How To Gain Muscle In The Thighs – Easily

Find Out How To Gain Muscle In The Thighs

For many people, getting muscular legs can seem like an uphill battle. I will show you how to gain muscle in the thighs the simple way. A good pair of developed thighs can complement any body very well.

To gain thigh muscle effectively, you should be hitting the different types of muscle fibers. This means stimulating the ones responsible for short distance running and lifting. Sprinting would be the most effective for the running my fibers. Whereas squats would be the most effective exercise for the lifting muscle fibers.

Along with these exercises, eating the right foods is important. Protein is the building block for muscle. So you need to eat plenty

Squat and squat some more

Squat regularly to gain muscle in the thighs.

Make sure to use proper form when squatting.

It’s no secret that squats are the bread and butter for gaining thigh muscle. It’s the most basic leg exercise as well. You just squat down and back up. It’s especially great because weight can be steadily added over time. This will lead to phenomenal gains in legs size. When someone asks me how to gain muscle in the thighs, I will always recommend squats first and foremost.

Proper form is a must when performing squats. Your back should be straight throughout the movement. If you can’t keep your back straight, then you need to work on flexibility. Make sure to have full range of motion and go as long as you can comfortably go. For some this means hips slightly below parallel or lower.

Sprint for increased overall gains

If you really want to maximize your leg size, then sprint. The benefits of sprinting are more than just a good leg workout. Sprinting can:

  • Increase testosterone which leads to more gains overall.
  • Increase lung capacity which means more energy in weight training.
  • Increases fat loss.
  • Increased glycogen storage leads to increased leg muscle size.
When figuring out how to gain muscle in the thighs, I found sprinting to be extremely effective.

I usually sprint at night for less distractions.

Proper care must be taken to avoid injury. Remember to warm up by jogging or fast walking beforehand. If you are just starting out, start off with jogging first. This will allow your muscles and bones to adapt to the higher physical demands of sprinting. Going all out on sprinting too quickly can cause shin splints and other issues. So building up slowly is important.

As always, eat right

One of the most important factors of gaining muscle in the thighs is eating enough. You can’t expect to build muscle if you aren’t getting the building blocks necessary to do so. Just as you need the logs to build a log cabin, you need protein to build muscle. Muscle is made up of proteins.

Eat plenty of protein to promote muscle gain in the thighs

As always, eat plenty of healthy foods with protein.

Muscle is also made up largely of glycogen. This is the way muscles store water and carbohydrates. If you neglect carbs, you aren’t providing the necessary fuel for glycogen. Too many carbs lead to fat gain however. So a healthy medium is important.

I recommend keeping carb and protein count the same. 1 gram per pound of body weight per day. Include plenty of healthy fats in your diet as It’ll promote good hormone production. Healthy hormone levels ensure better progress and muscle gain.

If you are not getting any stronger in your legs, then eat more. It’s as simple as that. Eat healthy foods of course, but more. Eat more often if you can as well. In my experience, I actually lose more fat when I add more food split throughout the day. This fat loss goes along with muscle growth of course.

Adding up the points

This pretty much covers how to gain muscle in the thighs. It’s as simple as doing the proper exercises along with eating enough to gain muscle.

Don’t be surprised if your legs also get more cut in this process. This is because sprinting has a great muscle building and fat loss effect. Remember that if you eat enough healthy food you WILL gain muscle.

If you liked this article, let me know. If you hate it, let me know. I’m always interested in improving and would like as much constructive input as possible.

Feel free to shoot me a comment or email if you have any questions. I’m always willing to help out.

James – – page button)

Working Out In Morning Vs Night – Benefits

The Benefits Working Out In Morning Vs Night

The ultimate difference between working out in morning vs night is which works for you.

This could be someone at night or morning. Are you a morning or a night person?

Are you curious of when you should work out? There’s a slight difference in working out in morning vs night. Each one has its strengths and weaknesses. I’ll explain the benefits and setbacks of both. I recommend early afternoon as best, but not everyone’s schedules will allow it. Even so, when you workout shouldn’t be a huge issue and I’ll tell you why.

In the morning you have the benefit of being wide awake(usually) on your side. At night you have the benefit of an entire day’s worth of nutrition. There are also smaller factors that will govern your workout. Working out too late can also affect your sleep.

Working out at night – pros and cons

Keep in mind that this may be different for everyone. Many will find that they feel stronger and can last longer in their workouts at night vs morning. This is because your body has had the whole day to be up and active.

The key factors that attribute to this are hydration, glycogen, and blood flow. At night you’ve had the whole day to drink up, eat, and move around. This allows your muscles and body to be in a more ready state to workout. Injuries are far less likely around this period. Pros of working out at night vs morning:

  • A whole day’s worth of nutrition providing energy for your muscles.
  • An entire day’s worth of moving around and activity for muscle blood flow.
  • Your body is fully hydrated at this point assuming you drank enough water.
When deciding between working out in morning vs night, keep in mind that night workouts may cause sleepiness.

If you work out in a well lit gym, melatonin might not be an issue. Working out in the dark can cause sleepiness.

One of the key differences of working out in morning vs night is an absence of melatonin. Melatonin is the hormone that makes you feel tired. This lets your body know that it’s night time and it should sleep. It builds after sundown and continues until bed time.

Melatonin could affect your workout by making you feel tired during. But usually goes away after you warm up. Now, before you run off and go for a 4 mile jog at 9pm, hear me out.

Working out late can affect your sleep. Especially if you workout within 2-3 hours of sleep. This happens because your metabolism kicks into high gear and gets your body into “alert” mode. This can have serious repercussions on your quality of sleep. Ok, the cons:

  • Melatonin can make you feel sleepy and take away your desire to workout.
  • Working out late kicks your metabolism into high gear which can affect sleep.
Working out in the morning – pros and cons

My personal least favorite time to workout is right after getting up. Fear not, as I will not let my bias get ahead of me. There are cons as well as benefits to working out in morning vs night. One may feel weaker in morning workouts due to lack of hydration and nutrition.

The main benefits to working out in the morning lie less in your fitness goals. What I mean is that you won’t be at your best strength in the morning, especially right after waking up. Your body hasn’t had adequate time to fully hydrate. The benefits due however lean more towards personal and well being. A good workout can set your day right and make you feel good. This makes it easier to handle the stress that comes ahead. The pros:

  • Increased well being throughout the day.
  • Calmer mood.
  • Helps with focus.
  • Improves productivity.
  • Treats depression.
When working out in the morning it's essential to give yourself some food and water.

