Ketones and Performance

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Do Ketone Improve Performance?

During the Olympics, the media reported that some cyclists were supplementing ketones to improve performance. Produced naturally during metabolisim causing euphoria. Cyclistes consume these supplements to delay fatigue. The brain uses mainly glucose (sugar) for fuel, but can also use ketones. Like aceton, acetoacetate and beta-hydroxybutyrate. During low calorie dieting, the body produces these to supply fuels to the brain.

A literature review by researchers from Maastricht University  concluded that supplementing these has no effect on physical performance. The results are predictable because the breakdown releases energy more slowly than carbohydrates.

Adding a preworkout supplement can help boost performance, if you’re looking for an edge. Whether hitting the gym or running a marathon, many preworkout drinks contain ingredients needed to get you going.

Pumping Iron Prevents Heart Disease

Metabolic Syndrome in Men

Millions of men suffer from metabolic syndrome, a cluster of health issues that raise risks. Risks of heart problems, like heart disease, diabetes and stroke. One in three Americans suffer from this serious condition. Risk factors include large waistline, high levels of triglycerides. (Triglycerides – a type of blood fat). Low levels of  high-density lipoprotein (“good cholesterol). High blood  pressure and high blood sugar.  Crash diets are not the answer. In fact, hitting the gym to build muscle is the best answer. New research published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, reveals that one hour of resistance training per week. Even without cardio, can cut risk of the metabolic syndrome.

The Study

muscle strength exercise

Strength resistance training to stay healthy

The Mayo Clinic study involved about 7,000 middle-aged adults, average age 46. Evaluated at the Cooper Clinic in Dallas between 1987 and 2006. While their exercise program was not supervised, subjects self reported compliance with Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. The guidelines suggest that Americans, “Do muscle strengthening activities. Lifting weights or using resistance bands. At a moderate or high intensity involving all major muscle groups. Two or more days a week. Also, aerobic exercise in excess of 500 metabolic equivalent minutes per week.”

None of the participants in the Mayo Clinic study suffered from the metabolic syndrome when they enrolled. Fifteen percent developed metabolic syndrome during their follow up of four years. The study looked mostly at men. While 19 percent of the subjects were female.

Conclusion

The researchers found that any amount of resistance training meeting exercise guidelines associated 17 percent lower metabolic syndrome. Up to an hour weekly resistance exercise was associated 29 percent lower risk of development metabolic syndrome. Compared with no exercise.While larger amounts of resistance exercise did not provide further benefits. People who met both recommended resistance and aerobic exercise guidelines had a 25 percent lower risk of development of the metabolic syndrome. While compared with meeting neither guideline.

Furthermore, researchers concluded: “Health professionals should recommend patients perform resistance exercise along with aerobic exercise to reduce metabolic syndrome.”

Basic Leg Workout

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Leg Day, Leg Workout

Basic leg workout:

  1. Lying Leg Curls: 4 sets X 15-20 reps
  2. Standing One-leg Curls: 4 sets X 12-15 reps
  3. Stiff-leg Deadlifts: 4 sets X 15-20 reps
  4. Walking Lunges: 3 sets X approximately 40 yards
  5. Leg Extensions: 4 sets X 20, 15, 12, 12 reps
  6. Squats: 4 sets X 20, 15, 12, 12 reps
  7. Leg Press: 4 sets X 15-20 reps

Lying Leg Curls:  On each rep, lift hips slightly as contracting hamstrings. This makes for a deeper squeeze in the hams and a much harder contraction. Adding a momentary pause at the top, you see hams fill with blood.

squats

Get huge leg muscles!

Standing Leg Curls (Single Leg): Use visualization with this move. Allowing you imagining standing onstage while squeezing hamstrings in a rear double biceps or lat spread. Keeping your body completely still. Only moving the hamstring. No hip movement or cheating to get the weight up.

Stiff-leg Deadlifts: Stand pigeon toed, making a conscious effort to keep turning toes back in after each rep. Give it a try and you’ll feel it on the first rep. You won’t need a ton of weight doing it this way.

If you think it’s going to be hard, then it will be

Walking Lunges: The challenge isn’t getting from one end to the other. The challenge is making legs grow. With each step, carefully plant your heel, lunging down. Until back knee touches the ground. Slowly push back up before taking the next step. It’s the most effective to step, then lunge. Rather than trying to lunge into each step and cut short the contraction.

