RSS

 
Posted 01 May 2021 by

California Weed has Become a Juggernaut


Industry Since 2016

pexels-michael-fischer-606506.jpg

The weed business has been a boom for the state of California. Since its legalization in 2016, the California weed industry has grown to approximately $5 billion annually. Despite this massive growth and its significant impact on the California economy, there are those who believe that it could be so much larger if the government would get out of the way.

In fact, several would-be growers in El Dorado County are considering suing the sheriff they claim is blocking permits. Some of these prospective growers have already invested millions in efforts to establish legal cannabis farms and the refusal is costing them substantially.

As a result, one operation has been forced to close operations and lay employees off. This means lost revenue for the county, lost wages for the people, and represents a huge problem to good-faith investors who see opportunity in the area. While this is only one story, it does show the potential of a single person to put a wrinkle in even the best-laid plans for legal marijuana growth and production.

Causes for Concern Among Legalization Proponents

Legalizing marijuana in the state of California is only one hurdle as it remains illegal on a federal level. However, it isn’t the only hurdle the state needs to overcome. The problem is that despite legal dispensaries throughout the state, the bulk of California weed sales remain illicit. In fact, current estimates according to The Guardian are that 80-90 percent of the California weed market remains illicit. The problem is two-fold.

  1. Illicit weed sales are not taxed and that robs the state of important revenue that could be used to fund various community initiatives.
  2. Illegally processed and sold weed has the potential to contain contaminants and other additives that can cause serious harm, like fentanyl.

Those who purchase from legal marijuana dispensaries know they are getting a pure and safe product. However, many opt to purchase in more familiar locations for various reasons. Among the top concerns people have about using dispensaries to purchase weed in California are the following.

  • Privacy concerns. People do not want their purchases tracked.
  • Anonymity issues. People do not want others to know that they purchase or use marijuana.
  • Costs. Because of high taxes, expensive regulatory requirements, and the cost of labor in California, it is often an economic decision to purchase illegal marijuana.
  • Access. With many communities holding up potential growers, there are many in the state who do not have easy access to weed dispensaries and choose to purchase illicitly instead.

Frankly, the cartels have invested more and invested longer in the California weed industry than the five years the state has had to get in on the act. There isn’t yet a gold standard or path to success for operating a dispensary and even those on the agricultural side of things have their own paths to forge – especially those facing difficult regulatory concerns or bureaucratic wastelands of red tape in their efforts to get their businesses off the ground.

Think about the math, though. Currently, California marijuana is projected to top the $5 billion mark in 2021 and increase even more year-over-year afterward. That means massive tax revenues for the state who taxes at every turn from the growers to the dispensaries and all points in between.

However, such a large contingency of partakers choosing illicit over legal methods for procuring their selections means massive losses of revenue to the state. If, as The Guardian indicates, 80 to 90 percent of the marijuana market remains illegal, imagine what it could mean for the state if they were collecting taxes on somewhere between $400 and $450 billion in product each year.

Minding the Gap When Some Counties aren’t On Board?

The problem is that while most of the population agrees with the legalization of marijuana, many counties remain reluctant to open the floodgates of legalized marijuana within their cities and communities. Some are afraid that it will bring more crime. Others are afraid of impaired drivers, doctors, and other professionals that legalization could, in theory, create. The truth is much more complex when it comes to why some counties are holding up efforts to expand legalized marijuana growing throughout the state.

Unfortunately, that leaves the doors open for illegal weed sales to continue to flourish, a striking loss of revenue for various counties and the state of California, and the loss of countless jobs that could drive local economies and help rebuild struggling communities that are reeling, financially speaking, from the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the same time, the revenue of $5 billion (and growing) is nothing to dismiss. In fact, it is a win for the state of California and every citizen that benefits from the tax revenue these sales generate. One can only hope that eventually the rest of the state will get on board with the legalization efforts so all can share in the bounty.

 

 

Posted 18 November 2021 by

Should You Be Taking


A Testosterone Booster?

testosterone article scr1.jpg

Testosterone is a hormone that serves a variety of functions. It helps with bone density, muscle strength, fat distribution, red blood cell production, hair growth, etc. unfortunately, as you age, the testosterone levels decrease. As per a study, after the age of forty, every year the testosterone levels drop by one percent.

A decreased level of testosterone will result in decaying strength, fewer muscles, declining sex drive, and sperm production. This is why a testosterone booster is considered an important supplement, especially for men.

Many people are curious to know how testosterone boosters and what after-effects they would experience. To find answers to all your queries, keep reading this blog. So, let's find out if you should be taking testosterone or not.

 

What happens to testosterone levels with age?

Testosterone levels are at their height during the adolescence period. But as you grow older, it declines about 1% per year after the age of forty, as mentioned earlier as well. Apart from aging, testosterone levels may decrease due to a condition called hypogonadism.

Hypogonadism is a disease that disrupts the production of testosterone due to a problem with the pituitary gland that controls the testicles.

 

How does testosterone function?

Testosterone boosters are a combination of multiple ingredients like Tribulus territris, longjack, fenugreek, D-aspartic acid, and ZMA. Out of all these ingredients, D-aspartic acid is known to increase testosterone levels by 42% with an intake of three grams per day.

The ZMA has vitamin B6, zinc, magnesium, which helps the body with maximum testosterone production.

 

When should you take testosterone?

The timing of taking the testosterone may vary for different brands. The ones who have ZMA on the ingredient list are advised to take it during the night for a better boost in testosterone levels. Also, it is advised to take testosterone in a cyclic period. You should take them for three weeks and then take two weeks off so that your body does not get used to them.

