Strength is the cornerstone of fitness. Building muscle allows you to hit harder and move faster, and it also enhances your ability to effectively lose weight and withstand injury. By increasing your strength, you’re also improving your health.
There are a variety of exercise routines fitness enthusiasts can use to build muscle. Foods like high protein, low carb bars can also help in building muscle without contributing to unnecessary weight gain.
Some of the most effective strategies for building strength and muscle mass include:
- Get back to basics –The bench press, shoulder press, deadlift, and squat are time-honored exercises for a good reason – they work. Incorporate these basic exercises into your routine, and you’ll soon begin seeing results. Also add classics like the chin-up and the row to your workout.
- Gradually increase weight – A key reason why many exercise enthusiasts hit a wall in building muscle is that they try to ramp up weight too quickly. Don’t turn your workout into a competition with others. Do your lifts using a little less than your max weight for lifting in the rep range of your exercise. Slowly increase weight over time, and don’t add large amounts at one time. This slow burn will allow greater success in building strength.
- Maintain balance to avoid injury – An injury will quickly put your bid to increase your muscle mass to a screeching halt. There are several ways to avoid injury, and one of the most effective is balancing your training. Make sure you do both pushing and pulling exercises to ensure your muscle development is even. Exercises don’t have to be balanced in one session, but it is wise to balance your exercises within the same week. Also, don’t forget leg day.
- Work out standing up – When you work out while you’re standing, you’ll use more muscles and burn more calories. There are a number of great dumbbell exercises you can use in a standing position to increase your strength. The great thing about these exercises is that they work your core and your mid-section, too.
- Consume plenty of protein – Protein is essential to building and maintaining muscle. Men and women trying to build muscle mass should consume one gram of protein for every pound of body weight each day. Spread the protein out over several small meals each day for maximum effectiveness. There are a variety of sources where exercise enthusiasts can obtain protein, but one of the best involves eating high protein bars. These bars are healthy, have high protein content, and many derive protein from sources other than animal protein. Animal protein can contribute to kidney stones, so obtaining protein from non-animal sources is a good idea if you’re stepping up your consumption of this nutrient.
With the right diet and exercise regimen, you can increase your strength and muscle mass, resulting in a healthier, more impressive body.
Promax Nutrition gives people who want better bodies the natural protein, vitamins, and minerals they need in delicious, gluten-free, vegetarian snack bars.
I love mixing PROMAX bars into dessert-type snacks for a sweet, protein punch!Which PROMAX bar do you like best?
PROMAX LS Lower Sugar Peanut Butter Cookie Dough!
Why is fitness and nutrition important to you?
It makes me feel good and strong and helps me to be confident, release stress.
What is one unique thing about you?
I’m in recovery from anorexia/orthorexia and a spinal cord injury but I won’t let anything hold me back! I’m determined to continue battling my obstacles and getting stronger, mentally and physically.
Check out Megan on Instagram!
1 scoop Peanut Butter Fluff whey
½ Promax Lower Sugar Peanut Butter Cookie Dough bar
4 Tbsp coconut flour (32g)
3 Tbsp egg substitute (46g)
¼ cup unsweetened applesauce (56g)
Roughly ½ cup unsweetened almond milk (120ml)
½ tsp vanilla
½ tsp baking powder
Sweetener, if desired (2 packets)
Mix together everything but the milk and Promax Lower Sugar protein bar. Add milk slowly until you get desired muffin batter consistency. Divide ½ of the protein bar into 5 pieces. Fill cups halfway, drop in protein bar piece, cover with batter. Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes.
Makes: 5 muffins
434 calories | 13F | 45C | 40P
Source: DOer, Kim Hoeltje @kimhoeltje
¼ cup Coconut Granola
1/3 cup Greek Yogurt
Stevia Sweetened Chocolate Chips
½ Promax Pro Series Peanut Butter Crisp Bar
- Layer the granola and Greek yogurt
- Chop up the half bar of Pro Series bar
- Top the sundae with the Stevia chocolate chips and the pieces of Pro Series bars
Recipe and photo courtesy of Brand Ambassador, Holly Perkins!