It’s important to give your body what it needs if you choose to workout in the morning. Don’t be afraid to be cheat a little with the food choice as your workout will likely burn the excess.

These pros DO occur with a night time workout as well. However, at night you really don’t have as much time to enjoy these benefits. This is especially true if you workout within 2 hours of going to bed. Whatever productivity enhancement you get is “wasted” away sleeping. A disrupted less restful sleep at that.

Despite how much water you manage to chug in between the hour of waking up and going to the gym. It takes your body about 4 hours to fully hydrate itself. The time it takes to store glycogen(your muscle’s energy source) is even longer. Not to mention the fact that your muscles haven’t really warmed themselves up.

Don’t believe me? Weigh yourself right after you wake up and then 6 hours later. The difference is due to hydration levels. Hydration is very important and dehydration can account for over a 20% strength loss. This isn’t very effective if you are trying to get stronger and faster. I’ve always noticed much less athleticism when I’ve worked out early in the morning. So, the cons of working out in morning vs night.

  • Less hydration in the muscles(could lead to injury).
  • Glycogen(muscle’s energy source) is depleted in the muscles.
  • Less blood flow throughout the body(could lead to injury).
It’s ultimately up to you

What do you prefer? Working out in the morning vs night or the other way around? There shouldn’t be that big of a difference assuming you properly ready yourself.

In the mornings make sure you drink as much water as you can and have some salt. Also have some carbs to help provide your muscles energy. If possible wait at least 4 hours after waking up. During that period make sure to hydrate and eat to give your body plenty of energy. You may not feel as strong in the morning workouts, but your body may adapt.

I personally prefer to workout in the afternoon.

I find that afternoon provides the best bang for the buck. Not too sleepy, yet fully hydrated and fed.

At night make sure you keep your workout at least 4 hours before bed time. Make sure you do a cool down session and have some food after your workout. This will help replenish your body so you won’t wake up miserable and exhausted the next day.

As I said before, I prefer afternoon workouts if possible. It seems to be the best bang for the buck. Your body is fully fed and hydrated, but you won’t feel too tired. It’s also a great way to combat the afternoon crash. It’s up to you though. Sometimes your schedule may not allow it. In that case, it’s up to you to decide between the pros and cons of each.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to bookmark and subscribe. I’m always trying to figure out new topics that help people out. If you have any suggestions, leave me a comment or email. I’ll be glad to hear it and will get back to you.

James – page button)

How To Increase Pull Up Strength – Fast

Are You Wondering How To Increase Pull Up Strength?

Do you want to find out how to increase pull up strength quickly and effectively? No matter how difficult it seems, you CAN gain tons of strength in your pull ups. All it takes is working on two things.

The quickest way to increase pull up strength would be to lose weight. The less quick but longer term way is to build muscle. There is no reason that you can’t do both at the same time though. This will maximize your progress. The amount of pull ups that seemed impossible before, will merely become your warm up.

Get stronger at pull ups quickly by losing weight

The fastest way for a beginner to increase pull up ability is to lose weight. This rings true not just for the beginner though. Anyone carrying extra pounds could greatly increase their pull up strength by dropping some.

The less your body weighs, the easier the pull up. It’s important to keep in mind that not all kind of weight should be lost. You gotta keep the muscle. Losing fat should be the bigger focus for this endeavor.

How does one lose fat? For those who don’t already know, diet is key. Make sure you eat plenty of veggies and avoid high glycemic foods. For more info on that check out my nutrition page.

Here's how to increase pull up strength by diet. Get plenty of protein and healthy carbohydrates.

Get plenty of protein and healthy carbohydrates.

Avoid white carbs like white bread, white rice, and regular potatoes. You can substitute these with whole wheat bread, brown rice, and sweet potatoes. These are just a few examples. You shouldn’t need to count calories if you eat plenty of veggies and healthy carbs.

In order to effectively lose fat without getting weaker, have lots of protein. Protein is the building block for muscle. Muscle burns fat to sustain itself. As a result, eating protein helps you burn fat and build muscle. For max results aim for 1 gram protein per pound of body weight. I personally go for even more than that, but for most it should be enough.

Do you want to accelerate your gains in pull ups strength? Do some intensive cardio! You may be thinking, “how would cardio do anything for pull up strength??” Well, indirectly it does. Good cardio does two things for pull ups. These are:

  • Increased blood flow.
  • Increased metabolism.

The increase in blood flow means faster recovery from workouts. This helps you get stronger quicker. Increasing the metabolism causes quicker fat burning. As we know, less fat means less weight to pull.

Building up your pull up muscles

The more long term way of increasing pull up strength is building solid muscle. Muscle growth is a slow process. This is why it’s quicker to drop the unneeded weight first.

When building muscle it’s important to have a solid routine. This will allow you to progress at a steady pace.

Curious of how to increase pull up strength? Practice and practice some more.

You get better at pull ups by doing them. Practice often.

What if you can’t do a even 1 pull up? In this case I’d recommend starting off with static holds. This is where you use a chair to get to the top of a pull up. Grab on to the bar and hold yourself in that position for as long as you can. Work your way up to 30 seconds. At that point you will probably be able to do a pull up. Work at it every day.

So, you’re at a point where you can do a couple pull ups or maybe more. A solid routine that you can build from would look like:

*Monday – Wednesday – Friday – Pull ups 3 sets of 8 – and when you can’t do more, do the static holds I mentioned earlier for the remainder of your set.

Seems simple right? That’s the point. Your muscles don’t need some super crazy complex routine to get stronger at pull ups. You would of course add exercises for other body parts in that plan. Check out my workout post for more info on that. My current back workout looks like this and It’s brought me excellent progress:

*Monday – 2 sets of 8 Chin ups – 2 sets Heavy Dumbbell Rows 15 reps
*Friday – 2 sets of 5 wide grip pull ups – Barbell Rows 12 reps

This is a simple snippet though. My workout includes exercises for all my muscles. You might have noticed that I don’t personally work out my back 3 times a week. I recommended that in the other plan because beginners recover faster. It takes me a bit longer to recover so I do pull ups less often.

