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Thread: 1001 Muscle Building Tips

  1. #154
    IFBB PRO Dominick Cardone's Avatar
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    This is one of the best threads yet! Thanks UK

  2. #155
    Forum Legend UkrainianGuy's Avatar
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    405. POWDER VERSUS LIQUID
    As the first-generation creatine supplements came in powdered form and had to be mixed, a few enterprising supplement manufacturers jumped the gun and started marketing creatine in liquid form. There are a few problems with this. For starters creatine is not stable in liquid form. Also, despite claims to the contrary, no one is sure how effective these liquid creatine supplements are. Another factor is price. It costs more money to manufacture liquid creatine and this extra production cost gets passed on to you, the customer. Our advice is to stick with tried-and-true powdered creatine.

    406. TEMPERATURE DEPENDENT
    Creatine is one of those supplements that seems to be dependent on the temperature of the mixing medium. If the liquid is too hot you may destory some of the creatine. Conversely, cold liquid prevents proper mixing. For best dissolving results, try using lukewarm liquid. Granted warm juice is not that appealing, but you'll have the satisfaction of knowing you've maximized your creatine absorption.

    407. CREATINE AND CAFFEINE - KEEP THEM SEPARATE?
    A number of recent studies suggest that high doses of caffeine may interfere with creatine absorption. Taking creatine with one cup of coffee is probably no big deal but if you like to pop a couple of caffeine tablets (or a couple of cups of coffee) before a workout, it probably makes sense to take your creatine a few hours later.

    408. DON'T MEGADOSE ON SUPPLEMENTS
    Because they are relatively cheap and promoted to cure just about every disease outthere, many people take mega doses of supplements. This is not advised. Some vitamins and minerals are toxic in high doses. Likewise large amounts of creatine and protein may cause diarrhea and other digestive problems.
    Last edited by UkrainianGuy; November 8th, 2008 at 03:38 PM.
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  3. #156
    Forum Legend UkrainianGuy's Avatar
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    409. GLUTAMINE - THE MUSCLE-BUILDING IMMUNITY BOOSTER
    Glutamine is an amino acid that falls into the "conditionally essential" category. This means the body can manufacture it from other amino acids, but at certain times demand exceeds the body's rate of synthesis. Glutamine is taken by bodybuilders because it keeps the body in positive nitrogen balance - the necesssary environment needed to turn protein into muscle tissue. In times of stress glutamine levels may drop to the point that negative nitrogen balance occurs. The end result is a bodybuilder's worst nightmare - muscle wasting. Besides promoting muscle growth, glutamine increases production of glutathione, one of the precursors of antibodies and lymphocytes - the immune system's two primary germ-fighting cells. Although the scientific literature is lacking with regards to dosage, the anecdotal evidence suggests 5 to 10 grams per day works best.

    410. MEAL REPLACEMENT POWDERS
    Meal replacement powders (MRPs) are an excellent way to obtain heealthy nutrients quickly and easily. While they won't replace a regular meal of food, they have the advantages of being lower in calories and easy to prepare. If you're stuck for time or trying to cut back on calories, try to make one of your meals an MRP.

    411. EPHEDRINE FOR FAT LOSS AND STIMULATION
    Ephedrine is one of the few over-the-counter supplements that does exactly what it claims - it promotes fat loss and increases short-term energy. Ephedrine is an example of what's called a thermogenic drug. This means it promotes fat loss by elevating body temperature. Ephedrine also provides energy because it is a sympathetic nervous system stimulant. Despite the bad press it has garnered over recent years, ephedrine is relatively safe provided you don't have a history of heart problems and you don't take megadoses. Make sure you follow the directions on the bottle. Needless to say, use it only where it is legal to do so. Never exceed recommended doses.
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  4. #157
    Forum Legend UkrainianGuy's Avatar
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    412. THE ECA STACK
    The name ECA is derived from the first initials of the words ephedrine, caffeine, and aspirin. Bodybuilders discovered that ephedrine's stimulant and fat-burning effects are magnified if combined with caffeine and aspirin. If you decide to experiment, the proportions are 25 mg ephedrine, 200 mg caffeine (about one cup of coffee) and one aspirin. Caffeine is also a stimulant, so those with a history of heart problems should avoid both ephedrine and high doses of caffeine. Always follow the directions on the bottle when taking supplements.