 

Benefits of taking testosterone boosters

 

Helps in muscle strength

It is seen that taking testosterone booster helps in muscle gain and increases mass strength. However, you need to accompany that with regular workouts. Testosterones help with endurance and keep the energy going for longer.

 

Boosts reproductive health system

Testosterone is a hormone responsible for developing the reproductive system when you grow. With age, especially after the age of forty, men tend to lose their testosterone levels which affects their reproductive system as well. Therefore, taking testosterone boosters will help maintain a good reproductive system and keep the fertility level stable.

 

Slows down ageing

Testosterone hormones are responsible for the aging process as well. Therefore, taking testosterone boosters will slow down the aging process by reducing body fat, toning muscles, improving sleep quality, and keeping you in a healthy mood.

 

Increases your exercising capacity

A good level of testosterone boosters in the body increases the exercising capacity. It enables you to work out for longer with more power and aggressiveness.

 

Does testosterone have any side effects?

As testosterone is known to spike up the manliest hormone in the body, you might feel the adolescent sensations like more strength and aggressive, hyped sexual desires. But the boosters won't hike the testosterone levels beyond a certain level, so you are unlikely to experience any acne, testicular shrinkage, etc.

 

Wrapping up

Here is a round-up of the blog about testosterone boosters and if you should consider taking them. As seen from the above discussion, testosterone boosters help you in multiple ways to maintain your youthful self. They also help maintain your physique and promote a healthy mood. But it would be best to consult a doctor before you start taking them.

 

Hopefully, this post helped you learn about testosterone boosters. For more such useful posts, stay tuned. For further queries, the comment section is always open. 

Posted 05 November 2021 by

Impact of Physical


Activity on Sleep

sleep exercise scr1.jpg

One of the best things you can do for your body is remain physically active. It will build strength, reduce your chances of developing certain diseases, lower blood pressure, improve flexibility and help your joints. 

In addition to physical benefits, working out is also excellent for your mental health as it can help with stress, worrying, anxiety and other common issues. You will likely become a more confident person as you become more fit, as well.

Whether you decide to use the best treadmill to get your workouts in, play some sports, or primarily do strength training, you are helping your body and mind greatly when you are active. But in addition to the physical and mental benefits, many believe that being active also helps them sleep both better and longer. As you know, a good sleep is crucial to be productive at work or school, and is a big part of being a more positive individual.

But is this actually the case? Does physical activity have a positive benefit to your sleep? Well, that is exactly what this article is going to take a closer look at. Keep reading to learn more about the impact that physical activity has on sleep.

 

How Does Physical Activity Impact Your Sleep?

So does physical activity have an impact on your sleep? Well, the answer is a resounding yes. Maintaining an active lifestyle will have a positive impact on your sleep. First of all, being physically active can help you reduce your sleep onset time, which is how long it takes you to fall asleep at night.

Being physically active can help you sleep longer, and can help those who struggle with being overly tired and sleepy during the day. Sometimes, a good amount of physical activity can replace the need for sleep medication in some people, though not everyone will experience this benefit.

Many people experience indirect benefits of exercise on their sleep. For example, those who are physically active have a lower chance of becoming overweight or obese, which will, in turn, lower their chances of struggling with sleep apnea.

The precise reason why physical activity provides a general boost to the quality and duration of sleep is still relatively unknown, and experts may never know the exact mechanism responsible for the benefits. 

However, experts do know that exercise seems to increase slow-wave sleep levels. Slow-wave sleep is when the body and brain rejuvenates, and helps with memories, as well. Also, exercise can de-stress you and assist in stabilizing emotions, which are both a big part of naturally preparing yourself for sleep.

 

When are the Best Times for Working Out?

While we have learned that working out and remaining active is great for your sleep, does it matter what time of the day you should be working out? Everyone seemingly has a time of the day that they stress is the best time for exercise.

Some believe that working out in the morning is best, some think that a midday workout works better and others prefer the evening. The truth is, the time you work out generally doesn’t matter much. As long as you are exercising, you will get the aforementioned benefits to your sleep.

So simply choose a time that works the best with your schedule in life, and when you feel you have the most motivation to be physically active. However, you need to be careful with exercises ending within an hour before bed. Working out this close to when you are trying to sleep can make it harder to fall and stay asleep. 

This is because exercise can release endorphins that create activity in your brain that can make it hard to relax and calm down. Winding down with your endorphins still rushing can be a major challenge. Also, being physically active can raise your core body temperature, which can often help wake you up as opposed to prepare you for sleep. So evening workouts are fine, just not right before you go to sleep.

 

How Long Do You Need to Exercise to Get Benefits?

Doctors and experts alike recommend that people aim to be physically active daily to get the best physical and mental health results. In general, the average person should attempt to get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise each and every day. This can be playing a sport, lifting weights, doing cardio, going for a walk, or even some hard work around the house.

But how much do you need to be active in order to get the associated sleep benefits? Well, the good news is, the 30 minutes a day recommended by experts is enough to see results. Of course, some people can benefit from more than 30 minutes a day, but that is enough for most people.

Also, you won’t need to wait a long time to enjoy these sleep-related benefits of exercise, as you should get them immediately. That’s right, you could see an increase in sleep quality the very first night after becoming physically active.

 

Does Your Sleep Play a Role in Physical Activity?

