When most people hear about drugs like Viagra and Cialis, they generally think about performance in the bedroom, not in the weight room. But science shows taking Viagra or Cialis before a workout session could boost results. Some research suggests taking these types of drugs helped mountain climbers at 17,000 feet. And the workout community is moving these erectile dysfunction drugs into the gym. But, it's not easy to know what the best answer is in the Viagra vs Cialis debate, especially when it comes to bodybuilding. Relax, we did the research, so you can avoid those ED popups and hit the weights hard. Here's the breakdown when it comes to Viagra vs Cialis bodybuilding sessions. Why Bodybuilders Use ED Meds to Pump...Iron Without getting too deep in anatomy, Cialis and Viagra are vasodilators. That means they open up blood vessels. This rush of blood flow is what typically gets the little soldier at full solute. But, for workouts, gym goers are using increased blood flow in full body workouts. Although studies about vasodilators generally don't look at weight room results, there are simple reasons Viagra and Cialis are being used in the gym. Viagra and Cialis' Sudden Pop in Nitric Oxide Even without a chemistry degree, most serious gym-goers know about Nitric Oxide as a pre-workout supplement. Nitric Oxide release is the key to tons of solid pre-workout kickstarters. It's also the main reason Viagra and Cialis supplement use has become a pre-pump favorite. The two products boost Nitric Oxide, open up blood vessels, and help oxygen rush through the bloodstream. They also have the potential to move nutrients to muscles faster, which is a big benefit for people who stack muscle-building supplements. On top of that, some reports have shown Nitric Oxide upticks can reduce soreness after working out. This turns into a quicker recovery and faster results. And there are other reasons gym-goers are popping ED pills pre-workout. ED Meds for Getting it up: Heart Function That is When scientists were first developing these drugs, they planned on using them to treat heart disease. It was only after patients reported increased blood flow in one specific region that focus went further south. Studies now suggest heart performance boosts may still exist in these ED drugs. In some instances, these supplements appeared to have helped cyclists perform at high elevation. Some science also hints at a boost in protein synthesis when taking ED meds. That means a more productive workout session. But how should bodybuilders and workout enthusiasts decide between Cialis and Viagra? We found some key differences between the two. Cialis vs Viagra: Differences in the Makeup When we look past the brand, Cialis and Viagra have a difference. For Viagra, the key ingredient is sildenafil. For Cialis, it's tadalafil. Both work in a similar way. They both are PDE5 inhibitors. That means they both increase blood flow and kick up Nitric Oxide. But they aren't necessarily the same. Cialis vs Viagra: How They Hit the Body Timing is an important factor for workout routines. There have been reported differences for the effective start times for Cialis and Viagra. Viagra usually takes a half-hour to kick in. This has been pretty consistent. For someone locked into a common routine, that could be an advantage. For Cialis, activation has had varied results. Some people report the drug kicking in nearly twice as fast as Viagra. Others have said it takes a few minutes longer. Either way, more time-pressed bodybuilders might consider popping a Cialis if they're on the run. What about once the goods are in the system? Cialis vs Viagra: How Long They Last When looking at Cialis vs Viagra, there is a big difference in how long each drug stays active. Viagra usually works for close to four hours after it first hits the bloodstream. Cialis sticks around way longer. Cialis can stay in a person's system as long as 36 hours. For workouts, this could make a difference. Again, the best product depends on individual circumstances. If someone wants to hit it and quit it, at the gym that is, Viagra may be a good route. Bodybuilders might want to head to the gym once and let the drug fizzle out in a few hours. On the other hand, hardcore lifters who go to the gym multiple times a day, especially if sessions are spread out, could benefit more from Cialis. Since it stays in the system longer, there isn't a need to keep popping pills. This is especially important when it comes to managing dosage since it's usually advised not to take more than one Viagra pill a day. The pair also differs when it comes to the typical recommended doses for each. Cialis vs Viagra: Different Options for Getting Ripped We're all familiar with the little blue pill, but color isn't the only difference between Cialis and Viagra. Cialis usually starts out as a dose of 10 mg. It can be increased to 20 mg, but if a person is taking it every day they tend to cut the dose down. For Viagra, the dose is pretty consistently set at 50 mg, but it also sometimes varies from 25 to 100 mg. What about the side effects? Cialis vs Viagra: Potential Downers The two drugs have pretty similar side effects. Here are the most common for both: Dizziness Flushing Rash Headaches But in terms of what bodybuilders actually experience, it can vary. Some people have experienced symptoms with one substance and not the other. It all seems to depend on the individual. Cialis vs Viagra: Getting the Stuff There are plenty of options when it comes to getting your hands on Cialis and liquid Cialis. We're also here to help keep you informed when it comes to questions beyond Cialis vs Viagra. Before getting your workout in, be sure to check out more info about Cialis supplements, including 9 side effects when taking Cialis daily.
Have you started a fitness lifestyle and aren't seeing results? Or do you need fast results? Supplements will put you on the path to a more vigorous workout and a better physique. There are essential nutrients you need to have a great body and perform the best you can. Some of these nutrients are lacking in even the healthiest diets, which is why supplements pair well with a healthy diet. Whether you want to slim down or bulk up, there's a supplement that can help you out. But if you're bodybuilding, read this supplement guide and start using these 8 supplements for bodybuilders. 1. Protein Protein is the building blocks for our muscles. Protein helps repair your muscles after strenuous strength training. And you need more protein than you think. Your daily caloric intake must be between 20 and 30 percent protein to actually see results. If you train hard at the gym, this protein amount is required to get the results you want. The best source of protein should come from food, such as meat, nuts, and beans. But protein powder is also a great option to ensure you get the right amount of protein. Stick to whey protein. This type of protein digests fast and is ideal for after your workout. Make a protein shake mixed with fruit and vegetables. 2. Fish Oil Fish oil is famous for containing high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, specifically EPA and DHA. But why are these so important? Omega-3s are necessary for your health but your body doesn't produce them naturally. Omega-3s are amazing for athletes. They help strengthen your bones, preventing injury while working out. But omega-3s are great for everyone. They make your hair and skin beautiful, increase your heart health, and improve cognitive function. The best source of omega-3 is fish. Eating fatty fish such as salmon will give you an abundance of the fatty acids. But you can take a supplement such as fish oil to ensure you're getting your daily source of omega-3. 3. Branched Chain Amino Acids Amino acids are essential to prolong athletic performance and a successful recovery. When choosing amino acid supplements, find branched chain amino acids, or BCAA. These amino acids are leucine, isoleucine, and valine. BCAA will specifically target the muscles. They help strengthen your muscles so you can exercise longer and recover faster. This will lead to increased strength and more muscle growth. In addition, BCAA will also cause increased energy and enhanced protein synthesis. Believe it or not, you already consume BCAA. These amino acids are found in meat and other protein sources. But the supplement is recommended for those who are serious about fitness. 4. Glutamine Glutamine is another amino acid that's abundance in dietary protein sources. Unlike BCAA, glutamine assists your skeletal muscles and immune system. Glutamine helps your entire body so anyone can gain benefits from glutamine. For lifters, glutamine helps build muscle mass. Glutamine supports muscle growth, reduced muscle catabolism, and gut health. When taking glutamine supplements, take them after your workout. It resynthesizes muscle glycogen. Your muscles also lose glutamine as you exercise, so taking glutamine will restore those levels. If you workout often and eat a low-carb diet, glutamine supplements are essential. This ensures you'll receive your daily dose of glutamine. But glutamine will benefit every athlete. Your muscles will grow and recover quickly, which means you'll quickly achieve your fitness goals. 