Leg Extensions: High reps or heavy weight? Both! do as many sets needed to get connected with your quads. The amazing thing to see is how to keep increasing weight. Getting to the bottom of the weight stack and failure comes before the 20th rep. Pause for a few breaths and resume the set until you reach the magic number

Squats: Try using the connection you have with each muscle to make squats a complete leg exercise. With glute-hamstring focus instead of a mass builder for quads. Each rep is deliberate and controlled as squeezing glutes and tightens up hamstrings all the way down and back up. Each rep of the squat is full of opportunities to contract a different part of the leg. If you can do this effectively, you can build big legs and not just big quads.

Leg Press: Feet are wide and high, so the quads are still working. But the hams taking some of the load. Just like squats, control the weight through every inch of movement and never using momentum. While many guys use the leg press to load up the weight. Some use it as a finishing move to add some polish to the wheels.

Better Abs, Better Sex

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The tie between abs and a great sex life-

Better abs and better sex, both hallmarks of a youthful, vigorous, physically active, healthy body. Unfortunately, “Youth is wasted on the young”. Not only that, but changes in lifestyle and social trends now encourage obesogenic behavior. Body types associated with metabolic disorders and increased health risks.

Consider the motivation to trim the waistline, improving torso tone if the results weren’t just a “beach body”.  Also allowing for better sexual function and satisfaction. Is it wrong to pursue a healthy goal if part of the intent is to receive pleasure? No! Reinforcing a positive behavior generally improves participation and compliance. So get ready to crunch, plank and Kegel your way to better sex.

Creating your Six-Pack

sex

Six-pack abs help have a better sex life!

What creates a great set of abs? Opinions vary, but generally the torso is tapered (V-shape for men, hourglass for ladies). Skin is smooth without folds or dimples. Some people, attracted to extremes in leanness. Chiseled obliques as part of the package. Others prefer a slightly softer look that is not intimidating. Offering shape and contour rather than definition. Certainly, there are very strong individuals with incredible “abs” who carry a significant amount of central body fat.

Abdominal fat, including under the skin and surrounding the organs of the abdomen. There are also very slender people who have poorly developed “core” muscles. Great abs require the combination of both well-developed core muscles. As well as a healthy level of subcutaneous and visceral fat. Sorry, this means that nutritional discipline and physical effort are required. Putting great abs out of the reach of the majority of U.S. adults, unless they alter their lifestyle.

Diets

Appropriate diets and training are discussed in many sources. Many options that a personalized approach can be developed for most physically capable people. Yoga, calisthenics, and CrossFit provide all the physical stimulation needed if the diet and lifestyle well-managed. Depending upon the current state of each individual, the diet may need to be hypocaloric to support fat loss. Including adequate amount of protein to support lean muscle mass. Need not be ketogenic or even low carb. Avoiding low fat diets. The Mediterranean Diet or Zone Diet plans are wonderful options for those who consume meals with family or in social settings that don’t abide by low-gylcemic load guidelines.

Benefits in the Bedroom

Healthy-sex-life

Better abs-Better sex

So, what benefits  generated by developing and maintaining great abs? Benefits transferring to the bedroom? Of course,  enhanced cosmetic appeal, and who does not want to be more attractive to one’s spouse or mate? Often greater self-confidence, particularly when one is naked. Even increased respect from one’s partner for the positive change accomplished through effort and dedication.

Likely that your partner will get a boost in social standing (and have more satisfying orgasms) by having the mate who looks better, younger or just hotter. Especially ladies, if her friends notice. Be aware, though, that changes best experienced when shared as a couple. If only one person makes dramatic changes, often the other becomes challenged. Also suspicious or self-conscious of his/her physical appearance. All of which can negatively affect a relationship. Sensitivity and communicate if involved in an intimate relationship.

Beyond that, many “hidden” metabolic benefits attained following the lifestyle providing great abs. Once, this the norm, but now it’s the exception. The prevalence of overweight/obesity, especially central obesity. Making evident the role that one’s diet, activity and sleeping patterns play in promoting health. Now think about your body. If it is under attack by chronic inflammation, hormonal imbalances and vascular damage or excess mass. Do you think your body is feeling as “sexy” as it might in a healthy condition?  Hopefully illustrating why a person’s lifestyle affects one’s health and qualities we too often take for granted.

