October, 2010 | Critical Bench

Your Muscle & Strength Authority Site Since 1999

Top 12 Foods for Growing More Muscle

October 23, 2010 by  
Filed under Articles, Muscle Building, Nutrition, Recent Posts

Guest post by the Muscle Cook Dave Ruel
author of the Anabolic Cooking Cookbook


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The best muscle building foods are those which contain a well balanced variety of high quantity of carbohydrates, protein, and fats.

You have to remember that protein is the raw material in building muscle tissue. Carbohydrates in the meantime are stored as glycogen in your body which can be drawn out whenever energy is required. And fats look after our body’s vital functions….

Here’s my top 12 list!

Whole Wheat Products, Brown Rice, Oatmeal

These complex carbs are great for helping with carb intake. Brown rice in particular is slow digesting, which means it won’t spike your insulin levels. Whole Wheat products and Oatmeal are another excellent source of quality carbohydrates.

250x250-5Potatoes

One of the best, cheapest foods for this purpose is potatoes. One medium-sized red potato has 25-30 grams of carbs.

Chicken/Turkey Breast

These are excellent source of protein and are very low in fat. They are the true best friend of any muscle building fitness expert. You can always eat chicken or turkey breast. Just make sure the skin is off and the chicken is broiled, boiled or coked over flame. You don’t want fried or battered.

Bananas

Rich in magnesium & potassium & soluble fiber; prevents radical swings in blood sugar.

Salmon

Good source of protein. Salmon has omega fatty acids in it. Its a serious mass builder. You should eat this at least three times a week.

Spinach

One of the most alkaline foods. Spinach prevents muscle & bone loss, but also cancer and heart diseases because of its high nutrient profile. Try one of the spinach recipes I shared a while back.

Mixed Nuts

Contain mono- & polyunsaturated fats, proteins, fiber, vitamin E, zinc, potassium, magnesium, etc. Mixed nuts are caloric dense, anything works: almonds, walnuts, cashews, hazelnuts, peanuts, etc…

Berries

Strong antioxidants that prevent cancer, heart & eye diseases. Any kind works: cranberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, etc. Buy fresh or frozen berries and mix with oatmeal or in your shakes.

Red Meat

Good source of protein. Steak has vitamins and other nutrients in it that are crucial for muscle growth. The fats in steak has been shown to help increase your testosterone. If you’re serious about putting on muscle, add this to your meal plan. Just make sure you trim extra fat or have low fat content to begin with.

Eggs

This is a must if you are trying to build muscles. Great protein source. Eggs are at the top of nearly every list because they are extremely easy to absorb–the body can easily break down the food into amino acids, the building blocks of muscle.

Whey Protein Shakes

Whey protein is quickly absorbed or digested by your body and this is what makes whey protein perfect to have within 2 hours after working out so your body can quickly get the protein it needs to help you recovery and build muscle faster after working out.

Water

Your muscles are estimated to be somewhere between 70-to-80% water and 25% Protein so You should try to drink at least 2-3 liters of spring water everyday.

If you want to build muscles, it is not all about consuming all the food for growth. It’s about consuming the RIGHT food for growth. Every bodybuilder knows the importance of consuming protein for building muscle mass, but many don’t take into account the importance of carbs, fat and foods that influence the proper anabolic environment. Another thing to consider is consistency. You may have the best muscle building diet plan or training program but without consistency, it is all useless.

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Those are my own favorites, what about you? Share your favorite muscle building foods below.

Critical Bench presents October Training Sessions at the Monster Garage Gym

A variety of powerlifting training methods are featured in this video being seen FIRST, at Critical Bench.

Included in the video is training footage of Washington Redskins, Defensive End, Phillip Daniels co-owner of the Monster Garage Gym. Some training methods seen in this video include: Deficit deadlift, reverse green band bench press, rackable cambered squat bar box squats and rackable cambered squat bar good mornings, small band deadlift, safety squat bar box squats, close grip bench press, and more.
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Don’t Buy 1000 Calorie Challenge Until You Read This!

October 15, 2010 by  
Filed under Nutrition, Recent Posts, Reviews, Training

1000 Calorie Challenge is Now Live for $50 Off – Click Here.

by Mike Westerdal

1000caloriechallengeA lot of people are really curious and excited about Joel Marion and Arnel’s new 1000 Calorie Challenge.

To give you the basics about the program, it was designed with the goal of rapid fat loss. It’s very intense and has the goal of achieving a calorie deficit as fast as possible.

Three times a week you’ll be performing workouts that burn 1000 calories. This is no easy task which is why there are previous phases in place that build you up to that level.

These workouts are combined with some low calorie days where you only eat 1000 calories for the day. It’s spaced out so that you have cheat days and moderate carb days to get you through the 1000 calorie workouts.

It’s a pretty extreme workout/diet, but will get you fast results. I’m not sure if you’d be able to stay with something like this long-term, but it could be a good challenge to put yourself.

To be honest if I read about this in a magazine, I’m not sure what my initial reaction would be. My BS meter might go off. However I do know the creators Joel Marion and Arnel R personally and their programs have been very successful in the past so I’m willing to give this a try.

In fact I’m going to give this 600-calorie burning workout a try this weekend.