5. Creatine Creatine is one of the most popular bodybuilding supplements for a reason. Creatine helps assist athletes in high-intensity workouts. Creatine is used by athletes of all sports, but namely weightlifting. Creatine maximizes your energy and helps enhance your strength and performance. Creatine also contributes to muscle size. It's often called a "cell volumizer" which makes your muscles fuller. But what is creatine? Creatine is a byproduct of amino acid metabolites. It's found in your kidneys, liver, and pancreas. But 95% of creatine is naturally stored in our skeletal muscles. This is why it has so many muscular, performance and strength benefits. 6. Beta-Alanine Beta-alanine is an amino acid, but a non-essential one. This means our bodies create it naturally, but it's still required for bodybuilding results. When beta-alanine is combined with L-histidine, carnosine is formed. Carnosine regulates the acidity in your muscles. This decreases the acidity in your muscles when your muscles are contracting. Without carnosine, your muscles won't be able to contract. In other words, your muscles will be fatigued. Carnosine breeds energy into your muscles. But why take beta-alanine? Our bodies create beta-alanine, but not enough to sustain the amount needed to reduce muscle acidity. Beta-alanine is absorbed differently than carnosine as a whole; the benefits work a lot faster when you take beta-alanine. For the most benefits, take beta-alanine with creatine. These supplements together will dramatically improve your performance. 7. Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) Conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA, is another essential fatty acid. CLA is used by a myriad of athletes because of its fat loss powers. But CLA's fat burning performance is linked to muscle gain, which is why this supplement is recommended for athletes. How does CLA help you lose weight? CLA reduces your body fat deposits. With diet and exercise, you'll quickly shed the extra weight. CLA will also help improve strength but should be taken alongside whey protein and creatine. You can get CLA naturally. CLA mainly occurs in beef and dairy. There are also oral CLA supplements available. If you want to burn fat and lose muscle, it's best to incorporate a CLA supplement into your diet. 8. Dex Amiridex, commonly known as Dex, is a form of hormone therapy that reduces the amount of estrogen in the body. The medication is famous for treating breast cancer in postmenopausal women but has also taken the bodybuilding community by storm. Dex reduces the amount of estrogen in the body, resulting in larger muscles and more strength. Dex also reduces the side effects of high estrogen, such as bloating. The supplement can be used by both male and female bodybuilders. Did This Bodybuilding Supplement Guide Help? No supplement will magically make you look jacked up and increase your strength alone. But supplements will aid your diet and training regimen to get the best results and to conquer your fitness goals faster. This supplement guide explained all of the necessary bodybuilding supplements you need to take. Now it's time to start your supplement regimen and experience the fitness results you crave. Are you looking to test these supplements? Click here.
In the US, there are a lot of dudes experiencing erectile dysfunction. It's so prevalent as to be an epidemic, and it shockingly affects young men, too. But drugs to treat ED might have other benefits. In fact, bodybuilders are using Cialis, generically known as tadalafil, to improve their athletic performance, recovery, and physiques. Keep reading to find out how tadalafil liquid can help you with your gains. What is Tadalafil Liquid? Cialis (generically known as tadalafil) is a prescription drug used to treat men with erectile dysfunction. It's normally taken in pill form, but the liquid form might have more benefits. Tadalafil will relax the blood vessels and increase blood flow to all parts of the body, not just the penis. This is because a liquid is absorbed faster into the bloodstream than a pill, which takes time to dissolve. So, tadalafil liquid can start to take effect right away. The increase in blood flow usually produces an erection for men with difficulty creating and sustaining them, but it also has some other positive side effects. What are the Benefits to Bodybuilders? Tadalafil liquid has been found among fitness buffs and physique builders to have a pre-workout effect. This means that it can act as a vasodilator, which will increase both strength and pumps in the gym. Some heavy lifters describe their pump as "insane" after ingesting tadalafil liquid. This increase in hypertrophy during a training session can also help with focus and motivation, especially as endurance starts to flag. However, there are other benefits, too. The anti-inflammatory properties of tadalafil are notable but not often mentioned by doctors. This drug can lower CRP (C-Reactive Protein) in the body, which occurs during the inflammation process. Too much of this response in the body can lead to heart disease, namely arteriosclerosis. It can also cause an increase in plaque buildup on artery walls. It's also possible that tadalafil can increase your testosterone levels. One study showed base levels of men with reduced total testosterone and free testosterone had an increase to normal levels after treatment with Cialis. This could be due to the fact that men who take tadalafil will likely have more and better sex than other ED drugs, like Viagra. It could also reduce excess estrogen levels with long term treatment. So if you're a bodybuilder who "cycles" on and off various PED's, you could use tadalafil liquid as an alternative to Clomid or other anti-estrogens. It's also been shown to possibly help with some other health issues, like enlarged prostate, or high blood pressure. It could also aid in nutrition delivery to muscles, which can speed up recovery. What are the Side Effects? Cialis and its generic, tadalafil, are prescribed to millions of men every year. Most of those patients don't experience negative side effects, or if they do, they are mild and temporary. But you should know not to take this medication if you have heart disease or have had a recent heart attack. If you've had a stroke or are at risk for a stroke, you should avoid this medication. You also shouldn't use it if you are prone to hypotension (low blood pressure) as this drug will lower blood pressure. You also shouldn't use tadalafil if you have uncontrolled high blood pressure. If you have any vision issues, you should discuss with your doctor prior to taking this medication. A type of optic neuropathy called NAION can cause a loss of vision if you take this drug. Avoid this drug if you have sickle cell anemia, leukemia, liver or kidney disease, and multiple myeloma. Medications That Can Interact with Tadalafil You'll want to avoid these medications while taking Tadalafil: Don't take liquid tadalafil if you're also taking nitrates for your angina (chest pain.) If you do take tadalafil while on this medication, you will increase the effect of the supplement. There is one medication with a dangerous interaction when taken with tadalafil. It's called Riociquat and it's used to treat heart conditions. Taking tadalafil along with this medication can reduce your blood pressure drastically, and potentially cause a heart attack. Also avoid any ED drugs if you're on high blood pressure meds, any protease inhibitors, phenobarbital, rifampicin, carbamazepine, ketoconazole tablets, 5-alpha reductase inhibitors, phenytoin, erythromycin, or clarithromycin. And don't use if you're on itraconazole. It is also important to mention if you are using or have used other erectile dysfunction treatments. More common side effects include an allergic reaction, chest pain, and runny nose. You could also have some temporary vision loss or a prolonged erection. However, stopping the use of this drug should reverse these side effects. Dizziness upon standing or during a hard workout are common effects. Be aware that if you're already taking an ED medication or have previously, you need to keep an eye out for any potential side effects. Should You Take Tadalafil Liquid? Maybe! If you're a guy who goes pretty hard in the gym but is finding your gains aren't on track with your goals, this supplement drug could help. If you feel like your workouts are lacking intensity or results, it can improve your pumps and your focus. If you're also worried about the side effects of other supplements on your heart health or sexual health, tadalafil could help with that, too. And you could notice an increase in nutrient absorption which will aid in your muscle recovery. What it doesn't do, however, is assist in your physique goals like losing body fat, gaining more actual muscle mass, or increasing your strength by large amounts. It can't suppress your appetite nor can it supply significantly more energy during your lifts. Ready to Try Tadalafil Liquid? By now, you should have a good idea of the benefits, effects, and uses for tadalafil liquid. If you're a bodybuilder looking for more cutting-edge supplements to help you in your goals, head over to our store and sign up for weekly sales and promotions.