One of the big worries many people have when switching to a vegetarian or vegan diet is whether their new diet will contain sufficient protein. While vegan and vegetarian diets, on the whole, are healthier than consuming meat, these diets do not always provide sufficient protein. Fortunately, soy in the form of healthy protein bars can provide a great substitute for meat, ensuring vegans and vegetarians get all the nutrients they need.
Soy protein is derived from soybeans. Soybeans are a type of legume that are native to East Asia, but which are now grown around the world. Soybean has been found to be an inexpensive high-protein food, as soybeans produce more protein per acre than most other farm products. In fact, soy has so much protein it’s often called the “meat of the field.” Soy can be incorporated into a variety of foods, including dairy analogues, for people who are lactose intolerant or who wish to avoid animal products.
In addition to being high in protein content, soy also has the benefit of containing all the amino acids present in meat. While soy has all of the protein and amino acids present in meat, it has much lower fat content, making it a great alternative.
If you’re looking for even more reasons why soy is a great nutritional source, consider these health benefits:
- Soy helps your body get the most from other foods – Amino acids present in soy products help the body more efficiently process other foods. Getting the maximum nutritional value from foods helps you stay healthy and also helps you avoid overeating.
- Reduced heart disease risk – Studies show that soy will reduce LDL cholesterol, the “bad cholesterol” that doctors warn us about. The Food and Drug Administration says that consuming four servings of soy each day can help people reduce LDL cholesterol by nearly 10 percent. According to medical professionals, for every one percent reduction in LDL cholesterol, patients’ risk of heart disease drops by 2 percent. Heart disease is a major health concern, being a leading cause of death among Americans. Consuming soy is an excellent way to help avoid heart disease.
- Soy is easy to incorporate into your diet – It’s easy to make soy a part of your daily diet. There are a wide variety of soy products consumers can use, including soy milk, tofu, supplements, and protein bars. The great thing about the diversity of products is that no matter what your tastes are, chances are there is a soy product that you’ll enjoy.
- Soy is chockful of other nutrients – In addition to having plenty of protein, soy also contains lots of vitamin K, calcium, magnesium, iron, and fiber.
By making soy a part of your diet, you can enjoy the benefits of a vegan or vegetarian diet without losing important nutrients. You’ll also likely find that soy products taste great.
Promax Nutrition gives people who want better bodies the natural protein, vitamins, and minerals they need in delicious, gluten-free, vegetarian snack bars.
With the beginning of a new year, many people choose to undertake resolutions to bring a change in the coming days. With the winter temperatures keeping people under sweaters, blankets, and scarves, summer beach season seems almost like a lifetime away. However, a healthy mindset, combined with good nutrition and proper workouts, can get you ready for bathing suit season sooner than you know it. While working out, you also want to make sure you’re eating well. Having a protein bar after your work out can be helpful in helping your body reach full recovery.
Here are some tips and advice to help keep your health goals realistic and, most importantly, obtainable.
- It is so important to have realistic and practical goals. Before signing for an entire year contract at the gym, meet with a professional to discuss a strategy in order determine what are the most realistic goals to have. Once you have finalized what those goals are, establish the most sensible and safe way to achieve those goals.
- While many long-time gym members will complain about the high influx of new members during the first few weeks of the new year, they will also tell you about how the membership tapers off shortly after the beginning of the year. So, find a good gym buddy who will motivate you and whom you will motivate, and you can both be accountable for each other’s goals and successes.
- Using machines such as the elliptical, treadmill, and indoor bicycle can be fun and easy workouts, but they are not going to give you the extra push you need to reach your fitness goals. Take the time to rediscover strength training. It can add a new and exciting element to your workout, and most importantly, it will help build muscle as well increase your metabolism.
- Going to the gym five times a week and cutting out all unhealthy products may help you get closer to realizing your fitness objectives, but if it is leaving you sad, tired, and burned out, then it isn’t the best plan for you. Make sure that you are ending each week on a good note, and that you are still enjoying yourself while working out and eating right. A healthy balance of happiness is necessary to stay on track with your new healthy lifestyle.
- Treat yourself to a reward after achieving an accomplishment in your fitness plan. Whether that means a trip to the mall for some new clothes, a new iPhone, or a relaxing afternoon at the spa, rewards are extremely beneficial to keeping you motivated throughout your fitness journey.
