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Strength or Size? Hypertrophy vs. Strength Training

When it comes to working out, most people lift weights to both build their strength up and also to work on aesthetics – but these two goals actually require different training styles. To build strength and power in your lifts, you need to set your focus on lifting heavier weights, with less overall reps. To build bigger muscles you’ll want to increase your overall volume in your workouts, lower the weight and go for more reps – this is referred to as hypertrophy training.

How to Build Strength

As mentioned before, to build up your strength you need to work with higher weights, and lower reps. Start with you normal warm up sets, but when you get into your working sets you’ll want to work up to around 80% – 90% of your max, and focus on getting 3 – 5 reps per set. Take your time with these lifts – you’re moving heavy weight so you need to focus on your form to avoid injury. This type of training will help with not only helping you build your overall strength, but will also increase bone density.

Hypertrophy Training for Size

Hypertrophy means completely exhausting your muscles, and often leads to performing exercises to failure. It requires lower weights, and higher reps. This results in your muscles fatiguing, and beginning to break down. It is the constant break down and repair that allows muscles to grow in size. When you’re training for hypertrophy you’ll want your working sets to be around 60% – 70% of your max and try to hit between 12 – 15 reps per set. Often with hypertrophy training super sets are used to hit the same muscle group in two different ways to optimize the breakdown of muscle fibers.

In any good workout program, there should be a focus on both building size and strength. Without strength, you can’t lift weights enough to truly fatigue them, and without size, you limit how much weight you can move overall. You should cycle between hypertrophy training and strength training to optimize your workout program.

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Benefits of an Early Morning Workout

Getting up early for a morning workout sounds like a great idea – but let’s be honest, we all want that extra time in bed. It’s warm, it’s cozy, and getting up to go to the gym just sounds like a horrible idea. Really though, getting up to go to the gym in the morning is one of the best things you can do for your day. Here’s a few ways that it can help you out:

Boost Metabolism

After a workout, your body burns more calories – even at rest. In the fitness world, this is referred to as Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption, or EPOC for short. Even if you’re resting for the day, a morning workout will give you a significant increase in your TDEE.

Increase Your Energy

Morning workouts can invigorate both your mind and your body. The added endorphins, adrenaline and other hormones released through working out act as natural stimulants. This is going to help you keep you focused and energized throughout your day.

Build Self-Discipline

Convincing yourself to get up early a morning workout is a hard task. If you can begin to do it consistently and develop it into a habit it will help you regiment a schedule and keep yourself on task.

Improve Your Sleeping Habits

It may seem counter-intuitive, but waking up earlier to get to the gym will actually help you sleep better. A morning workout will give you a boost through the day, but leave you fatigued come nighttime. This is in turn going to lead to a better night’s sleep, which will make getting up the next morning that much easier.

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What is a ketogenic diet?

The basis of the ketogenic diet is that it causes your body to produce “Ketones” in your blood stream, which are then used as your body’s main source of energy, instead of blood sugar. In a standard diet, your body will convert carbohydrates to blood sugars, which are then used by cells as fuel. In a body that has reached “ketosis”, you begin to break down stored fats into ketone bodies which are then used as fuel in the absence of carbs and blood sugar.

The transition from standard energy use to Ketosis results from a low carb diet. Once a person has gone roughly 2 – 4 days with eating fewer than 50 grams of carbs (this amount will vary from person to person) they will begin to enter ketosis.

A usual Ketogenic diet is very high in protein and fats, to make up for the lack of carbs. Foods most often found in a Keto diet are meats, eggs, cheese, nuts & seeds, oils, heavy dairy, and mostly green vegetables. Due to the lack of bread and other carb heavy products, this diet can be a more expensive one, and is often hard to maintain over a long term.

For the average American, carbs account for over 50% of our diet. SO obviously moving to an extremely low carb diet is a far departure for most people, though it does have its benefits. Most people who undertake a Ketogenic diet, and actually reach the ketosis state, find themselves with a higher rate of fat loss. This can be attributed to the breakdown of stored fats to produce ketones, but could also be from simple calorie restriction.

Because of the richness of food in the Ketogenic diet, it is often recommended that people who suffer from kidney disease or other related ailments should exercise extreme caution, as it could worsen their condition.

Overall, the Ketogenic diet is a viable option for those who are looking to cut their body fat down, but always make sure to do your research first.