    413. AN ASPIRIN A DAY?
    If you have a history of eart disease in your family, check with your doctor about the possibility of taking an aspirin a day. Aspirin is commonly called a "blood thinner." It has reportedly been scientifically shown to reduce the build up of plaque on arterial walls.

    414. FORGET THE APPLE - TRY ZINC!
    An apple a day may keep the doctor away but zinc may cure your cold. Studies have shown that those people who take lozenges containing zinc had a significant reduction in their cold symptoms. For best results try dissolving one zinc-containing lozenge every two hours.
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  5. #158
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    415. HYDROXYCITRIC ACID - HCA - A SAFE ALTERNATIVE FOR FAT LOSS
    For those who don't like the stimulant properties of ephedrine, HCA may be the answer. HCA is a substance obtained from the rinds of the Garcinia fruit of Asia. HCA's primary role in athletics is to promote fat loss by decreasing fat storage. It does this by interfering with the enzyme (citate lyase) that converts excess carbohydrate into fat. The less new fat stored, the more old stored fat will be burned during exercise.

    416. MORE FAT LOSS WITH CLA - CONJUGATED LINOLEIC ACID
    Like MCT oils, CLA promtoes the loss of stored body fat. The exact mechanism is unknown but it is believed that CLA tricks the body into "thinking" it has more fat than it needs and so is less likely to hold onto fat stores. In addition, many biochemists believe that CLA may indirectly promote fat burning by increasing lean muscle mass. The more lean muscle mass carried by the body the higher the person's metabolism (one of the primary reasons women are encouraged to train with weights). To get the 2 to 4 grams of CLA recommended by biochemists, supplement your diet with flax and fish oils.

    417. TRIBULUS TERRESTRIS - THE SAFE WAY TO BOOST TESTOSTERONE?
    Sooner or later many readers will toss around the idea of taking anabolic steroids or other testosterone derivates. We recommend against this. Not only are there health risks, but steroids are now illegal in most states. Before jumping on the pharmacological bandwagon, give tribulus terrestris a try. Tribulus is an herb that is believed to increase testosterone levels bystimulating the pituitary gland to release leutinizing hormone (LH), LH is turn stimulates the testes to produce testosterone. The recommended daily dose of tribulus is 500 to 750 mg.
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  6. #159
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    418. ANDROSTENEDIONE - NOT ALL IT'S CRACKED UP TO BE
    Androstenedione, or "andro," was introduced to the masses by baseball slugger Mark McGwire. When a snooping reporter spotted it in McGwire's locker, the genie was out of the bottle so to speak. Soon supplement stores couldn't keep andro in stock. This was ironic, as andro was on its way out in bodybuilding circles. Biochemically andro is a precursor to the male hormone testosterone, so in theory it should help build muscle. Unfortunately only a small smount of andro (5 to 10 percent) actually gets converted to testosterone. Another consideration is that testosterone is only one of the end products of andro. It also converts to the female hormone estrogen. Finally, most anecdotal evidence suggests andro does little to improve muscular strength or size. It may be an idea to give andro a pass.

    419. PROHORMONES - ARE THEY WORTH IT?
    For those of you engaged in drug-tested sports, we caution against using prohormones. As the name suggests, prohormones are compounds that serve as precursors for the manufacture of hormones. Bodybuilders and other athletes take them in the hope they can boost their natural levels of testosterone and other muscle-building compounds. In some cases prohormones will provide a boost. However, as most anabolic compounds are banned by sports' federations, you run the risk of testing positive even though you never took the substance directly. This is especially true for the prohormones that convert to nanrolone. Before experimenting with prohormones, check to see what your sport's governing body has to say.

    420. INSULIN MIMICKERS - NOT JUST FOR DIABETICS
    As soon as medical science makes a discovery that has performance-boosting implications, athletes immediately update their shopping lists. Insulin mimickers are substances that either increase the sensitivity of insulin or act like the hormone. Insulin not only transports sugar through the bloodstream but also such subtances as creatine and amino acids. In this respect insulin can be considered an anabolic hormone. The most popular insulin mimickers are vanadyl sulfate, chromium picolinate, alpha-lipoic acid, and Momordica charantia (also known as bitter melon). As all fairly cheap, relatively safe, and anecdotally reported to have some merits, we sugest taking one or more iwth your protein or creatine supplements.

