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Tips of the week insulin sensitivity

Tipps der Woche Insulinsensitivität

Without optimal insulin sensitivity, much of the protein (and everything else) you eat will be transported to your fat stores instead of your muscles, and often these fat stores are located around your waistline.

While your instincts may tell you to adopt a low-carb diet, it won't solve the problem. What's more, a long-term low-carb diet will impair your muscle-building capacity. What you should do instead is optimize your insulin sensitivity.

4 strategies to optimize insulin sensitivity

  1. Eat some protein and fat at the start of a meal before you eat your first carbohydrate. According to scientific research, this strategy leads to significantly lower blood glucose levels (29%, 37% and 17% lower 30, 60 and 120 minutes after a meal). However, you should reverse this strategy for your meals around your workout and eat a few carbs before eating protein.
  2. Use fish oil liberally. Recent studies show that this not only mimics the effects of exercise on blood glucose levels, but when combined with exercise, has a synergistic effect on lowering blood glucose levels.
  3. Use vinegar as a salad dressing as it reduces the glucose and insulin response to a carbohydrate meal, in addition to increasing overall insulin sensitivity. Repeated use of vinegar can lead to an average weight loss of 1 kilo within 4 weeks. Also consider taking 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before bedtime, as studies have shown that this can lower fasting blood sugar levels in the morning by 4 to 6%.
  4. Take a teaspoon of psyllium husks twice a day. This can lower blood sugar levels by 11% throughout the day.

Tip: Perform this exercise for bigger biceps

No, it's not a curl exercise. Here's that exercise - plus a more gym-friendly alternative

By Chad Waterbury


The best bicep exercise you can do

When I'm asked about the best biceps exercise, my answer is always "rope climb." All you have to do is visit Muscle Beach in Santa Monika - a place where there are enough climbing ropes to get a whole family of gymnasts excited - and check out the biceps development of the guys who rope climb regularly.

And here are the reasons why rope climbing is such a good biceps exercise.

  1. From a biomechanical perspective, rope climbing forces your arm to pull from a position close to the midline of your body. This overloads the elbow flexors more than the muscles of the upper back. Whenever you pull with your hands a short distance apart, your back can't take over. And if you combine this with the fact that your hands are in a neutral position, making the movement target the brachialis (a key muscle of the upper arm), then you have a real killer exercise.
  2. The rope requires the grip muscles to work with tremendous intensity. In fact, there is no better exercise to increase your grip strength than rope climbing. And there is a direct correlation between your grip strength and your bicep mass.
  3. As your upper back supports your efforts, your elbow joints are relieved. Furthermore, it seems that your biceps will only grow if the supporting muscles of your upper back are strong enough.

To build large muscles quickly, you need to train one muscle group at least three times a week. The best way to do this is to use exercises that are relatively easy on the joints. It takes significantly longer for your joints to recover than it does for your muscles. This is the reason scott curls were always at the bottom of my list: this exercise can be brutal on the elbow joints and this slows down recovery.

A more gym-friendly alternative

Don't have a rope available? The second best exercise for your biceps must include all three of the elements mentioned above. This applies to pull-ups with a close neutral grip.

Tip: Eat more cooked tomatoes

To reap all the benefits of tomatoes, you need to cook them. Here's why and a few tips.

From TC Luoma


Tomatoes should be on every man's list of power foods because of one of the main ingredients: Lycopene. This member of the carotenoid family could be the magic silver bullet for preventing prostate cancer. A 1995 study showed that men who ate 10 or more servings of tomatoes per week reduced their risk of prostate cancer by 35% and their risk of aggressive prostate cancer by 50%.

But there is a catch

What most people don't know is that the coveted lycopene is bound to cell walls and fiber. This means that you have to eat cooked or processed tomatoes to get the lycopene. This also means that tomato paste, barbeque sauce and ketchup are good sources of bioavailable lycopene. However, be sure to use the sugar-free or low-sugar versions.

Lycopene also needs fat to enter the bloodstream, so it's best to eat your tomatoes or tomato products with a little olive oil. You can also use sun-dried tomatoes that have been preserved in olive oil.

Tip: Perform this exercise for complete core strength development

Most people skip this part of the abdominal training equation. Don't do this. Try this challenging exercise.

By Mike Robertson


There's a category of core strength called hip flexion with a neutral spine. And this category is overlooked by most exercisers. This exercise category consists of the exercises where you actively stiffen your core/lumbar spine while moving your knees towards your chest. Here is one of the best exercises to train this.

Jackknife with bands

This is probably the most challenging sub-category of core exercises. The focus here should be on keeping the lumbar spine in a neutral position throughout the exercise without causing flexion in the lumbar vertebrae. Concentrate on the following:

  1. Keep the chest up and pushed forward. Do not hunch over to support yourself.
  2. Keep your core straight. Try to minimize any movement of the core.
  3. Use your hip flexors to pull your knees towards your chest. Exercises like this can help improve your posture/body tension during exercises like squats and deadlifts. Stay in a neutral position and pull your knees towards your chest.

