Category archive: Fitness

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Why you should be taking DNA (Even if you take nothing else!)

Magnum DNA

If I was restricted to taking only one supplement for the rest of my life, my choice would undoubtedly be Magnum DNA. DNA is my absolute favourite supplement I have ever taken, and one that I believe provides the most benefit to my strength, endurance, and my overall aesthetic physique. This product is my personal godsend for a myriad of reasons, and I’d like to tell you why.

(Learn about Magnum DNA here)

When I first read that DNA provides a 3 day strength gain guarantee, I was extremely sceptical; however the integrity behind the Magnum brand encouraged me to try. I added this product into my stack immediately, and I was absolutely blown away by the results! Within three days, I was able to increase my weights by a minimum of 5 lbs in every exercise I attempted! I felt amazing. Not only could I measure these results concretely, I could feel the difference in my lifting ability; I felt stronger, bearing weight was easier, and I had far more energy to give to my workouts! I out-performed every personal best in lifting that I had ever set, and that was only just the beginning. It only took three days for Magnum DNA to convert me from a sceptic to a devout believer, and it has been a beloved addition to my stack ever since. However, it is not enough to simply provide my personal experience to explain the attractive qualities of this product, for the pharmaceutical grade ingredients of DNA and their functionality that are responsible for these amazing results deserve fair attention.

The foundation of Magnum DNA is a Brain Chain Amino Acid (BCAA) formula, which are the fundamental building blocks of protein synthesis and muscle building within the body. DNA’s BCAA mix is provided with Ethyl-Esther technology, which is the first compound within the body to pass through the blood-brain barrier. This allows more effective dosage, as there is a much greater, faster absorption of the BCAAs within the body’s cells. This formula also includes Glycine and Arginine, which reduces fatigue, enhances vasodilation, and further aids muscle growth. This ensures that when the burn of muscle fatigue grows mid-reps, the body is able to endure, push through, and better cope with the stress! Additionally, the Keoiscaproate Calcium (KIC) prevents the body from muscle wasting catabolism by maintaining an anabolic, muscle building body state.

The result of this incredible formula is a promise of not only enhanced strength, but increased endurance and performance that exceeds expectations. DNA increases protein synthesis, increases the growth of muscle mass and also hardens and densifies existing muscle for an overall harder, more defined look. If that was not enough to entice, the anabolic formula also improves recovery! It truly is the full package.

Magnum DNA is an essential addition to a stack for anyone who is lifting weights in their athletic routine; no matter what your fitness focus is, this product has guaranteed benefits. If you are looking for a supplement to do more than just aid your performance, but to TRULY change your life, this is the one!

(Learn about Magnum DNA here)

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Competition Supplement Stack Part II: Catalysts

Here goes Part II of my Competition Supplement Stack, focusing on the elements that add fat-burning fuel to my workouts!

MAGNUM ACID: Combined with HEAT, Acid is my fat-burning secret weapon! Acid is a Pharmaceutical grade Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA), a natural fatty acid that increases muscle tissue and metabolizes body fat – particularly in the abdominal and glute region. What sets Acid apart from other CLA supplements, however, is that Magnum only invests in the two isomers of CLA (of three) that are proven to burn body fat, leaving you with no 30% filler! This increases the potency of every serving! As a competitor, I focus on keeping my abs and butt tight, so this product is a godsend. This is also the first product I would recommend to someone looking to try a fat-burning supplement if they have not had experience with fat-burners before.

MAGNUM HEAT: Combined with ACID, Heat is my fat-burning secret weapon! Now, just like most pre-workouts, I find that most fat-burners do very undesirable things to my body, especially with my heart and sleep patterns. Heat, however, is a STIMULANT FREE thermogenic fat incinerator which stimulates energy without the jitters! The key to Heat is its natural ingredient thermogenesis. The blend of raspberry ketones, ginger root, green tea leaf, black pepper extract, capsaicin, and others, will increase your basal metabolic rate, and make you SWEAT when you work! No joke, I have taken thermogenics before, but I have never actually sweat as much as I have with Heat! Whats more, not only are you not facing the jitters, Heat also has adaptogens, to help balance your hormones, so drastic fat burning results are done without overhauling how you feel — this means there will be no yo-yo effect or crash when cycling off, and you will not gain the weight back (if maintaining a healthy diet and consistent exercise.) Note: For those who like their fat-burner stimulants, HEAT ACCELERATED is the option for you!