Many athletes and bodybuilders are turning to clenbuterol to improve their strength. If you don't know what clenbuterol or "clen" is, you'd be surprised to learn that it's used as an asthma medication, and can even be used to make livestock gain muscle. Currently, several celebrities and bodybuilders use clenbuterol to achieve the look they want. But why use something that was originally an asthma medication and a supplement for livestock to advance your athleticism? Using clenbuterol can actually help improve your bodybuilding, as well as your strength. What else do you need to know about clenbuterol? Here are some essential facts you should be aware of before taking clenbuterol: 1. Clenbuterol Can Help You Lose Weight You might see celebrities and bodybuilders showing off their new athletic body after shedding a ton of weight. Little do they know that you have their secret: clenbuterol. The reason why so many famous actors and athletes are using clenbuterol is that it works as a weight-loss supplement. Clenbuterol can increase your metabolism while promoting weight loss and fat-burning. You'll still have your strength and muscles, but you'll look a lot leaner. You can either use clenbuterol as a way to bulk up, or you can use it to slim down. If you're looking to use clenbuterol as a weight-loss supplement and not a way to gain strength, you don't have to worry about suddenly growing a ton of muscles. Women have an especially hard time losing weight, and if you've exhausted all fat-burning strategies, you might be looking for an effective alternative like clenbuterol. 2. You Can Gain and Rebuild Muscle With Clenbuterol Clenbuterol helps your muscles grow by producing more protein in your body, while also preventing the breakdown of your muscles. That's why it's so common among popular bodybuilders and athletes. Maybe you want to use it to impress others in bodybuilding competitions. Clenbuterol can help you look buff and muscular. You'll still need to work out while on clenbuterol, but you'll find that you'll have a higher stamina in the gym and that you'll gain muscle faster. Clenbuterol can also be used as a post-operation supplement, and can even be used by those suffering from muscular atrophy. When clenbuterol is given to patients following an operation, it can reduce their recovery time. It's also found to be effective in restoring muscles in people that have difficulty retaining muscle mass. 3. Clenbuterol Isn't a Steroid You might be wondering: is clenbuterol a steroid? Contrary to popular belief, clenbuterol is not a steroid. Rather, clenbuterol hydrochloride is a substance that's just similar to steroids. It's classified as a beta-2-agonist, which means that it's the type of drug that can help open up your airways. Its main purpose is to improve breathing, but it also functions as a way to get more blood to your muscles, while also giving you more energy by burning fat. 4. You Must Use Clenbuterol Correctly Taking clenbuterol isn't as simple as popping a daily pill every morning. It has to be taken in cycles to get the best results. There is no set clenbuterol dosage either--it all depends on what results you're looking for and how well your body tolerates the drug. Many people decide to take clenbuterol in a two-week cycle. You should start by taking 20cmg on the first day, while gradually increasing your dosage by 20mcg each day. By the end of the first week, you should be at 140mcg. On the second week, cut down your clenbuterol dosage using the same 20mcg increments. You'll slowly wean yourself off the supplement at the end of the week. After another two weeks pass, start the cycle again. 5. You'll Need to Watch for Side Effects Like many other drugs and supplements, clenbuterol comes with its fair share of side effects. Since clenbuterol is a stimulant like coffee, it can have similar effects on your body. If you take high dosages of clenbuterol or take it incorrectly, your risk of potentially dangerous side effects increases. Some of the more harmless clenbuterol side effects include: Sweating Headaches Nausea Anxiety Muscle cramps Insomnia These side effects happen more often if you've never used clenbuterol before. While relatively harmless, they can be debilitating. You'll usually find yourself experiencing more headaches, nausea, or cramps, especially after training. While relatively safe, clenbuterol does have its dangers. It can increase your risk of heart problems like palpitations, left ventricular hypertrophy, and high blood pressure. Unfortunately, there haven't been enough studies on humans using clenbuterol to know all of its risks. 6. The Legal Status of Clenbuterol Varies Clenbuterol isn't approved for use as medicine by the FDA and is prohibited in certain professional sports and competitions. In some countries, it's still prescribed as an asthma medication and as a treatment for animals. However, the United States has put a complete ban on clenbuterol, as the government views the drug as a steroid. Although there are risky illegal methods of obtaining clenbuterol, it's much safer to purchase clenbuterol alternatives. Companies have formulated legal clenbuterol supplements that have fewer side effects and work just as well as the real thing. Better yet, you don't even need a prescription to purchase clenbuterol alternatives. 7. Clenbuterol Can Be Addictive Clenbuterol contains dopamine, the hormone for pleasure. Dopamine is strongly related to addiction, making clenbuterol addictive as well. You could also experience withdrawal side effects after taking yourself off of clenbuterol. While you'll find yourself in a good mood while taking clenbuterol, coming off of it after using it for a long period of time can result in a depressive state. The Bottom Line on Clenbuterol Clenbuterol is a very effective supplement for anybody looking to lose stubborn fat and gain muscle at the same time. Any risks associated with clenbuterol can be avoided by using it correctly and in moderation. You should definitely stick with using a clenbuterol alternative--it's much safer, and it can still help you achieve the results that you desire. For more bodybuilding and weight-loss advice, find us on our blog.
It's no secret that not exercising is terrible for you. In fact, experts say that a sedentary lifestyle is just as dangerous as obesity. Regular exercise has an endless list of benefits, so it's best to get as much as possible, right? Not necessarily. When it comes to exercise, it is possible to do too much of a good thing. How do you know if your exercise routine is just right or if you need to scale back? Here are 7 sure signs of overtraining your body. 1. Constant Muscle Soreness It's natural to feel sore for a day or two after a hard workout. But if you hit the 72-hour mark and you're still hurting, you're likely overdoing it. Long-term soreness means your muscles aren't getting the time they need to recover between workouts. 2. Abnormal Resting Heart Rate If you don't use those little heart rate monitors when you work out, it's a good time to start. Why? You can monitor your heart rate while you work out and then compare it to your resting heart rate. If your heart is still beating fast long after you leave the gym, you need to scale back a bit. 3. Difficulty Sleeping With all those hours you're pumping iron, you should fall into bed exhausted every night, right? Yes--in theory. But if you're overtraining, all those stress hormones released during exercise could affect your sleep habits. Your nervous system needs to recover between workouts, or else it could (literally) keep you up all night. 4. Depression Overexertion is a sure way to throw your body's chemistry out of whack. The result? Rather than feeling pumped when you leave the gym, you could feel just the opposite. Overtraining can also lead to feelings of inadequacy or an unhealthy body image. 5. Mood Swings Speaking of stress hormones, let's talk about cortisol, adrenaline, and epinephrine. Your body naturally releases these hormones when you work out, and that's great. But too many of them can leave you feeling agitated, moody, and depressed--or any combination of the above. 6. Frequent Injuries or Illness Do your joints constantly ache? Did you pull a muscle and it doesn't seem to be getting better? It could be because your body doesn't have the chance to recover properly. This weakened state also leaves you prone to infections. If you're frequently succumbing to colds, UTIs, or other infections, you may need to slow down at the gym. 7. Lack of Motivation One of the most common symptoms of overtraining is a prolonged lack of motivation. True, we all have our days when we don't feel like pounding the pavement. But if you're struggling daily to stick with your workout routine, try taking a week off. Then reevaluate how you feel when you're not so burned out. Signs of Overtraining: Now You Know You've taken charge of your diet. You're taking the best workout supplements. And you're committed to a routine of regular exercise. These are all excellent goals--as long as you don't overdo it. Each time you go to the gym, keep these signs of overtraining in the back of your mind. Remember: overexertion can be just as bad for you as no exertion at all! Looking for more great health and fitness advice? Click here to check out our latest blog posts.
