Mega Fitness Gym
Published Oct 10, 2014
Sweet but with a lemony finish. Crisp, tangy to the point of tartness. Spicy and fragrant. No, we’re not discussing the merits of fine wines. We’re talking apples!
October is National Apple Month, the time to celebrate the glory of the fruit, as the nation has been doing since 1904 when National Apple Week was born. In 1996, October became National Apple Month.
Domesticated some four thousand years ago in the fruity forests of what is now Kazakhstan, apples became a part of the human diet a long time ago. With flavors shaped by their respective climates — the shorter the growing season the tarter the fruit — apples have been grown across the United States for centuries. But not until the last few decades, starting in the 1980s, have apple breeders offered such a variety and explosion of flavors: Fuji, Gala, Pink Lady, Honeycrisp, SweeTango, and many more. Remember when there were only a few like Red Delicious or Golden Delicious or McIntosh to be found in grocery stores?
But the history and diversity of apples is not the only thing to celebrate. Apples also can be credited with delivering an amazing number of health benefits, such as:
1. Fighting bad breath. Apples contain pectin, which helps control food odors. Pectin also promotes saliva, which cleanses breath.
2. Preventing asthma attacks. Asthma sufferers often have low levels of antioxidants. Apples are high in vitamin C and flavonoids (beneficial, water-soluble plant pigments). Both are antioxidant. One study found that vitamin C supplements helped protect against exercise-induced asthma.
3. Reducing the risk of stroke. A study involving 9,208 men and women showed that those who ate the most apples over a 28-year period had the lowest risk for stroke. Researchers concluded that the results suggest the intake of apples is related to a decreased risk of thrombotic stroke.
4. Preventing constipation. Fresh apples are high in fiber, which adds bulk to the stool. Apples contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, or roughage.
5. Combating fatigue. The high vitamin C and antioxidant content in apples counter the free radicals leading to oxidative stress, which has been linked to fatigue.
6. Reducing the risk of diabetes. The phytonutrients (beneficial substances found in various plants) in apples help regulate blood sugar.These compounds help prevent spikes in blood sugar in a variety of ways: by inhibiting enzymes involved in the breakdown of carbohydrates into simple sugars; by stimulating pancreatic cells to produce insulin; by decreasing the absorption of sugars into the bloodstream.
Compared to other commonly consumed fruits in the U.S, these nutritional powerhouses ranked second for highest antioxidant activity. However, they ranked highest in the proportion of free phenolic compounds—substances not bound to other compounds in the fruit and thus more easily absorbed into the bloodstream. So stock up on a good supply of apples for this season. And don’t cut off the peels. They contain much of apples’ fiber and antioxidant power.
That’s right…$1! This year we decided to get involved in on the Black Friday deals so we came up with one of our own. This Friday November 28th from 11 am to 1 pm ONLY, if you sign up for a Mega Fitness 24/7 gym membership your first month is only $1 and we will waive all sign ups fees. This is a total savings of $51! Stop by Mega Fitness 24/7 to cash in on this one-time offer.
Ashley Hoffmann has one of the best physiques in the biz. Here are 5 of her favorite arm-building tips you can use in your workouts or in Ashley’s own arm workout blitz!
It doesn’t matter if you’re a guy or a gal: defined, shapely arms look good. While compound exercises should be the staple of any resistance training routine, adding an effective arm workout to your usual split can add direct definition and size to your biceps and triceps.
Although you already hit your triceps during your push or chest days, and your biceps on your pull or back days, isolating your biceps and triceps once per week will further improve your complete physique—and everybody’s favorite show-off muscles.
Ashley Hoffmann, Neon athlete and all-around badass, has a set of guns that would make many guys jealous. She also happens to have some great tips, and below you’ll find one of her favorite workouts to help you get the most out of your biceps and triceps training.
Arms Advantage Tip 1 Don’t Cheat!
We’ve all seen it: the guy doing biceps curls with his hips and lower back instead of his arms. Sure, challenging yourself with big weights every now and again can be helpful, but consistently choosing weight that’s so heavy you have to swing it isn’t going to get you much stronger.
The key to a good arms workout is keeping your elbows at your sides,” says Ashley Hoffmann. “Use only your biceps or triceps to do the exercises, not your body’s momentum to move the weight.” Whether you’re doing curls or extensions, keep your elbows pinned to the side of your body, which will stop you from using body English to move the load.
In order for your biceps and triceps to grow, you need to make sure that they’re the muscles being stressed. If you use your body to move the weight, you take away from the workload your arms could be doing, which could mean less change in the target muscle group.
Arms Advantage Tip 2 Squeeze At The Top
One key to building lean mass is keeping your muscles under tension. The best way to do this is by increasing the length of each rep by pausing for some extra squeeze at the top of the movement. “When I do biceps and triceps exercises, I try to act like I’m flexing,” says Ashley. “That way I know I am really targeting the muscles.”
Yes, your muscles will be working throughout any exercise, but extending the time that your muscle is in its peak contraction can really increase its size. That squeeze can increase the number of muscle fibers you activate. The more muscle fibers involved in your lifts, the bigger your muscles can get.
Arms Advantage Tip 3: Go To Failure (Or Past It)
Many of us know that the best rep scheme for hypertrophy (muscle-building) is around 8-12 reps. However, your body will eventually adapt to the routine if you do the same thing over and over again. So, if you’ve been curling 30-pound dumbbells for 3 sets of 10 for the last three months and haven’t seen any changes, your program needs some help.
Start by bumping up the weight. If you start to fail sooner than you’d like, grab a buddy and have him or her help you on those last few reps. You can also try using bigger weights for fewer reps early in your workout, and then progress to lighter weights for more reps as you fatigue. Try finishing your last set with a dropset or negative reps to deliver better results—and an enormous pump!
The point of pushing your muscles past failure is twofold: most importantly, it helps your muscles adapt by becoming bigger and stronger, and secondly, pushing past failure means you’ll avoid those annoying plateaus.
Arms Advantage Tip 4 Use Supersets
You want a sick pump? Do supersets. Supersets are a technique which calls for you to do two exercises back-to-back without resting. One of the best ways to employ this technique is to do a triceps exercise and follow it immediately with a biceps exercise or vice versa. By using this technique, you stretch one antagonist muscle group while contracting the other, which brings more blood to the muscles and sparks new growth.
Supersets are also great because they save a lot of time. The limited rest means you get through your workout faster, leaving more time for showing off your growing guns.
Arms Advantage Tip 5 Try Single-Arm Lifts
Unilateral (single-arm) lifts can be beneficial to your arms training. Many of us are stronger on one side of our body. So, if you only use a barbell to do biceps curls, chances are that your dominant side will do more work, leaving your weaker side, well, weaker.
By focusing on one side at a time, you’ll be able to grow each arm evenly. Balanced and symmetrical muscles not only look better, but they function better so you’re less likely to get injured.
Single-arm lifts can also help you learn how to use your mind-muscle connection to better recruit and activate the right muscle fibers to do the work. Think about your triceps squeezing as you do each and every rep, concentrate on using that muscle, and only that muscle, to move the weight.