Enhance Genetics

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Volkan Oezdemir doesn’t come from a hotbed of mixed martial arts, a place known for producing top contenders, world title challengers and champions.“Switzerland is basically known for the banks, the chocolates and the watches,” said the Fribourg native. “These are the three careers you’re entering into when you think about it. Are you working in the banks or in the watch industry?” The 28-year-old is neither a banker or a watchmaker, or a chocolatier for that matter. He is a mixed martial artist, though, one fighting for a world championship this Saturday ag ... Read the Full Article Here

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You’ve had a protein cookie before. Usually it’s something made with subpar protein, some blend of concentrates and loaded with sugar. The only thing that qualifies it as a protein cookie is that it’s a regular cookie with some protein sprinkled in. You deserve better.

Maybe you saw it all over Instagram or on your Facebook feed, but Quest Nutrition has released their protein cookie in four flavors (Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter, Double Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal Raisin). In typical Quest fashion, they use a protein isolate blend of whey and milk protein, but in not-so-typical fashion, Quest ditched sucralose and sweetened their cookies with only stevia and Erythritol. So if you’re a sweetener snob, maybe try these out.

You also get the great Quest macros with 15g of protein per cookie, 8-12g of fiber and 3g of sugar or less. To keep the flavor on point, Quest opted to forgo sweeteners and up the fat content. Because, (say it with me) fat isn’t the devil. This is great news for Keto heads who also want the taste and feel of carbs. Oh, and that 15g of protein is actually 15g of protein per cookie not per two cookies…just sayin’. Here’s the full nutrition panel breakdown per flavor:

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE

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Get the nutrition facts for:

>> PEANUT BUTTER COOKIE <<

>> DOUBLE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE <<

>> OATMEAL RAISIN COOKIE <<...
HYPOTHESIS

The idea of training to failure started officially with Thomas DeLorme, M.D., after WWII. He used a protocol of three sets of 20 repetitions taken to failure. Training to what is called “momentary muscular failure” is still believed by most to be an essential factor in promoting strength gains. Many do not realize that this idea has never been officially tested in trained bodybuilders, who are more interested in size than strength, so researchers decided it was time to find out.

RESEARCH

Australian researchers compared training to failure with stopping two reps short of failure. In this protocol, those who took each set to failure performed six reps per set, while those who stopped short of failure performed four reps per set. All subjects used 85% of their 1RM. A cross-sectional area of the biceps was measured before and after 12 weeks of training. The non-failure group took one set to failure each week to ensure they were still using their 6RM weight throughout the training period.

FINDINGS

After 12 weeks, there was no difference between the two groups.

CONCLUSION

Taking all sets to failure is not necessary to maximize growth, even in trained lifters.

APPLICATION

Previous research has shown that when using one’s 15RM weight, muscle activation reaches a plateau three to five reps before the point of failure. If the stimulus for growth is at all tied to maximum activation of motor units, then this is accomplished before muscle failure occurs. So to better maintain form and reduce the risk of injury, stop most sets a couple of reps before failure.

FLEX

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The traps are involved in many upper-body movements that require shoulder elevation, rotation, or stabilization. Shrugs are a true isolation exercise and can be performed with a barbell or dumbbells. Holding the bar with arms down and fully extended, raise the shoulders, lifting the weight using only your traps in a shrugging motion.

When doing shrugs, it is not necessary or helpful to roll the shoulders forward or back. The only line of resistance is in line with gravity, which is straight up and down. It is also important to keep the head and neck in proper alignment with the spine. Too much forward movement of the head and neck can put undue strain on the cervical vertebrae.

ALTERNATIVES

  • Smith Machine Shrug
  • Dumbbell Shrug

FORM AND FUNCTION

The origin of the trapezius spans from the occipital bone on the back of the skull down to the T-12 vertebrae. It inserts into the acromion and spine of the scapula. The primary function is to elevate the shoulder girdle and rotate and stabilize the scapula.

TOWERING TRAPS WORKOUT

  • Reverse Pec-Deck* | SETS: 3 | REPS: 12-15
  • Barbell Shrug | SETS: 4 | REPS: 10-12

*Squeeze shoulder blades together.

FLEX

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Buckle into your time machine and set it for 1950. TV is still a novelty. Doo-wop is cutting edge. And bodybuilders are training their entire physiques in every workout. This may sound ridiculously quaint, but weight trainers then didn’t follow split routines. The break-it-up revolution occurred in the 1960s. Before then, greats like 1950 Mr. Universe Steve Reeves earned their Herculean builds while hitting every body part in every workout. Despite lacking modern nutritional and technological advantages, the legends of six decades ago still attained physiques that are admired today. So let’s go way back in time to see why full-body routines worked then and how they can still work for you now.

“When you work your whole body in each workout, it forces you to think about symmetry. Your focus is always on the whole and not the parts.” — Steve Reeves

FULL FORCE

So here we are in 1950, and 24-year-old Reeves is toiling in a gym in Oakland, CA. In a way, we’ve gone full circle, because Reeves and his contemporaries focused on functional strength, which has returned to fashion in recent years. You’ll see a lot of cleaning and overhead pressing and unique exercises like Jefferson squats (a favorite of Kai Greene), free-weight hack squats, and pullover-and-presses. Routines consisted mostly of compound lifts.

Let’s compare the physiques then with those of now. Today’s best bodybuilders are, of course, much larger, especially when it comes to hamstrings, back density, and lower pecs. Those areas weren’t prioritized then. But, relatively speaking, 60 years ago there was a greater focus on overall proportionality—that classical Reeves look that corresponds to today’s men’s physique competitors. In part, this came about via all those functional-strength and compound exercises. For...