“My name is Wilma McFadden and on June 7, 2008, I was a contestant in the Metabolix Natural North America competition sponsored by the International Natural Bodybuilding & Fitness Federation, Inc., held in Arlington, VA. I placed first overall in Women’s Bodybuilding, earning my World Natural Bodybuilder Federation (WNBF) Pro Status. I was elated with the fact that in addition to all of the demanding physical preparation required for the contest, I was particularly pleased to note that my use of your Parrillo nutritional supplements made a significant difference in my physique and overall appearance.”
You’ll hear some say to train heavy to gain muscle but do a lot of reps to lose fat. Basically, that’s wrong. You need to keep training heavy while losing fat; if you eliminate heavy sets and start doing a lot of reps to burn fat, your muscles will shrink. Strive to keep training as heavy as possible even as you diet down to provide the stimulus needed for muscle hypertrophy. Weight training for high reps just isn’t a very effective way to burn fat. Weight lifting is fueled mainly by burning carbohydrate from muscle glycogen. Aerobic exercise is much more effective for fat loss because it burns many more calories than you ever could by lifting weights and a higher proportion of those calories are derived from body fat. So while losing fat, keep training heavy but do more aerobics.
Fibrous vegetables don’t supply many calories but are the prime sou¬rces of fiber, a critical nutrient for bodybuilders. Fiber slows the rate of release of glucose into the bloodstream thus helping to moderate insulin levels. Good fibrous vegetables are lettuce, spinach, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, beans (not canned), lentils, peas, turnip greens, squash, zucchini, okra, oatmeal, oat bran, cabbage, celery, peppers, sweet potatoes, eggplant, cucumbers, onions and whole grain brown rice. Stay away from avocados, olives, and nuts, as they are high in fat.
Plant Foods for Preserving Muscle Mass
Fruits and vegetables contain essential vitamins, minerals and fiber that are key to good health. Now, a newly released study by Agricultural Research Service-funded scientists suggests plant foods also may help preserve muscle mass in older men and women. The typical American diet is rich in protein, cereal grains and other acid-producing foods. In general, such diets generate tiny amounts of acid each day. With aging, a mild but slowly increasing metabolic “acidosis” develops. Acidosis appears to trigger a muscle-wasting response. So the researchers looked at links between measures of lean body mass and diets relatively high in potassium-rich, alkaline-residue producing fruits and vegetables. Such diets could help neutralize acidosis. Foods can be considered alkaline or acidic based on the residues they produce in the body, rather than whether they are alkaline or acidic themselves. For example, acidic grapefruits are metabolized to alkaline residues.
The researchers conducted a cross-sectional analysis on a subset of nearly 400 male and female volunteers aged 65 or older who had completed a three-year osteoporosis intervention trial. The volunteers’ physical activity, height and weight, and percentage of lean body mass were measured at the start of the study and at three years. Their urinary potassium was measured at the start of the study, and their dietary data was collected at 18 months. Based on regression models, volunteers whose diets were rich in potassium could expect to have 3.6 more pounds of lean tissue mass than volunteers with half the higher potassium intake. That almost offsets the 4.4 pounds of lean tissue that is typically lost in a decade in healthy men and women aged 65 and above.
– Rosalie Marion Bliss, 2008, Plant Foods For Preserving Muscle Mass, News from the USDA Agricultural Research Service
Dominique’s Time Cruncher
Buying in bulk can save you trips to the store, and some stores charge less for larger purchases. So stock up and spend less time driving to the store and waiting in long lines!
Question of the Month
Question: “I’ve heard doing aerobic exercise is a good way to burn body fat, but won’t it also cause me to lose muscle mass?”
Answer: Never underestimate the power of aerobics in your training program. It has numerous benefits, from fat-burning to cardiovascular health to improved recovery mechanisms. Many bodybuilders, however, typically shy away from aerobic exercise, particularly in the growth season, fearing that it will cause a loss of muscle mass. This loss, however, has less to do with aerobics and more to do with improper diet. A bodybuilder who loses muscle during a period of aerobic training is simply not eating enough to compensate for the calories spent by the aerobic activity. Take in enough quality calories, and you’ll preserve muscle mass while your body fat drops. Do your aerobics in the morning for 45-60 minutes, before breakfast, so you burn fatty acids for energy in the absence of glycogen.
Reader Tip of the Month
“Dieting does not have to mean bland and boring food. I have become very creative with my foods and eat a variety of things on a daily basis. I have learned to appreciate the varied flavors in fresh vegetables and experimented with different seasonings to make my lean protein meals unique. The variety keeps the cravings away!”
Evening Primrose Oil 1000TM
• Provides critical Essential Fatty Acids
• Reduces joint pain resulting from heavy training & EFA deficiency
Evening Primrose Oil is a concentrated source of Essential Fatty Acids, which keep joints lubricated, hair and skin healthy, and brain neurons firing correctly. It is suggested that you take one to three capsules daily.