L-Carntine: L-Carntine is a staple and a standard of the competitor supplement stack. Magnum does not produce an L-Carnitine supplement, therefore I am not discerning over brand preference. Synthesized from amino acids, L-carnitine is essential in the transport and breakdown of lipids (fat) in the body’s metabolic reactions, which then helps to produce metabolic energy.  When paired with Acid (CLA) and a natural based fat burner such as Heat, L-Carnitine is a great addition to any stack focused on reducing body fat and promoting leanness.

Green Tea Extract: Also known as Green Tea Catechins and Polyphenols, are found in any brewed tea, but are stronger when extracted directly from the source.  Though green tea extract is included in the HEAT formula, this added green tea extract supplement is a great addition to my stack for a touch more thermogenesis and an antioxidant boost in the last few weeks of preparation, particularly when we are no longer able to drink tea due to water cutting or distilled water conumption. This green tea extract pill mixes well with the L-Carnitine, as well as Heat and Acid.

Not Pictured: Just wanted to include a quick blurb about two supplements that didn’t get included in the photo, but will be included in a later ‘every day supplements’ post.

MAGNUM G: G is a Pharmaceutical grade beet-sourced glutamine, perfect for enhancing recovery, diminishing soreness, and preventing muscle catabolism. This, along with its ability to boost immune function and remove lactic acid for better blood and nutrient flows, this is a must in every protein shake. 

MAGNUM LOADED: A multi-vitamin loaded with minerals, greens, antioxidants, metabolic boosters, B-Vitamins, Vitamin C, and anti-aging components: this is not your grandmother’s multi-vitamin!

To prevent TL;DR, I’ve broken this up into 2 posts.

CLICK HERE TO READ PART 1: THE FOUNDATION

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Competition Supplement Stack Part I: Foundation

It has been quite a while since I’ve written a new blog post, and since we’re so close to competition time (4 weeks out) I thought the best way to jump back in would be to write a post about something I am often asked about: my supplements!  First, a few words about my sponsors in general. MAGNUM is one of the only supplement companies than can attest to having 100% pharmaceutical grade ingredients in all their supplement blends, and their dedication to quality and high-end performance is admirable. Their supplement line is extensive, yet not over-extended, to make sure you receive the best. I am very blessed to be a part of the Magnum family!

MAGNUM QuattroAnyone doing anything in the fitness world needs a great source of protein to promote muscle growth as well as to refuel and recover after intense physical endurance. Quattro is a time-release 4 isolate blend with 30g per scoop that also includes CLA and Flaxseed — which makes Quattro an ideal protein source for any time during the day, particularly in the mornings, post-workout or before bed. Additionally, because Quattro is lactose and gluten-free, it is easy even on the most sensitive of digestive systems. A bonus for me, being slightly lactose intolerant.  I use the Chocolate Love flavor for every day use, and Vanilla Ice Cream for recipes.

MAGNUM OPUS: Before Opus came into my life, I missed it so bad. That is to say that I -never- used pre-workout supplements. Being extremely sensitive to caffeine and NO, among other things, taking a pre-workout only made me feel dangerously out of control of my body, particularly my heart and my ability to sleep. Opus changed all that by being a STIMULANT-FREE (Yes, you read that right) beta-alanine based pre-workout, dedicated to anabolic fuel, longevity and endurance, as opposed to jacking you up on a jitter-ride. Opus works to balance your body’s pH and enhance your cellular performance, which ultimately results in an explosive workout (that will bring out your mini-gladiator), without the downsides of traditional preworkouts. And because its stimulant free, Opus is a pre-workout that is safe to take for every workout, even when you train late at night, as well as combined with other supplements.  Also, the Blue Yazberry flavor is to die for. 