    421. THE JAVA BOOST
    The next time you hit the gym, take a close look at people as they come through the door. Odds are at least 25 pecent of them will have a cup of coffee in hand. Coffee is one of the cheapest and most effective performance-enhancing drugs. Being a mild stimulant, coffee (actually the caffeine it contains) will give you that extra boost needed to get you through another grueling workout.

    422. POST-WORKOUT DRINK
    To help rebuild muscle, boos tyour immunity system, and recharge your engery reserves, try blending 25 to 30 grams of whey protein, 5 grams of creatine, 5 grams of glutamine, and a handful of fresh strawberries into a super post-workout drink.

    423. GLUCOSAMINE FOR JOINT HEALTH
    One of the few disadvantages to regular weight trainng is that it may play havoc on the joints over time. Veterinarians regulary prescribe glucosame to animals to help treat and ward off arthritis and other joint problems. If you plan on lifting some serous iron for decades to come, try taking a glucosamine supplement.
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  7. #160
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    Default Beginner's Board > 1001 Muscle Building Tips - Cardio Training

    424. A CHANGE OF HEART
    Although once frowned upon, it's now generally accepted that cardio training is beneficial for bodybuilders. Not only does cardio speed up fat loss, it does a better job stimulating the heart and lungs than weight training does. A cardiovascular system that's in great shape will not only contribute to your long-term health, it will give you more stamina while weight training. Finally, a healthy cardiovascular system is more efficient at removing the wast products of exercise, including lastic acid, than a slow and sluggish system.

    425. FAINT OR DIZZY - LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
    If at any time you feel faint or dizzy, immediately stop what you are doing and sit down. Don't try to "work through" the dizziness, hoping it will go away. Lightheadedness is one of the body's first warning signs that there is not enough blood circulation to your head and you are about to faint. As soon as you sit down, tilt your dead slightly forward to increase the bloodflow to the brain. If you really don't feel well, immediately notify the closest staff member.

    426. CARDIO VARIETY
    Although it's probably not as important with cardio as it is with weight training, it's a good idea to change around your cardio exercises every now and then. If you normally use a treadmill, try switching to a crosstrainer. Likewise if the cycle is your cardio mainstay, see what a rowing workout feels like. The body adapts fairly quickly and you'll be surprised how challenging your cardio workout will be after switching to an unfamilar machine.

    427. TARGET HEART RATE
    To get the most out of your cardio workouts, strive to elevate your heart rate to what's called the "target heart rate zone." To calculate your target heart rate, subtract your age from 220. The lower end of the zone for your target heart rate will be 60 percent of this number, while 80 percent will give you your upper level. For a 20 year old the math would be 220-20= 200. Lower zone is .6 x 200= 120. Upper zone is .8 x 200 = 160. For this person the target heart rate zone would be 120 to 160 beats per minute.
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  8. #161
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    428. WHERE TO FIND YOUR PULSE
    Although you can find your pulse at numerous locations around the body, the best is probably the neck. The pulse in the carotid artery, located next to the windpipe, is very pronounced. You can either hold for 60 seconds or take it for 10 seconds and then multiply by 6. For example 20 beatts in 10 seconds gives a pulse of 20 x 6 or 120 beats per minute.

    429. HOW TO TAKE YOUR PULSE
    When taking your pulse, use one of your fingers. Don't use your thumb, as the thumb has its own pulse. This could give you an inaccurate reading as there will be a slight difference in pulses between your thumb and areas closer to the heart. In effect you may count one beat of the heart twice.

    430. FREQUENCY
    Start by doing 15 to 20 minutes of cardio two to three times per week. Over a period of about four or five weeks, gradually increases it to 30 to 45 minutes, four to five times per week. You should approach cardio training like weight training - you don't start off by doing 300 - pound bench presses, so don't start cardio trying to run a marathon. Start out slow and gradually increase the duration and frequency.

    431. THE BEST?
    In simple terms there is no "best" piece of cardio equipment. All the machines will stimulate your heart and lungs to about the same degree, and they'll all burn about the same number of calories per unit time. Having said that, you may want to experiement with different machines to see which ones feel the most comfortable. Some machines may place more stress on your joints (i.e. ankles and knees) than others.

