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April 2013

April 30, 2013

Why You Should Consider Adding Barley To Your Diet Plan


Barley works great with a number of different dishes yet most people simply overlook it and opt for brown rice instead.

Let’s go over why barley is such a good pick so that you can see why you should be including it.

High In Fiber

barleyThe first reason to be adding barley to your diet is because it’s loaded with fiber. Fiber is a requirement for good digestive system health and will also go a long way towards lowering cholesterol. For this reason, it’s a great add to any diet plan.

Plus, the fiber content in barley will make it more satisfying than some other grains you might be eating, so that’s another added benefit to using it more often.

Slow Digestion Time

slow-digestionThe next reason to start adding barley more often to your diet is because it has a very slow digestion time. It’s ranked low on the GI index scale, which assesses how fast it will break down and spike your blood glucose level.

The lower the GI is, the longer it’s going to take to break down and digest in the body, thus keeping you satisfied for a longer period of time.

This works great especially when dieting since you will be taking in fewer calories overall.

Keeps Well

Finally, barley also keeps very well, which offers good advantages to those who prefer to cook in bulk. They can easily place it in the fridge and it’ll last a few days with your coming meals. Just be sure to keep it in a sealed Tupperware container, without the addition of any condiments or sauces.

Barley is relatively easy to prepare as well, so something you can easily do while the rest of your food is cooking.

So there you have all the many benefits that barley has to offer. It’s one food that you definitely will want to be taking in often as you go about your diet plan.

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April 29, 2013

Three Workout Tips For Greatest Strength Improvement

If so, you need to keep a few workout tips in mind. Many people set this goal but then don’t follow through to see the results they should because they just aren’t using the correct approach.

Fortunately, this is an easy fix and once you do start training in the right manner, you can see your strength levels significantly improve.

Let’s take a quick look at three workout tips that you should keep in mind that will help you bust through any strength plateau.

Use A Holding Technique

The first way to increase your strength level is to consider using a holding technique. This is a great way to train the central nervous system to tolerate more stress and will get you stronger in a hurry.

To do this, when you get to the midway point of the last rep of your exercise, hold that position for at least a three count. If you can hold slightly longer, even better.

Once the hold is finished, finish the movement pattern before setting the weight down.

Pre-Fatigue Assistant Muscles

barbell-bench-pressNext, using the pre-fatigue concept works very well to increase strength as well. For this, you’ll want to look at which muscles are going to be acting as assistors to the main muscle groups working whenever you do a compound exercise.

So for example, if you’re doing a bench press, this would be the triceps and shoulders. To make sure that you are putting more strain on the chest while doing the workout, you’ll want to burn out the triceps first with a few overhead extensions.

Once they’re fatigued, then go to the bench press.

Do this for a week or two and then begin doing your straight sets of chest press again and you should find you’re feeling stronger.

Back Off Isolation Work

Finally, the last quick tip to consider if you’ve hit a strength plateau is to take one week and stop doing any isolation work. Isolation work is stressful on the nervous system as well and could be pushing you to the point of almost overtraining yourself.

Focus on just compound exercises for a few weeks, pushing yourself as hard as possible and then see if you aren’t getting stronger.

So use these tips next time you’re in a strength plateau. When done properly, they can all help you take that extra jump in your strength progression.

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April 26, 2013

Smart Recovery Carbs To Consider

After finishing an intense workout session, you’ll want to be making sure that you’re taking smart nutritional tips to boost your recovery rate after the workout session.

Those who aren’t looking after post-workout nutrition are not going to be getting the results they’re after because their body will stay in a broken down state for a longer period of time.

Many people simply don’t know which are the best food choices to be making during this post-workout period, so let’s walk you through the main ones that you should be considering.


The first good carb to be eating is bananas. Bananas are the best fruit to consume post-workout because they are higher in starch content compared to most fruits, which means they will refill muscle glycogen levels that much better.

When you eat other fruits, for example an apple, you’ll get a higher amount of fructose coming in, which isn’t as effective for saturating muscle glycogen stores.

Save these fruits for later on.

White Rice

Next, white rice is another good post-workout food to be consuming. It’s faster to digest then brown, so a better option in this case since you do want some insulin spike to be present.

White rice still won’t cause you to come crashing down after consuming it however, so is better than pure simple sugar.

Have half or one cup, depending on how long and intense your workout was.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are the last good option to be adding to your post-workout period. These are again a higher carbohydrate and starch based food that will help you to recover faster and since they contain no fat at all, they’re a perfect option for the post workout period.

Just be sure that you prepare them without butter to keep the fact content low and you will be serving your body exactly what you need.

With all three of these great post-workout carbohydrates, make sure that you are also adding a high quality protein source to the menu as protein will be required to complete the recovery process and provide the body with amino acids for tissue rebuilding and repair.

Serve these as close to immediately after your workout as possible and you will be on the way to results.

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April 24, 2013

Three More Lunge Variations To Liven Up Your Workout

Earlier we introduced you to three great lunge variations that you could be adding to your workout program to take your results up a notch. This week, we’re going to introduce you to a few more.

Fortunately, with a few simple adjustments, you can quickly alter your workout for faster results.

Let’s look at three additional lunge variations that you should consider to liven up your workout session once you’ve mastered the walking lunge, stationary lunge, reverse lunge, and twisting lunges we explained earlier.

Jump Lunge

First consider jump lunges. These are great for boosting our plyometric power and agility, while also improving muscular strength.

Jump straight up, switch your legs mid-air, and then land immediately in the lunge position.

Reverse sides and repeat again.

Half Rep Lunges

Half rep lunges are the second variety that you’ll want to consider. With these, you’ll move into the full lunge position, come halfway back up, pause, go back down, and then complete the full lunge movement pattern once again.

Once that’s finished, move to the next leg and repeat.  Make sure while doing these that you perform them in as slow and controlled fashion as possible as that will ensure that you keep a maximum amount of stress on the muscles working.

If you rush the exercise and just use momentum, you won’t get the full effect and worse, could end up hurting yourself.

Advanced Medicine Ball Lunges

Finally, the last exercise that you should be doing to help reduce boredom and boost results is a medicine ball lunge . This one is a more advanced version of the lunge with a twist we talked about earlier. With this one, you’ll hold a medicine ball in front of you, get into a lunge position, lunge downwards and then on the way up, twist to one side of the body.

Then the next time you’re lunging down, you’ll want to twist to the other side to work both sides of the body equally.

This one will slightly throw you off balance as you perform it, so make sure to do the movement slowly so that you stay in full control the entire time.

So there you have three lunge variations that you should be incorporating into your workout program. If you can get these in place, you will be excellent firming and toning benefits.

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