,100 calories of carbs. And because each gram of carbs equals 4 calories, that’d be about 280 grams for the day. Be sure to spread these out over the course of all your meals. Based on the calculations above,

your daily protein intake would be 875 calories per day, or about 220 grams of protein. Fat intake — which should comprise unsaturated fats, essential fatty acids, mediumchain triglycerides and other healthy fatty acids — should be at about 500 calories per day. Because fats equal 9 calories per gram, that’s about 55 grams of fat. Supplements. In order to have

the energy to perform these fattorching, muscle-blasting workouts and fully recover afterward, you need some specific supplements. For starters, a good base multivitamin/mineral is essential. This is nutritional insurance that covers any shortcomings you might have in your diet. Before you exercise, an energizing preworkout supplement can be helpful (so long as you are not sensitive to caffeine). But don’t overdo it here — the caffeine

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Full-Body SCT Split Training

is not the most important ingredient. Instead, branched-chain amino acids, creatine, nitric-oxide boosters and beta-alanine are other keys to maximizing your training potential. Protein supplements are also key to fueling muscle recovery, growth and strength building. After you train, whey is a good start for postworkout, but a combination protein (whey plus casein) is even better. In addition, plant-based proteins such as brown rice are excellent fast-absorbing supplements that studies show are equal in anabolic value as whey. Consume about 50 percent of your bodyweight in grams of protein, broken out throughout the day in doses of 30 grams each. This includes bedtime, during which long-acting casein helps prevent catabolic muscle loss as you sleep. Naturally, a fat-burning supplement would be a good idea. There are many ingredient options for boosting metabolism such as caffeine, green-tea and green-coffee extract, conjugated linoleic acid and cayenne pepper. These are additionally helpful as energizers to keep you active as you diet (which typically accompanies fat-burning activities). Other approaches include taking vitamin D and glucomannan to help suppress appetite, while the latter also targets fat. Other supplements boost activity of calorie-burning brown fat (grains of paradise) or target the release of fatty acids (forskolin). Other important products include MTC oil, which can help your body produce ketones that boost fat burning and reduce appetite; omega-3 fish-oil supplements; joint-health compounds such as glucosamine/ chondroitin and turmeric; and adaptogenic herbs such as ginseng and ashwagandha, which help your body fight stress. Additional important supplements include antioxidantrich vitamins and whole-food supplements such as mushrooms and beets, probiotics for improved digestion, alkalizing products such as apple cider vinegar and greens powders for basic health, and testosterone boosters if you’re a man. 

30-Minute Sessions, Five Days Per Week Note: The bold exercise is the Base exercise.

DAY 1: MONDAY Chest, Shoulders, Triceps

EXERCISE

SETS

REPS

REST

Barbell Bench Press

4

8-10, 6-8, 6-8, 6-8

1 minute, 1 minute, 90 seconds, 2 minutes

Incline Dumbbell Press – superset with – Front Dumbbell Raise

2

8-10, 6-8

45 seconds, 90 seconds

Cable Crossover – superset with – Pushdown

2

10-12, 8-10

1 minute, 90 seconds

Shoulder Press – superset with – Incline Flye

2

10-12, 8-10

1 minute, 90 seconds

Lateral Raise – superset with – Two-Arm Kickback

2

8-10, 8-10

1 minute

EXERCISE

SETS

REPS

REST

Bent-Over Barbell Row

4

8-10, 6-8, 6-8, 6-8

1 minute, 1 minute, 90 seconds, 2 minutes

Wide-Grip Pulldown – superset with – Cable EZ-Bar Curl

2

8-10, 6-8

45 seconds, 90 seconds

Seated Row – superset with – Preacher Curl

2

8-12, 8-10

1 minute, 90 seconds

Close-Grip Pulldown – superset with – Hammer Curl

2

8-12, 8-10

1 minute, 90 seconds

Cable Crunch – superset with – Reverse Crunch

2

10-12, 10-12

30 seconds

DAY 2: TUESDAY Back, Biceps, Abs

DAY 3: WEDNESDAY Legs, Core, Calves

EXERCISE

SETS

REPS

REST

Barbell Squat or Smith-Machine Squat

4

8-10, 8-10, 6-10, 6-10

90 seconds, 90 seconds, 2 minutes, 2 minutes

Machine Leg Press – superset with – Leg Extension

2

8-10, 6-8

90 seconds, 90 seconds

Deadlift – superset with – Lying Leg Curl

3

8-12, 8-10, 6-8

1 minute, 1 minute, 90 seconds

Standing Calf Raise – superset with – Seated Calf Raise

3

8-12, 8-10

1 minute

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The goal is to exercise deliberately to fully stimulate your muscles and reduce rest periods to keep intensity high.