    432. INTERNAL TRAINING
    To make your cardio workout more fun and exciting, try carying your intensity level. After a low-intensity warm-up of about five minutes, try alternating 30 to 60 seconds of high-intensity training with two to three minutes of moderate-intensity training.
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  9. #162
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    433. CARDIO PYRAMID
    Just like with weight training, you shouldn't start your cardio training at your maximum intensity level. In a typical 30-minute cardio workout, perform 5 minutes of the activity at low intensity, and the gradually increase to your maximum level for about 15 to 20 minutes. Finish off your cardio workout with 5 minutes of low-intensity training. Try not to stop cold tukey.

    434. GOOD POSTURE - NOT JUST FOR WEIGHT TRAINING
    Hopefully from day one you've learnd that proper posture is important on all your strength-training exercises. The same holds true for cardio exercises. Never slouch or lean backwards when using any of the cardio machines, particularly the steppers, cross trainers, and ellipticals. Doing so changes your center of gravity and places extra stress on the knees, ankles, and lower back. Always maintain an upright posture.

    435. ARE TWO ZONES BETTER THAN ONE?
    Even though many fitnes professionals only talk of a single target heart zone, others divide the zone into two subzones. They call the lower, 60 to 75 prcent zone, the fat-burning zone, and the 75 to 90 percent the cardio zone. In theory exercising at the lower target heart rate burns more fat calories. But keep in mind you'll burn more calories overall in the higher cardio zone. In addition, the higher zone will do a better job of stimulating your cardovascular system. Our advice is to start out exercising in the lower zone but raise it to the higher zone as soon as your fitness level allows.

    436. THE GREAT OUTDOORS
    If you find your indoor treadmill workouts becoming boring, give the great outdoors a try. There's nothing like a challenging run in the fresh air on a crisp autumn morning. Running outdoors also gives you the option of running over different terrains. Even though most newer treadmills allow you to vary the incline, you are usually limited to 10 to 15 degrees. Running outdoors offers so many more different grade options. Another benefit of outdoor running is the constant changing of the scenery. Even cardio theatre (TV and sound) or other members to observe, there is no comparison to the visual stimulation you'll experience outdoors.
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  10. #163
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    437. SPRINTING
    If long-distance running is not your cup of tea, try sprinting. The next time a major track-and-field event is on TV, take a close look at the leg development of the sprinters (100 and 200 meters). Many of them have legs that rival professional bodybuilders. Sprinting is an excellent way to boost the cardiovascular system as well as build and dice up the quads.

    438. AND FOR OUR NORTHERN READERS
    For those Canadian and northern US readers, winters brings a great option for cardiovascular training - skating. Lace on a pair of ice skates for a great way to stimulate the heart and lungs when the weather gets cold outside. And if Mother Nature doesn't cooperate, most Canadian and US cities and large towns have indoor skating rinks. Try alternating distance skating with sprints and speed skating.

    439. LEAVE THE CAR KEYS AT HOME!
    One of easiest ways to burn extra calories and stimulate your cardiovascular system is to hang your car keys on the wall and walk. Any time you are going somewhere within reasonable walking distance, do so. A good, brisk powerwalk is nearly as effective as running and it's a lot easier on the joints. And let's face it, there's not comparison between the calories you'll burn walking and those you'll burn sitting behind the wheel of a car.

    440. GOING UP
    If you're lucky enough to work in a high-rise office building, you have another great "cardio machine" at your disposal - the stairs! Instead of huddling with the masses in an elevator, head to the stairwell and start climbing. Climbing stairs is an outstanding way to burn calories, stimualtes the heart and lungs, and work the legs.
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  11. #164
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    Quote Originally Posted by UkrainianGuy View Post
    437. SPRINTING
    If long-distance running is not your cup of tea, try sprinting. The next time a major track-and-field event is on TV, take a close look at the leg development of the sprinters (100 and 200 meters). Many of them have legs that rival professional bodybuilders. Sprinting is an excellent way to boost the cardiovascular system as well as build and dice up the quads.

    438. AND FOR OUR NORTHERN READERS
    For those Canadian and northern US readers, winters brings a great option for cardiovascular training - skating. Lace on a pair of ice skates for a great way to stimulate the heart and lungs when the weather gets cold outside. And if Mother Nature doesn't cooperate, most Canadian and US cities and large towns have indoor skating rinks. Try alternating distance skating with sprints and speed skating.