Better Orgasms

So, let’s run down the great abs lifestyle benefits in general. Improved mental health, insulin sensitivity, cellular energetics, vascular response and erectile function. Also cardiovascular fitness, hormonal optimization and intense orgasms. Orgasm quality improved for men and women. These effects the “machine” being maintained well throughout life. Abuse of alcohol and drugs, overeating and poor dietary selections. Also stress, variable sleeping patterns, sedentary lifestyle, etc. All combine to alter these functions. In the absence of significant disease, great abs  achieved by following the same guidelines the lead to improved health.

10 Best Lifts For Mass Gains

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Do you have as much mass as you’d like? Read on for the 10 best lifts for mass gains. Seven of the 10 are compound movements. Involving several and building muscle groups at once. Push some serious iron! Unless you have an injury that makes any one or more of these a bad idea-You need these 10 in your life right now!

10 Best Lifts for Mass Gains-

Squats

The big daddy of all lower body exercises. There is no more effective way to load the muscles of the quadriceps, glutes and hams than to put a barbell on your back. Squat down low and stand back up again. To get the most mass gains from squats, descend below parallel. Not all of us having flexibility in the hips and ankles to sink down to “rock bottom”. But perform a full rep as it relates to individual structure. Avoid piling on more and more plates sacrificing range of motion. It’s okay to do the positive part of the rep, aka the lifting in an explosive manner. Take care to lower the weight under control though. Never bounce out, this will wreck your knees over time. Find a stance that feels right for you. Try to maintain as upright a posture as possible. Use a weight lifting belt unless you have a powerful core.

Bench Press

Mass-Gain-ExercisesAll the pushing muscles of the upper body band together for this monster lift. The pecs, anterior deltoids and the triceps. Not only used by bodybuilders, but also as part of strength and conditioning in dozens of other sports. “How much ya bench?” isn’t nearly as important as how you bench. To maximally recruit the pecs and ensure the shoulders and tri’s aren’t taking the burnt of the load- set your body mechanics up correctly. Pinch your shoulder blades together. Roll your shoulders down toward your butt. Put a slight arch in your lower back. Use a spotter, but only to hand the weight off to you and help you rack it up at the end of the set.

Deadlifts

If any exercise comes close to a “full-body movement”, it’s the deadlift. Involving the entire back, rear delts, biceps, quads, hams, glutes and calves! That’s a lot of muscle mass to hit all at once. Legitimately the simplest exercise possible. Lift something off the ground and put it back down. “I pick things up and put them back down”, in other words.  No need to lift like a powerlifter.  Set both hands overhand (knuckles up), and strap in. The initial drive off the floor is a simultaneous pull with the back, biceps and rear delts. Along with a push from the quads and glutes. Never allow you lower back to round. Many bodybuilders have transitioned to partial-range “rack deadlifts”. Usually starting the lift mid-shin or under the knees in a power rack. Rather than picking it up off the floor. Some swear by them as being more of a true back movement by taking the legs greatly out of the equation. Others dismiss them as a week substitute for full deads. That’s for you to figure out on your own if you try them.

Chin-Ups

Not only a very natural movement among humans, but all primates. It’s how you pull yourself up to a branch or top of a surface. As an exercise, nothing trumps it for working the upper lats, rhomboids, teres major and minor. Even the biceps. Requiring minimal equipment, just a bar bolted to the all or between two other supports. Once someone has mastered the chin-up with their own body weight, the next step is adding weight via a belt. Once you get to the point where you are doing good reps with a 45 hanging off of you, you can be sure your upper back will get wide and rugged.

Dips

The dip is right up there with the bench press in terms of overall impact of the pushing muscles of the upper body. When leaning the torso forward, the chest is maximally recruited, as the angle is very similar to a decline barbell press. If maintaining a more upright torso position, the triceps are forced to take more of the workload. Weighted dips are one of the most effective mass builders you will ever do for the chest and triceps. Some find dip machines to be better options. Particularly when it comes to attempting to isolate the triceps. If you can do them, nothing beats parallel bar dips. Experiment with keeping your elbows closer to the body or flaring them out. Find the optimal form for you.

