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Archive for December, 2014

Five All-Natural Supplements to Encourage Muscle Growth

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146873360Most natural bodybuilding supplements on the market contain various combinations of the same ingredients, including protein, amino acids, creatine, and herbal stimulants. Unlike hormones and steroids, these supplements provide muscle growth without dangerous health risks and side effects. Here’s a look at some of the most effective natural supplements for enhancing muscle growth.

Fish oil

Fish oil is rich in essential fatty acids, which your body can’t produce on its own. The active components in fish oil are EPA and DHA, which are naturally anti-inflammatory. Taking fish oil supplements can help enhance your muscle recovery because high-intensity exercise leads to inflammation and muscle oxidation. In addition, EPA and DHA can help encourage muscle protein synthesis, which leads to greater muscle growth.


Magnesium helps loosen tight muscles, which can help prevent cramping. It also encourages the body’s production of Insulin-like Growth Factor, which helps strengthen and grow muscles.

Whey/casein protein

Best taken immediately before and after workouts, whey protein helps repair damaged muscle fibers. In turn, this leads to increased muscle size and strength. Casein protein, on the other hand, is slow-acting. This helps the body recover from resistance exercises, as it remains in your body for a longer period of time.


Taking glutamine can help your body recover from workouts faster by keeping your body in an anabolic state. After strenuous workouts, glutamine also repairs damaged muscle fibers, helping them rebuild following rigorous exercise.


Made of leucine, isoleucine and valine, branched chain amino acids account for one third of free-form amino acids within your muscle tissue. Your body uses leucine to synthesize protein, which allows your muscles to grow. Your body cannot produce branched chain amino acids, so you have to supply them through diet and supplementation.

To learn more about workout supplements, contact Personal Training Institute at (520) 297-8280. Our nutrition program was designed by a Registered Dietician and our personal training programs were developed by an exercise physiologist. We offer Tucson personal training services to a range of clients, including those seeking weight management programs.

Why You Should Work Out to Failure – Every Time

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181623211In order to build muscle, you need to continuously increase your training weights. However, for your training to be safe and effective, you need to also maintain good form as you lift increasing weight. Training to failure is a resistance exercise technique where you continue to lift weights until you physically can’t complete another rep.

What is muscular failure?

Your neuromuscular system produces the force needed to lift a certain amount of weight. When you work out to failure, you continue lifting until your neuromuscular system can no longer produce adequate force. At this point, the exercise set ends and you allow your body a recovery period. During this resting period, your body removes metabolic byproducts from inside and outside of the muscle fiber tissues. When you train to failure, your muscle fibers aren’t completely fatigued. Instead, your body can’t produce the force needed to lift the specific weight. In fact, if your personal trainer lightened the resistance, your muscles would be able to lift the lighter weights.

Why work out to failure?

Working out to failure focuses on motor unit recruitment. When training begins, the threshold is low and the muscle fibers are used to lift the weight. As you increase the weight, the force becomes greater and more muscle fibers are recruited. The body also begins to utilize the greater force-producing fibers. Activating these motor units helps build muscular strength and increases the personal training response. When we train to failure, we create micro damage to the muscle which, with the right amount of rest and nutrition, will cause the body to make an adaption by increasing the muscle mass such that the next time the muscle is confronted with that same weight it will be able to overcome it. Muscle failure leads to hypertrophy.

How to safely work out to failure?

Working with a personal trainer can help you prevent overtraining and overuse injuries. Depending on your body, your personal trainer may recommend alternating between failure sets and traditional reps. If you suffer from arthritis or recreational injuries, your personal trainer may recommend function and stabilization exercises instead.

At Personal Training Institute, our programs are customized for you and your body’s fitness needs. Our Tucson personal trainers work with a range of clients, including seniors, youth, and post-physical therapy patients. Call (520) 297-8280 to schedule a free consultation with a Tucson personal trainer.