    439. LEAVE THE CAR KEYS AT HOME!
    One of easiest ways to burn extra calories and stimulate your cardiovascular system is to hang your car keys on the wall and walk. Any time you are going somewhere within reasonable walking distance, do so. A good, brisk powerwalk is nearly as effective as running and it's a lot easier on the joints. And let's face it, there's not comparison between the calories you'll burn walking and those you'll burn sitting behind the wheel of a car.

    440. GOING UP
    If you're lucky enough to work in a high-rise office building, you have another great "cardio machine" at your disposal - the stairs! Instead of huddling with the masses in an elevator, head to the stairwell and start climbing. Climbing stairs is an outstanding way to burn calories, stimualtes the heart and lungs, and work the legs.
    UK Guy- #438 - ice skating, huh? My ass would spend more time than my feet on the ice,
    as wobbling around on the skates & falling would be my cardiovascular workout

  12. #165
    Forum Legend UkrainianGuy's Avatar
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    You don't have to be Wayne Gretzky to skate. Infact, I guarantee you that if you take your significant other, and rent some skate or borrow, whatever, and hit an ice rink.... You will have a lot of fun. It does get addicting... I recently took a few laps at my local rink, joined a hockey game afterwards.. MAN THAT FRESH AIR is rejuvinatiing!!! I am wiped out, and my legs are sore too!!

    I LOVE IT

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  13. #166
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    441. EXTERNAL MOTIVATION - A GROUP EFFORT
    There will be days when the last thing you want to do is hop on a crosstrainer or treadmill. One way to jazz it up your cardio training is to check out a group fitness class. Aerobic classes come in many formats; and guys, they are not just for women! A couple of minutes of the latest "boot camp" or "millitary jam" cardio class and you'll realize just where your cardio system stands. Besides the motivation you'll receive from other participants, most cardio classes include abdominal training and stretching - two things you won't get on the treadmill or crosstrainer.

    442. TREADMILLS
    An alternative to pounding the pavement, treadmills are by far the most popular piece of home cardio equipment. Millions are bought at Christmas time, although few are ever used. Treadmills are also one of the hardest machines to access in gyms at prime time. Running on a treadmill has numerous advantages over running outdoors. For starters the weather is a non-issue. Rain, sleet, or snow, it's always dry indoors. Another benefit is safety. Any time you have to run on the road itself, whether because the sidewalks are covered by snow or because you have to cross the road, you run the risk of being targeted by a motorist. Many drivers take it as a violation of their civil rights if they have to slow down or stop for a runner.

    443. CUSHIONED FOR COMFORT
    Perhaps the biggest advantage to running on a treadmill is comfort. Most of the better treadmills have some sort of cushioning mechanism. Just like the shock absorber system on a car, cushioning places less stress on the joints than running on concrete or pavement. So if you are in avid outdoor runner who is starting to find hitting the pavement hard on the joints, give a treadmill a try.

    444. RUNNING IN TANDEM
    Besides safety and comfort, another benfit of using a treadmill is that two people who like to run at differnt speeds can work out together. Outdoors the faster runner will quicky outpace the slower. But on a treadmill the two of you will be side by side no matter what your individual speeds.

    445. TREADMILL SHOCK
    Try alternating running with walking at a fairly fast pace uphill, inclined between 10 and 14 (depending on fitness level). This shocks the body tremendously as you simulate walking and running up a huge hill, forcing the bigger muscles to do all the work and thus spiking your heart rate.

    446. BLISTERS
    Blisters are caused by rubbing and irritation of the skin. Your shoes are almost certainly the culprits - they either don't fit properly or you have run too far in them without first breaking them in adequately.
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  14. #167
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    Quote Originally Posted by UkrainianGuy View Post
    441. EXTERNAL MOTIVATION - A GROUP EFFORT
    There will be days when the last thing you want to do is hop on a crosstrainer or treadmill. One way to jazz it up your cardio training is to check out a group fitness class. Aerobic classes come in many formats; and guys, they are not just for women! A couple of minutes of the latest "boot camp" or "millitary jam" cardio class and you'll realize just where your cardio system stands. Besides the motivation you'll receive from other participants, most cardio classes include abdominal training and stretching - two things you won't get on the treadmill or crosstrainer.