If you're like most avid gym-goers, you probably care quite a bit about building muscle and increasing your strength. You do the right workouts, you take all kinds of nutritional supplements to speed up recovery and boost performance, and you make sure quality sleep is a priority. If you're doing all these things and still feel like you're not seeing the kind of growth you'd like, you might want to take a look at your stretching habits. You might be surprised to learn that stretching can have a big impact on your ability to build muscle and perform well during your workouts. Read on to learn more about the benefits of stretching for muscle growth. Types of Stretching Before we get into the specific benefits of stretching, it's important to understand the different types of stretching you can incorporate into your routine. There are four main types of stretching: dynamic, static, passive, and active. Dynamic Stretching Dynamic stretching involves performing a stretch repeatedly while moving through a range of motion that is challenging but comfortable. You'll typically repeat a dynamic stretch between ten and twelve times. Dynamic stretching is great for improving range of motion and joint functionality. To be done correctly, the movements performed while dynamic stretching should be controlled, deliberate, and smooth. You shouldn't bounce back and forth or do any kind of jerky motions while dynamically stretching. Static Stretching When most people think of stretching, they think about static stretching. Static stretching involves holding a specific position for anywhere from ten to thirty seconds. The position you hold while static stretching should be comfortable yet challenging. Static stretching is typically used to improve overall flexibility and promote physical and mental relaxation. Passive Stretching Passive stretching is a type of static stretching. It involves using outside assistance to achieve a stretch. For example, you may use a strap, a special stretching device, or work with a partner to achieve a passive stretch. When you're passively stretching, you relax your muscle and rely on the external force to help you remain in place. Active Stretching Active stretching involves actively contracting your muscle in opposition to the one being stretched. It requires constant muscle engagement to help you support your body. An example of an active stretch would be raising the arm, bending it, and touching the upper back. The engagement of the bicep allows you to stretch the tricep without the help of any outside forces. Benefits of Stretching for Muscle Growth So, how does implementing these different types of stretches help you build muscle? There are lots of ways that stretching promotes muscle growth, including the following: Improved Range of Motion Regular stretching, especially dynamic stretching, helps improve your ability to move your joints through a full range of motion. This allows you to get more out of your workouts and, in turn, can help you see greater muscle growth and performance. Think about it. If you're not able to squat deeply because your range of motion in your hips or ankles is limited, you're not going to see the same benefits from squatting as someone else who does have access to that full range of motion. Increased Endurance When you improve your flexibility and mobility, you can also increase your mechanical efficiency. When your mechanical efficiency increases, you're able to get more out of your workouts. You'll be able to extend your time to exhaustion, which allows for more reps, heavier weights, and greater muscle growth. Enhanced Recovery Stretching can also help reduce muscle soreness and speed up the post-workout recovery process. As you probably know, when you workout, your muscles sustain damage. After you exercise, your body goes to work to repair that damage. When you take time to stretch after your workout, your body can eliminate waste products and send nutrients and oxygen to the muscles to help them recover more quickly. Increased Hypertrophy Some research also indicates the intense stretches during a workout can increase hypertrophy (muscle growth). When you hold an intense stretch for 30-60 seconds after you've finished training a specific muscle group, you can increase the activation of satellite cells. This, in turn, enhances the release of growth factors -- such as insulin-like growth factor -- within your muscle tissue. An example of this might be holding the position at the bottom of a dumbbell chest flye to stretch your chest deeply. You could also sit in the deepest position of a squat to create a greater stretch in your legs and hips. Additional Benefits of Stretching There are lots of reasons to prioritize stretching if you want to build muscle. But, there are plenty of other benefits of stretching for active individuals, whether your goals are muscle growth, weight loss, or just general fitness. Some of the greatest benefits of stretching include: Increased Energy Stretching helps send fresh, oxygen-rich blood to the brain. This, in turn, can provide you with a natural energy boost. If you're feeling sluggish in the middle of the day or aren't feeling particularly motivated to exercise, try spending a few minutes doing dynamic stretches. You'll likely find that you have a little more energy than you initially thought. Improved Focus Stretching can also help you improve your focus and concentration. This has to do, in part, with the delivery of fresh blood to the brain. Stretching at the beginning of your workout also gives you time to mentally prepare for it and figure out what you're going to do. That way, when it comes time to actually start training, you're in the right frame of mind and will be able to put more into the session. Enhanced Workout Performance When your muscles are warm and you're able to move properly through a full range of motion, you'll be able to perform better during your workout. Whether you're squatting, sprinting, and playing sports, you'll likely be faster, stronger, and more agile after taking a few minutes to stretch. Improved Posture These days, it's not at all uncommon to see someone slouching with their shoulders rounded and head forward. In fact, it's more uncommon to see someone who doesn't look like this. Most of us slouch, even when we're not sitting at a desk or looking down at our phones. Stretching can help loosen up tight muscles in the chest and shoulders that contribute to poor posture. Reduced Injury Risk Some research shows that stretching can also loosen up tight muscles and reduce the likelihood that they will tear or strain. This is especially true in the case of dynamic stretching, which helps prime the body for the movements it will perform during a workout. Enhanced Oxygen Saturation Finally, stretching can help enhance the function of your respiratory system. Your diaphragm is a muscle that helps inflate the lungs so they can fill with air. By stretching regularly and focusing on deepening your breath, you can increase your body's ability to take in oxygen. This helps fight off fatigue and extends the amount of time you can exercise before exhaustion sets in. When and How Often Should You Stretch? In order to see the greatest results from your stretching routine, it's important to pay attention to the frequency of your stretches and the amount of time you spend stretching. Everyone's specific needs are different, and some people will require more time stretching than others. That being said, though, there are a few general rules of thumb you can follow to experience the benefits of stretching. Do Dynamic or Active Stretches Before a Workout Doing static, passive, or active stretches before a workout can make you more susceptible to injuries. This is because static and passive stretches increase your range of motion, but they don't promote strength within that new range of motion. As a result, you may be able to squat more deeply, but you won't have control of that depth and could end up hurting yourself. Dynamic stretches help you increase your range of motion, but they also require you to exercise control over your muscles while you move them. This helps prime your body for exercise and will help you connect better with the movements you're about to perform. Good examples of dynamic or active stretches before a workout include doing bodyweight squats before squatting with weights or doing bodyweight glute bridges and glute bridge holds before doing weighted hip thrusts. Do Static or Passive Stretches After a Workout Static and passive stretches are best performed after a workout. Your muscles will be warm and you'll be able to stretch more deeply, which can help promote muscle recovery. Doing static and passive stretches after exercising also helps you bring your heart rate down and get your body into a parasympathetic state. This is where muscle recovery and repair happens Exercise is a stressor (a good stressor, but a stressor nonetheless) on the body. When you stay in a stressed-out state post-workout, you won't be able to recover as quickly. You'll also have a harder time absorbing nutrients from post-workout meals or supplements. How to Stretch Safely If you're ready to add stretching