L-leucine is most commonly marketed as a BCAA partnering with isoleucine and valine. It is now becoming more popular by it’s own merits and is fast becoming one of the most popular pre/intra/post workout amino acid supplement.
As it is an essential amino acid, l-leucine must be supplemented into our diets. Sources are soy protein, soybeans, beef, peanuts, fish, wheat germ, eggs, lentils, rice and milk for example, all good protein sources. Your diet should vary enough to allow you to consume enough l-leucine on a daily basis. It can, like other essential (and non-essential) amino acids supplemented daily.
Why is it such a special amino acid?
L-leucine is the only dietary amino acid to stimulate muscle protein synthesis. It catalyses muscle growth, preserves muscle and slows down muscle degradation. Breakdown and utilisation occurs in liver, muscle and adipose tissue. Metabolism in muscle and adipose tissues allows l-leucine to be used as a quick energy source when needed.
mTOR pathway is extremely sensitive to l-leucine a pathway found in cells and is a regulator for cell growth. Extra supplementation of l-leucine is thought to activate the mTOR pathway, which itself then activates protein synthesis and increases the cells abilities to produce new muscle tissues.
L-Leucine is a key factor in greater anabolic protein signaling meaning less muscle breakdown from the degrading effects of the hormone cortisol. Considerable gains in strength are have also been seen with l-leucine supplementation. Consuming 4gs per day of l-leucine, in conjunction with a 12-week training programme have shown to increase strength by 41%. Consuming l-leucine along with your high carbohydrate meal post training can enhance further high endurance training sessions and can also decrease muscle
Everyone can benefit from supplementing his or her diet with l-leucine. It benefits those looking to build lean muscle, increase strength, increase energy levels and increase endurance levels. Suggested amounts of l-leucine have increased from 14mg/kg of body weight to 45mg/kg and this is only for sedentary people; those with more active lifestyles, serious about training and professional athletes should increase levels to those required of their needs. L-leucine consumption also benefits those looking for fat loss.
With the increase in muscle growth and preservation, fat loss will occur naturally as greater muscle mass is formed, this increases metabolism thus increased fat loss. Supplementing with 76% l-leucine combined with calorie controlled nutrition can induce significant and preferential losses of visceral adipose tissue while still allowing for high levels of performance, beneficial for when stripping body fat for a competition.
Additional supplementation of l-leucine is easy using your Core150. Depending upon your requirements, there is more than enough room in each 50g compartment, add a scoop to your pre/post work out drinks or keep capsules stored away ready for taking throughout your training session.
Claire Peacock BSc Sports Biomedicine, DSM, DRSM Core150
Glynn, E. Fry, C. Drummond, M. Timmerman, K. Dhanani, S. Volpi, E. Rasmussen, B. Excess L-leucine Intake Enhances
Muscle Anabolic Signaling but Not Net Protein Anabolism in Young Men and Women. The Journal of Nutrition. 2010
Ipoglou, T. King, R. Polma, R. Zanker, C. Daily L-L-leucine Supplementation in Novice Trainees During 12-week Weight
Training Program. International Journal of Sports Physiotherapy and Performance. 2011. 6(1), 38-80
Qin, L. Greer, B. White, J. Arguello, E. Haymes, E. Branched-Chain Amino Acid Supplementation Lowers Perceived
Exertion but does Not Affect Performance in Untrained Males. Journal of Strength and Conditioning. 2011, 25(2), 539-544
Mero, A. L-leucine Supplementation and Intensive Training. Sports Med. 1999 June;27(6):347-58
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One of the defining points of a perfectly sculptured physique has to be the shoulders. Fullness and striation at the front, tear dropped shape cap at the side and the tightly formed bundle finishing of the deltoids at the back, well defined shoulders make a physique stand out giving the platform to the sought after triangle shape for men and women. This blog will look at shoulder anatomy and exercises to give you the perfect look.
Shoulders are anatomically known as the deltoid region. The superficial muscles cover the anterior, medial and posterior area of the shoulder, giving the capped look we all strive to have. Although deltoids are just one muscle, they can be worked collectively with compound movements and with specific isolation movements.
Deltoid Origin: Lateral third of clavicle, acromion and spine
of scapula. Insertion: Deltoid tuberosity of humerus. Actions: Anterior (clavicular) flexes and medially rotates arm. Medial (acromia) abducts arm. Posterior (spinal) extends and laterally rotates arm.
Building Bigger Shoulders Combining compound and isolation exercises in your shoulder workout guarantees bigger shoulders. The compound moves hit the whole of the deltoid; these are the best types of shoulder exercises to build mass. Isolating each of the areas and focusing on their main action will allow more definition to develop. Below are a few examples of both compound and isolation moves.