    442. TREADMILLS
    An alternative to pounding the pavement, treadmills are by far the most popular piece of home cardio equipment. Millions are bought at Christmas time, although few are ever used. Treadmills are also one of the hardest machines to access in gyms at prime time. Running on a treadmill has numerous advantages over running outdoors. For starters the weather is a non-issue. Rain, sleet, or snow, it's always dry indoors. Another benefit is safety. Any time you have to run on the road itself, whether because the sidewalks are covered by snow or because you have to cross the road, you run the risk of being targeted by a motorist. Many drivers take it as a violation of their civil rights if they have to slow down or stop for a runner.

    443. CUSHIONED FOR COMFORT
    Perhaps the biggest advantage to running on a treadmill is comfort. Most of the better treadmills have some sort of cushioning mechanism. Just like the shock absorber system on a car, cushioning places less stress on the joints than running on concrete or pavement. So if you are in avid outdoor runner who is starting to find hitting the pavement hard on the joints, give a treadmill a try.

    444. RUNNING IN TANDEM
    Besides safety and comfort, another benfit of using a treadmill is that two people who like to run at differnt speeds can work out together. Outdoors the faster runner will quicky outpace the slower. But on a treadmill the two of you will be side by side no matter what your individual speeds.

    445. TREADMILL SHOCK
    Try alternating running with walking at a fairly fast pace uphill, inclined between 10 and 14 (depending on fitness level). This shocks the body tremendously as you simulate walking and running up a huge hill, forcing the bigger muscles to do all the work and thus spiking your heart rate.

    446. BLISTERS
    Blisters are caused by rubbing and irritation of the skin. Your shoes are almost certainly the culprits - they either don't fit properly or you have run too far in them without first breaking them in adequately.
    UK GUY,
    Want to make sure MDers see your new post above- so just responding to my ice skating "skills" - you make a good point - kind of remember when I was younger- bunch of us would go - your right, what a blast, laughter - cold fingers, noses - holding on to each other and falling together as a group of 2,3, or 4 -
    Hmm.... maybe I'll venture and put on a pair of ice skates

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    447. BLISTER REMEDY
    If the blister isn't causing any pain, leave it alone. But if it's interfering with your running you should feel free to "operate" as long as you're careful to avoid infection. Sterilize a razor blade (boil it for 10 minutes), wash the area of the blister (preferably using an antiseptic like alcohol or Betadine), and make a small slit in the blister. Don't be squeamish - because the skin of the blister "bubble" is dead, you won't feel any pain. Press the fluid out. Carefully clean the area, again using an antiseptic. Let the blister dry without putting on any ointment, and cover with gauze or a Band-Aid. Problem solved.

    448. BLISTER PREVENTION #1
    To avoid blisters in the future, make sure that your shoes fit. They should be snug so that your foot does not rattle around inside, rubbing against the shoe and causing blisters. Make sure that you have laced your shoes tightly enough that they form to your foot. They should not, however, be too tight, and particularly not too narrow or too short.

    449. BLISTER PREVENTION #2
    Some manufacturers such as Thorlo, sell "blister - proof" socks. Give these socks a try. In general keep in mind that nylon socks tend to be more abrasive than cotton.

    450. BLISTER PREVENTION #3
    Feel free to lubricate your feet to cut down on the friction that causes blisters. Rubbing some Vaseline on your feet before runs can do the trick, but if you find that too goopy, talcum powder is a good substitute.

    451. BLISTER PREVENTION #4
    If you are aware of specific blister problem areas, try protecting those ahead of time. Moleskin may work, but often doesn't stick very well to sweaty feet. Duct tape, believe it or not, is often more reliable. Put it on before your foot becomes moist, and it won't come off until you want it to.