Military Press

Mass-GainsConsidered so basic and vital to overall development that in the early decades of powerlifting, it was a competition lift. The only reason it was dropped, because arguments over how much backward lean was permissible in the standing press. Regardless, the standing and seated versions of the barbell press to the front, aka the military press, fantastic for building overall shoulder size and strength. Though dumbbells have their merits allowing the shoulders to rotate back a bit more, they become cumbersome to get up. When reaching a certain level of strength. Meanwhile, you can load the barbell up with 225, 315 or even 405! If you can blast up to 315 or more in decent form for reps-a lock you’ll build some thick, wide shoulders.

Barbell Rows

If you want a thick back, you must do barbell rows. These are often called “bent” or “bent-over rows”. Though the angle of the torso bend varies. Arnold did his with a full 45-degree bend, torso parallel to the ground. Some stood up a bit more upright around 70 degrees. Going any higher starts turning the row into something close to a shrug, as the range of motion is truncated. A forceful pull to the abdomen should coincide with a contraction of the lats. Followed by a controlled negative in which you can feel the lats stretch. Whether you pause each rep for more emphasis on the lats, or keep the bar moving in more of a piston style. It is a matter of personal preference.

Barbell Curls

If pulling substantial weights on deadlifts, barbell rows and adding weight to chins, your biceps are getting a lot of the residual work. They still need direct training, the barbell curl is the most effective option. The barbell allows for a greater load than dumbbells, so you can curl some decent loads. Unfortunately, barbell curls are the most commonly abused exercise in terms of form. Using heavy weight and thrusting hips. While “cheat curls” have their place, that place is after a few strict sets. Use a controlled rep speed. Think about flexing your biceps as you curl. Feeling them stretch out as you lower the bar. After three or four sets, your biceps should be pumped and burning. The straight bar is the most popular options, though many find the EZ-curl bar causes less wrist strain.

Skull-Crushers

Triceps-Mass-GainsIf you’ve gotten to the point where you can bench press 1.5 times your bodyweight for reps as well as do dips with half your bodyweight strapped on. Your triceps will be thick and beefy. They still need direct work. Lying triceps extensions, aka skull-crushers, come into play. Most people do skull-crushers on a flat bench. You may get better range of motion and better stretch with an incline or decline bench. Most fare better with EZ-curl bar because you use heavier weights. You can lower the bar to your nose, forehead or behind your head. Use a spotter, if possible, at all times. Once you handle substantial weight, have the spotter hand off the bar to you and take it away at the end of your set. Saving you lots of trouble as well as your energy for the actual set instead of wrestling the bar into place.

Standing Calve Raises

Last but not least, we need to hit the calves. One winning basic movement, the standing calve raise. Anything you can stand on and hang your heel off, such as a step, will suffice. The calves are notoriously stubborn muscle group to build for two reasons. One, they are largely genetic. If you have high muscle insertions, there just aren’t a lot of muscle cells there to work with. Having no control over how high or low our calves insert. We do have total control over how we train them, and many of us do it wrong. Doing short, bouncy reps with too much weight. Need to use a full range of motion and a controlled rep speed. Rise up all the way on your tiptoes and flex your calves. Then lower until your heels are lower than the arches of your feet. Very low reps don’t seem to do much for calves. Work in ranges of 10-12, 12-15 and 15-20.

BACK-TO-BASICS MASS GAINS ROUTINE

Day 1

Bench Press 5 x 12, 10, 8, 8, 8

Chin-Ups 5 X 10

Military Press 5 X 12, 10, 8, 8, 8

Deadlifts 5 X 12, 10, 8, 6, 6

Barbell Curls 4 X 8-12

Day 2 OFF

Day 3

Dips 5 X 10

Barbell Rows 5 X 12, 10, 8, 8, 8

Skull-Crushers 4 X 8-12

Squats 6 X 15, 12, 10, 10, 10, 6

Standing Calve Raises 5 X 20, 15, 15, 12, 10

Day 4 OFF

REPEAT

*Warm-ups not shown…always warm up as much as you need to!

What is the Key to Success in Bodybuilding?

What is important when starting bodybuilding? Diet? Workout? Cardio?

It’s hard to tell you that there is one ting that should be more important than other things. Bodybuilding is like a necklace you wear around your neck.  If any piece of the necklace is broken or missing, it won’t be a necklace.