Barbell Curl

DAY 4: THURSDAY

DAY 5: FRIDAY

Chest, Shoulders, Triceps

Back, Biceps, Abs

EXERCISE

SETS

REPS

REST

EXERCISE

SETS

REPS

REST

Dumbbell Shoulder Press or Barbell Shoulder Press

4

8-10, 8-10, 8-10, 6-8

1 minute, 1 minute, 90 seconds, 2 minutes

Wide-Grip Pulldown

4

8-10, 8-10, 8-10, 6-8

1 minute, 1 minute, 90 seconds, 2 minutes

Incline Flye – superset with – Triceps Skullcrusher

2

8-10, 6-8

45 seconds, 90 seconds

2

8-10, 8-10

45 seconds, 90 seconds

Incline Barbell Press – superset with – Lateral Raise

2

8-10, 6-8

1 minute, 90 seconds

Straight-Arm Machine Pullover – superset with – Two-Arm Dumbbell Row

2

8-10, 8-10

Flat-Bench Dumbbell Press – superset with – Triceps Kickback

2

10-12, 8-10

1 minute, 90 seconds

Reverse-Grip Pulldown – superset with – Alternating Dumbbell Curl

1 minute, 90 seconds

8-10, 8-10

2

10-12, 8-10

1 minute

Barbell Curl – superset with – Reverse Curl

2

Bent-Over Lateral Raise – superset with – Triceps Kickback

1 minute, 90 seconds

Cable Crunch – superset with – Leg Pull-In

2

10-12, 10-12

1 minute

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5 Things to Do

After Every Workout These easy tips will help you cool down, refuel and recharge after your workout so you can be ready to give it your all the next time. BY MAUREEN FARRAR


Foam rolling can reduce inflammation and improve circulation where you need it most.

W

hen it comes to your fitness, what you do after your workout is just as important as what you do when you’re training. Postworkout recovery is an essential — but often overlooked — part of any workout program. Before you pack up your gym bag and bolt to the parking lot, there are a few crucial things you need to do to jump-start your recovery process, prevent injury and make sure you’re prepared for your next workout. Don’t worry, these postworkout tips aren’t complicated, and they won’t add too much time to your exercise regimen.

1. Cool Down

32

When you’re short on time, the cool-down is usually the first to go after a workout. But dismissing the cool-down as a waste of time really does your body a disservice. Slowly bringing your heart rate down after a workout can help you recover more easily and increase heart health over time, according to research published in the Journal of Exercise MUSCLE & PERFORMANCE Ÿ

MAY 2018

Physiology Online. Exercise helps get your blood flowing, so abruptly stopping can actually cause your blood pressure to drop rapidly, which can cause you to feel lightheaded. So don’t high-tail it out to the car as soon as your last set is done. Instead, walk or jog to keep your body moving, slowly lowering your heart rate. Take those extra five to 10 minutes to properly bring your workout to a close.

2. Stretch

After cooling down, spend some time stretching. During training, your muscles contract, which leaves them in a shortened state. Stretching postworkout releases those contracted muscles. A targeted stretching program after your workout can increase your range of motion, and the greater your range of motion, the better your flexibility, which helps you maintain proper posture in any exercise. Over time, stretching also can decrease your risk of tendon overload and injury. When you’re stretching, focus on major muscle

groups such as back, chest, legs and hips. Breathe and hold each stretch for about 30 seconds. In areas that feel tight, you may need to hold for up to 60 seconds.

3. Roll It Out

To further reduce muscle tension, foam-roll after your workouts. If you’re unfamiliar, foam-roller exercises — also called myofascial release — is a form of massage to do either before or after training in order to loosen sore muscles and tight joints. Regularly using a roller offers many of the same benefits as a sports massage (albeit considerably less expensive), including reduced inflammation, scar tissue and joint stress, as well as improved circulation in the spots you need it most. And just as with stretching, foam rolling also can improve your overall flexibility and range of motion. When you first start rolling, it can feel like torture, so gradually ease into it. Start with a soft roller and control the amount of pressure you apply, beginning softly and eventually adding more pressure. Ideally, you want to target

MUSCLEANDPERFORMANCE.COM


an area for 20 to 30 seconds, but listen to your body and go longer or shorter as needed.