    452. START FIRST THEN STEP ON
    Practically every gym instructor cantell stories of having to pick new clients up off the floor behind the treadmill. in most cases the person started the machine while standing on the belt. Even though most treadmills always start at a slow speed (usually 1 mph), if you are not used to a treadmill, this is still too fast a speed to start with. For safety purposes, place both feet to the sides of the belt, start the treadmill, and then step on once the belt is moving.
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    453. START SLOW!
    In addition to starting the treadmill before stepping on, make sure you star at a slow speed. Don't make the mistake of bringing the belt up to 10 or 15 mph and then stepping on. You'll never get your legs up to speed fast enough to keep up. There is a odd chance the staff will have to scrape you off the wall

    454. RECUMBENT CYCLE
    Upright cycles force you to sit down on a chair with the legs below you, and then lean forward to grab the handlebars. This "slouched" posture is very uncomfortable for many individuals. Eqipment manufacturers have addressed this by designing the recumbent cycle, which keeps the torso upright and legs out in front. This position is much less stressful on the lower back and knees. If you have avoided using the upright cycle because of lower back problems, give the recumbent cycle a try.

    455. CYCLE VARIETY
    Those of you who have "outgrown" standard cycling, whereby you remain seated at all times, try adding some outdoor movies. Alternate slow, medium, and high speed. Alternate seated peddling with standup prints. This simulates the position you'd be in if you were climbing a hill outdoors. Not only are you stimulating your cardiovascular system to the max, but a couple of weeks of this will do your thighs wonders for your quads.

    456. WATCH YOUR STEP
    Although they are fast being replaced by crosstrainers and arc trainers, many gyms still have an inventory of step machines (the version by Stairmaster being the most well-known). Even though they'll give you a good cardio work out, steppers have fallen out of favor in recent years. The reason is that the relatively straight up and down motion places tremendous stress on the ankles and knees. Conversely, crosstrainers and ellipticals evenly distribute the weight across the joints. You don't suddenly have your entire bodyweight pivoting on you ankle joints. As steppers offer no cardiovascular benefits over crosstrainers and eelipticals, it is suggested you give them a pass.

    457. DON'T COAST
    Although there is very little difference beween the various machines with regards to effectiveness - provided you maintain a brisk pace - some allow you to coast along at a less-then-productive level. The arc trainers, crosstrainers and cardio cycles are good examples. It's very difficult, however, to coast on a treadmill, as the machine is setting the pace.

    458. THE FULL 30 MINUTES
    Most cardio machines allow you to input various programs. This saves you the trouble of having to change the speed, resistance, or angle on the pedals or belt. The disadvantage is that most of the program modes will reset to the lowest intensity level when there is five minutes left in your program. This serves as a cool-down zone. If you want to do 30 minutes of intense cardio, either set the machine to manual mode or program it for 35 minutes.
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    459. STITCHES
    You may find during your first few cardio sessions you develop a stitch. A stitch is caused by a spasm of the disphragm, the muscle that controls your breathing. There are a number of possible reasons for this. If your breathing isn't controlled and disciplined, the disphragm may be complaining. If you are running too soon after eating, your heavy stomach may literally be tugging at the ligaments connected to the diaphragm. Or you may simply be running too fast for your body's breathing machinery to keep up. A stitch will usually go away quickly after just slowing down or stopping. If you're in a race or you just don't want to stop, however, you can often make it go away by bringing your breathing into careful control. Concentrate on belly breathing, pushing your belly out when you breathe in and relaxing it as you breathe out. Take deep breaths on the intake and exhale suddenly, even noisily. Another suggestion is to raise your hands above you head. This helps stretch out the disphragm.

    460. SKIPPING INTO FITNESS
    When you were in elementary school you probably teased your female classmates for skipping rope at recess. While at one time considered a "sissy activity," skipping has gained much respect over the past couple of decades. Thanks to such celebrities as boxing great Muhammad Ali and actor Sylvestor Stallone, jumping rope is now a mainstay of athletic conditioning. If you're still a holdout and think skipping rope is for sissies, give it a try the nexttime you're at the gym. Start off with simple skipping exercises and progress from there. You'll quickly discover that skipping rope is not just for sissies and schoolgirls.

    461. CYCLING CLASSES - PUTTING A NEW SPIN ON CARDIO
    They go by different names ("Spinning" by reebok being the most common), but essentially they are all the same. Biking classes became all the rage in the most popular forms of group cardio. A standard indoor cycling class consists of a lead bike with an instructor and 10 to 12 "followers." For the next 45 to 60 minutes the insructors will take his or her charges through a simulated bike ride. By varying the pace and tension you can come close to mimicking an outdoor bike ride. If you're looking for a means to increase your cardio intensity, give a cycling spin class a try.
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