The biggest determining factor for me personally

In figuring out how to increase pull up strength, I’ve found that if I don’t eat enough good quality food then I don’t get stronger. Period. It may seem counter intuitive, but as you get more advanced your muscles burn more fat. I personally don’t do “cuts” to burn fat off specifically. It usually happens when I eat the right foods and get stronger.

This of course doesn’t work the same if you eat terrible foods. The foods that I eat are based on high protein and low glycemic carbs. Check out my nutrition for more info on foods like that. I also find that the more I spread my food out, the stronger I get. I also seem to lose even more fat this way. This is what works for me personally.

Here’s the verdict

We’ve covered and shown how to increase pull up strength. In doing so, we established that:

  • Losing weight will increase pull up ability.
  • Good cardio can indirectly help pull up strength.
  • Simple is sometimes best when creating a pull up plan.
  • Eating good low glycemic, high protein foods are vital to strength.

All in all you should eat right and push yourself in the gym. It doesn’t matter as much what pull up workout you follow. What’s important is that you are advancing in strength bit by bit with each workout. If you notice that you plateau, try adding more GOOD food to your diet. In my experience this usually does the trick.

Remember to keep hydrated and sleep well. The strength and muscle building happens when you sleep after all! Good luck and stick through your plan week by week. You’ll find that eventually what used to be really hard eventually becomes your warm up. There will be no greater feeling, so make sure you push through!

Thanks for reading! Feel free to bookmark, comment, and email. If you have any questions about fitness, let me know! I’ll be glad to hear from and get back to you.

James – page button)

Source Naturals Melatonin Review – Sleep Aid

My Personal Review Of Source Naturals Melatonin

I recently wrote an article about how to get better sleep naturally. Among my favorite sleep aid supplements is melatonin. It’s natural, effective, and cheap. I’ll be reviewing the Source Naturals melatonin brand. This is the brand that I personally use. I don’t use it everyday though.

Product: Source Naturals Melatonin, 2.5mg, Peppermint
Price: 14.49
Best Place To Buy(Cheapest):
Amount In Container: 240 tablets.
How Long A Container Will Last: 240 days(if 1 tablet taken everyday. I don’t recommend this though. It’s better to use as needed.)
My Rating: 4.25/5.0

Why I take this occasionally

Every so often I’ll have one of those nights where I can’t fall asleep. I’m sure you’ve experienced the same thing. You roll around in bed a few times, trying to get comfortable. Minutes go by, and eventually hours. This was especially common when I would experience anxiety.

I would be unable to fall asleep on nights when I NEEDED my energy the next day. It was extremely frustrating. I found the frustration made it even harder fall asleep. This created an endless cycle.

After a bit of research, I came across melatonin supplements. I was looking forward to trying it and bought some.

My Experience with Source Naturals Melatonin

When taking melatonin I find that falling asleep isn’t difficult. Once in a while I may feel drowsiness the following morning. This usually goes away after a couple hours. This generally happens if take slightly higher doses(2 tablets). For me at least, it seems to last most of the night on 1 tablet. However, I find that occasionally I’m wide awake about an hour before I normally would be. Although it doesn’t cause tiredness the next day.

This leads me to believe that the melatonin probably helped with my sleep quality too. Sleeping an hour less, but feeling just as restful is a positive in my book. I take it a couple times a week for those occasional sleepless nights. I plan on continuing use as I’ve found it’s cheap, natural, and effective.

The Pros, Cons of Melatonin Supplementation

Theres a reason I’m slightly wary of taking melatonin everyday. Because melatonin is naturally produced in the brain, I worry my natural production of it might be affected. After doing research I found that this isn’t the case. A few cons of melatonin supplementation would be:

  • Occasional grogginess for a few hours after waking
  • Bad to use in day time(It tells your body’s internal clock that it’s nighttime.)
  • Can cause vivid dreams(Some people don’t like it)
  • It costs money.

Melatonin is reported as being safe for short and long term use. Certainly safer than some prescription sleep medications, and not physically addicting. If I gathered a list of pros they would be:

  • Falling asleep is easier
  • Can potentially treat seasonal depression
  • Deeper sleep
  • Supposedly has anti-cancer effects
  • Cheap.

I find that the pros generally outweigh the cons. Melatonin is a pretty effective sleep aid and doesn’t have noticeable side effects. On those nights when sleep is a problem, I’m glad to have melatonin on hand.

Good sleep is essential for getting in shape and keeping healthy. One sleepless night can lead to more and pretty soon you are in serious sleep debt. In my opinion it’s better to have something to get through those insomnia periods. Melatonin does that job pretty well.

 Best Place To Get It

Source Naturals Melatonin Brand. It's cheap and effective.Melatonin is commonly sold in grocery and supplement stores. It’s also sold online. My favorite online carrier is amazon. It’s more convenient, reliable, and cheap. There’s also a large amount of reviewers on amazon. Even if I’m going to buy a product in the store I’ll look up amazon reviews first.

I think that everyone should have some melatonin in their arsenal of supplements. You never know when you’ll have one of those roll-around-for-hours nights. You’ll have the power of getting good sleep when you need it.

Give it a go and see if it works for you. Click Here.

What I’ll conclude

I believe melatonin is a solid supplement for anyone looking to get better sleep. Not something I’d take every day, but as needed. If you are in desperate need of an every day sleep aid, it’s shown to be safe. I personally don’t get every day insomnia so that’s why I reserve it for the troublesome nights.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this review. If you have an idea for what I should review next, shoot me a comment or email. I’d be glad to oblige. Feel free to also comment or email questions. Thanks for reading and good luck with your fitness goals!

James – page button)

Getting Over A Weight Loss Plateau – Tips

Getting Over A Weight Loss Plateau Is Actually Pretty Simple

Find out why getting over a weight loss plateau is not complicated.

Is the scale being stubborn?

Have you worked so hard but found that you can’t lose any more weight? There’s nothing more frustrating than seeing the scale stubbornly staying at the same weight. Getting over a weight loss plateau is not as tough as you think however.

There are a couple things that can be adjusted to keep the progress train going. There are two main factors that can cause plateaus. When corrected, your weight loss should continue without a problem. The two factors to change are exercise and calories consumed. There are other important factors like sleep and hydration, but those are more obvious.