4. Drink Your Water

If you don’t drink enough water before a workout, then sweat a ton while you train, you’re on the road to dehydration. Staying hydrated while exercising is important because of sweat loss. Sipping some agua while working out can help fight fatigue and improve endurance. To optimize recovery, studies show that athletes should aim to maintain adequate levels of hydration and that they should minimize fluid losses during exercise to no more than 2 percent of their bodyweight. Plain old H2O is critical for rehydrating. Ideally, you should drink about 20 ounces of water two hours before exercising. Aim to drink about 10 ounces of water every 10 to 20 minutes during training to stay properly hydrated, and drink an additional 8 ounces of water within 30 minutes of finishing your workout. If you’re working out for longer than an hour or training intensely, you will probably need to replace electrolytes (minerals in the blood that help regulate the amount of water in your body), as well. This is where sports drinks come in handy.

5. Refuel

After a workout, you need to feed your body. Experts recommend a solid dose of protein after working out to jump-start the muscle-rebuilding process. Whey is the ideal postworkout protein source because it absorbs at a moderate 8 to 10 grams per hour. Whey also boosts anabolic insulin better than any other protein source, transporting glycogen and nutrients into fatigued muscles, promoting faster and greater recovery. Experts recommend mixing approximately 0.2 grams of high-quality whey protein isolate per pound of bodyweight into 16 ounces of water (for example, if you weigh 175 pounds: 0.2 x 175 = 35 grams of whey isolate). Foods like Greek yogurt, lowfat cottage cheese and even beef jerky are also good sources of protein. And while protein is usuMUSCLEANDPERFORMANCE.COM

ally the focus, research suggests that we may be neglecting other nutrients essential for recovery. A 2015 study shows that “without adequate recovery of carbohydrates, protein, fluids and electrolytes, beneficial adaptations and perfor-

mance may be hampered.” Foods like ginger and blueberries have been shown to help with inflammation as have supplements like turmeric and omega-3s. In short, it’s vital to have a nutritional plan for optimizing recovery. 

It’s important to drink even before signs of thirst appear. Thirst is a signal that your body is already on the way to dehydration.

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SIZZLING SUMMER SUPPLEMENTS Summer is the time for family trips and some sun, but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not the time to take a vacation from your fitness goals. These supplements will keep you looking and feeling your best this summer. BY DWAYNE N. JACKSON, PH.D.


Improve muscle-building capacity and spare muscle mass while dieting when you take whey protein.

F

or most, summer is a time for barbecues, sunshine, friends, and a little rest and relaxation. But be careful because too much summer “sun and fun” without maintaining health and fitness can lead to weight gain and negative health consequences. As you know, maintaining a healthy, balanced diet and regular training are fundamental to staying on track — and there’s no magic pill or powder that will change that. Despite that, there are some key supplements that have been scientifically proven to push your health in a positive direction, help keep fat off and promote muscular development. Read on to see how you can use common and safe muscle-building supplements to help lower body fat and advance your health.

late supplement for muscle building, but did you know that whey protein isolate also helps you get lean and stay lean.

There’s a high likelihood that you are already using a whey protein iso-

The Doc’s Recommendation: To keep

Whey Protein Isolate

How whey protein isolate can make your summer sizzle: Whey

protein supplements significantly boost your muscle-building capacity and spare muscle mass while dieting. In a clinical trial published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, subjects who took a whey protein supplement while undergoing a calorie-reduced diet retained twice as much lean mass and burned off nearly twice as much fat mass as the control group (with the same diet). In men and women, drinking a pre-meal whey protein shake has been shown to stimulate hormones that control satiety (the feeling of fullness after a meal) and regulate blood sugar levels after a meal. your appetite under control, mix 10

to 20 grams of whey protein isolate with 8 ounces of water and drink 20 to 30 minutes before eating. On training days, be sure to drink a shake 20 to 30 minutes before eating and one immediately after training. This strategy will ensure you get all the protein and essential amino acids needed to drive anabolism, as well as the fat-loss and appetite-suppressing effects of pure whey isolate.