- A solid fitness plan is only half the challenge in achieving a weight goal. Cutting out unhealthy foods and creating a good diet is another important component in weight loss. Alcohol, meat, sugars, and carbohydrates such as bread, rice, and pasta can all be causes of unnecessary body inflammation. Substituting these items for healthier options, such as lower carb energy bars, will help you more easily achieve your fitness objectives.
With these suggestions in mind, you can make this year one of the most successful, happiest, and healthiest ones yet. One way to make it even better is ensuring your fueled for the many busy and active days ahead with delicious protein bars from Promax Nutrition. Cheers to looking and feeling amazing in 2016!
Pushups may not be the fanciest or most complex of exercises, but there’s a reason that they’re a part of every workout routine that’s worth its salt. Pushups are the meat and potatoes of bodybuilding, the hearty staple around which everything else is built. Another thing they have in common – they come in a surprisingly wide variety that belies their reputation for being plain and boring. So, if you’re looking to build upper body strength, grab yourself a protein bar and start working these pushup routines into your workout.
This is the basic pushup that everyone knows: lay down on the ground with your palms flat on the ground and lined up with your shoulders, then use your arms to lift your body off the ground. It’s a simple and unglamorous exercise, but it works – a standard pushup works out your shoulders, chest, triceps, and core, all at the same time.
Assume the standard pushup position, but with your hands formed into a fist and your knuckles lying on the ground. When you lift up, hold the position and bring your right knee up to your left elbow. Hold for a few seconds, then bring your leg back and lower yourself to the ground. Repeat, switching which leg you stretch each time.
This variety of pushup works your abdominals, hip flexors, and back through body rotation, as well as giving your chest and triceps the same workout they’d get from a standard pushup.
These are the same as standard pushups, except your hands are spread out further from your shoulders in a wider stance. By moving your arms wider, you’ll force your chest muscles to do the majority of the work, giving your triceps and shoulders an incredibly great workout. If building upper body strength is your main goal, then wide-grip pushups should absolutely be a part of your bodybuilding routine.
Perform a set of ten pushups with your left leg held up in the air. When you’re finished, do another set of ten, this time with your right leg held up. Just like the wide-grip pushup changes the muscle groups that get the brunt of the workout, single-leg pushups focus the workout on the upper body and core, which makes them a great strength-building exercise.
Assume the standard pushup position, but with your knuckles flat on the ground instead of your palms. Lift up, then lower your chest to your left knuckle. Lift up again, then lower your chest to your right knuckle. Repeat for a full set.
The benefit of triangle pushups is that it forces one arm to bear a heavier load, building up the muscles in that arm faster. The change in body angle also causes more muscles to be stimulated, working out muscle groups that standard pushups can miss.
Ready to get started with your new pushup routines? Then you’ll need plenty of protein to power through your workout. Promax Nutrition protein bars are made from only the healthiest ingredients, and include none of the high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, or artificial sweeteners included in lesser protein bars.
Women may not always go straight for the weights when they enter the gym, especially if there are sweaty, burly dudes taking up too much space in front of them while they work out.
But, weight lifting and strength training are crucial for women to build muscle and strengthen their bones… That’s why creating a regular routine and establishing workout goals for yourself can be so rewarding!
But, we understand that diving headfirst into working out can be intimidating, especially if you’ve never done it before, so here are six tips you can follow to make your workout a success.
- Always Warm Up: One of the best ways to hurt yourself during your workout is by jumping straight into your weight lifting without stretching and warming up your body. By warming up first, you increase your circulation and improve your range of motion, which readies your body for whatever you might put it through later.
- Perfect Your Form: Another sure way to injure yourself is to go about the weight lifting process all wrong. And it’s understandable – sometimes you might be in a hurry and want to go through your whole routine, feel the burn, and get out of there without much thought. But this could lead to disaster – some studies have even shown women to be at higher risk for workout injuries than men. If you aren’t sure how to follow proper form, check with a trainer before continuing your workout… better safe than sorry!
- Pay Attention to Your Body: When you’re targeting specific muscles in your workout, be sure you’re feeling the burn in those muscles, not elsewhere. Also, realize that when your body has had enough, you have had enough. There are always more days and more workouts ahead of you, so pace yourself and enjoy the knowledge that next time you work out, you’ll be able to push even harder.