When The Daily Food Intake Is To Blame

You have to consume less calories than you burn daily to lose weight. There are two common errors that cause diet based weight loss plateaus. Getting over a weight loss plateau would involve paying attention to these. They are:

  • Not eating enough calories.
  • Not adjusting calories based on current weight.

Not eating enough?

The first issue may seem counter intuitive, but I’ll tell you why it isn’t. All too often people try to “starve” themselves to lose weight. This will actually slow your metabolism. Muscle burns fat and when you don’t eat enough, you burn muscle.

Do you want to know how to get over a weight loss plateau? Eat complete meals.

A healthy snack, but this is not a complete meal.

I remember a time back in high school. I was trying to get ripped and thought eating an apple for lunch and nothing for breakfast would do it. To my surprise, I didn’t lose fat. I gained it! I was so confused. I researched all throughout the internet for what could cause this. Turns out my body was in something called “starvation mode.”

Starvation mode is when your body doesn’t get the energy it needs from foods. This causes your body to store fat. After increasing my calories and eating 6 small meals a day(You can do 3, it works just as well), I began losing bodyfat! And boy, I lost it fast too. Within about a month I dropped about 10 pounds and felt stronger as well! Don’t starve yourself.

To remedy this, just eat more. It’s as simple as that. If you are eating the right foods(see my article on nutrition to get an idea) then you don’t need to worry much about eating too much. If you are willing to calorie count, go for at least 2000 calories as a man. If you are a woman, start at 1500 calories per day.

If you dread the idea of calorie counting, just make sure to have proper meals. That means have a balance of proteins, carbohydrates, and fat. To go simpler than that, focus on having some meat, veggies, and complex carbs(non sugary). Complex carbs would include brown rice, oatmeal, bran cereal, etc.

You may be eating JUST right, but for your previous bodyweight

Now, about adjusting calories. You can have the perfect diet and still plateau. What gives? This doesn’t mean your diet is bad. However, you may need to lower your calories to account for your new bodyweight.

how to get over a weight loss plateau? Eat more of the right foods.

Slightly lower the quantity of your complete meals.

Say, you’ve lost 15 pounds. You went from 180 to 160(hypothetical of course). You now burn less calories per day. What that means is that your body has adjusted to the amount of food you eat. It has no reason to burn any more fat. It’s getting the same amount of calories it burns per day. This is what’s keeping your bodyweight the same.

What I’d recommend is lowering the amount you eat by just a little bit. You don’t have to count calories, but just lower the portion size slightly. Make sure that you were eating enough to begin with. If you were eating a good diet and losing weight fine for a while, then trying lowering calories just a small amount. See if it helps.

Good Exercise Can Kick-Start Your Metabolism

Your body adapts to what activities you do. If you’re active, your body will adjust to being active. This means losing weight, toning up, and feeling more energetic. It’s important to exercise regularly and this will help you all around when losing weight. It can:

  • Increase energy.
  • Ease depression.
  • Increase metabolism.
  • Improve mental sharpness.
  • Improve circulation.

The list of benefits from exercise are endless. If you aren’t exercising and hit a weight loss plateau, do it. It may just immediately get you past it.

Maybe you already exercise and still can’t figure out how to get over a weight loss plateau. Assuming your diet is right, you may just need to change things up a bit.

Change things up a bit
When getting over a weight loss plateau don't neglect exercise.

Exercise will ignite the fat burning process.

Just as your body can adapt to your eating plan, it can also adapt to your exercise plan. Try increasing the intensity of your exercise. If you walk regularly, try walking faster. For jogging try to pick a route that you can increase your times. If you ran 2 miles in 20 minutes try upping the speed. Run 2 miles in 17 minutes and continue.

I’ve found one of the most effective supplements to weight loss is weight training. Lifting weights help preserve and build muscle. Muscle burns fat so you can see why that’d be beneficial. Adding something simple like bench presses, squats, and deadlifts can really amplify your progress. Shoot for 3 sets of 8 on each exercise. Work your way up.

Tying It All Together

Getting over a weight loss plateau isn’t the hardest thing. Even so, there are some less obvious reasons why you’ve plateaued. To recap:

  • Not eating enough. If you are eating less than 1300 calories a day you are probably starving yourself. Eat more and your metabolism will increase.
  • Not lowering calories as your weight lowers. When you lose weight, you burn less calories. Therefore, you need less calories to burn more.
  • Don’t neglect exercise. There are so many reasons why one should exercise. You won’t live as long or lose as much weight if you don’t.
  • Try changing things up a bit if you already exercise. Your body has probably gotten used to your routine. Set harder goals. Run faster, walk faster, etc.
  • Start weight training if you want to maximize your results. Muscle burns fat and the more muscle you have, the more fat you burn.

I hope this article has helped in showing you how to get over a weight loss plateau. Just keep doing what you’re doing with a few adjustments. You should then be well on your way to getting in shape and feeling great.

Good luck and feel free to bookmark and give input! If you have any ideas on future articles I’d be glad to hear them. Let me know what you think of this article. If you have any questions or thoughts you can comment as well.

James – – page button)



Get Better Sleep Naturally – Sleep Deeper

Learn how to get better sleep naturally – And Deeper

Don't fall asleep at your desk. Get better sleep naturally!

Is your sleep interfering with your life?

Are you trying to figure out how to get better sleep naturally? Do you roll around in bed at night, or perhaps wake up constantly? For most people, it’s not uncommon to have sleeping problems.

There are many factors that can contribute to bad sleep that involve diet, technology, among other things. Making sure you it’s lights out within an hour or 2 before bed usually helps. Avoiding eating high carb foods before bed can help aid in sleep as well.

There are also a few things you can take that aid in sleep quality. Before that, it’s important to fix whatever issues may be causing sleep, as it may be simple and you don’t yet realize it.

Lights are killing your sleep

Cut out the lights and sleep deeper.

Cut out those lights!

Not many really realize the bad effects that bright lights can have on a person’s sleep. This is especially true when you have lights on late at night. It disrupts your body’s natural sleep hormones, particularly melatonin. This hormone aids in your body’s ability to promote sleepiness and deep sleep.

If you want to get better sleep naturally, it’s important to cut out the lights within 2 hours of going to bed. If you don’t want a completely dark house, then dimming them will also help. If you can’t dim the lights, it helps to have smaller lamps that you can turn on instead that won’t be too bright.