Fish Oil

Fish oil contains an abundance of omega-3 fatty acids that have been scientifically shown to decrease systemic inflammation, improve cardiovascular health and blood glucose regulation, and act as anabolic agents and fat burners. Studies illustrate that taking high omega-3 fish oil while training improves body composition, via decreases in body fat and increases in lean mass, suggesting that fish


oil provides anabolic sustenance, as well as fat-loss support. The omega-3 fatty acids that benefit us most are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). It is the level of DHA and EPA in omega-3 supplements that dictates their potency. How fish oil can make your summer sizzle: Fish oil directly

improves body composition by promoting anabolism, increasing fat utilization and lowering cortisol (a catabolic stress hormone). It has also been shown to significantly improve exercise efficiency and ratings of perceived exertion, which means that when you take fish oil, you can train harder for longer without feeling as tired. The Doc’s Recommendation: To reap

all the health, muscle-building and fat-loss benefits of fish oil, make

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sure you are getting 1,500 milligrams of DHA and 1,500 milligrams of EPA per day, split into three servings, and take with breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Hydration

In a study published in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, running athletes, who drank only when they felt thirsty, replaced a mere 30 percent of the water they lost sweating — despite having open access to water throughout their workouts. These findings were supported by an observational study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research conducted on elite-level rugby athletes whose hydration status was monitored during aerobic and resistance-training sessions. It was found that 80 percent of subjects

started training in a dehydrated state and failed to match water consumption with their sweat rate. In fact, during resistance training, subjects overhydrated, and during aerobic training, subjects didn’t drink enough. How staying hydrated can make your summer sizzle: Working out

while dehydrated can significantly affect workout volume. In a study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology, researchers from Missouri Western State University reported that subjects who had a controlled 3 percent body-mass loss because of sweating (without fluid replacement) performed 15 percent fewer reps when weight training to failure. In another earlier study, scientists reported that dehydration (about 3 percent body mass) led to decreases in average and peak power in the upper body (7 percent and 15 percent, respectively) and lower body (19 percent and 18 percent, respectively) during anaerobic exercise. In the quest for leanness, most reach for fat-burning supplements as a first line of defense, but we suggest you examine your water intake, too. Research published in Obesity illustrates that drinking 500 milliliters of water before each meal can boost weight loss when dieting — in 12 weeks, those who drank water before meals lost about 4.5 pounds (about 50 percent) more than those who didn’t drink water before meals. The researchers suggested that drinking water before meals increased the feeling of fullness and decreased the total calories consumed per meal. Researchers from Germany have shown that drinking 500 milliliters of cold water increases metabolic rate by 30 percent for about 30 minutes, which equates to a total of about 25 calories burned. In men, water-induced thermogenesis is accomplished by burning fat, whereas women burn more carbs. Based on this research, you can expect to burn about 200 extra calo-

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ries per day if you drink 4 liters of cold water daily — which seems a lot easier than doing more cardio!

The Doc’s Recommendation: If you

work and/or train in a temperaturecontrolled environment, drink 2 liters of water per day as a minimum baseline, then add in 500 milliliters before each main meal and (on training days) drink 500 milliliters 20 to 30 minutes before training. This approach will bring your daily water consumption to 4 liters. If you work and/or train in a hot environment, then you will need to increase your water consumption to match your sweat rate. You likely won’t have a means to measure your sweat rate or specific gravity of your urine, so we recommend keeping an eye on your urine color and smell. If it’s clear (i.e., watery) and scentless, then you are hydrated.

Push harder for longer by supplementing with caffeine before workouts.

Caffeine

Since caffeine is a well-documented central nervous system stimulant, then it is no surprise that it has profound positive effects on energy and focus (like most stimulants). However, unlike most stimulants, caffeine is safe when used as recommended. In terms of body composition and health, a recent report concluded that caffeine supplementation is associated with elevating energy expenditure, and it suggested that caffeine may counteract the decrease in metabolic rate, which commonly occurs during periods of caloric restriction and weight reduction. How caffeine can make your summer sizzle: A meta-analysis

published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports illustrated that preworkout caffeine dampened perceived exertion during and after exercise by 5.6 percent compared with a placebo. Ingesting caffeine before a workout has been shown to significantly improve endurance in aerobic and anaerobic sports. It has been postulated that aerobic performances MUSCLEANDPERFORMANCE.COM

benefit from increased free fattyacid mobilization, thus improving time to exhaustion. However, for short duration anaerobic performances (like weight training), scientists speculate that the caffeineinduced increase in dopamine signaling in the basal ganglia has the greatest effect on time to exhaustion. Nonetheless, all this means that you can push harder and for longer by ingesting caffeine before training. In a double-blind placebo-controlled study from the University of Georgia, it was found that caffeine ingestion (approximately 300 milligrams) before maximal voluntary isometric contraction reduced muscular pain intensity by almost 50 percent. It is hypothesized that this dramatic decrease in muscular pain is because of caffeine’s ability to block adenos-

