Listen up, tuffy. You may think that you have a decent understanding of physical development, strength training, supplements and so on. But the truth is, even the most self-proclaimed experts couldn't comprehend one, one-millionth of the biological actions that are taking place within your total system each and ever second.
In fact, even the most physiologically-savvy, world-renowned experts have a difficult time explaining it, on occasion.
And that's to be expected. The body is without reservation, one of the most complex entities in this 'flash in the pan' that we refer to as life. We will never fully understand it, and even if we did, we'd still find new ways to challenge the knowledge that was learned years prior.
Still, it's safe to assume that you're reading this article because you're looking for an edge, on some level. Good for you. Because while it would be impossible to unveil every trick in the bodybuilders' book of physical code, I'm confident that by the time you've finished reading this, you'll walk away with that edge you initially set out to find.
On that note, let's get right to the heart of this thing.
In today's fat-fueled, fat-fearing society, we hear the word "metabolism" used more and more. Still, it seems as though very few individuals actually have a sound grasp on what drives metabolism. Take my word for it - it's not all about cutting calories and eating low-carb meals.
The human metabolic system is one of the most complex in the body, and is governed by the organs and biological systems that you might never expect. Among the most overlooked are the liver, the brain and the thyroid.
Their role in providing the spark needed for healthy metabolism is pivotal. They are at the mercy of the nutrients and metabolic compounds provided.
Unless you genuinely want to get fat, you need to learn how to condition and care for your metabolism. If you're in your late teens or early 20's, you're probably rolling your eyes right now.
But guess what - in just a few years, your body will begin producing less and less of the nutrients you need to drive metabolism, produce thyroid hormones, and transfer fat to the cell's mitochondrial region where it can be churned into energy. So enjoy it while you can.
The spherical or elongated organelles in the cytoplasm of nearly all eukaryotic cells, containing genetic material and many enzymes important for cell metabolism, including those responsible for the conversion of food to usable energy. Also called chondriosome.
If you're in you late 20's, early 30's or beyond, you'll definitely want to pay closer attention to your digestive integrity. Most adults live with some form of digestive disorder that stems from a lifetime of processed foods, poor enzyme production or a digestive tract full of rotting food and harmful bacteria.
Since nutrients are absorbed through the digestive tract (not the stomach), it's super important to never neglect your digestive health.
Iodine (Kelp): Assists in the production of T3 and T4 thyroid hormones.
Digestive Enzymes: Helps the body break down solid foods more effectively for better digestion.
Milk Thistle: Improves healthy liver function, helps remove toxins and other waste materials, repairs and rejuvenates damaged liver cells.
Probiotics (acidophilus): The "friendly" bacteria needed for digestion and gastrointestinal health.
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It's remarkable how many of us take cardiovascular health for granted. Think about it. How often do you subject yourself to a grueling 60 minute cardio workout to strengthen your heart? It's highly unlikely, however, if you are in fact one of the few who do, nice job.
Because the reality, is that most people do cardio to burn fat and lose weight. And yes, these are excellent ways to tone up. But make no mistake - your ticker needs a dedicated workout, too.
And talk about hardworking? Do the math. On average, a healthy human heart will beat approximately 75 times per minute on average. That's roughly 4500 beats per hour, and well over 100,000 beats per day. All this, without a break.
Imagine if you were subjected to a schedule similar to the one your heart faces day in, and day out. So it goes without saying that this overworked and completely unpaid organ demand massive amounts of nutrition.
Neglecting it, even in the most modest sense of the word, can be disastrous on all fronts. The following supplements may be helpful in encouraging sound cardiovascular function.
CoQ10: A powerful antioxidant that helps protect high energy cells such as those of the heart.
TMG: Promotes the conversion of homocysteine, a dangerous byproduct of the Krebs cycle.
Magnesium: Provides the energy that the heart needs to beat. Without enough, you're dead - plain and simple.
Omega-3 Fish Oil: Unquestionably one of the most important "good fats" or fatty acids needed to manage cholesterol numbers and support healthy cardiovascular function.
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Energy Transfer Essentials
Before the body can "burn" fat, it must engage in a feverishly long list of complex biological processes. One of the most important is thermogenesis. This term comes from two Greek words meaning to create heat. And ironically enough, energy is required before the body gains the ability to create heat. Simply put, energy input equals energy output.
On an equally important level, are the overall condition of the cells. There are many questions to consider. How fluid, primed and receptive to nutrients are they? Are they well protected from the potentially devastating effects of free radicals and oxidation?
Does the mitochondrial "factory" regions of the cells have what they need in order to shuttle fat from the diet into expandable energy? Each of these can ultimately determine how capable or incapable we are when it comes to converting stored fat into energy.
There are a number of energy support supplements available today. Here are a few of my favorites, as evidenced by strong supporting research and a long history of personal use.
Conjugated Linoleic Acid: A high powered Omega-6 fatty acid that helps burn fat and preserve lean muscle tissues.
Essential Fatty Acids (EFA): Your body needs EFA more than you could possible imagine for hundreds of energy/metabolic processes. Unless you're a cold water fish, good luck making them on your own.
L-Carnitine: This amino-like substance helps facilitate the transfer of fat to the cell's mitochondria where it is then converted into expendable energy.