By now you know that physical activity plays a role in improving sleep, is the inverse also true? Does getting a good sleep have an impact on our levels of physical activity? Again, the answer is yes. Most studies have shown that those who suffer from poor sleep end up being less physically active than those who get a full night of high-quality sleep.

However, this has not been studied quite as much and the studies that have taken place have generally been focused on comparing physical activity between those who are healthy and those with sleeping disorders of some kind. But the results shouldn’t be that surprising.

If someone is getting poor sleep, they are likely to be more tired and thus be less willing to go to the gym when they could relax or get some extra sleep, instead. Those who are sleep-deprived may often have less motivation to get out and do something active. Even if these individuals do go and be physically active, the quality of their exercise is likely to suffer due to how tired they are.

Also, when you wake up might have an impact on how likely you are to be physically active. In most cases, those who wake up early and are “morning people”, have a higher chance of being active during their day.

Of course, while it seems that sleeping well should help people feel well-rested enough to exercise more, being physically active requires more than a simple good sleep. It still takes you getting up, motivating yourself, and doing the work. If you have never worked out before, don’t expect getting better sleep to magically motivate you. You need to be willing to change and put in the time and effort that being an active person requires.

As you can see, there is a large impact that physical activity has on sleep. As a result, be sure you are maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle as best as you can. It’s not always easy, and you may not have the motivation, but do your best to make a plan to be physically active, and stick to it.

 

Posted 27 October 2021 by

How to turn Your Outdoor


Shed Into Fitness space

gym floor scr1b.jpg

Nearly a third (33%) of the world's population are currently under lockdown orders because of the coronavirus (COVID-19). This is making it impossible to carry out normal daily activities in certain areas. Businesses have had to close their doors in some areas, so workers who have been displaced have tried to find comfortable places to work from home. This is also making it difficult for DIY enthusiasts to find projects to tackle while they wait out the lockdown.

An outdoor shed can be transformed into a home gym. This project is great for DIYers because it gives them something to do in their own time, while also allowing them to complete the retrofit. This is a great way to transform the current crisis into a chance to improve your physical health and your well-being. This is a step-by–step guide to help you get started.

 

START WITH THE FLOOR

A floor that is durable enough to withstand your gym equipment and comfortable enough to allow you to do push-ups and sit-ups will be essential to creating a functional fitness area. Concrete slab flooring is a good foundation for your shed. You should give it a coat with a suitable moisture-sealant, epoxy, to make sure it stays dry. Next, add interlocking rubber flooring tiles. You can choose from a range of colors and styles to match your decor.

 

INSULATE and VENTILATE

You need to ensure that your gym or fitness area is comfortable in all weather conditions. This will make it possible to use the space year round. This means that the shed should be properly insulated and have the proper ventilation in the summer. You should ensure that the insulation you select can maintain a comfortable temperature throughout the year. You will also need to provide plenty of ventilation, as you will be exercising in the space. You can achieve this best by adding both louvered and corro mount vents to the structure.

 

AFFORD THE RIGHT LIGHTING

You will need great lighting to complement the equipment in your new gym. Natural lighting is the best so add as many windows as you can to your shed. These windows will provide light and ventilation, and can be tinted or louvered for privacy and comfort. To enhance the natural light in the space and make it more usable in the dark or inclement weather, you can add overhead lighting. Solar lighting is a great option for sheds that have limited electricity.

 

EQUIP AND GET RIPPED

Once your shed is ready, you can add any exercise or home gym equipment that suits your needs. A simple weight bench, comfortable seating and some free-weights can be a great place to start if you have never used a home gym. To make it more fun, you can add cardio equipment to your home gym or a multi-station system. You'll then be able to spend your time building your body or getting in shape. And you can do it from the comfort of your home.

 

Posted 13 October 2021 by

Fitness & Sleep: How Exercise


Can Help You Sleep Better

better sleep scr2.jpg

(Source: Pixabay)

A good night's sleep boosts productivity, mood, and overall health. Sadly, over 70 million Americans suffer from chronic sleep-related issues. Lack of adequate sleep can lead to many health problems, from weight gain to heart disease.

Various factors cause an individual to have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep at night, such as stress and anxiety, pain, and chronic diseases. While there is no single solution that will work for everyone, exercise can be a powerful tool in helping people achieve a good night's sleep.

How Can Exercise Help You Sleep Better?

Moderate, consistent aerobic and other forms of exercise can help you fall asleep faster and sleep for long. It's also easier to work out after a good night's sleep. According to Health.com, you also need a medium-firm mattress that supports spinal alignment and promotes pressure relief. How does exercise help you sleep better?

Exercise Increases Your Sleep Drive

After an exercise routine, you get exhausted, increasing your body's need for rest. You're more likely to have a restful night when you're tired than when you've been on your couch watching TV the entire day. Exhaustion slows down your body's central nervous system, allowing your sleeping hours to be restful and uninterrupted.

 

Exercise Keeps Sleep Apnea Away

Although you may not feel like moving the following day after a workout because you're so sore from all that exertion, it can help eliminate many sleep-disturbing symptoms such as sleep apnea, obesity, and insomnia.

However, you should check with your doctor before starting any exercise program as it may not be safe for all people due to existing injuries, physical limitations, and medical conditions. Sleep apnea improves when you lose weight.

 

Exercise Reduces Stress Levels

Part of the reason many people stay awake at night is the result of too much stress. Exercise can reduce your stress levels by promoting the release of endorphins, the "feel-good hormones." The hormones not only improve mood but also alleviate pain as well as helping you relax. You'll get to fall asleep quickly and sleep longer hours which also improves your mood.