ine receptors in the brain and spinal cord that are involved in pain processing and perception. This research suggests that you can push your muscles further and harder with each workout, thus providing a greater stimulus for growth. The Doc’s Recommendation: Based

on the literature, one thing is clear — you can reap all the preworkout benefits of caffeine supplementation by taking it 30 to 60 minutes before training. For optimal results, take two equal daily doses at 100 to 300 milligrams each. If you have never consumed caffeine, start with the lowest dose and work up accordingly. If you exhibit symptoms like shaking, nervousness, heart palpitations or anxiety, then you have taken too much.  MAY 2018 Ÿ MUSCLE & PERFORMANCE

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6 Rules for

FAT LOSS Research shows these eating habits can help slim you down.

BY MATTHEW KADEY, MS, RD

T

hese days, the internet is crammed with nonsensical assertions that eating this food or that food will have a guaranteed belly-flattening outcome. Or that spiking your smoothies with a superfood powder du jour will make it a lot easier to sharpen your physique. We’re not going to buy into the hype and say that there is one single food or drink that has the power to automatically banish belly rolls and turkey neck — sustained fat loss only happens when you combine overall sound eating habits with plenty of exercise. Having said that, there is no doubt that certain types of foods, when eaten in the context of an overall healthy diet, can help make it a lot easier for your body to bid adieu to those stubborn fat stores and bring your midriff back in line. Want to get more fat-loss bang for your bite? Just follow these simple eating rules and get ready to take your physique and health to a new level.

1. MAKE YOUR DIET WHOLE REGARDLESS OF YOUR DIET

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A major study from the Stanford University School of Medicine in conjunction with the National Institutes of Health showed that restricting processed foods in favor of whole foods is more important for fat-loss success than the particular type of diet someone follows. The researchers recruited 609 overweight adult men and women who were then randomized into one of two diet groups for a one-year period: low-carbohydrate or low-fat. Those on the lowfat diet ate about 48 percent of

calories from carbs and 29 percent from fat, while those in the lowcarb group consumed roughly 30 percent of calories from carbs and 45 percent from fat. Protein intake was matched between diets, and participants were not given any calorie restraints. The key was that while both groups were allowed to eat as much as they wanted, people were counseled to eat mostly vegetables and other whole foods — the low-fat group was told to select plenty of whole grains, legumes and fruits, while the low-carb group members were trained to choose healthy fatty MAY 2018 Ÿ MUSCLE & PERFORMANCE

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foods such as avocados, nuts and olive oil. By the end of the study, individuals in the two groups lost similar amounts of weight — about 12½ pounds — and girth on their waistlines without paying much attention to calorie counting. Researchers looked for clues (such as gene patterns related to metabolism and insulin levels) to suss out if there were any factors that might make someone more prone to fat loss on either diet, but they were unable to make any connections. The take-home message is that whether you’re eating Paleo, following a low-carb keto program, are a devoted vegan or happen to be a carb junkie, these diet plans will all work to banish Buddha belly if they are focused on nutrient-dense whole foods — in other words, foods that come with just a single ingredient like quinoa, walnuts, salmon, blueberries and kale.

2. DUMP ON THE HOT SAUCE

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Turning up the furnace on your meals may be good for your flabfighting efforts via chili pepper’s power to keep the hunger monster at bay. On two separate occasions, scientists in Denmark provided subjects with a bowl of tomato soup — once it was spiked with cayenne, and the second time it was free of the hot stuff — and then measured their appetite. It was discovered that the spicy soup brought about greater feelings of satiety at the end of the meal and one-hour afterward compared with the tame soup. Similarly, a study in the journal Physiology & Behavior found that people who consumed 1 gram of pepper with a meal experienced reductions in appetite and an uptick in calorie-burning metabolism. It looks like capsaicin, the chemical that gives the various guises of chili peppers their kick, has the power to simultaneously bolster our metabolic rate and quell hunger, which could limit belt-stretching overeating. So go ahead and use bottled hot sauces and fresh chilies to add some fire to more of your meals. MUSCLE & PERFORMANCE Ÿ

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3. SPOON UP YOGURT

For the sake of your six-pack, consider yogurt a near-perfect snack option. A 2017 study from the University of Dublin, Ireland, found that among 1,500 subjects, those who ate more yogurt on average (even highfat dairy versions) had lower bodyfat percentages than those who generally consumed less. Another study in the journal Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases found that full-fat yogurt might do a better job at whittling the middle than low-fat yogurt. Full-fat yogurt possesses unique nutritional properties, including beneficial bacteria that can improve your gut microbiota, protein and fat, which can impact appetite and blood sugar control, and minerals like calcium that may play a role in fat metabolism — all of which can work synergistically to make it easier to attain and maintain a healthier bodyweight. Of course, you can cancel out these benefits by

eating spoonfuls of flavored yogurt that is weighed down by added sugars. Go with plain to avoid the gain.