Your body can’t rest if your stomach is too active

Eating before bed can cause serious sleep issues. While it may sometimes not noticeably affect sleep, it can prevent you from sleeping deeper. This is especially true with foods that have carbohydrates in them. Foods that are tougher to digest like meat can also be culprits.

If you want to get better sleep naturally, please don't eat this.

Want to feel like a zombie the next day? Eat this before bed.

This is because when you eat these foods, you use energy to digest. This in turn increases heart rate because blood needs to pump to the stomach. When your heart rate is increased, it’s harder to relax. Ever notice your heart rate go up after a sugary meal? Same rules apply.

I’m not advocating you have nothing at all before bed, as some people get low blood sugar. Instead I would recommend avoiding foods that are hard to digest. The more energy needed during digestion the more it keeps you awake. Foods high in carbs will pump your body full of energy because of the sugars and this isn’t good either.

Things like:

  • Protein powder(Pick a brand that is pure)
  • Milk(if you’re not lactose intolerant)
  • Bananas(they help with acid reflux too!)
  • Almonds
  • Almond butter(one of my classic favorites)
  • Cottage Cheese(again only if you aren’t lactose intolerant)

are all great things to have before bed and should actually help sleep. Getting low blood sugar from sleep is just as bad as eating some big meal before bed in my opinion. Just make sure that you don’t have any allergies to these foods.

Want to maximize your sleep?

There are a few tried and true supplements that can help you get better sleep naturally. It’s important to not rely on any supplement for good sleep. This can cause a vicious cycle. While these supplements are not harmful, it’s still better to fix what you can before resorting to sleep aids.

Melatonin for deeper sleep
Melatonin can help you sleep deeper and better.

Melatonin is produced naturally in your brain.

The first and most commonly used sleep supplement is melatonin. Melatonin is basically the same thing as what your brain produces to make you sleepy at night. At appropriate doses it causes relaxation and drowsiness. It also helps you get higher quality sleep and makes you sleep deeper.

There have been many times when I couldn’t fall asleep at night. Especially when I had to go to bed earlier to wake up earlier, melatonin never failed. If you take some melatonin and lay in bed you will fall asleep. Check out my review here.

Valerian Root to calm the mind and body

A more common supplement to get better sleep naturally is valerian root. I’m not as big of a fan of this one personally. It helps calm the mind and body, but sometimes leaves a tired feeling upon waking.

It works by promoting relaxation, which should help someone sleep. This makes it more helpful for people who can’t sleep due to anxiety or restless mind. It is the natural version of a strong relaxer called “valium.” Valium contains a high amount of the drug inside of valerian root. Valerian root is the whole plant on the other hand.

I’d recommend this one for those nights when you can’t calm down enough to sleep. If you’re calm already but just not tired, then melatonin is probably a better option.

Recap and Cliffs

There are many factors that can affect one’s ability to get better sleep naturally. The factors I covered seem to be the most common ones.

To recap:

  • Don’t eat high carb foods before bed.
  • Don’t eat foods that take a lot of energy to digest.
  • Turn out or dim the lights within a couple hours before bed.
  • Melatonin is a great sleep aid to promote drowsiness and deeper sleep.
  • Valerian Root is great for inducing relaxation and calming an overactive mind.

I hope this article has been helpful. If you have any recommendations on what I should write about next, feel free to let me know.

Send me an email or comment if you have questions and I’ll get back to you.

James – – page button)

Pure Encapsulations Magnesium Review – Feel Great

My Personal Pure Encapsulations Magnesium Review

In my last article, I mentioned the importance of essential minerals in preventing leg cramps. Among these minerals, magnesium is one that a lot of people tend to be deficient in. I also promised a review of my personal favorite magnesium supplement, the one I use everyday that put an end to my leg cramps(in addition to exercise). It’s called Pure Encapsulations Magnesium. So without further ado, let the review commence:

Product: Pure Encapsulations Magnesium – Glycinate – 180 capsules
Price: $31.30
Best Place To Buy(where I bought mine):
Amount In Container:
180 capsules
How Long A Container Will Last:
Taking the RDA for men would last you 45 days, for women, 60 days. Given a good diet, this level of dosing may not be necessary though.
My Rating:

Why I started taking this

I originally suffered from leg cramps on an almost nightly to nightly basis. It usually occurred in the very early hours of the morning for me. I’d be off asleep dreaming I was on some nice beach somewhere, and then out of nowhere it felt like someone was ripping my calf apart. I would struggle to get out of my bed to stretch my calf, which got rid of the cramp. However, I would have an ache in my calf that lasted the rest of the day.

I couldn’t figure out what was causing this, so I did a bit of research. Apparently the main causes were lack of blood flow, dehydration, and mineral imbalances. Exercise was something I did pretty much on a daily basis, so I ruled that out. I drank a gallon of water a day, so I ruled out dehydration. I also ate bananas on a daily basis and salted my foods, so that ruled out potassium and sodium deficiencies. The last mineral left? Magnesium.

My personal experience with Pure Encapsulations Magnesium

I went to amazon and looked for the top rated brand, like I do with most of my supplements. I came across Pure Encapsulations Magnesium and read the reviews. Many people claimed that it completely removed their leg cramps. That was my “Ah hah!” moment. I then ordered a container and waited. It arrived in a couple days and I immediately opened it and took two capsules.

Pure Encapsulations Magnesium Review

I opened up the bottle and took two capsules.

The initial effects I noticed were a general feeling of calmness. This was delightful as I always struggled with anxiety. Also noticeable was how relaxed my body felt, especially my muscles. I took a couple more before bed and didn’t struggle falling asleep as I normally do. Also strange was that I woke up the next morning feeling refreshed, and I didn’t experience any leg cramps! I chalked it off to placebo or coincidence and kept taking it.

Nights went by and I no longer woke up with leg cramps. If I did, it was very infrequently and the intensity was completely lessened. I was ecstatic! My body felt better, I no longer got random muscle aches. I had less anxiety, and I noticed my body lost a bit of fat in the process. Whether this was a direct effect of magnesium, or less stress due to the magnesium leading to less cortisol, I didn’t care. I felt much better and still do.

The pros, cons and benefits of magnesium supplementation

Someone may ask, why supplement? Why not just eat more of foods with lots of magnesium? Well, I do eat foods that are supposedly high in magnesium. On a daily basis I eat a well balanced diet but even then that didn’t cut it for me. The RDA for magnesium in men is 410-420 mg per day and 310-320 mg per day for women. These numbers are even higher for people who exercise. I was still getting leg cramps despite my diet.