 

Exercise Increases the Amount of Time You Spend in Slow Wave Sleep

Thirty minutes of regular exercise can increase the amount of time you spend in slow-wave sleep. The sleep stage is also known as deep sleep and allows your body to rest and rejuvenate fully. 

Slow-wave sleep is the most beneficial phase of sleep because it helps with memory and learning and boosts your immune system. It also controls weight, increases energy during the day, and ensures a good night's sleep.

The human growth hormone releases during this sleep stage. It helps your body recover and rejuvenate muscles, organs, and tissues.

 

How Much Exercise Do You Need?

It's essential to understand how much exercise you'll need to get the sleep benefits of an exercise routine.  You can start with 20 minutes of aerobic exercise 6 times a week. Make sure it's at a moderate intensity level where you're breathing heavier than usual but still able to talk while working out.

Gradually, increase your workout to 30 minutes a day for at least five days every week. Exercise increases your level of physical fitness and overall health, which is why you should make it part of your daily routine. 

 

What Exercise Routines are the Best for Quality Sleep?

better sleep scr1.jpg

(Source: Pixabay)

 

Walking, running, swimming, cycling, and dancing are all beneficial forms of exercise. You can also try yoga or Pilates, which are low-impact exercises that don't work out significant muscle groups at the same time to prevent injuries.  

For a start, even regular household chores like vacuuming or taking out the garbage are examples of simple exercises that you can do on a daily schedule to get your body active.

 

When Should You Exercise?

The best time to exercise is in the morning or afternoon before dinner.  Exercise increases your body temperature, alertness, muscle tension, and blood flow, making you stay awake longer. 

If you don't get enough sleep after your workout, you may end up feeling exhausted and fall asleep at inappropriate times. You might find yourself sleeping during lunch breaks at work or while driving.

Rather than working out before bedtime, try exercising in the morning or afternoon to improve your sleep drive. Working out too late at night will affect the quality of deep sleep and cause you to wake up in the middle of the night or early morning.

 

Exercise, Fitness, and Sleep: The Complete Cycle for Better Health

The number of hours of sleep you need depends on several factors such as age, level of activity, and general health condition. The average person needs around 8 hours of sleep every night to stay healthy and active during the day. 

To sleep better, you first need to work towards a healthier lifestyle with regular exercise. Not only will this help improve your fitness level, but it will also reduce stress levels because you'll feel more relaxed after a workout routine. Exercise will also help you sleep better at night by increasing serotonin which helps relax your muscles and mind.

 

Posted 08 October 2021 by

6 Songs To Keep You


Pumped At The Gym

workoutmusicscr1.jpg

A workout at the gym is so much better with the right tunes to pump you up and motivate you. In fact, music can keep you pushing through reps and help you with pacing. All you need is a perfect playlist, to keep you energetic, relaxed, and ready to power through like a beast.

If you're looking for new tracks to update your workout playlist, keep reading. We have some amazing recommendations from genres like heavy metal and alternative rock to rev up your routine like no other. 

1. Going Under by Evanescence

Going Under is the second single from American band Evanescence's debut album, Fallen. This alternative rock song which (besides being super fun to play on guitar) has an empowering, yet mesmerizing tune that seems to hit in all the right places.

Although this track is slow-paced, it still has an incredible sense of power. As the song builds up, you will feel it take you along, adding strength and dedication to your workout. Amy Lee's vocals are beautiful and captivating and will send you into another dimension. Just what you need for those intense gaining sessions!

 

2. Bleed It Out by Linkin Park

The 2000's legendary band Linkin Park delivered some incredible tracks that pair perfectly with workouts. Bleed It Out is a particularly great song that will have you reaching beyond your limit and unleashing your potential. In fact, this high-energy song gives you an adrenaline rush from the very first line.

With the intense guitar, combined with Chester Bennington's raw, screaming vocals- there is a level of power this song radiates and fills you up with. Whether you're doing some regular cardio or lifting heavy weights, this track will give you that extra dose of fierceness.

 

3. Pretty Visitors by Arctic Monkeys

With a spooky, enticing intro, this track by the Arctic Monkeys is full of twists and fun elements to get you going. It was released in 2009, as the ninth song on their album, Humbug.

The genre is a perfect blend of heavy metal and punk rock with brilliant drums and guitar. The lyrics are interesting and witty, as the band's frontman Alex Turner talks about life as a musician and how frightening it can be. The song does have a gloomy and sinister vibe, as he compares concerts to a circus using sharp words and imagery. 

It is fast-paced, ferocious, and packed with energy. Plus, it's a different track than the usual rock songs so it must be on your gym playlist. You will definitely feel an all-new sense of energy as soon as this one comes on. 

 

4. Click Click Boom by Saliva

Click Click Boom is a track by the famous American rock band, Saliva. The song was released in 2001 as the lead single of their second album Every Six Seconds. In fact, this song had such an intense, cool vibe that it was also featured in films like The Fast and the Furious, Talladega Nights, The New Guy, and Cradle 2 the Grave. 

The intense rap metal is face-paced and electrifying, which makes this a great song for workouts. The heavy instruments ringing in your ears, the soul-crushing beats, and edgy tunes will have you putting more and more energy into your workout. This song does have an exhilarating effect on you. Save it into your playlist and feel the headbanger do its magic during your next gym session.

 

5. Bat Country by Avenged Sevenfold

The most hit song by the band Avenged Sevenfold, Bat Country was released in 2005 as the second single of their album City of Evil. The song was inspired by the highly-acclaimed novel Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson.  