ALA (Alpha Lipoic Acid): The most versatile antioxidant available. It can travel to anywhere in the body, and is both fat and water soluble.
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Mental & Neurological Essentials
You might not realize it, but the integrity of your muscle tissues are controlled and coordinated by stimuli from the nervous system. That said, it's not enough to simply fuel your muscle with hours in the gym and gallons of blended whey.
| The Central Nervous System.
The human central nervous system consists of the brain and spinal cord. These lie in the midline of the body and are protected by the skull and vertebrae respectively.
This collection of billions of neurons is arguably the most complex object known.
The central nervous system along with the peripheral nervous system comprise a primary division of controls that command all physical activities of a human.
Neurons of the central nervous system affect consciousness and mental activity while spinal extensions of central nervous system neuron pathways affect skeletal muscles and organs in the body.
If you, in your quest for physical perfection, are to ever do things right, you must provide your system with everything it needs to fuel the billions of electrical impulses that take place within your body each second.
It's safe to assume that the majority of you have heard the theory of concentration and visualization, with regard to success in training. Never underestimate this, because there's a mountain of science that supports it. Your body will (in some way) respond to every impulse, thought, action or reaction that takes place within you.
With this in mind, it is vastly important to stay as focused as you can while training. Visualizing growth and convincing yourself that you posses the strength of an angry ape can have more influence than you might imagine. Remember that your brain, not your biceps, instructs your body on what to do.
In order for these chemical impulses (thoughts) to reach their destinations, they must have the right mix of nutrients. Ironically, many of the most important brain supporting compounds have a difficult time crossing the blood-brain barrier.
The following can, and can be very effective in helping the brain communicate with the rest of the body.
Phosphatidyl Serine: The brain's uses this all around, hard-working compound to help transfer chemical messages throughout the body. Essential for concentration, focus and internal communication.
Ginkgo Biloba: Ginkgo is a powerful antioxidant compound that has been shown to improve circulation, protect blood vessels and fight the effects of free radical oxidation.
B-Complex Vitamins: Vital for energy, stress, recovery, growth and nervous system support.
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Immune System Essentials
Guess what. Your immune system is good for more than just keeping you cold and flu free during those brutish winter months. In fact, it plays a huge role in tissue repair and recovery, nutrient uptake and utilization, inflammation response, catabolic atrophy, lactic acid build-up, just to name a few.
When the immune system becomes challenged, the body's pool of white blood cells, t-cells and natural killer (NK) cells are gradually reduced, leaving cells wide open for free radical conquest. This is bad news for anyone trying to improve their physique, and there are many reasons why.
| Types Of T Cells:
T cells are a subset of lymphocytes that play a large role in the immune response. The abbreviation "T" stands for thymus, the organ in which their final stage of development occurs.
First, growth takes place at the cellular level. When the cells of the body are left unprotected, they become highly unstable and prone to free radical destruction. This in itself creates an environment that is terribly unfavorable to muscular development.
In addition, the immune system helps control inflammation within many of the body's tissues. Excess and consistent inflammation can make it very difficult for the body to properly manage its energy reserves. When immune function is down, body temperature is generally up.
The body responds to this increase in temperature and inflammation, and in the process expends a great deal of energy. Not only can this make working out even more exhausting than it should be, but it can also lead to a breakdown of the lean muscle tissues used to fuel the immune system.
The bottom line is simple - powerful bodies are at the mercy of powerful immune systems. If you think yours might need a boost, the following supplements are a great place to start.
Mushroom extracts (Shiitake, Reishi and Maitake): Medicinal mushrooms contain beta-glucans that help stimulate the production and activity of killer cells, T-cells and red blood cells.
S.O.D.: An extremely potent antioxidant capable of wiping out huge amounts of superoxide free radicals - the most damaging to the body.
Olive Leaf: Contains oleuropein, an effective anti-microbial agent that helps support a healthy immune system.
Garlic (Allicin extracts): Allicin is responsible for the strong immune-supporting properties in garlic. It also helps support healthy heart function, as well.
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Hormones play vital roles in the process of positive physical augmentation. These chemical proteins are produced naturally by the body and peak during our most youthful years. As we pass into adulthood, this natural process of self-production declines, leaving many of the body's most basic biological functions sluggish and limited to what they can and can not do.
DHEA is what we in the business like to refer to as the hormone of all hormones. It helps regulate 17 other hormones throughout the body, and its level of production and abundance within the body can equate to worlds of difference when it comes to training, recovery, sex drive, emotion, endurance and many other aspects of growth, life and emotion.
DHEA levels peak in our 20's and then make their slow, pathetic decline as we age. This, in the eyes of many researchers, is one of the main reasons why people get fat, go bald, lose sexual interest and have a more difficult time sleeping as we age.
I STRONGLY recommend that anyone thinking about supplementing DHEA first have a simple test done. If your body is already producing what you need, supplementation may be more harmful than helpful.
The following supplements can provide additional hormone system support.
DHEA: The master of all hormones, DHEA production starts at about age 30, and gradually declines as the body ages.
Melatonin: Trouble sleeping? It might be due to low melatonin levels. This hormone is produced by the pineal gland, and serves as the body's internal alarm clock.
LJ100 (tongkat ali) (longjack): Human trials have shown that LJ100 can help increase testosterone production, increase libido and support virility in aging males.
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