4. SPILL THE BEANS

Taking the step to work more high-fiber foods like beans into your diet can be one of the easiest ways to scale down. In an Annals of Internal Medicine study that compared weight-loss success over a 12-month period, people who were instructed to make just one dietary change — eat more fiber each day — lost about the same amount of body fat as those who followed a diet requiring several dietary modifications, including limiting sugar intake and eating more vegetables. There are a few reasons why fiber is fat’s kryptonite. It works to keep you feeling full to help stamp out overeating and thereby regulate overall calorie intake. Fiber also serves as a food source for

FULL-FAT YOGURT CAN IMPROVE YOUR GUT HEALTH, WHICH, IN TURN, MAKES IT EASIER TO MAINTAIN A HEALTHY BODYWEIGHT.

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DON'T FEAR THE FAT THAT'S FOUND IN ALMONDS. THEY'RE PACKED WITH GOOD-FOR-YOU NUTRIENTS THAT HELP YOU GET LEAN.

the bacteria in your gut, thereby fostering a healthier microbiome. A robust population of beneficial critters may influence how easy it is to shed a few pounds, and compounds like short-chain fatty acids that are produced when your gut bugs feast on fiber are now being studied for their role in improving other aspects of health such as limiting inflammation in the body. Reaching your recommended daily fiber intake — 25 grams per day for women; 38 grams per day for men — is a lot easier when you eat more beans (7 grams in a 1/2 cup of black beans) and other fiber heavyweights like lentils, seeds, whole grains and vegetables.

5. RISE AND DINE ON EGGS

Upon waking, you can get cracking on your fat-loss pursuits. A study published in the International Journal of Obesity found that eating two eggs for breakfast, as part of an overall reduced-calorie diet, helped overweight adults lose 65 percent more weight than those who ate a bagel-dominated breakfast of equal calories. The egg eaters also MUSCLEANDPERFORMANCE.COM

reported higher energy levels. This adds to the blossoming body of evidence that supports the importance of consuming enough high-quality proteins like eggs to attain a lean, mean physique. Eating more protein at breakfast, which slows down digestion, will help keep you feeling satisfied longer, making it easier to resist tempting junk foods throughout the day. On the flip side, too many carbs at breakfast, especially refined ones, can lead to spikes and plunges in blood sugar, leading to flagging energy levels and increased hunger. At 6 grams of protein a pop, eggs also have all the necessary amino acids needed to support muscle growth, and the more lean mass you have, the more metabolically active your body will be, making it easier to torch extra fat calories.

6. GO NUTS FOR ALMONDS

When you’re trying to get lean, there is no reason to fear the fat in nuts like almonds. An investigation published in The Journal of Nutrition randomly assigned 86 adults to one of two calorie-controlled

diets: an almond-enriched diet (15 percent energy from almonds) or a nut-free diet with the same number of calories. After a three-month period, those who crunched on almonds daily experienced greater losses in body fat and visceral adipose tissue — a particularly dangerous form of intra-abdominal body fat. Similar fat-loss benefits have also been shown with frequent walnut consumption. Nuts are bundles of unsaturated fats, protein, fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that likely work together to burn chub. Also of importance in the battle of the bulge is the recent evidence that the fat in nuts is located inside cells that appear to resist complete breakdown during digestion. So some of the fatty calories in nuts remain in the cells and, in turn, are not available to be stored by our bodies. This explains why the calorie count of nuts is actually lower than what you would read on food labels. A handful of nuts makes a satisfying snack option, or add them more often to salads, oatmeal, yogurt and even protein shakes.  MAY 2018 Ÿ MUSCLE & PERFORMANCE

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9

Brain Boosters Athletes have always looked for ways to enhance their physical performance, but now they’re also looking for ways to get a mental edge. Not only do such strategies exist, but many are easily attainable by making simple tweaks here and there to your daily routine. Embracing the strategies that follow may give a hearty boost to your brainpower and help you keep mentally healthy. BY JILL SCHILDHOUSE