The general pros for magnesium supplementation include:

  • Improved sleep
  • Assist in fat loss(directly or indirectly)
  • Helps ease anxiety and improve relaxation
  • Gets rid of leg cramps
  • Improved overall mineral balance
  • Strengthens bones, joints, and heart

and many more. Magnesium is one of the most(if not most) important mineral in your body. A lack of magnesium can cause your body to not absorb many other vital vitamins and minerals. The only real cons to this supplementation would be:

  • Price(who wants to spend money?)
  • Can cause slight stomach discomfort in some people(I didn’t experience any)
  • Remembering to take them can get annoying sometimes.

Though I’m sure many of us can empathize with the first and last cons, at the same time though, these are far from deal breakers. The benefits of actually getting good sleep, at least for me, outweigh the cons of paying 30 bucks every month and a half. Not to mention the fact that when a leg cramp would happen, I would easily trade in at least that just to make the pain stop.

Our bodies don’t like to be deficient in minerals and will spell out clear signs which let us know(hopefully) to correct this.

Where do I get it?

As I mentioned above, I usually buy most of my supplements on Amazon, as I love the free two day shipping. In this case I usually picked one day shipping because I didn’t feel like spending another night potentially in pain.

Thanks to Magnesium Supplementation, I am glad to finally be free of leg cramps. I can’t remember the last time I had one and I’m glad of that fact. It’s common for many people to be deficient in magnesium, and I had no idea until I tried supplementation. After trying everything I felt that leg cramps were going to something I’d have to get used to. I was willing to try anything at that point. My Pure Encapsulations review is concluded. It rocks!

Magnesium is my number one supplement at this point. I’d encourage you to give magnesium a shot and see if it works for you. At the worst, you’ll feel much better overall and sleep better. Being that magnesium is the body’s natural muscle relaxer, it should help regardless.

This is a supplement I won’t ever go without

That concludes my opinion and review of Pure Encapsulations Magnesium. I hope this has been informative and that you will consider trying magnesium as well. It worked for my leg cramps, helped my anxiety, and I’m overall very happy with it. I can’t see myself ever stopping supplementation as it’s been very worth it, despite the couple cons.

If you suffer with leg cramps like I did, don’t hesitate to do what it takes to diminish them. No one should have to wake up in the middle of the night, tormented by the horrendous feeling that many of us experience or have experienced. Get your magnesium supplement today!

Thanks for reading and feel free to comment or bookmark my site. I will be adding more product reviews in the future and don’t hesitate to send me some review ideas for other products. I hope you have found what you need. Stay in shape!

James – –

Natural Cures For Leg Cramps – Surprising Medical Causes

Simple Natural Cures For Leg Cramps | Medical Causes

Have you ever been in a blissful deep slumber only to be ripped away by an agonizing feeling somewhere in your lower body? If so, then you’ve probably experienced a muscle cramp. The feeling where your muscle is tightened beyond belief and you can’t think of anything to do but wait it out? I’ve been there before and I’ll share my natural cures for leg cramps. The medical causes of leg cramps are more simple than you thought..

Leg cramps are usually caused by a mineral deficiency, lack of blood flow, dehydration, or a combination of them all. Plenty of people trying to be healthy and feel good run into leg cramps now and again, but don’t fret. I’ll go into detail about each of these causes and also what I personally did to get rid of mine. I had them almost every night until I made a few of the adjustments mentioned above.

Commonly overlooked mineral deficiencies

Our bodies need certain minerals to function properly. When we have a shortage, we get problems. This can manifest in many ways, but we’ll explore the medical causes of leg cramps in relation to these minerals. Getting these minerals in balance is among the most effective of the natural cures for leg cramps.

Eat bananas to prevent potassium based leg cramps.

Eat a banana a day for optimum potassium levels.

These essential minerals are sodium, potassium, and magnesium. Sodium and potassium are not much of a worry in a typical diet. In fact, many people get too MUCH salt on a daily basis. Potassium isn’t usually an issue unless you never eat greens or bananas. That leaves the last culprit. Magnesium.

Magnesium is the bodies’ natural muscle relaxer and is one of the most important minerals for humans. Lack of magnesium may keep one from absorbing other minerals as well. This can cause a domino effect. People usually don’t get enough in their diet and this could lead to some/or all of these issues and more:

  • Muscle cramps
  • Anxiety
  • Difficulty sleeping or staying asleep
  • Muscles spasms
  • Eye twitches

The recommended daily minimum amount of magnesium is 410-420 mg for men, and 310-320 mg for women. This number increases slightly with age and more if you exercise. These numbers are difficult to achieve with diet alone and I personally needed to supplement. Within a week of supplementing, my cramps were gone and my anxiety lessened. I could also sleep well and felt better overall.

Lack of blood flow plays a role

Ever wonder why leg cramps tend to be more common when laying down? This is because   of inadequate blood flow to the legs. Simply put, in the daytime gravity pulls blood down into the lower body and legs. When you’re laying down however, gravity doesn’t do that and instead blood gets to your legs and feet last.

Our bodies rely on gravity to complete lots of functions, including digestion. Ever hear that it’s bad to lay down after eating? The same principles apply. The body is conditioned to react to gravity. This alone isn’t the cause for leg cramps, but is usually a factor in addition to a mineral deficiency or dehydration.

exercise is one of the natural cures for leg cramps

Regular exercise can improve blood flow and lessen leg cramps.

Poor exercise habits can also contribute to poor blood flow in the body. This is because the heart is strengthened by activity and weakened by lack of. This leads to higher blood pressure, which leads to poor blood flow, and eventually leads to leg cramps.

Getting in shape in addition to getting enough magnesium, for many, will put a complete end to leg cramps. For getting in shape and improving blood flow, you’re at the right place. Feel free to browse my Exercise section and read some of my posts. You’ll find out all you need to know, and not be overwhelmed in the process.

Are you drinking enough water?

Quite commonly, people don’t drink enough water. So it’s not surprising that this would be one of the medical causes of leg cramps. For an average person it’s commonly touted that you should drink 8 cups of water per day. This number may not be concrete, but it’s a good rule of thumb to follow. The number of cups increases when you regularly exercise.