- Start Small: The best way to avoid torn ligaments, tendinitis, or excessively sore muscles and connective tissue is to gradually work your way into tougher routines. You may want to put everything you have into your first work out, doing as many reps and sets as you can at the highest weight your body can manage, but you may not be doing yourself a favor by doing so. Instead, start with weights you know your body can handle, and increase them over time.
- Take a Break: You may start wanting to spend every waking moment weight training, but it’s wise to take strategic breaks. Ideally, weight training should be performed 3 days a week. It’s best to put around 48 hours between working out each muscle group. And during that 48 hours, you’re guaranteed to feel that awesome soreness that indicates your muscles are becoming firmer, stronger, and more toned.
- Don’t Give Up: Working out with weights on a regular basis can sometimes feel like a full-time job, but don’t let it stress you out. Working out isn’t an obligation – it’s a gift you’re giving to yourself that pays off with a better, stronger body. When you aren’t lifting weights, spend time on the other days of the week performing cardio exercises. That way, you’ll begin seeing the results you want!
The grocery store can be a wholly confusing place. Between the florescent lighting, crowds, thousands of packaged foods, and maintaining a budget, is it any wonder than people at the grocery store can give up and pick whatever seems easiest?
But not you. You’ve reached your “I’ve had it!” moment and decided to dedicate yourself to improving your body.
You’ve decided to go hard at the gym and earn that hard body… and that requires putting down the ham at the grocery store, too. See, when people make the decision to improve their health, some will totally clean up their diets. Others will spend too much time in the gym and simply attempt to eat “better.” While commendable, this loose commitment can be a fitness killer: while improvement is always a worthy goal, without a solid knowledge base and a firm promise to yourself to do your best, it’s a recipe for failure.
You don’t know what the best foods are or what to cut. While you can follow If It Fits Your Macros principles the best way to reach speedy results is to prioritize putting whole, nutritious foods in your face-hole.
If you’re craving: processed deli meat, fatty ground beef, chicken with skin
Deli meat is known for being made up of low-quality fillers to keep prices low and chemicals to keep it from going bad during the months it sits in the case. Most of the tastiest varieties derive their taste from added sugars and sodium, like “honey roasted” or “maple smoked” flavors.
Eat this: Steak is full of saturated fats that are shockingly okay while you’re bulking.
If you train with weights and eat a diet heavier in fat, you’ll have more testosterone available to lift heavy. Be careful to consume only 15 percent of your total calories as saturated fats, and avoid all trans fats.
Oysters are an awesome happy hour snack. These salty mollusks are a little on the pricey side, but they’re a great splurge if you want some zinc in your diet. Zinc sparks hormone production, and studies show that giving athletes a zinc supplement for four weeks prior to exhaustive exercise increased their testosterone post-workout. Other foods high in zinc are chicken liver and pumpkin seeds.
Chicken with skin adds extra fat and no extra nutrients. A better option to pump up the flavor on your lean bird is to marinate your skinless chicken breast or cutlets in a low-sugar marinade for a budget-friendly protein bomb.
If you’re craving: ice cream, candy bars
Eat this: Greek yogurt has a higher proportion of protein than other kinds of yogurt, because it’s made by straining the extra liquid and carbs from them. It also has a large amount of casein, a “slow-digesting” protein that slowly releases amino acids into the blood. Loading up on Greek yogurt usually increases protein synthesis by 22 percent during the night. Avoid the flavored iterations, which include buckets of unneeded sugar, and sweeten with a tablespoon of natural honey instead.
We’ve been told that the Promax LS Chocolate Almond bars taste almost exactly like Payday candy bars, but with 18 grams of protein to keep you full, no artificial sweeteners, gelatin, or maltitol. Same story with our Promax LS Chocolate Mint bars and a certain well-known slim cookie only sold by little girls’ clubs.
If you’re craving: red wine, orange juice
Drinking your calories rarely leaves you sated, and never provides the nutrients and fiber found in the whole, natural ingredients. OJ is made with tons of added sugars that are less than optimal for your skin or your dream body.