P

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ull-ups, check. Burpees, check. Walking lunges, check. Deadlifts, check. Brain exercises — wait, huh? If you’ve been concentrating all your efforts on muscle-building supplements and pumping iron in the gym but have neglected to nourish your brain, do your best impression of The Thinker while you ponder this: The gradual deterioration of cognitive skills begins at age 24, and for every 15 years thereafter, cognitive speed drops by about 15 percent. “Many people do not focus on the brain because they may not be aware that they can impact and improve its performance,” says , a licensed neuropsychologist. “They may not realize that this organ is not completely ‘set,’ but rather there are regions that are very responsive to the environment and experiences.” Freeman says we can capitalize on the brain’s neuroplasticity — its ability to change in structure and organization — to function at peak performance. In fact, she has used supplements, aromatherapy, brain entertainment and brain training to MUSCLE & PERFORMANCE Ÿ

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optimize the functioning of her own brain, allowing her to meet the high demands of her previous role as an NFL cheerleader and current professional endeavors. Let’s explore some of the most popular, and scientifically backed, options: 1. Omega-3 Studies suggest that the long-chain fatty acids EPA and DHA are helpful with respect to mood and improved cognitive functioning — DHA makes up a large portion of the gray matter of the brain, and both omega-3s promote healthy blood flow, which is fundamental to optimal brain function. One study found that after taking EPA-rich supplements, participants’ brains worked “less hard” and achieved a better cognitive performance than before supplementation. 

2. CoQ10 This supplement has an impact on the energy region of cells (the mitochondria), which can be helpful in improving the brain’s responsiveness. Freeman says that this, coupled with its anti-inflammatory

and antioxidant impact, helps to function at a younger state. Supplemental doses for adults range from 30 to 100 milligrams per day — because it’s fat-soluble, CoQ10 is most effective when taken with a fat source during mealtime. 3. Acetyl-L-Carnitine This amino acid has shown health benefits in neuroinflammation, a common denominator in various neurodegenerative diseases. It also shows promise in the treatment of aging by slowing the progression of mental deterioration. “Not only does acetyl-L-carnitine have neuroprotective properties, it can have a positive impact on current mood and cognition,” says Freeman, who experiences improved focus when she takes it.

4. Magnesium Research at MIT produced a study in 2004 that elevates magnesium to the position of memory and focus enhancer. Particular brain receptors important for learning, memory and focus depend on magnesium for their regulation. The researchers describe magnesium as an absolutely necessary component of the cerebrospinal fluid in order to keep these learning and memory receptors active. “Magnesium is instrumental in opening brain receptors to important information yet at the same time being able to ignore background noise,” says Carolyn Dean, M.D., ND, a medical advisory board member of the Nutritional Magnesium Association and author of The Magnesium Miracle (Ballantine Books, 2017) and 365 Ways to Boost Your Brain Power (Adams Media, 2009). “I consider 600 milligrams a day of elemental magnesium to be necessary — which is above the 350 to 400 milligrams RDA.” Just be careful not to go overboard — too much magnesium may result in a laxative effect. 5. Aromatherapy “Aromatherapy allows us to take advantage of the prime location of our olfactory bulbs — the sensory

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region for smell,” says Freeman, whose personal favorites include bergamot orange to aid with relaxing and peppermint when she needs to boost concentration. “It is located near and interconnected with the emotional system of our brain. Therefore, by inhaling certain essential oils, I can immediately impact my mood or cognition. The brain releases certain neurotransmitters and can activate different brain regions based on the smells.”

6. Hydration Scientists estimate that the brain is about 73 percent water, so it stands to reason that keeping the brain hydrated is essential. Being dehydrated by as little as 2 percent may impair a person’s ability to perform tasks that involve attention, memory and motor skills. So make sure you’re drinking enough water. The Institute of Medicine recommends that men should drink at least 104 ounces of water per day and that women should drink at least 72.