to your routine, these tips can help you stay safe while you do it. Start Slow If you've never stretched before, or haven't stretched for a very long time, be sure to keep your routine short and simple. A few stretches are all you need to start seeing results. You don't need to dedicate an hour to deep stretching -- in fact, this could end up doing more harm than good, especially if you're not sure what you're doing. Be Consistent Make stretching a regular part of your workout routine. If you just do it sporadically, you're not going to see very good results. Remember, too, that it's better to stretch regularly for just a few minutes than it is to stretch for an hour once every few months. As with everything else, consistency is key. Work with a Professional If you're brand new to stretching, it might be helpful to work with a personal trainer or attend a class at your gym to learn some basics. This will help you avoid injuries and learn the stretches that will be most beneficial to you and your goals. Don't Stretch Cold Before you start stretching at the beginning of your workout, take just 5-10 minutes to do some light cardio. This will loosen up your muscles and help you avoid over-stretching and injuring yourself. Don't Bounce Remember, dynamic stretching needs to be controlled. Don't bounce up and down in a stretch. This causes your muscles to contract and can cause small muscle tears, which means you'll likely be sorer than you would have been if you hadn't stretched at all, and you could potentially injure yourself. Breathe Many people make the mistake of holding their breath while they stretch. This not only puts at risk of fainting, but it also makes the process of stretching a lot more uncomfortable than it has to be. Breathe normally. If you find that hard, you're probably stretching deeper than you should. Back off of the stretch a little and see if that helps. Stretch All Your Muscles Finally, make sure you're stretching all of your muscle groups. You don't have to stretch them all at once, of course, nor do you have to stretch all of your muscles for the same amount of time. When you're stretching, it's best to focus on the muscles you're going to work or just worked. You should also place a greater emphasis on chronically tight muscles. But, also make sure that, at some point, all your muscles get some attention. This will help prevent muscle imbalances and decrease your injury risk. Final Thoughts As you can see, there are lots of benefits of stretching for people who want to build muscle and improve their gym performance. Are you interested in learning more about how you can hack your workouts and lifestyle to see better results? If so, be sure to visit our blog. It's updated regularly with all kinds of information on fitness, nutrition, supplementation, and all other aspects of living a healthy lifestyle. Check it out today!
Do you want to amplify your results at the gym legally, safely, and effectively? Try Cialis bodybuilding. Using this prescription drug duos as a performance booster in both the bedroom and at the gym. What is Cialis? Cialis, the brand name for tadalafil, often gets prescribed for erectile dysfunction and benign prostatic hyperplasia. Essentially, men use his medication to help them get an erection. Cialis Bodybuilding How can a sex enhancer help with bodybuilding? Several biological mechanisms make Cialis functional for your workout. Cialis Changes the Estrogen-Testosterone Ratio Not surprisingly, a sex pill affects the primary sex hormones in the body. Cialis decreases the amount of estrogen while increasing the amount of testosterone in the body, altering the ratio by up to 30%. How does this help your workout? Women predominately produce estrogen, which makes them store fat, giving them the rounder, more womanly shape. This also affects the amount of muscle mass women can build. Men, on the other hand, produce more testosterone, causing them to retain less fat and carry more muscle. Therefore, changing this ratio allows a person to build more lean muscle mass. This makes Cialis for bodybuilding a suitable alternative to steroids. It Improves Blood flow Throughout the Body Men often use Cialis because it increases blood flow to the penis, which is essential for an erection to occur. This increase in blood flow does not exclusively go to the penis though, it goes everywhere. Increasing blood flow throughout the body does the following: improves circulation regulates body temperature maintains balance for pH increases nutrient transport to cells increases waste removal from cells increases metabolism boosts immunity increases mental sharpness Essentially, an increase in blood flow sustains equilibrium during a strenuous workout. Bringing more blood to the muscles and organs means bringing adequate amounts of oxygen and nutrients to fuel the workout and improving functionality. It Increases Nitric Oxide In the Body Cialis raised the levels of Nitric Oxide in the body. Nitric Oxide regulates the mitogen in the body called hepatocyte growth factor (HGF). This means that it works to release a substance that activates satellite cells that stimulate muscle growth in the body. It is a potent activator and seems to stimulate the growth of many types of cells. It is believed that this works to increase muscle growth during workouts. The Medication Reduces Inflammation Inflammation hinders a workout as it causes pain and decreased mobility. Unfortunately, participating in a strenuous workout alone can create inflammation in the muscles and joints. Cialis inhibits cytokine storms from flowing through the bloodstream. Cytokines are tiny proteins created by our immune system to help protect our body and heal our wounds. Sometimes though, our bodies overreact and the cytokines create annoying and tissue-damaging inflammation. By preventing this flow of cytokines, Cialis reduces inflammation throughout the body. This improves the workout by eliminating a factor that could potentially hinder the workout. Cialis Reduces Plaque Buildup In the Arteries In the same way that it reduces inflammation by preventing the cytokine storms, it also eliminates the buildup of harmful plaque in the arteries. This further improves circulation and greatly strengthens the heart's health to indirectly help the bodybuilder. A strong heart allows for an intense workout. Does Cialis Make You Bigger? Cialis looks great for improving your workout, but does the drug actually make you bigger? This answer depends on the work you put in. Cialis on its own will not make your muscles grow bigger. But adding it to your workout seems to help you increase your muscle mass. By improving circulation, stimulating the release of Nitric Oxide, altering the estrogen-testosterone ratio, and reducing hindering, secondary factors like inflammation and plaque buildup, you do several things that help you grow your muscles. You improve your workout and stamina, fuel your muscles, and change your body chemistry to actually increase muscle cell growth. Cialis Side Effects Sometimes you need to take the good with the bad. Essentially all medications and supplements come with side effects. The side effects of Cialis include: headaches dizziness vision changes memory problems flushing nausea diarrhea muscle pain stuffy nose and sneezing a sore throat an erection that will not go down abnormal ejaculation The medication affects everybody differently. You should talk with your doctor ahead of time to make sure that taking Cialis for bodybuilding is safe for you. Cialis Vs. Viagra Bodybuilding Though doctors prescribe both Cialis and Viagra for erectile dysfunction, as they both promote vasodilation, each works a bit differently. First, while the active ingredient in Cialis is tadalafil, the working component in Viagra is sildenafil. The duration of the drug Cialis makes it a stronger alternative than Viagra for bodybuilding exercises. Viagra tends to last about 4 to 5 hours, while Cialis can work for up to 36 hours. Also, eating with Viagra can affect its absorption. This might be fine for a short romp in the sack, but you do not want to starve yourself while training. Food does not affect the absorption of Cialis in this way. One of the biggest factors making Cialis a better choice is that Viagra potentially causes more severe side effects. Though Cialis can cause some unwanted symptoms, Viagra puts your life more at risk. Possible side effects of Viagra include; vision changes dangerously low blood pressure heart attack stroke hearing loss excessive bleeding insomnia muscle pain an erection that lasts too long Viagra tends to create more pronounced side effects as compared to Cialis. Boost Your Bodybuilding Potential With Cialis You always face some risk while supplementing your workouts with drugs. But you can also potentially increase your gains. Participating in Cialis bodybuilding can potentially boost your workouts and help you build a leaner, more muscular figure. As with any supplement, Cialis is not a super drug. You will only see results that match the work you put in. But, when you put in the effort, it can be a powerful workout enhancer. To learn what other supplements can help you on your fitness journey, visit our page.