Bodybuilding has to be in the perfect state or environment, whatever you’d like to call it. Because in order to have the right body, everything must align. For example, you can’t just eat the right food and not work out. Or eat, work out but not get enough sleep, etc. So yes, lots of things are important.

The most important thing to keep an eye on. Whether you are trying to get big and build muscle or lose fat and get shredded is your insulin level. If that hormone isn’t working right, then forget about amounting to anything. You need to take great care with each meal your ingesting. Make sure you have enough fat, fiber, carbohydrate and protein to keep each meal balanced. That way, your insulin stays in check mode. As a result, you can keep losing fat while gaining muscle.

 

Boost Your Bench Press

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How to Boost Your Bench Press

Everyone wants to build a huge chest. But many aren’t satisfied with merely looking like you can bench press a ton. Wanting to be as powerful as those thick pecs would suggest. New research in the field of strength training has shown that pressing more weight is closely linked to performing the lift as fast as possible. Two studies summarized below, very interesting to anyone looking to boost his bench press.

Simple Trick to Improve Bench Pressing

Study #1

One study demonstrated that explosive acceleration during the bench press caused an immediate  improvement in the benching strength. Presumably by stimulating a process known as PAP (post-activation potentiation), Which further increases fast-twitch fiber activation. In this study, researchers showed that nine male subjects performing high-velocity push-ups, before attempting their one-rep bench maximum. Increased their one-rep max by approximately eight pounds. Compared to the control group that did not perform high-velocity push-ups. That group showing no increase in bench strength. These results highlight the potential use of explosive movements for both short-term and long-term strength gains.

Study #2

Another study showed the positive influence that explosive bench-pressing has on strength gains. While compared to normal-speed benching. In this study, all 20 subjects trained twice a week for three weeks. One group performed the lift at near-maximal speed at 85 percent of their 1RM. The second group performed at standard speed.  At the of the study, the explosive bench group added 10 percent to their maximum bench press. While also increasing the speed with which they perform the lift. The second group that performed at normal lifting speed did not gain any strength or power.

 

Get the Most Out of Your Squats

Best Lifting Shoes for Squats?

Chuck Taylor Converse for SquatsUsing recreational sport shoes during the squat causes greater ankle dorsiflexion than using weightlifting shoes. Dorsiflexion, the backward bending of the food toward the shin. Research found dorsiflexion increased as athletes lifted heavier weights. This study has important implications with no universal or practical application. Many powerlifters prefer Chuck Taylor Converse sneakers because they allow greater dorsiflextion. Also more hip hinge during the squat. Taller athletes and those with poor technique or restricted ankle range, perform quad-dominant squats.  They may prefer weightlifting shoes because of their elevated heels. Many athletes squat incorrectly by not fully implementing the hip hinge and breaking at the spine. A good shoe for squatting big iron, needs a non-compressible sole. Also a metatarsal strap that allows you to “spread to the floor”.Using your feet during the exercise and good arch and foot support. Supplying a stable platform during the lift.

Leg Day MotivationNeuromuscular Function Impaired for 48 hours After Squats

The squat is a critical exercise for bodybuilders and power athletes.  A recent study found neuromuscular fatigue, evident for at least 48 hours after a squat workout.  Young men performed four different intense squat workouts. Traditional, eccentric, flywheel and plyometric squat jumps. The immediate metabolic load was greatest during flywheel and eccentric. All programs caused neuromuscular fatigue for at least 48 hours after exercise. Measured by several jumping tests. Maximum isometric force decreased for one day, but recovered after that. The lesson for power athletes is not to do heavy squats in the days before a competition.

Big Guns-Secrets of the Pro’s!

Big Guns Secrets from Bodybuilding Pros-Tips, Tricks and Lessons form the Greats!

No body part captures the attention of bodybuilder pros like the arms. We love to build them. We love to show them off and admire and covet exceptional arms in others. For building ” big guns” we’ve collected valuable advise on building biceps and triceps. Follow these tips and maybe your guns can someday swell to jaw dropping dimensions!