This song was received so well by the audiences that it boosted the album's success and lead to to a staggering 2.8 million album sales in a year. Bat Country is a track filled with unmistakable energy and fun. Paired with M. Shadows versatile vocals and powerful delivery, the track takes you in for a crazy ride.

There is classic drumming, fast-paced variations in music and vocals, and head-rushing beats which will certainly give you a good time in the gym. This track deserves a permanent place in your gym playlist for sure.

 

6. Papercut by Linkin Park

The fourth single of Linkin Park's debut album Hybrid Theory in 2000, Papercut is another amazing song that you can add to your playlist. 

The addictive, slick music of this track takes center stage as it has what it takes you to fuel you up for an aggressive workout. The vocals are fast-paced, fierce, and full of rage. There is just something so passionate about Papercut that it gives you the motivation and energy you need.

This track will have you on beast mode before you even know it. 

 

Conclusion

With the long time COVID situation, plus the weather changes, we understand it's not always easy to complete your gym goals. However, music can be a real game-changer when it comes to workouts. We hope these tried-and-tested music hits will give you the push you needed.

Posted 28 September 2021 by

How To Get Through The Feeling


Of Not Wanting To Workout

dissapointed bodybuilder.jpg

                       

When you want to exercise for better mental or physical health, you find yourself looking for the best way to go about a new routine. The problem a lot of people have with this is they never know how to get their brain and body to work together to make this routine work. It is possible to have a routine when you first start working out, but it isn't an easy thing to do.

If you want to have a routine, and ignore the feeling in your brain that says you should just skip the workout for the day, follow these steps. It might not make things immediately better, but it will help you teach your brain to love exercising. After a few weeks, you will actually enjoy working out and you won't remember days like today.

Realize this is something everyone goes through

When you see everyone out running, or you find people at the gym who have been there for a few hours, this is something that they had to work to get. You can't wake up and be ready to jump into a strict workout schedule. Everyone goes through the thoughts that you are feeling right now. These people have followed the steps that you are about to follow, and knowing this will make the journey and transition a little bit easier. Every time you think that you are alone, you can remember that this is something everyone goes through.

Keep moving, even on the days when you are supposed to rest

When you are trying to force yourself to get into a routine and schedule, giving yourself a day off is sometimes the worst thing that you can do. But there is a very thin line there because you don't want to overwork yourself either. If you are feeling tired or in pain, there are ways you can use medication to help keep you going. If the thing that is stopping you from working out every day is a headache, you can find out how to use CBD for headaches and this will help keep your routine on schedule. However, if your leg or ankle hurts, you might need a break.

Try to reach small goals

You don't want to force yourself to do big goals right away. This will be a good idea to find out where you want to be, but it won't be good for your body or mental health. If you don't reach the large goal, you will feel bad about it. And if you do reach the goal, your body will be sore and you won't be able to work out for the rest of the week. Try to find smaller goals to keep when you are just starting a new workout routine.

Have a group of friends to work out with

Sometimes, you can follow all of the steps that are available and still not feel motivated enough to actually go and work out like you want to. If nothing seems to be working and keeping you in your new routine, you can have friends that will do it for you. Whether you have family or friends in your life currently that will workout with you to help keep you in your goal, or you need to go find an online forum to make friends that will assist you on this journey. Having company can make things a whole lot easier.

Even if you aren't the type of person who likes to hang out and talk while exercising, you will be surprised at how much better things are when you have company around to keep you on track.

Do the workout at the same time every day to make it a routine

Finally, make sure that you stick to the same hour of workout every single day. If you miss a day, or if you change the time when your workout is happening every day, your body and brain will no longer consider this as something that you need to do and, therefore, you will no longer want to work out. 

In order to keep yourself motivated, treat the routine like a job schedule until you start to like it. And when you like working out, you won't have to worry about getting the schedule because you will do it anyway.

Posted 04 September 2021 by

The Best Pre-workout Foods


For Muscle Gain

54.jpg

When it comes to muscle building, it's essential to consider what kind of foods you consume before doing an intense workout.

You may have the right and complete equipment for lifting weights, but without giving your body the right amount of top-quality proteins and calories, your efforts might be lost.

A pre-workout meal is an important thing to prepare for especially if you plan to build muscle.

These foods will help you maximize your efforts in your workout and might even help you achieve your muscle growth goals faster.

If you’re interested to know more about the best pre-workout foods for muscle gain, keep reading.

What to Look For in a Pre-Workout Food for Muscle Gain?

Here are a few ingredients to look at when looking for a pre-workout food for muscle growth:

55.jpg

Protein is one of the most essential sources you need to consume before a workout.

Foods that include a good amount (20-30 grams) of fast-digesting protein helps with building muscle. Some examples of protein include tuna, chicken, ground turkey, egg whites, and whey protein. You can make a Triple Chocolate High-Protein Smoothie recipe.

If you plan to eat animal protein as your chosen pre-workout meal, it's best to eat at least two to three hours before exercising.

Otherwise, your workout session may be prevented due to its digestive process. If you prefer a quick dose or faster digestion of protein, egg whites or whey protein is another excellent option. You can hit the gym within 30 to 60 minutes.

 

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are just as important as protein. The number of carbohydrates you will consume will depend on your age, body weight, and goals for building muscle.

However, the usual recommendation for carbohydrate intake is 25-40% of your total intake.

You can also follow a 3-to-1 ratio of carbohydrate to protein an hour pre-workout.