MAGNUM Performance Greens: Many people underestimate the benefits of a good greens powder, and with Magnum’s performance greens, I’ve certainly learned this lesson personally. With its organic green and phytonutrient blend, this greens powder detoxifies and cleanses my system every morning, leaving me with a balanced pH, natural clean energy, and no drawbacks from anything that I might have eaten before. I mix this with ice and Quattro for a smoothie that tastes exactly like a tootsie roll! This is my morning kick-in-the-pants.

MAGNUM DNA: DNA is hands down, by far, my favourite supplement I have ever taken. Without a doubt, I have never -felt- the results of a single supplement as strongly as I have with DNA. Branch-Chain-Amino-Acids (BCAAs) are fundamental to muscle and strength gains, and yet normally, they are a pain to take – instantized powders that mix with nothing and taste horrible, or pills where you feel no results… this is not the case with DNA. Because it is a pharmaceutical grade BCAA mix with L-Leucine Alpha KIC, and an ammonia scavenger to remove ammonia from muscles and prevent fatigue, the guarantee on DNA that you will see strength gains in 3 days is 100% absolutely legitimate. With DNA, I went up a minimum of 5 lbs on all my major exercises within 3 days, most upwards of 10-20 lb increases in a matter of a week. I am lifting heavier, and capable of performing more reps than ever before, and it truly is thanks to DNA. I couldn’t say enough about it!

 

To prevent TL;DR, I’ve broken this up into 2 posts.

CLICK HERE TO READ PART 2: THE CATALYSTS

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Welcome to the Circus! Aerial Silks as a Workout

There is something particularly mesmerizing about an aerial silk performance–the aesthetic grace, the defiance of gravity, and the incredible body strength of the acrobats make for an amazing spectacle.

Aerial silks is a form of aerial acrobatics that takes its style from contortion, suspension, and trapeze, and applies them to long lengths of silky fabric for a breathtaking aesthetic. Aerial silks have made their mark in the famed Cirque de Soliel, and, much like pole fitness, has recently opened itself to the market of alternative fitness classes. Recently, I had the opportunity to take aerial silk classes and I fell in love with it! So, if you’re looking to explore a fun, new alternative as part of your fitness routine, give it a go!

What to Expect:

When you first start, you’ll be working with a knot, rather than loose silks. This will allow you to build the strength and skill sets to complete forms and poses properly, without the risk of letting go and falling to the ground. However, unlike some other skill-oriented classes, you can expect to learn a lot in your first few classes–several poses and techniques per class, as opposed to one. This keeps things fresh, exciting, and dynamic. As a result, you will progress quickly and truly get the value of your lessons.

You should expect bruises; as you are using your body in new ways, you may find yourself sore or sporting some “signs” of your new work. Also, as you will be hanging by your armpits, hips, and back, red and purple markings on the skin at points of pressure is practically inevitable. Own these marks as a sign of your progress!

The majority of aerial silk classes are either taught in circus schools or pole fitness studios, so you can expect your instructors to be fun, positive, and even kind of quirky. This is a huge benefit to your learning–their enthusiasm will encourage you to feel confident, sexy, and graceful, even when out of your element. Embrace the energy and reap the rewards.

Tips to Prepare:

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! At some point, you will be spending a lot of time upside down and not being properly hydrated when you are suddenly inverted may lead to a colossal head rush and wave of nausea. Bringing a bottle of water to sip on will help clear your head and settle your stomach, if you happen to feel this way.

Wear a loose fitting top or at least something with sleeves. Normally, when you go to an exercise class, a form-fitting top over a good sports bra is the way to go. Not with aerial silks. Without good sleeves, you will burn your armpits. In my first few classes I heard plenty of horror stories about this one! I also recommend a comfortable, supportive sports bra to keep your girls in place as you bounce, hang, drop, and swing through the air.

It is very important to warm up and stretch, particularly in your hands and wrists! Wrists are the most commonly injured body part when it comes to circus training and, when you’re holding your body weight entirely in your grasp, you’ll understand why. Roll those wrists, stretch your forearms, and make sure after your class they receive some TLC.

Soon we’ll see you flying through the air with the greatest of ease!

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Stuck At Home Workout Secrets!

This article was written for and recently posted on ActivewearUSA – go check them out!