Water is one of the main building blocks of life itself and we as humans are about 60 percent of it. It’s one of the best natural cures for leg cramps. Water keeps everything working correctly, including muscles. Lack of water can negatively affect your mineral balance, which throws your potassium, sodium, and magnesium levels even more out of balance.

Dehydration is one of the medical causes of leg cramps

Drink plenty of water to help avoid leg cramps.

There are certain signs that indicate mild dehydration. Most of them may be obvious, but some may surprise. Here they are as follows:

  • Dry mouth
  • Muscle cramps(Not always though)
  • Tiredness
  • Thirst
  • Dry skin
  • Headaches(My most common indicator)
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Constipation

I personally aim for about a gallon a day(I know, seems like a lot), as I’ve found that I get classic signs dehydration if I drink any less. This is because my goals cater more towards maximum strength and fitness. So, I sweat a lot. The number may be different for you, but stick to at least 8 cups per day.

Linking it all together

We’ve gone over the medical causes for leg cramps and how they can build on each other. We also covered the natural cures for leg cramps and how simple things like getting enough magnesium can stop them. In order to effectively prevent them, one must also get adequate blood flow through exercise and avoid dehydration. Remember:

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Get enough daily magnesium
  • Get your blood flowing through exercise
  • Eat a well rounded diet with plenty of potassium(include bananas)
  • Most people get enough sodium in their diet

For those of you that are interested, I will be making a review of what I believe to be the best magnesium supplement and why. I’ve used it as well as many others and have found that it’s helped immensely.

UPDATE: I just finished my preferred magnesium supplement review.

Feel free to browse my site if you are looking to get into exercise, whether it’s for preventing leg cramps or feeling better in general. There is a wealth of information and it should make the process of getting into shape much less overwhelming.

Thanks for reading and feel free to comment or bookmark this page.

James –





How To Burn Calories At Home – Quickly

How to burn calories at home without equipment

Whether you’re trying to lose fat, build muscle, or just get in shape, you’re going to be burning calories. You don’t need to drive miles to an expensive gym in order to walk in place on a treadmill when you get there. I’ll tell you how to burn calories at home without all that fancy gym equipment.

I'll show you just how to burn calories at home.

No gym? No Problem!

The reality is, everything you do that is physical burns calories. Whether it’s cleaning the house, gardening, or being on your feet in general. Given this, it’s not too difficult to find activity that would burn calories and still be fun at the same time. There are some forms of activity that are more efficient and quicker than others however.

I assume you would like to save time and get the maximum benefit for the least amount of time(don’t we all?). The quickest way to burn calories would involve any exercise that uses your leg muscles. These are the largest muscles in your body, therefore demanding more calories and thus burning more when used.

Sprinting for fat loss and maximum muscle activation

By far the most efficient exercise for burning calories is sprinting. You can do it down the street, on a sidewalk, or even at your nearest park. If you don’t feel comfortable doing it outside in broad daylight(I do it all the time), then try doing it at night when no one’s out. The streets and sidewalks will be empty allowing maximum privacy and space.

How to burn calories at home? Sprint!

Sprinting at night is perfectly acceptable.

The reason why I recommend sprinting first and foremost is that it not only burns calories due to the activity, but it also works your muscles intensely. When your muscles are worked this way, they will need more calories to become better and stronger. These calories come from the one thing we want less of(Fat!). The saying “muscle burns fat” is very true. I as well as many people I’ve trained have experienced this first hand. Sprinting has a way of melting the extra fat off, revealing the toned and defined body underneath.

Sprinting also increases the muscle building and fat burning hormones in your body which make up for an even greater effect. All these factors combined make sprinting an overall fantastic exercise and I guarantee you won’t get bored. If by any chance that happens, try listening to motivating music that you like while doing it. It makes the experience that much more enjoyable.

While sprinting by itself has amazing benefits, the effects are multiplied when you combine this with a lighter form of cardio. What’s this lighter form of cardio you ask?

The importance of power walking..

Power walking would be considered a lighter form of cardio that is easier on your joints. All too often people go straight from sedentary to sprinting without conditioning their joints through walking first. This is a big no no. Your body needs time to adapt to exercise and walking is the perfect form of exercise to start out with.

When I mention injuries, I’m not talking about tripping and falling over your shoe laces. The injuries I talk about are less noticeable and can creep up on you. Such injuries include shin splints, knee pain, hip pain, or other lower body aches. At first one might notice a dull ache in their shins that gradually increases in intensity. This pain can reach a point where it’s too excruciating to even stand up. So definitely start off slowly.

Are you wondering how to burn calories at home? Get your heart in the cardio zone.

Place your index and middle finger on your neck to easily track your heart rate.

While you walk, it’s important to track your heart rate. For maximum benefits to the heart and for burning steady calories, try to get your heart rate to at least 80. To track this, put your index and middle fingers up to your neck right under your jaw, press and you’ll notice a pulse. Use a timer and count how many times this pulses in a period of 15 seconds. Multiply the number of beats by 4 and that’s your current heart rate.

If walking itself seems boring, you can listen to music, play an audiobook, meditate(my favorite), and any other thing a pair of headphones and a listening device can do. Aside of burning calories, walking can fix a cloudy mood and increase energy!

Jogging and other activities..

Jogging is a great way to burn calories and increase metabolism. The only reason why I didn’t mention jogging first, is because it does take a toll on the joints. This is especially true when jogging on sidewalks or the street where the repeated impact of your body on the hard surfaces can cause accumulated(builds up over time) injury. Make sure to wear well supporting shoes while jogging. Also land your feet toe first rather than heel first as this will help transfer the impact to your muscles, rather than your hip and pelvis bones.

When asked how to burn calories at home, I'll recommend cycling but be careful.

When cycling, always wear a helmet and avoid riding in the street if possible.

Cycling is probably one of the easiest forms of exercise on the joints and I’d highly recommend it. It also has its dangers however. It’s not uncommon to hear about fatal bicycle accidents, hit and runs, and other horror stories surrounding this activity. One must be cautious and always wear a helmet. Some places have great bike paths that can make traffic related accidents a non issue. Although, in really populated places with little emphasis on bike traffic, I would recommend choosing some other form of exercise.