Some athletes who digest carbohydrates an hour before exercising reported that their blood glucose and insulin levels have elevated immediately pre-workout.

Aside from muscle building, carbohydrates are useful in maintaining adequate energy for an intense workout and recovery.

 

Whole-wheat

Whole wheat is another acceptable ingredient to consume as a pre-workout meal.

If you're looking for another quick or additional meal to consume before hitting the iron, you can add whole wheat bread as an appetizing side to your eggs or oats.

You also make a turkey bacon sandwich if you're feeling more adventurous.

 

Lean meat

Lean meat is another good source of protein for your pre-workout meal. If you have time to cook, this meal will give you an amazing mix of protein and carbohydrates that you need for your upcoming workout session.

56.jpg

Whey Protein Powder

Adding whey protein powder to your pre-workout meals is a good idea if you're planning to build muscle and stay lean. 20 to 30 grams of protein is enough to add in your 50 grams of carbs per meal.

If you can't eat other protein-sourced foods such as chicken, tuna, ground turkey, or egg whites, a quick dose of whey protein powder will help you consume and digest protein faster.

If you're looking for a good protein powder to add to your meals, check out this Ideallean Protein Powder review and see if it’s something you would consider adding to your pre-workout meal.

Bananas

If you’re looking for quick or extra food to consume pre and post-workout, bananas are a great option.

One of the perks of eating this fruit is that it’s easy to eat, and you don’t need to clean up a mess unlike cooking a full meal. It also contains carbohydrates, fiber, and other important nutrients when it comes to muscle building.

Another nutrient that contributes to muscle growth is potassium. It can also increase your endurance and improve your brain function.

However, we suggest that you avoid relying on bananas alone as your daily pre-workout meal.

 

Oats

Oats are another option you can choose as a pre-workout meal for muscle building because they are full of fiber, which gradually releases carbohydrates.

Its slow release of carbs helps you train harder and longer throughout your exercise, thanks to its consistent energy levels.

Oats also contain Vitamin B, which converts carbohydrates into energy. If you're looking for the best type of oats, you might want to try Irish oats, since they are least processed.

They also claim to have a lower load of glycemic, unlike instant oats.

Egg omelet with wholemeal toast

Eating an egg omelet with whole-wheat toast as a pre-workout meal gives you two hours for the nutrients to digest and start working within your body.

It also offers you 20 to 30 grams of egg protein, which happens to be the most bioavailable protein source you can find.

Your egg omelet should include three to four eggs, tomatoes, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and a slice of cheese.

You can also mix it up by adding flaxseed oil when preparing the omelet. Flaxseed oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, making it perfect for post-workout muscle repair and overall health.

Adding the whole-wheat toast for muscle building gives you carbohydrates. Your body converts it to glycogen, which is the source of energy for your workout.

Chicken and rice

Eating chicken may not be the perfect pre-workout meal in 30 minutes. However, if you have a couple of hours to prepare before your exercise, chicken can be a good protein source.

It is one of the best choices since it's low-fat and high in protein.

On the other hand, rice has been considered one of the best choices for both pre and post-workout meals.

Just like the omelet and toast, the meal includes carbohydrates. Rice is also low-fat and high in protein, unlike other sources of grains.

However, you have the freedom to choose between white or brown rice.

If you want to spice up your chicken and rice meal, you can season them with garlic, lemon pepper, Himalayan pink salt, and other spices that are calorie-free. You can also try this recipe of Roasted Balsamic and Honey Chicken.

57.jpg

Conclusion

It’s important to consider what foods you consume when building muscle. Having pre-workout meals will not help you maximize your efforts throughout your workout and help you reach your fitness goals faster.

We highly recommend you to eat egg omelet and whole-wheat toast as your pre-workout meal. It has all the ingredients that will help you build muscle like protein, carbohydrates, and of course, whole wheat. This food can also serve as a post-workout meal for muscle recovery when added with flaxseed oil.

 

Posted 27 August 2021 by

5 Healthy Habits That Will


Keep You Around Longer

biggest_muscle_building_mistakes_james_alexander_ellis_scr2.jpg

Believe it or not, going through a significant life transition can result in good things.

For example, you may have lost your job and realized that you hadn't taken care of yourself. As a result, you feel worn out and haven't been making healthy eating choices. You'd like to change this pronto!

If you're looking to revamp your health, look no further. Here are five tips you can start applying today so you'll live a better and healthier life!

1. Get Disability Insurance

You never know what each day will bring, and sometimes the unexpected happens. For example, you may need an operation that won't allow you to work for a year or longer. If that were to happen, would you have enough money to make ends meet?

Even if you have money saved up, it's hard to go too long without having a steady income. That's why you should consider getting disability insurance.

Whether you go with short or long-term disability insurance, it's good to be prepared. You never know if recovering from a surgery or mental illness may take longer. So instead of worrying about your finances, look into getting disability insurance.

Most disability insurance policies cover up to 80% of your income while you're unable to work. So even though it may take a few months to kick in, by the time you file everything, it'll be worth it!

 

2. Pile on the Fruits and Veggies

Americans have one of the worst diets in the world. We tend to overeat sugar and don't place emphasis on the right food groups. Unfortunately, our poor eating habits result in obesity and health issues like diabetes.

Don't allow you or your family to get caught up in the "I can eat what I want" mentality. It's okay to have a few snacks once in a while. But for the most part, you should be eating food with sustenance, such as fruits and veggies.

If you're not a fan of fruits and vegetables, make a list of the ones you do like. Sometimes, it takes being innovative to eat healthy food, such as mixing it in with a yummy dinner dish.