7. Exercise “Physical activity improves the functioning of the brain from a cognitive and mood stance,” Freeman says. “Even just taking a walk can boost serotonin, which can contribute to feelings of calmness.” One session of aerobic exercise can impact the prefrontal cortex, the region associated with regulation/balance. Another study, published in Neurology, found that Swedish women with a high level of midlife fitness were 88 percent less likely to develop dementia than those who were moderately fit.  8. Sleep “The brain has tasks to perform, and some of that is done when you are sleeping,” Freeman says. “Consistently robbing it of that time can put one at increased risk of developing a cognitive disorder.” In fact, studies show that trouble falling or staying asleep and poor sleep quality are potential risk factors for cognitive decline and dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. 9. Brain Training MUSCLEANDPERFORMANCE.COM

Several types of experiences — including action video-game experiences, musical training and athletic training — have been shown to create widespread effects on perception, motor skills and cognition. Essentially, through brain training, a person can engage in exercises that will activate specific neural pathways. “We use interventions of this type in neurology when we have patients who have suffered a stroke or brain trauma. However, they can be helpful for those with healthy brains, as well,” Freeman says. “The trainings can

CARLSON SUPER OMEGA-3 FISH OIL GEMS

THE VITAMIN SHOPPE ACETYL-L-CARNITINE

be fun and feel like playing games. They can be helpful with cognitive functions such as working memory, processing speed, language and executive functions.” Because of neuroplasticity, our brain can change throughout our lives based on the lifestyle we choose to lead and our environment. “We have the ability to facilitate peak performance through healthy habits,” Freeman says. “Take advantage of the malleability of the brain — it is never too late to start.” 

DOCTOR’S BEST HIGH ABSORPTION COQ10

NATURAL VITALITY NATURAL CALM

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… GluteBuilding Moves

BY MAUREEN FARRAR

do target your quads, they actually do more to target your hamstrings. This is good news because hamstring strength is incredibly valuable when working on developing a better set of glutes. Stand tall with a set of dumbbells at your sides, and step forward with one leg and lower your body until your rear knee nearly touches the floor and your front thigh is parallel to the floor. Press up through the heel of your lead leg and bring your feet back together briefly before stepping into your next rep.

HIP THRUST 3 BARBELL The hip thrust can look a little embarrassing and

feel awkward at first, but this exercise is beneficial because it keeps your glutes under tension throughout the entire move. Although you can do these on the floor, performing them on a bench allows for a greater range of motion. Sit with your upper back against the end of a flat bench and hold a barbell in your hip crease with both hands. Your knees should be bent, feet flat and placed shoulder-width apart, toes forward. Keeping your knees parallel, extend your hips and drive the weight up until your torso and thighs are parallel with the floor. Pause and squeeze your glutes, then return down under control.

SPLIT SQUAT 4 BULGARIAN This version of the split squat typically has your

S

trong glutes are essential, not just for aesthetics but also for reducing your risk of injury and lowerback pain. Strong glutes produce mobile hips and a stable core, and they also decrease your risk of knee pain. Developing powerful glutes help us become more agile and lift heavier. Here are five moves to add to your training program that not only will lift your booty but also will strengthen your posterior chain.

1 SQUAT The squat targets all the muscles in your lower

body, but it shines as a glute builder because of the flexion that takes place at the hips. Plus, as you descend, a deep stretch is placed on your glutes, meaning that they produce a more powerful contraction on the way back up. To perform it correctly, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, dip your hips back as if you are sitting in a chair and lower into a deep squat. Squeeze your glutes and explode out of the bottom, pressing through your heels to a full standing position.

WALKING LUNGE 2 WEIGHTED When you think of lunges, you typically think

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of how sore they make your quads. And while lunges MUSCLE & PERFORMANCE Ÿ

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back foot elevated on a bench to place even more emphasis on the quads and glutes of the front leg, helping to correct imbalances and stabilize joints. Stand in front of a bench and lift one leg behind you, placing the laces of your shoe on top of the bench with your knee bent. Most of your weight should be on your front leg, so keep that knee soft to protect your joints and help maintain balance. Bend your standing knee and slowly squat down, tracking your knee over your toes and keeping your torso upright; don’t lean forward. When your front thigh is parallel to the floor, extend your leg to return to the start. Repeat for reps, then switch sides.

DEADLIFT 5 ROMANIAN The Romanian deadlift remains one of the most

underrated — and incorrectly performed — exercises in the gym. Many trainers round their back, but the Romanian deadlift’s main movement is a forward hinge at the hips. This places a full stretch on the hamstrings, which actually cover the knees and the hips, zeroing in on that hard-to-reach glute-ham tie-in at the south end of your butt. Stand holding a barbell with a pronated (palms down) grip, hands slightly wider than hip width, feet narrowly spaced. With a slight bend in your knees and a flat back, bend forward at the hips, shifting your glutes backward. Allow the weight to slide down your thighs past your knees until you feel a good stretch in your hamstrings. Pause briefly and return to the starting position. 

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