Avoid Training Mistakes

2 Common Biceps Training Mistakes: One error seen that needs corrected is to train biceps with back. On the surface, it makes sense, since the biceps used indirectly in all types of chins. Also pulldowns, rows and the deadlift. That is exactly why you shouldn’t train biceps after back. Already under stress from those heavy back exercises. Subjecting tendons to more stress with direct biceps training immediately after proves too much. Also use caution doing barbell rows with an underhand or curl grip. The argument of reverse-grip rows is that they put the biceps in stronger pulling position. While true, bu the fact of the matter is the biceps, relatively small muscle. They aren’t meant to be pulling hundreds and hundreds of pounds.

Big Guns Arm Routine

Dexter Jackson Typical Arm Workout:

Dexter Jackson Arm Routine

Big Guns! Tips and Tricks the Pros Use

Biceps:

Preacher Curls 4 X 8 -10

EZ-Bar 21’s 4 X 8 -10

Dumbbell Concentration Curls OR One-Arm Machine Curls (elbow above shoulder joint) 4 X 8-10

Triceps: (Dexter performs tri-sets, or three exercises back to back without resting, for four to five rounds.

Cable Pushdowns, V or Straight Bar 4 -5 X 10

Skull-Crushers or Dip Machine 4 -5 X 10

Rope Pushdowns 4 -5 X 10

” I don’t care how much weight I’m using on anything in the gym as long as it’s stimulating the muscle like I want it to. If I can’t get that feeling, I use a little less weight.”- Dexter Jackson

Go for Max Pump, Then Stop

While some guys do as many as 30 sets for arms, is that number right or too much? You can’t put a number on it. Once you get a maximum muscle pump in the arms, then you should stop. Whether that’s after 10 sets or 25. If you find yourself losing the pump or feeling weak, you did too much. For most, it never takes more than three or four exercises each for the biceps or triceps before reaching that point.

Take the Delts Out of Curls and Grow Those Biceps

If you have strong shoulders, be careful or they take over everything. Like chest work and biceps. Once your biceps start getting fatigued after a few exercises, you need to take the shoulder out of the motion. Try the preacher bench, doing one-arm curls. Or sit on a bench where you can brace one arm on inner thigh for concentration curls. Either way, your arm is locked into position and takes the shoulders out of the motion so the biceps do all the work.

Biceps are a Simple Muscle

Guys train them too often and they do way too much. Biceps in particular are a pretty simple muscle. There is no reason to ever do any more than three different exercises for them in any one workout. Your form needs to be good, too. You have to squeeze the muscle at the end of each rep. Controlling the negative so you get that good stretch. You can’t do that when you’re going too heavy. Don’t let your ego get in the way of progress with the arms.

Fat-Loss Supplements—What Works?

Fat-Loss Supplements

Is there a magic pill out there? Do Olympia winners have a secret island to learn how to win? Bodybuilders are the most loyal fat-loss supplements and muscle building supplement users and believers. Hearing of bodybuilders taking everything! From some peptide made in a kitchen to oil filtered from cow pellets. Bodybuilders want to be the next Mr. Olympia, even if it means risking their health.

Get Cut and Shredded

Bodybuilding supplement for cutting and shred

The fat burning pills and legal steroid industry is bursting with fat-loss supplements. Not only preying on bodybuilders, but also targeting millions of overweight people. Those who want to lose a few pounds between burgers. At least bodybuilders realize hard work at the gym is a crucial component of getting lean. Knowing that fat burning requires some dietary modifications. Like calorie restrictions, reducing carbohydrates and nutrient timing. Weightlifters and anyone who takes care of themselves appreciates the importance of fasted morning cardio. Along with the concept, “sweat is fat crying”.

Dieting does result in metabolic adaptations, counterproductive to your goals. As we go into any caloric deficit to burn fat, our bodies try to adjust. Slowing down metabolism and conserving energy. This is where fat-loss supplements assist. Knowing a “magic pill”, not existing letting you laze around all day and eat burgers. However, supplements augment diets and improve metabolism.

Weight Loss Pills

Weight loss supplements improve weight loss objectives through a number of mechanisms:

  1. Suppression of appetite
  2. Impairing fat absorption
  3. Increased fat oxidation during exercise
  4. Increasing resting energy expenditure (turning on brown fat and thermogenesis)
  5. Promoting mobilization and metabolism of fats.

Research your supplements by reading reviews of products. Also look for companies that have been around for a while and not some quick by night companies looking for a quick buck. Once you find your “magic pill” your body goals will be within reach.