The more fruits, veggies, and other healthy food groups you eat, the better you'll feel. Plus, you'll also be more likely to live longer and ward off other health conditions such as cancer!

 

3. Have Regular Date Nights

Did you know the key to a successful relationship is spending time with your significant other? Unfortunately, life gets crazy, so hanging out may have fallen by the wayside lately. The good news is it doesn't have to — all it takes is some effort to get back on track!

Consider establishing a weekly date night to catch up with your spouse or partner. Not only will you grow closer together, but you can try new things. One example is that you can go to a new restaurant you haven't been to before. Or, you can watch a movie you both have been dying to see.

And if you happen to be single, take yourself out for a solo date night or invite some friends! Spending time with people you love is a great stress reducer, and you'll make lasting memories too.

 

4. Don't Subscribe to the Policy That "More Is Better"

It's easy to get sucked into the trap of buying things you don't need. Unfortunately, we all do it regularly. The problem with that, though, is that you end up not using what you buy most of the time.

In the long run, having things you don't need results in a cluttered home. Not to mention you end up being wasteful.

So it's best to adopt a minimalist attitude and way of living. Not only will you save more money for your future, but you'll have less junk to store.

It may be tricky to establish this new habit at the beginning. But you'll be glad you followed through!

 

5. Saying No to Procrastination

Every one of us has struggled with procrastination. Yet, some people tend to procrastinate more than others.

If you fall into the procrastination camp, don't worry. There are ways to break this horrible habit and get back in your employer's or family member’s good graces!

Start small and do things like getting up early and breaking up projects into bite-sized pieces.

Many times you likely procrastinate because something seems overwhelming. The trick to making it easier is by creating a plan of action. It’s unrealistic if you think you have to finish a big task in only a day.

Split things up, keep a calendar, and do your best to stay on top of your tasks. As a result, you'll experience less anxiety. Plus, you'll find your life is much more productive and fulfilling!

 

Conclusion

Making a conscious effort to live a healthier life will pay off in dividends. Unfortunately, not everyone makes it a priority to take care of themselves. It’s much easier for them to get sucked into eating whatever they want and buying whatever they want.

Even if that used to be you, you don’t have to fall back into your old habits. Continue to establish new and positive habits that’ll improve your health and life. You’ll never look back!

 

Posted 15 August 2021 by

Training: Barbell


Squats Alternative

legs1.jpg

Squats are among the oldest of exercises known to powerlifters, bodybuilders, Olympic lifters, and fitness enthusiasts alike; and Barbell squats are at the core of this exercise. However, many fitness diehards and those seeking to lose weight usually find themselves struggling to keep up with this taxing exercise.

If you are having a hard time with this type of squats, don’t worry, you’re not alone. And in this post, you’ll find out some of the best barbell squat alternatives to turn to in that case

Barbell Squats Overview

These squats come in two main types, the high bar squat and the low bar squat. And while it is highly debated which is the most optimal of the two, both of them achieve the same objective.

Squats work every major muscle in the lower body, with the form getting better with the addition of weight on the bar, leading to even more form in turn. This makes squats a perfect exercise for sportsmen and women across the spectrum, as well as those looking to lose body fat.

barbell squat scr2.jpg

So, how should you do barbell squats the right way?

To get the best out of these squats and avoid any possible injuries or unnecessary strain to different joints or muscles, you need to follow the following checklist. 

●            Take the right stance

The stance is the most important bit here; start by keeping your core tight, then position your feet at shoulder-width apart. Keep the knees and toes in line, slightly facing outwards at a “ten-to-two” position. At the same time, remember to keep your back as straight as possible.

●            The chest should stay up

Getting your chest up will help keep your back straight, as dropping it will cause your spine to flex, thus bending forwards, which can be risky with the load on your back. To achieve this position through the exercise, take a deep breath as you start lifting and hold the air in as you go down, then exhale when coming up.  

●            Keep your chin high

Your chin needs to stay up to prevent any unhelpful movement of your upper spine, which eventually causes you to hunch forwards. To achieve this, focus on a certain spot in front of you, either on the wall or the horizon. Another “don’t” in this case is staring yourself in the mirror, which could distract you rather than helping you focus.

●            Push your elbows forward

Although it might feel a bit uncomfortable, you need to push the elbows forward before starting the lift to keep a strong position when moving. This helps prevent your shoulders from rotating internally, which could counter your efforts to maintain an upright spine position. Also, it helps engage the lats, which are the big back muscles for better stability of the upper body.

●            Keep heels on the ground

The weight should be primarily on the heels and the mid-foot section, as exerting it on the balls of the feet will put your knees under extra pressure. With tight hamstrings, keeping your heels down might be hard, so work on relaxing and stretching these muscles constantly.

Now, lower your body slowly to have your quads parallel to the ground or a tad lower if possible.

Muscles worked by barbell squats

Primarily, this exercise works the muscles in three parts of your body, which are the abs, the back muscles, and leg muscles. It should be noted that in each of these parts, a variety of muscles are recruited into the exercise, including but not limited to the quads glutes, and hamstrings. This brings about the following benefits among others.

Are these squats worth the effort? What are the perquisites? 

Well, squats pack in a myriad of perks that make them a mainstay among almost all sportsmen and women. In addition to placing a significant strain on the aforementioned muscles, squats also strengthen your joints, tendons as well as ligaments around the knees and hips.