What if your workout is actually killing your chance of getting killer triceps? There are plenty of theories out there about which exercises you need to do in order to build up muscles in your triceps. Unfortunately, many of these theories essentially contradict each other. That's where we come in. We've put together a comprehensive guide to the eight best tricep exercises. Want killer triceps? Then check out our killer workout tips you can add to your split routine! 1. Triangle Pushups If you want triceps, you have to really want them. That's why we're starting with one of the hardest exercises: triangle pushups! The name comes from the fact you must put your hands under your chest and touch your forefingers and your thumb. If you look down, you'll see you've formed a triangle. Straighten your legs and bend your elbows. Your goal is to touch the mat beneath you with either your chest or your chin. Remember, we weren't kidding about this being a hard exercise. You may need to start out with bent knees instead of straight legs, but pretty soon, you'll balance on your toes like with a normal pushup. 2. French Press This next tricep exercise is the French Press. Or as it's known in some places, the Skullcrusher! The long and the short of this exercise is that you are lifting weights with your arms perpendicular to your body. This exercise works your lateral and longheads very nicely, giving your triceps quite the workout. Exactly what you lift is up to you. This exercise works well with dumbells, barbells, and EZ-bars. The trick is to find what works for you and to eventually move on to lifting more weight as your triceps get stronger. 3. Kickbacks This next tricep exercise may look deceptively easy from afar. Trust us, though: it's almost as difficult as those triangle pushups were! With kickbacks, you take a weight in one hand and rest your other hand on your thigh. Then, you pull your elbow up until it is level with your torso. Now, try to keep your elbow in place and extend your arm behind you, and try to contract your triceps while you are doing it. This exercise is simple, but it can tire you out quickly. You can rest easy, though, knowing that your triceps are getting such a workout! 4. Close-Grip Bench Press Our next exercise involves the bench press. Don't worry, though: we're still focusing on your triceps rather than your chest. By lifting with a close grip on the bench press, you can give your arms a really intense workout. If you think back to some of the most impressive powerlifters you have seen, you might be surprised to know most of them used close-grip bench press exercises. As you get more confident with this exercise, you can crank up the intensity by keeping your hands at least eight inches apart and tucking your arms in. Your wrists are going to feel the pain, but so will your tricep muscles! 5. Overhead Triceps Extension This next exercise is pretty simple. And it's an ideal exercise for home or even your office at work because it takes up so little space. You can also do this exercise either standing up or sitting down. All you must do is to hold a weight over your head and then keep your shoulders by your ears while you lower the weight behind you. Keep lowering until your elbows are angled at ninety degrees. Then, repeat the process. This exercise is great, and you can take it with you wherever you go! 6. Weighted Parallel-Bar Dip Dips are some of the best exercises for working your triceps. And you'll see multiple dip exercises on this list, starting with the weighted parallel-bar dip. Adding weights to the parallel bar helps to up your workout intensity and also assists with building mass (especially in conjunction with a good stack.) The exercise itself is simple: keep your body vertical, don't lean forward, and lift yourself up. As you become more comfortable and proficient with this exercise, you can also add a belt with weights to your body. This increases how much you are lifting and effectively increases the potential gains for your triceps. 7. Weighted Bench Dip That's right: we brought you another dip exercise. You might even say we are "double dipping." The weighted bench dip is like a machine dip, but it's a little more complicated. And be warned: you'll need a partner to help set things up. Specifically, your partner will have to help put weights on your thighs and position some flat benches until they are the perfect distance apart. At this point, you'll perform the dip as usual. The secret here is the weights that you have added: this helps you to see major tricep muscle gains in a shorter period of time. 8. Rope Pushdown Our final exercise is a rope pushdown. And there are two ways to start this exercise, depending on where you are. If you're at the gym or own the right equipment, you can do this exercise on a cable machine with an attached rope. If you're at home or an area without a machine, you can attach a resistance band to the top of a doorway and then create a loose knot in the band about halfway down for the rope. Now, all you do is grab the rope and try to keep your elbows by your torso, bent at a ninety-degree angle. Now, extend your arms and hands towards the floor as a way of giving your triceps a workout. Overall, the workout is nice and simple. Don't let it fool you, though, as this engages the vast majority of the tricep muscles you are targeting! Tricep Exercises: The Bottom Line Now you know the best tricep exercises to practice. But do you know how else to take your workout to a new level? At RUI Products, we specialize in giving fitness fans anything and everything they need. If you're ready to transform your body, check out our supplements today!
Are you looking for another exercise to add to your workout routine? It might look like there's nothing left if you've already considered military mountain climbers, "terrible T's," and leg pumps. However, you should consider doing squats too. Squat exercises are a staple in any workout routine, whether it's high intensity or not. As common as it is, though, many people still don't know the proper form. The bad news is that many don't even know they're not doing it right. There are many mistakes that can happen when you don't have an actual knowledge of the proper way to do it. However, if you do it right, the benefits you'll get from it are also abundant. Learn all about squats here, including its benefits and how to do it. In the end, you'll know why you need to add it to your routine now. Benefits of Squatting First, let us get one misconception about squats out of the way: squats are NOT bad for your knees. You might have heard that this anecdote from somewhere, but a study has already disproved it. The article determined that squats don't harm the ligaments after all. It does the opposite - it strengthens the cartilage tissues as you do more squats at various depths. As long as you have a good form and proper techniques, squats won't kill your knees. The caveat is that it can have detrimental effects if you've had a previous injury on your knees. In that case, it's better not to put too much load on your knees. If you're healthy, there are a lot of squat benefits. Here are some of them. It Strengthens Your Muscles The primary targets of squats are the obvious ones: the hamstrings, quads, and the glutes. Apart from these, though, this exercise is great for targeting other muscle groups as well. It's a compound movement, meaning it involves more than one joint. Even bodyweight squats involve the muscle groups in your back, your core, your hips, and such. If you throw in weights, you can also target your shoulders and arms. As a natural consequence, doing squats can make you run faster and jump higher. You'll also be increasing your core strength, which will improve your overall athletic ability. It Tones Your Muscles It goes without saying that people like squats because of its visible effects on the muscles. Those who want to tone their buttocks usually go for squats as their primary exercise. Still, as we said above, squats target other muscle groups as well. This means it can also help tone your whole body. Of course, we're not saying that only doing squats will get you those sweet defined biceps. This exercise only helps, so you'll have to do specific exercises for those areas, too. It Helps Burn Fat and Reduces Cellulite Although running and other forms of cardio might be better suited for the purpose of burning fat, squats can help with that, too. Doing squats, you'll be burning fat during and afterward. It helps that squats can make you gain muscles, as well. After