Compound Exercises Military Press Standing/seated dumbbell press
Isolation Exercises Anterior Standing/seated dumbbell press Front raises dumbbell/cable/plates Arnold press Upright rows
Posterior Bent over dumbbell/cable flies Upright rows Face down incline bench dumbbell flies Upright rows External cable rotations
As you can see, when working shoulders you never isolate completely, the medial area is always involved when working the anterior or posterior aspect. Shoulders don’t need to be hammered. By doing only four of the above exercises, you will give yourself a full
Medial Arnold press Lying lateral raise Single/double dumbbell/cable lateral raises
shoulder workout, using what ever rep/set range you are currently working on.
It is important to get a good balance when working shoulders. How often do you see guys with over developed anterior section of their shoulders? It isn’t a natural look and can cause many problems in both the pectoral region and within the shoulder itself by neglecting less superficial, stabilising muscles.
Claire Peacock BSc Sports Biomedicine DSM DRSM Core150
Agur, Dalley, 2005; Grant’s Atlas of Anatomy; 11th Edition; USA; Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins.
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If you are looking for ideas on how to properly gain muscle growth, then read the following article, which offer suggestions for you to do just that. Use the ones you feel will offer the results you are looking for, or try out ones you hadn’t considered before, and you might be pleasantly surprised at their results.
Do more repetitions, not heavier. The ideal workout to build muscle contains a high number of repetitions at a medium level of intensity. Keep your breaks between sets under a minute. This constant repetition causes a buildup of lactic acid in your muscles, which has been observed to stimulate muscle growth.
Get enough sleep and rest if you want to build muscle. Contrary to what you may think, sleeping is the perfect time for your muscles to begin to repair themselves and start increasing muscle mass. If you don’t get the proper sleep and rest, you might not only hurt yourself, but you may ruin the training you have already completed.
For the best results when trying to build muscle, change your routine often. Doing the same exercises over and over for weeks on end will cause your results to plateau, so find ways to mix it up and work every muscle group by altering your routine. You might change the number of reps, the exercises you perform, or the intensity of each exercise.
Perfrom the “big three” exercises for weight training. These exercises are the major exercises for muscle building and can help you immensely. These three exercises are the bench press, the deadlift and the squat. Performing these exercises will help you condition, bulk and build strength and should be a part of any weight lifting routine in one form.
When doing weight training, you should always ensure your rest periods are monitored very closely. Short rest periods are the best because they cause a large amount of lactate to accumulate in your muscles. This lactate causes your muscles to be more fatigued, which can lead to more muscle growth.
Fill up on carbohydrates after a workout. It has been proven that if you do this, on the days that you are not going to work out, you will be rebuilding your muscles faster. Eating carbs after a workout increases insulin levels, which slows down the rate that your body breaks down protein, you can also prevent this by taking your protein shakes immediately after you workout.
When building muscle, many people make the mistake of over training. When you go to the gym, exercise as hard as possible and take short breaks. Do not do your workouts for more than 60 minutes for best results. Go in, workout, and get out to give your muscles time to recover.
Any time you are lifting a heavy free weight, it is very important that you have a spotter. This is someone who knows the routine that you are doing and also understands when you are requiring help. Many times this person can become a type of gym buddy as well.
As you can see from the above article, there are various ways to gain muscle growth. It’s up to you to choose the ones you feel will work for you, and then strive to do the best you can to get your desired results. You will see a difference in no time.
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There are many building blocks that go into a healthy body and a healthy balanced diet delivers most of these building blocks easily. However, there are times when the body needs a little extra help and where muscle growth is concerned, only one thing will do – protein! And lots of it!
There is no substitute for protein when it comes to building muscles and keeping them in optimum condition. Protein is essential for building muscle mass and there is no other nutrient on the planet that can rebuild muscle fibre as efficiently or as quickly. A hard workout, no matter how much you stretch or prepare your muscles, will result in some muscle damage. This is nothing to be concerned about and protein will ensure your muscles have the resources on hand to self-repair. Inadequate protein intake can really stifle your performance and your progress so it’s important you get enough to suit your needs.
Whey proteins in the form of protein shakes are a bodybuilders best friend. Whilst it’s great to take in as much protein-rich food as possible, it’s not always easy or convenient to do so. In today’s fast-paced world, junk food and quick eats are so easy to reach out for. This can mean you don’t get as much protein into your body as you need when working out. Protein shakes are the perfect way to fill this gap and they will ensure your body and muscles get the best support possible.
Protein powder shakes can be taken anywhere with a protein shaker bottle and this is one of the best things about them. Many bodybuilders choose to pre-mix their shakes and take them to the gym whilst others like to buy single serving shakes in cans. The great thing about the industry is that new products are constantly being introduced onto the market making protein intake so much easier.
So, it’s easy to see how important protein is for muscle growth, but you also need to ensure you are getting enough. The ‘pound rule’ is a good one to remember. To build muscle mass bodybuilders should aim for between 1.5-2g of protein for every pound of body weight. You need to do this every day and the only way to ensure you do this right is to invest in some good quality protein shakes packed with at least 95% protein.
For a bodybuilder, protein is one of the most important supplements they can have in their gym locker. Without the right amount, you could actually be causing damage to your muscles.