 Besides, daily squats help strengthen your lower body, giving you more endurance in rigorous activities. And there’s more, they could also increase testosterone levels in the body, increasing the amount of blood flow into the pelvic region and improved thrust ability, thus resulting in better sexual performance.

Expert tips on barbell squats

Make the most out of your squat sessions by following these simple yet vital tips that will make your workout worthwhile.

Warm-up enough before getting down to business, this will help your leg muscles to be ready for the lift when you need them.

Go low, just not too low. There’s no a rule-of-thumbs on the depth as far as doing squats, you just need to keep a natural arch of your back and ensure that your knees don’t tuck under to avoid any pressure on your spine, which can easily cause tissue damage as well as back pain.

Getting the right foot position is very crucial; mostly squatting barefoot is the most recommended way to go, but a pair of flat-soled shoes should do. And if your feet are turning outwards, just let them flex to avoid any strain on the knees if you try to push them back inwards.

The Great thing about barbell squats, or any exercise that uses barbells, is you can get a really good a cheap and affordable barbell and still get the job done and subject your body to the pressure it needs, A major reason for that is these barbells are made by the top brands in the barbell industry.

Why you need barbell squats alternative

Great as barbell back squat might be, this exercise is not always the perfect workout at all times. Here are a few reasons to opt for barbell alternatives

If you are a beginner, the best way to go is to prepare your body with other options that are less intensive before you are fit enough to brace the wrath of barbell squats.

These squats can also prove to be tough on your body, more specifically on the lower back and knees, in which case, you might have to switch to a different type of squats.

And if you are recovering from an injury, then you definitely don’t want to expose your already battered joints or muscles to rigorous squats.

Most of the other exercises listed below are also safer if you want a safer exercise, and they significantly relieve the extreme strain on such core areas as quads, glutes, and hamstrings.

Barbell Squat Alternatives

If any of the above is the case for you, then one or several of these options should help fill in the need for squats in your workout.

Goblet Squats

These squats are great for beginners as they are easy to exercise and prepare your body for a depth workout. Just start with light loads until you master how to position your spine safely, and in the meantime, you can work on the depth.

Steps

●            Start by engaging your core and looking straight ahead.

●            Keep your back neutrally aligned, with your eyes focused on a spot ahead of you.

●            Push back your hips and bend your knees slowly to start the squat.

●            As you go down, inhale hold your breath until you hit the lowest you want to go.

●            Keeping the kettlebell at a constant distance (but close to your body) as you move helps maintain balance.

Bulgarian Split Squats

Also known as Single-Leg Barbell Squat, this one is more of a squat and a lunge where you position one foot in front of your body with the other behind. This keeps your torso in a perpendicular position to the ground, meaning you don’t have to lean forward too much, and thus reducing any strain on the lower back area.   

Steps

●            Stand in front of a platform that is about knee-high while holding dumbbells or with a barbell on your back

●            Extend one leg behind until your toes are resting on the bench

●            Lower your body slowly (with your torso upright) by lowering the same side knee towards the ground

●            Reverse to the starting position

Resistance band split squats

The good thing about this squat is that there are many of them to opt for, including banded butterfly squats, resistance band squats using lateral leg lifts, banded squats using loops, classic resistance squats, and even resistance band squats using full arm extensions.

Another awesome side to these squats is that bands are cheap, and you can easily travel with them for on-the-go use. And yes, the resistance bands vary in tension so you can step up the resistance as needed.

Steps for banded squats using loops

●            Start by standing with your feet about hip-width apart, preferably slightly more.

●            Have a  loop or a mini loop depending on your preference above the knees.

●            Move your hips back, assume a sitting position, and bend your knees.

●            Start lowering your body slowly, ensure your thighs are in a parallel position to the ground.

●            Reverse and repeat

Dumbbell Squats

If you don’t have access to the right equipment or sufficient room for barbell squats such as a half rack, or a cage, then dumbbell squats are for you. However, it should be noted that if you are an intermediate lifter, you will outgrow these squats pretty quickly as they won’t have enough weight to add any substance to your exercise.

Steps

●            Start with an athletic stance with your feet spread a tad wider than hip-width.

●            Have the dumbbells at your sides.

●            Make sure your back is straight, with the knees slightly behind the toes.

●            Push your hips back and go down until your thighs are in a parallel position to the floor.

●            Stretch hips and knees to reverse out of the squat.

Zercher Squat

These squats are also awesome for relieving stress off your lower back as the bar sits at the midsection of your body rather than up high on your back. This significantly cuts on the force that your spine has to bear.

Steps

●            Place the bar below shoulder height in your power rack.

●            Position it in the crooks of your elbows, keeping your arms at 90 degrees

●            Keeping your torso upright, bend your knees and hips to let your glutes stretch backward

●            Now, with your chest tall, lower yourself until your quads are parallel to the ground or slightly lower.

●            By pushing your heels, drive your body forcefully back into the standing position

 

Conclusion

Squats have been, and still are an indispensable part of any workout, and with any of the barbell squat alternatives mentioned above, you should be set up for a safe, effective, and fun exercise. One thing to keep in mind is that you might outgrow some of these options with time. Therefore, it’s vital to constantly listen to your body to know when it’s time to “amp” up your workout.

 

 

The CutAndJacked.com Complete Muscle Building E-Book

 

CutAndJacked Apparel

cutandjacked shirt 1.jpg

Want to grow your social media?

Purchase any item of our merch and get a free shoutout on our Instagram and Facebook stories.  Post a photo of you wearing your purchase and using hashtag #cutandjacked and tagging @cutandjacked