all, more muscles mean your body would eat up more calories per day. Aside from fats, you could target cellulite at the same time with squats. Poor blood circulation is one of the main causes of dimpled skin and squats help by improving the flow. It Increases Your Bone Mineral Density Weighted squats, such as a dumbbell squat, can also improve the bone mineral density. This is the measure of the bone's health and strength. There's a study that has observed this effect, concluding that supervised squat exercises can be an effective treatment for suffering from osteopenia or osteoporosis. In only 12 weeks, the patients' bone mineral content increased by 2.9 to 4.9%. The exercise also improved the other variables of skeletal health. This also suggests that it helps keep the bones healthy, which can help prevent having a reduced bone mass in the first place. It Builds Endurance Squatting is a form of resistance training, which helps improve one's endurance. This effect has been more evident in endurance athletes like runners and cyclists. Contrary to yet another misconception, resistance training will not slow down athletes. Several studies have pointed out that endurance athletes benefit from this. It improves the running economy and efficacy in pedaling. Other endurance enthusiasts have found this to be true as well. Of course, the improved overall strength, especially the core strength, helps improve their athletic abilities as well. It Improves Your Flexibility As we age, our body becomes less elastic and less so if we lead sedentary lifestyles. This can prevent us from doing daily activities and lead full lives. As it turns out, squats help with that, too. It involves a full range of motion, bending and stretching the muscles in your legs, ankles, and hips. That helps improve flexibility. What does this mean for you? Well, flexibility isn't all about being able to put your foot on top of your head. It also means less back pain and more nimbleness for everyday activities or sports. It Minimizes Risks of Injury Flexibility, as well as balance and strength, is also a factor in preventing injuries. Each one of these, squats can improve. You use your muscles and these 3 properties in everything you do - from getting out of bed to running a full marathon. Cardio activities are especially notorious for damaging the joints., It's fortunate that squats can also cut that risk. How to Do Squat Exercises Right The catch here is that to reap these benefits, you must know the proper squat form and techniques. Like in other exercises, you risk getting an injury if you don't have the proper form. It's better to get a professional to show you how to do it right, but the tips below will also serve you well. Getting Started Humans have been doing squats since the day they were born, but as grow older, we tend to forget how to do it right. By the time we become adults, we're back to relearning how to do a single squat. The good thing is we already know how to stand by that time. Before you start, though, keep this in mind: use your legs and not your back as you go through the motions. With that said, let's start with the posture. Proper Squatting Form Squatting is not that complicated, although it's easy to mess up. Follow the steps below, and then check out some videos to see if you're doing it right. Stand with your feet at shoulder width apart, your head facing forward, and your chest out. Raise your hands outstretched in front of you, parallel to the ground with palms facing down. You can also clasp your fingers and hold it in front of you. Lower your hips while bending your knees and breathing in. Use a slow and controlled motion until your thighs are as parallel to the floor as possible. Think of it like sitting on a chair, except there's no chair. Press through your heels and bring yourself back up to an upright position as you breathe out. This concludes one rep. You may start with 2 to 3 sets with 10 to 20 reps each. These are the basics of a squat. It's preferable if you get it down to a T first before you start to mix things up. What Next? When you've mastered the proper form, you can start challenging yourself further. Increase the number of reps and sets as your body becomes comfortable with this exercise. If you haven't done a 90-degree angle with your upper and lower leg yet, work toward it. Then, aim to go lower. You can also add weights, which will bring your exercise to a whole new level. Don't Push Yourself In the beginning, expect your form and movement to be a little awkward. While maintaining the proper form is of utmost importance, don't push your body. Don't assume positions that it isn't comfortable with. It will take some time before you achieve the "ideal squat." Although it's good that you're striving for it, make sure you've got every little detail down first. An example is as making sure that your feet rotate outward a little. Range of Motion vs Load Don't get too quick at adding weights, either. A bodyweight squat is still effective, and the range of motion is more important anyway. Deep squats with a lighter load work better than shallow squats with a heavier load. When you're confident enough that you'll be able to do a full range of motion with heavier weights, then, by all means, do so. Safety Tips A squat is a low-impact exercise, meaning it shouldn't put too much stress to the point of damage to your body. However, there's no harm in playing it safe. Keep in mind the following tips to ensure you get the most benefits out of it without risking yourself. Knees Like we said above, let your hips do the work. Your knees should only shoulder the weight of moving you halfway down. After which, your hips should do most of the work. Don't squat by moving your knees forward, and make sure they're not facing forward in the first place. When you squat down, push them outward for a little. Lower Back Your lower back must always stay neutral as you go through the full range of a squat, with weights or no weights. While you're going down, make sure it stays in a natural arc as when you're standing in an upright position. Failing to do that is dangerous since rounding your spine or arching it can lead to herniated discs. If you do have a proper form, squatting will strengthen your lower back. Weights Squatting can even become more dangerous with weights. If your knees fail you, the barbell you're holding will buckle down with you. A Smith machine provides extra safety measures for such instances. It will be able to catch the barbell as long as you place the safety pins high enough for it to not fall on you. Not all people like using a Smith machine, though, as it might force you to do unnatural squats. Still, safety is paramount. If you don't want to use one, get a spotter. Adding Squats to Your Routine Now that you know how to do proper squats, it's time to do actual squats. Add them to your schedule; if you're not sure how, ask for help from a trainer. To start, do the recommended sets and reps 3 times a week. This way, your muscles have time to rest in-between. The important thing is to be consistent and to maintain a proper form. Don't focus on this exercise, though. Your body likes challenges, so add some cardio, strength training, and other activities in your routine, too. What types of exercise you'll do depends on your targets and goals, which is a subject for another time. What's great about squats is that you can perform it anytime, anywhere. Squats are still effective even with only your bodyweight. Even if you work out at home, you won't find it difficult to add to your workout regimen. You only need to set aside 5 to 10 minutes to complete your sets. This is enough time to do it in the mornings before work as well. When you're ready to add weights, start small. As you develop the right workout routine involving squats, don't forget to listen to your body. It will tell you what you're doing wrong and what you're doing right. Also, if you have a health issue, talk to a doctor first, especially if it involves your knees and your lower back. As beneficial as squats are, they may only aggravate the issue instead. Get Some Help As with everything in life, don't hesitate to get help if you're unsure about something. Especially in squat exercises, which can be dangerous when not done right, asking for help from a professional will save you the stress and potential risks. Help can also be in other forms, such as supplements that can boost your workout sessions. Check out our website now for accessories, supplements, and more; contact us now if you need some help.