You can give it a try too. CLICK HERE TO GET THE 600 CALORIE BURNING WORKOUT

Oh, people have been asking if this a good system for building muscle and strength as well. The answer is NO. This Challenge based workout is for burning fat rapidly. You’ll tighten up and lean out but you’re not going to build muscle mass or gain any significant strength. You will improve your cardio, strengthen your heart and shred some fat if you can make it through the workouts.

Some people are saying this is too hard. It probably is for some, but if you can complete the program there’s no doubt you’ll see rapid results in minimal time.

If you’re interested in learning more about how this works, feel free to download the report below called, “4 Keys To 4X’s Faster Fat Loss“.

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Increase Your Testosterone Bio-Availability–Naturally

October 1, 2010 by  
Filed under Hormones, Recent Posts, Supplements

by Mike Westerdal

Testosterone drives muscle growth. It’s no secret that a lot of guys take what they think is a “short-cut” to boosting their testosterone levels by injecting themselves with dangerous–and illegal–steroids. Years ago, I started hearing about natural ways to boost testosterone levels so I embarked on a quest to find out everything I could. The problem, is that there is a lot of misinformation and outright lies out there on the Internet. How’s a guy supposed to separate fact from fiction? How do you know that you’re not wasting time and money on yet another scam? In the beginning I struggled with these questions too until one day I began uncovering information that led me to truth. And today, I’m here to tell you that there is a better way and you can boost your testosterone levels naturally. Let’s find out more.

increase your testosterone bio availability

Testosterone is the principal male sex hormone and an anabolic steroid. It has both anabolic and androgenic properties. In men, it is primarily secreted by the testes, but also in small amounts by the adrenal glands. Testosterone is responsible for the development of lean muscle tissue, maintaining libido, energy, bone formation, and immune function. Basically, testosterone is what makes a man a man. A typical man produces five to 10 milligrams of testosterone a day–about ten times more than women. Normal testosterone concentration in men is between 300 and 1000 nanograms per deciliter. Once a guy hits about 40, his testosterone levels start to drop by about one percent per year.

Interestingly, not all of the testosterone floating around in your body is available to do what most guys want it to do–build bigger, leaner and stronger muscles. There are a number of proteins that can get in the way by binding with the testosterone before it has a chance to work its magic on our muscles. The testosterone that hasn’t bound with a protein is available to reach the muscle cell receptors. Therefore, bioavailability refers to the levels of unbound testosterone available in the bloodstream. There are several different proteins that testosterone is fond of binding with, and unfortunately, once it binds with one of these proteins, it’s game over. The testosterone is no longer available for our muscles. Of the binding proteins, the one we’re most concerned with is Sex Hormone Binding Globulin or SHBG.

We focus on SHBG for a couple of reasons. First, the levels of SHBG in our body rise and fall in our bodies, depending on certain conditions which we’ll discuss in just a minute. Second, of the various binding proteins to be found in the bloodstream, SHBG has about the highest affinity for binding with testosterone–significantly more than the others. Think of SHBG as a hooker who has her eye on a drunk guy with a fat wallet stumbling out of a bar (the testosterone). Once SHBG spots testosterone it’s going to do its very best to hook up with the testosterone.

tim1Therefore, the higher the levels of SHBG in your bloodstream, the less testosterone you’re going to have available to reach the muscle cell receptors. Knowing this, it makes sense that by lowering the level SHBG in your body, you can increase the bioavailability of testosterone in your bloodstream. What you actually want to achieve is “normal’ levels of SHBG. Like all of our body’s systems, we want to strive for balance. When anything is either too low or too high, it’s going to lead to problems.

There are a number of things that we can manipulate or control that raise or lower the levels of SHBG in the bloodstream. Chief among these are drug or alcohol abuse, anorexia, excessive stress, obesity and anything else that causes your testosterone levels to drop. First off, lower testosterone levels means lower bioavailability of testosterone–regardless of your SHBG level, when these levels drop, there is less testosterone available to reach the muscle cell receptors. The second part of this is that these things impact the aromatase factor in the body. The aromatase process not only increases estrogen levels, which signals the brain to decrease testosterone levels, but it also increase SHBG levels in the body. Essentially, what you get is a “one-two” punch that starts a vicious cycle of decreasing bioavailable testosterone, coupled with increasing estrogen levels–ouch!

Now let’s see what a guy has to do to increase the bioavailability of testosterone in his body. First, maintain a healthy weight. Get rid of excess body fat, especially the fat around the middle. This type of fat has particularly high levels of the enzyme aromatase, which leads to higher estrogen and SHBG levels. Second, don’t abuse drugs or alcohol. Third, learn to manage your stress levels.

Fourth, get plenty of exercise and make sure you include strength training work. Strength training in particular helps to naturally elevate your testosterone levels. Fifth, get plenty of rest and don’t overtrain. Most of the great things our bodies do happen while we’re at rest or sleeping. Guys who overtrain or don’t get enough sleep have significantly lower levels of testosterone than guys who recognize the value of rest and give it the attention it deserves. And lastly, eat a healthy diet that includes the proper balance of lean proteins, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates. Ignore the fad diets and any diet that goes to any sort of extreme.

There are also some things you can to help block the testosterone-binding effects of SHBG. There is some evidence to suggest that supplements such as Nettle, Pygeum and Avena Sativa can be effective. Supplements that may help inhibit aromatase in the body include Zinc and Chrysin.

Once you have optomized these basic tips it may be time to research a natural formula of synergistic testosterone producing growth factors contained in supplements like Jacked Up.