Have this instead: The skin in red grapes contain resveratrol, which is a chemical that act as antioxidants in the body. They inhibit the conversion of testosterone into estrogen, which is important for anyone wanting to increase lean mass. While found in red wine, the resveratrol is much higher in whole grapes.
Grapefruit is the perfect vehicle for some vitamin C. It burns fat, improves function of the metabolic system, and reduces levels of insulin, regulating fat metabolism. Half a grapefruit has 40 mg of vitamin C. Adults recommended to have 65 – 90 mg per day, with the upper limit of 2000 mg/day.
If you’re craving: time to go to the gym and don’t want to cook
Have this instead: one of our many Promax bars, which are carefully formulated with simple, nutritious ingredients and plenty of protein to keep you full between workouts. For more information about Promax, check out our product page or our blog.
This is the second part to a series on eating great, healthy meals when your wallet needs some help. If you haven’t seen part one, you can read that here.
Read on to see how you can feed yourself several meals for cheaper than the price of one burger with fries.
- Cut the empty calories.
You already know that you should be drinking eight glasses of water a day. Filtered tap water is essentially free in dollars, and it is free in calories. Crave it and save it. If you don’t love the taste of plain water, add a squirt of lemon or infuse a pitcher with fruit, herbs, edible flowers, or even vegetables for a refreshing beverage.
- Stop spoilage.
When you toss bad food down the garbage disposal, you might as well be tossing your paycheck down there, too. Keeping an organized fridge and freezer will avoid letting food spoil. One system is to label your leftovers with masking tape marked with the date on the container. When you cook in bulk with the intent of freezing, you should package foods in amounts you’ll actually use, like individual turkey burgers or mini-pans of lasagna.
- Embrace Meatless Monday.
We’re not saying you need to go full-on vegetarian, but the occasional meal as an herbivore is a budget-friendly way to save calories and cash. Quinoa, freekeh, brown rice, and lentils are all protein-packed grains that you can get for just a few bucks, and black beans will improve just about any meal. If you just can’t get down without some meat with your potatoes, you can consider cutting the amount in half and subbing in some grains or veggies to bulk up your meal and stretch your dollars. One of our favorite recipes uses ground turkey, organic salsa, and cubed zucchini to create huge quantities of taco fillings.
A photo posted by Tori Cooper (@gringaliciousblog) on
- Shop the sales.
It’s probably not news that you should consider getting store rewards cards and shopping the ads. What you may not know is that some stores do double-coupon days where they’ll multiple your savings. These usually aren’t advertised, but it’s enough to find out after a quick phone call.
Grazing on generics will also save you some cash. Store brands can save you up to 25 to 30 percent of what national brands cost, and many are produced in the same facilities and with the same ingredients.
- Buy Promax bars for a boost that will keep you going from noon to night.
Snacking and cravings are inevitable. While some will advise for you to avoid buying treats, that’s a clear roadmap to a discouraging binge. Really, snacking is all about making informed choices and buying proper alternatives. We’ve been told that some of our Promax bars taste like candy bars—but they’re actually lower in sugar, gluten free, and with very few grams of carbs. They’re also packed with protein to fuel great workouts and even work as meal replacements or supplements. For more information, check out our blog.
Sources: http://www.thekitchn.com/10-smart-tips-for-eating-healthy-on-a-super-tight-budget-reader-intelligence-report-211182, https://blog.myfitnesspal.com/18-hacks-for-eating-well-on-a-budget/, http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/my-money/2013/04/02/how-much-food-does-the-average-american-waste
Information posted on this website is intended for informational and educational purposes only. Promax Nutrition Corp. (“Promax”) has compiled and prepared this information to help educate viewers about the importance of diet, exercise, and other lifestyle factors in maintaining good health. Promax intends to provide current and accurate information, but does not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, timeliness or usefulness of any information or resources listed on this Site. Promax assumes no responsibility or liability for any use of, or reliance on this information. This information does not constitute and should not be construed as medical advice. Consult your physician with any questions about your health, and before beginning any exercise or dietary program. Never disregard or delay seeking medical advice because of something you have read on this website. This Site has not been reviewed or endorsed by any governmental agency or certifying organization. Publication of links to third party websites and other information is provided for educational purposes only and does not constitute an endorsement of any Promax product.