Arnold Nelson Photography

I’m a gym rat, so when my regularly snow-free city got a massive dump of the white stuff, I felt completely out of sync for the four days I was snowed in. Not being able to get to the gym is like having a fight with your best friend: you feel guilty, annoyed, and anxious because all you want to do is return to normal. And you can’t.

Fortunately, I didn’t allow my forced immobility to keep me from working out, but it had been a long time since I’d done an at-home workout. I was forced to be creative and re-evaluate my routine for the week and, along the way, I picked up a few tips to share:

Lacking Heavy Weights?
Increase your rep range. If you’re normally curling 25s for 8-10 reps but only have a set of 10s at home, try pushing for 15-20.

Remember, the key to effective exercise is to go to muscle failure, rather than just an arbitrary number. Therefore, do as many reps as you can until your body refuses to do another! This technique can be stretched as far as needed. For example, rather than squatting resistance, I alternated 100 squats, 50 single-leg squats, and 100 walking lunges in as many cycles as I could manage. Not only was this an effective workout, it was intense!

No Weights?
Resistance bands are a common alternative in a fitness-oriented household, but if these are nowhere to be found, head to the kitchen! Try soup cans, household items, or milk jugs. Considering that a gallon container weighs nearly 8.5 pounds when full, you can definitely create enough weight for resistance. One friend I spoke to during our snow week was front squatting with his guitar amp – anything can be used as resistance, as long as it is done safely!

No Equipment?
No problem! Turn to body resistance exercises such as pushups, lunges, squats (and one-legged squats), burpees, planks, tricep dips, and crunches. You’ll be amazed at how good you feel. Body resistance exercises are often neglected when we’re at the gym, however they are extremely effective and beneficial. They force us to actively engage stabilizer muscles and small muscle fibers that are not engaged in an isolated exercise.

Not Sure What to Do?
Workout DVDs can be extremely effective when you’re in need of a guide, but the majority are designed to require extra equipment. It might be time to dust off that DVD collection and sweat it out.

The other option is to be creative! Use your homebound status as a chance to experiment with targeting your muscles from new angles using new grips and with new equipment you may never have thought of before. You might find that your couch makes an awesome support for dips or that washing dishes with calf raises burns more than your current gym routine.

Good luck! And remember, eventually you’ll make it back outside!

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Creating a Better Fit!

Today I am getting involved with a movement asking “How would you change the fitness industry?”

Happy with my natural body!

This topic is near and dear to my heart, not only for what fitness has done for me and my life, but for what I have been able to share with others to encourage them towards their happiest, healthiest selves. Fitness is what I eat, sleep and breathe, this is what keeps me going, what makes me happy, healthy and strong. It is my passion, and I strive every day to live and act as a positive example and role model of what I believe.

Therefore, my answer to this question comes without a second thought: less artificiality. 

Fake boobs, fake nails, fake tans, and fake bodies from steroids are NOT what health and fitness is about, yet it is impossible to open a fitness magazine or website without seeing at least one, if not all of the above, on the front pages. In my heartfelt opinion, these are not things that we should be promoting as ideals – instead, we need to be stressing the natural: natural health, natural results, and natural beauty.

This is an issue I struggle with every day, and it bothers me constantly, especially as a fitness professional who refuses to go under the knife or get fake for success. To me, fitness and the fitness industry should be about promoting health, confidence, and loving yourself for who you are – and who you can become through hard work and consistency. These values are what drew me in and changed my life, and they should be the paramount priority.

If your body came from a scalpel, or a pill or an injection… it doesn’t mean as much to me. The real heroes of fitness are those who gained their bodies from eating right, and working out consistently with intensity. These are the values I want to glorify – these are the values that I continue to encourage, and embody. Should we truly be promoting the idea that the only way to a perfect body is through drugs and surgery? I hate the notion.

So, my proposal for creating a better fit is to see more natural models being displayed to demonstrate the benefits of hard work and dedication. I would like to see a stronger condemnation for the use of illicit substances, and a discouragement of plastic surgery for the sake of aesthetics.

Let’s be happy with who we are, and what we can achieve through our own means!!

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