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It’s true that most people take in just the right amount of protein with a balanced diet, but we’retalking pretty sedentary people here! If you’re hitting the gym every day you’re going to need a substantial boost in protein to get your muscles where you want them to be, to provide fuel duringand post-workout and to aid repair of your muscles during rest periods.
But how much protein do you need in your shaker bottles and how do you get it? Of course,dieticians will tell you that the only way to get protein into your body is through whole foods, but forthe serious bodybuilder, that’s just not possible. Bodybuilders need their protein in a moreconcentrated, convenient and quickly absorbed format and the only effective formula is a protein supplement.
To get big you have to eat big and this is something you will hear all the time in bodybuilding circles.And the bigger you get, the more fuel you are going to need to maintain muscle strength and powerand to keep your body energised for tougher workouts. The error many bodybuilders make is continuing to push their bodies without raising their calorie or protein intake. What’s the point inkilling yourself in the gym each day if you’re only going to put on 3lbs of muscle in a year? It all comes down to what you want to achieve.
Those simply wanting to keep in good shape andkeep muscle tone will find the right level of protein for them and stick with it. That’s fine, but for those wanting to hang out with the big boys and achieve huge muscles, the protein is the key. You’ll see many people in the gym each day training religiously, but few will achieve huge muscle gains.
This distinct lack in muscle growth is probably attributed to a poor diet and one that is lackingin protein especially. If you want your time in the gym to give you the best results you shouldincrease your protein intake by around 2gXbody weight. So, if your current weight is 200lbs and youwant to push yourself to 220lbs, you need to be eating around 450g of protein each day.
The best way to achieve this level of protein intake is through a 50/50 split of whole foods and protein supplements. Shakes are an important component of any bodybuilder’s diet as they are nutritious, convenient, absorbed quickly and above all else they deliver results. There are many different shakes on the market today and it’s worth trying out a few before you find the one that’s right for you.
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Fitness equipment doesn’t come much simpler than the kettlebell over an above the standard protein shaker. It’s just a cast-iron ball with a handle, but it is one of the most versatile and effective pieces of kit you can use even if it did take several centuries in the west for people to realise its potential.
Strength trainers in Russia have been using kettlebells for over 300 years, but it has only been in the past few decades that kettlebells have found their way into western gyms. Now they are recognised as a great way to increase muscle mass, burn fat, improve muscle endurance and get an intensive cardio workout. What’s more, because of the unique in which you train with kettlebells, you will increase core strength and stability by using all muscles of your body to control the movement of the weight.
The simple weight and handle design of the kettlebell means you can use it in much the same way as a dumbbell to do rowing, pressing and curling exercises. However, it comes into its own when you begin to swing it. The swinging movement that is specific to kettlebells works a huge number of muscles, including your hamstrings, glutes, hip stabilisers, core muscles, back and shoulders. The basic swing can then be transformed into more complex movements such as cleans, snatches and presses to train more muscles.
Once you get the hang of it, you will be able to transfer seamlessly from one exercise to the next without breaking the rhythm of your swing. The continuous motion of the kettlebell workout means that your training sessions will be shorter and more intense than doing standard sets, and you will build muscle stamina as well as torching calories. Most gyms now have a dedicated kettlebell area within your gym which will also consist of a lunge track most commonly found around the abdominal and TRX area within your gym.
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As previously mentioned our bodies are very quick to adapt to any environment and many different situations. When it comes to weight resistance our body is very good at adapting to the resistance we enforce upon it and the muscle group we apply it to.
Substantiating resistance is a more glamorous way of saying “find out just how much weight a particular muscle group can take to make it grow or change” you need to substantiate your resistance as each muscle group will vary in the level of punishment it can take.
If you do Bicep curl with 30kilogram dumbbells for 2 sets of ten every other day your muscle group including the supporting tissues will quickly adapt and stop growing, you have to progressively increase your weight over time to see consistent progress and muscle growth.
I prefer not to endorse the theory that you need to increase your weight every time you train, in doing this we would be defeating our first chapter in the Muscle Building Training Programme – Variation. The fact of the matter is that our muscle group could not handle this kind of constant increase in weight every time we train without resulting in serious strain our injury. This would also result in overtraining and potentially deplete the muscle group you are targeting.
You should never up your weight every time you train. Doing so is working against your muscle and your body’s natural growth pattern. However over time you do need to introduce a higher level of resistance. To simplify you do not need to be lifting heavier and heavier weights every session at the gym, but you do need to add more weight progressively by substantiating your resistance, your body and muscle will tell you when it feels ready.
The muscle Building Training programme has a long term strategy for Building Muscle safely and constantly while still making you aware of just how important it is to apply our first Muscle building rule, variation.
After every 30 days you should be lifting more weight as this will be your natural progression if you adopt the Muscle Building Training programmes techniques. By applying my first four steps we are now ready to get under way in the Muscle Building Programme.
Train at maximum potetntial by taking your supplements with the Core 150 Sports Shaker Cups