No pain, no gain; no rest for the wicked; plenty of time to sleep when you're dead. All of these popular sayings are toxic and counterproductive in the gym. Nearly half a million people were hurt in gyms in 2015. Some of that is due to inexperience and lack of training. There's also an increased risk for injury due to overexertion. When you don't set aside a recovery day, at least once per week, your muscles are vulnerable. Your form is sloppier, your balance is weaker, and even your mental strength is not the same when you aren't getting enough rest. You need to plan your off days to recover and give your muscles time to grow. After all, your gains aren't happening while you're lifting weights. Without proper time to repair, your muscles won't strengthen. To avoid these common pitfalls, we've put together a list of things you should and shouldn't be doing on rest days. Work smarter, not harder, by following these tips for muscle recovery. Less Work, More Play You don't have to become a couch potato on your rest day--you should stay active. Just don't make it into an unofficial workout day, have fun with it! There are plenty of outdoor activities you can do that won't tax your recovering muscles. Do some light cardio on your bike, play sports, go hiking, or skateboard. Whatever physical activity you love doing in your free time that isn't tied to "gains" or routines. There should be no stress or overthinking involved with off-day playtime. Low-impact exercise, such as swimming, walking, or martial arts are perfect recovery day exercises. These will promote lactic acid production, keep your joints loose, and keep your heart healthy. The point is to get out, have fun, laugh, play and hit that mental "reset" button. Massage and Cryotherapy Recovery is all about restoring the body to its full strength--hopefully, stronger than before. Massage and cryotherapy can help speed up this process by improving blood flow and increasing oxygen to the muscles. Cryotherapy sends the body into a "survival mode," which causes blood to flow faster to the most vital areas, carrying more oxygen and nutrients. Once you leave the cryo chamber, the enriched and less-toxic blood is flushed back into the rest of the body. Cryotherapy treatments are usually offered in tandem with massage therapy. This completely opens up the body's tissues and blood vessels for maximum healing and growth. The world's best athletes swear by cryotherapy treatments for maximum recovery and vitality going into competitions. Interval Training Okay, if you just can't bring yourself to play any sports or do simple activities outside, there is a sort of training you can do for short stints. Interval training is just a fancy term for non-competitive cross-training. You switch between walking and jogging or jogging and sprinting. Don't do this type of training immediately follow leg-day, obviously. Find a nice park or trail to go on a long walk. 10 minutes into your walk, start jogging for another 3 minutes. Repeat this same interval until you can no longer jog for the same interval. This type of training works for any activity and really kickstarts your metabolism. You can do this in sports by switching positions, adding rules into games, or doing practice drills by yourself. Interval training can be challenging and fun with others, not just for your own benefits. Yoga is Hot Moving in slow, deliberate, and challenging motions compliments every bodybuilding regimen perfectly. Yoga targets groups of muscles that are just difficult to access through traditional weightlifting. Yoga is also perfect as an alternative to standard cardio routines. Despite what it looks like from the outside, yoga is one of the best core workouts you'll ever experience. Big or small, yoga can and will kick your butt and get you cut. While on your rest day, yoga will always give you a challenge and a chance to aid in the health of your tendons and joints. Honestly, you should already be doing yoga in between all workouts. It's such a great preventative measure for dexterity and balance-related injuries, every bodybuilder needs it. Don't listen to judgemental peers who think yoga is somehow "soft" or too slow to really make a difference. Sleeping and Self-care Getting enough sleep can be a struggle for many of us working long hours. When it comes to getting proper recovery, you have to prioritize your sleep. Not just the length of your sleep, but the quality. Your bedroom should be your oasis, free of distractions. Getting high-quality sleep is about having a solid routine. You should not be staring at a phone or computer screen minutes before the lights go out. Invest in a comfortable bed, preferably an adjustable bed. Sleeping with your feet and head slightly elevated maximizes blood flow and reduces stress on your back. Not getting enough sleep will hold you back mentally and physically in the gym. Get into the habit of winding down towards the end of your rest day. The faster you can fall into your deep sleep cycle, the more energized you will feel the next morning. Reward the Body Surround yourself with activities and elements of indulgence. If you don't reward yourself for all your hard work, you'll begin to plateau or even decline in performance. Get that deep tissue massage, soak in the sauna, have some wine, and go on a romantic date. In fact, while we're on the topic, did you know that sex is one of the best natural pre-workout supplements? That's right, having sex will boost testosterone levels enough to improve your workouts the next day. The same endorphins that help you orgasm can also relax your mind and body, priming you for sleep, too. Strong erectile function requires strong blood flow to the penis. If a man's blood vessels are clear and elastic, this indicates his heart and brain are healthy and his erections should be rock hard. Your abs, back, butt, and thighs get a good workout during sex, too. If you're flying solo, just make sure you get a good masturbation session before bed. For maximum benefits, practice some edging and try to extend it for about half an hour. This gives you a lot of helpful oxytocin and testosterone released into the bloodstream. Nutrients and Supplements Your recovery day diet should be a little different from your normal gym days. Your focus should be on getting as much macronutrient and fresh, organic foods as you can. Protein is still important (see below), but this is your opportunity to refuel the body with antioxidants and vitamins. These building blocks are important for healthy bones, muscles, and organ function. Throw in some female-friendly supplements, too, if you can, ladies. We know it can be tough finding supplements that compliment your calcium, niacin, and hormone requirements. Remember, dark leafy greens, dark berries, citrus, and healthy fatty foods are major superfood categories you should target. This is your opportunity to get full on nutrient-dense foods without fear of missing protein metrics. A lot of gym rats miss out on the opportunities provided on full rest days. It's easy to get stuck into routines that leave out supplemental nutrition. Don't Forget the Protein Recovery days are still technically post-workout recovery. Your muscles are constantly using protein to rebuild, even a full day after. Obviously, your intakes won't be quite the same, but the idea is unchanged. Whey protein smoothies are still excellent choices for recovery day protein. The night before your rest day, you should down some casein protein, too. This will lead you into your rest day with a good base level of protein. Throw in some peptides with your protein intake on recovery day. This will help make sure you're operating at maximum efficiency and none of your nutrients are being wasted. Paired with healthy fats and amino acids, your body's recovery time will be much faster. The better fed your muscles are on recovery day, the less stiffness and soreness you'll need to deal with. Prep and Meal Planning If you're like me, you'll want to do all your meal planning and scheduling in one day. This is the best use of your time because you can cook multiple meals at once and portion it all out for the week. Crockpots, large baking pans, and stovetop burners can all be going at the same time for sides and main courses. It might sound like a bad plan for making a variety of meals, but you just need to get creative. Most of meal prepping revolves around expanding your culinary skills anyways. Cook your protein in batches, then use marinades and sauces to break up the monotony. You could set aside portions for next month's meals, too. Revisiting old favorites is great, plus if you fail one of your dishes that week, you have backups. Shopping on recovery day should ideally coincide with weekly grocery ads or farmer's market specials. Don't rely too heavily on food delivery services or prepared meals, even if they are healthy. This routine will make your days off much more fun and prevent you from getting bored. Stay Hydrated Some of the more experienced bodybuilders will already know about his tip. On your day off, no matter how little activity you partake in: drink liquids. Your muscles are going to use up a lot of water as they repair themselves. If you don't drink enough water, you'll be grouchy for no reason, feel really lethargic, and make lots of mental mistakes. It can be hard to connect the dots that all of these things are related. It's really important to bring a water bottle wherever you go, especially when it's going to hot out on your recovery day. Mix a little fruit, supplement powder, and electrolytes for the perfect infused beverage. Your urine should reach a light-yellow color, but not completely transparent. That's a good balance between being flushing out your system and having it backed up. Rolling and Stretching This last activity may sound a little funny, at first. We all know how important it is to warm up the muscles and stretch them before working out. The same rule applies to muscles in repair. Experts have discovered a new way to help speed up recovery time and reduce the level of soreness we experience. A simple foam roller that looks just like a pool noodle, can help massage blood into your muscle tissues. Now, you'll need to buy a foam roller that is specifically made for fitness, as you need the right firmness. This foam roller method was discovered by its effectiveness in injury rehab. Foam rolling is great for increasing flexibility and overall range of motion. Studies have also shown that the act of the massage will lower stress-producing hormones. Watch some TV and roll on the floor for a while, you'll feel much better. Rest Day and Recovery Day Your activity on your recovery day relies upon the amount of your work you put in on the previous day. For instance, when you are killing it in the rec center without stopping for six hours+, your next day ought to be totally exercise-free or low-impact. Most bodybuilders separate chest, legs, and core into three days a week. The fourth should be your off day, then the process repeats. Sometimes that recovery day is replaced with a cardio day, but that might not be a smart idea. Your muscles might not get the proper nutrition and time to repair, making weightlifting goals much harder to reach. There's a ton of supplemental help you will need to keep up such a vigorous workout schedule without burning out or injury. 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