Putting it all together

As you can see, there are plenty of alternative ways of exercising that don’t require fancy gym equipment. There tends to be much more of a adventurous/realistic feeling when running or walking actually takes you somewhere. Which is contrary to cycling, jogging, or walking in place on some treadmill or bike machine in a 75 degree gym. You can make the same results, if not better by exercising outdoors.

This nature of exercise outdoors does require certain carefulness and protective measures. On a treadmill, a lot of the impact of running or jogging is absorbed through the shock absorber on the device whereas raw pavement provides no such cushioning. This is why you need to start off slowly and work your way up to allow your bones and joints to adapt, which prevents injury. Finally, if cycling outside always wear a helmet.

Now that you know how to burn calories at home safety, just remember that for burning fat or building muscle, diet needs to be focused on as well for best results. You can learn a lot more about diet from some of my other articles or by visiting my Nutrition page.

Good luck, stay safe, and feel free to comment or bookmark this site. You can also send me an email and I’ll be happy to reply.

James – –


How To Get Ripped At Home – The Simple Way

Here’s How To Get Ripped At Home

get a ripped body

Get a ripped body at home!

Are you trying to get a toned body but for whatever reason can’t go to the gym? I’m going to tell you how to get ripped at home, with minimal equipment. It’s not that difficult, and if you put in effort and dedication, you can make an amazing transformation in your body in a matter of weeks!

When attempting to get ripped there is usually a mental barrier. If one hasn’t gotten to that level of shape, then one might feel like it’s an impossible challenge. I can definitely tell you it is NOT impossible or even near impossible. When given effort, it’s easier than a lot of life things that we normally succeed at. Things like, finishing school or working hard towards a promotion at work.

So the question is the how-to, as in how to get ripped at home. Well if it’s not impossible, then it still has to be complicated right? WRONG! It’s actually very simple. The hierarchy of things to get there involves diet as most important, sleep and hydration which are up there with diet, and finally exercising which ignites that desirable fat burning process.

In The Kitchen…

There’s a reason why diet comes first, not to mention the common saying “abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym.” It’s true! Your body becomes what it eats. So if you eat tons of carbs and little protein, then your body’s visual appearance will follow. You won’t have much muscle, your body fat levels may rise, and most of all you won’t be ripped.

Now that we’ve established the importance of diet, you probably wonder how should your diet be when trying to get ripped at home? It would be the same if you were going to the gym regularly. Food is still food. Diet is one thing that remains universal. One thing to keep in mind is that you need to permanently change your diet if you want to stay ripped.

I always suggest to anyone wondering how to get ripped at home to follow a low glycemic diet plan. Not high carb, low carb, or no carb… but slow carb. Slow carbs are short for carbs that are low on the glycemic index(more on that here). In short, carbs that don’t have high sugar but mainly consist of carbohydrates that come from foods like:

  • Brown Rice
  • Whole wheat bread
  • Beans(with digest aids like beano, or gasx)
  • Pasta
  • Green veggies
  • Oatmeal or Oat bran(I prefer oat bran)
  • Sweet potato

What you may notice about these foods is that they also have fat gaining counter parts, like the white version of these foods(white rice instead of brown rice for example) which have higher sugar content because they are stripped of the outer nutrients and fiber.

get ripped fast

Be sure to get enough protein with your green veggies.

Also important is to consume lots of protein. Protein definitely burns fat and for anyone trying to get ripped, having some muscle is essential. This is why you never really see people who starve themselves that also have a nice, healthy looking six pack. In order for your muscles to pop out and reveal your “rippedness,” you need some muscle in the first place.

Sleep And Water Intake

Equally as important as nutrition is sleep and hydration. Our bodies are mostly water, and we expel it on a daily basis, so it makes sense that we need an adequate supply to maintain this natural level of bodily water. Just as vital as water, sleep is when our bodies repair and recharge. Without sleep, you likely wouldn’t have the mental energy to stick to a weight loss plan in the first place.

Drink water to get ripped

Drink plenty of water. Our bodies are about 60% water after all.

When people debate how to get ripped at home, a common recommended water intake is 8 cups per day. I’d say this is minimum. I personally go for at least a gallon of water per day to be completely sure my body is getting adequate hydration. Getting plenty of water speeds metabolism, and some need more than others. Do what feels good for you, but at least 8 cups.

Sleep is another commonly argued issue. Some say to get at least 6 hours per night, some say 9. Sleep especially person dependent. I, for example, could not get by on less than 8 and even that is not quite enough. Others can sleep on 5 hours a night and feel groggy if they get more than that. I recommend sleeping until you are no longer tired, but making sure you go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. No alarm clocks!

The Exercise Part

Exercise is the final piece to the “how to get ripped at home” puzzle. Your body adapts to your activities. If you sit on the sofa all day, your body will adapt to best fit that. If you getting good cardio, as well as doing some resistance training, your body will adapt accordingly. I have a section dedicated on exercise that can guide you through this process here.

In short though, I’d recommend doing cardio daily that would consist of jogging and/or sprinting. If you are a beginner however, try starting out with power walking to condition your joints and avoid shin splints. Also add some form of bodyweight exercises in addition to your cardio. Such a plan may look like:

  • Monday: Pull ups(as many as you can do), Jogging/power walk
  • Tuesday: Sprinting, Jogging, Crunches(as many as you can)
  • Wednesday: Push ups(as many as you can do), Jogging/power walk
  • Thursday: Sprinting, Jogging, Crunches(as many as you can)
  • Friday: Pull ups(same as monday, but on next monday do push ups and work in that order), Jogging/power walk
  • Saturday: Sprinting, Jogging, crunches/ or light cardio if you prefer.
  • Sunday: off

As you can see, the routine is relatively simple. It should get you to your goal of being ripped. If you want to be BIG and ripped however, I’d recommend investing in a gym or some weights at home. Doing push ups and pull ups can only get you so far before your body needs something harder to continue making progress.


That should about cover the basics, any more detailed information could be found on my Nutrition and Exercise sections. As you can see, getting ripped is relatively straightforward. Important though, is paying attention to the key details-diet, exercise, and sleep- and you should be well on your way to the dream body you’ve always wanted. Always make sure to drink enough water as well.

As with anything, don’t give up too early. If you’re not seeing results quickly, try making sure the key issues mentioned are well organized. If they are, just be patient. Everyone progresses at different rates. Good luck, and stay committed!

James – –