You won't be able to perform this exercise with perfect form from the start. However, you should focus on remaining as stable and neutral as possible.

Tip: Do some wogging and running

Get defined without losing muscle mass

From TC Luoma


Don't abandon this style of training because it has a stupid-sounding name that makes you sound like you have a speech impediment. As you may have guessed correctly, wogging is a combination of walking and jogging and this is more than just a remedial program for wannabe long distance runners.

Wogging utilizes the results of recent research showing that walkers who vary their pace burn up to 20% more calories than walkers who maintain a steady pace. By slowing down or stopping the movement completely and then speeding up, you change the kinetic energy of your body and this requires more energy or calories.

Simply walking in this stop-and-go manner is effective when it comes to burning fat, but when you combine this concept with running instead of walking, it becomes an extremely effective fat-burning program. As such, it should more accurately be referred to as Wunning - a combination of walking and running.

Do the following:

  1. Walk at a brisk pace for a while and then speed up to a fast race.
  2. When you start to get tired and your speed drops dramatically, start walking again until you are sufficiently recovered to start running again.
  3. The distance you cover is irrelevant. Instead, you should use a pre-determined amount of time, such as 30 minutes.
  4. Three sessions of 30 minutes per week will do wonders when it comes to getting rid of the ugly fat.

Tip: Use Gironda Perfect Curls

This classic exercise is tough, but it will build your biceps better than standard curls.

From T Nation


This exercise was developed by Vince Gironda before you were born, yet most people don't use it. Why? Because most people are pussies with big egos and small biceps.

Think of this exercise as the complete opposite of curls with deflections. In curls with deflection, you start the exercise slightly bent forward and then curl the bar upwards with momentum, moving your upper body backwards. This takes the muscle-building tension off your biceps and allows you to stroke your ego with heavier weights - while looking like an idiot at the same time. With Gironda perfect curls, you do the exact opposite.

The execution of Gironda perfect Curls

  1. Before you curl, lean back 5 to 10 degrees. Shift your weight back onto your heels. Your shoulders should be behind your hips and knees.
  2. Slowly curl the weight upwards from this position. As you move the weight upwards, slowly bend your torso forward so that your shoulders are in front of your hips and knees at the end of the movement. At the top of the movement, lean forward slightly.
  3. Lower the weight while reversing the movement. As you lower the bar, move your upper body back so that your shoulders are behind your hips.

This exercise increases the tension on the biceps and extends the time under tension. Gironda said that each repetition should last about 6 seconds. (Note: this will burn). Yes, you'll have to use less weight than usual, but your biceps will be doing more work and that means new muscle growth.

Tip: Go all out, pause a little and then go all out again

Studies show that just one hour of this type of training is more effective for fat loss than seven hours of jogging per week.

By Chris Shugart


Surprise test

Who would lose fat here?

1. the person who would choose to jog for an hour 7 days a week or do some other form of cardio workout at a consistent intensity?


2. the person who would do one hour per week (split into 3 sessions of 20 minutes each) of sprint training on the cycle ergometer?

This is kind of a trick question, because studies show that both would lose about the same amount of fat.

The science

Australian scientists have found that sprint training on a cycle ergometer for one hour per week is more effective for fat loss than seven hours of jogging. For this study, overweight subjects in their twenties were recruited to perform short, high-intensity cycling sprints in the following manner:

  • Sprint (fast pedaling) for 8 seconds
  • Recovery (slower pedaling) for 12 seconds

This was repeated over a period of 20 minutes. Over a period of 12 weeks, 3 of these training sessions were carried out per week.

The average results with no change in diet were as follows:

  • 4 pounds of lost belly fat
  • Some additional muscle mass (on the legs)
  • 17% reduction in visceral fat around the organs

These are roughly the same results that joggers experienced according to similar studies, but this required an additional 6 hours of training per week and 14 weeks instead of 12. And of course, the joggers didn't experience any gains in muscle mass, in fact, they probably experienced muscle loss over time since it was jogging.

Four pounds may not sound like much, but you should keep in mind that the subjects were people who were otherwise inactive and were instructed not to change their diet. Imagine what a little extra training with weights and a healthier diet could have done.

Try it out

These results are not really surprising. This method, also known as high-intensity interval training or HIIT, always works, but it's nice to see that this has also been shown in studies.

Want to use a plan like this? You could simply do the same workout that the subjects in the study did, but it's not necessary to do exactly the same thing. Choose any exercise machine, exercise at high speed for a while, reduce the speed and catch your breath, then maximize the speed again. Repeat for 20 minutes. Many work/pause ratios will work. Don't have access to exercise machines? No problem. Just go outside and alternate between fast running and walking.


  1. The Effect of High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise on Body Composition of Overweight Young Males, Journal of Obesity, Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 480467


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