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Highlights from the 2015 NPC Phil Heath Classic

Come behind the scenes with the current and 4X Mr. Olympia, Phil Heath.

MFL Podcast 46: Interview with Dr. Layne Norton on preserving muscle while cutting and more

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1
Sagittarius Horoscope for Thursday, April 9, 2015

Friday, April 10, 2015 - You may feel emotionally constricted today, as if your heart was a snake that is outgrowing its skin. Your strategy might be to patiently hold still, since one big breath is all that's needed to shed your old exterior. Proceed with caution, since an internal voice could be counseling you to go ahead and break through whatever restraints are impeding your personal evolution. Nevertheless, tread carefully; don't do anything you might regret. Transformation doesn't happen overnight.

2
5 Exercise Swaps for Faster Gains

If you’re going to do an exercise, you want it to work for you – not against you. Here, we break down five of the most common exercise choices of the lifting masses and offer you some more beneficial alternatives. If you have been spinning your wheels, watching others grow and get stronger while you get cozy in plateau-ville, give these five exercise replacements a shot.

3
Gain 10 Pounds of Muscle in 4 Weeks

The second half of the program is all about maximizing size with slightly higher reps and an emphasis on intensity. Rep ranges move up to 10-12 for most exercises, which is ideal for promoting muscle hypertrophy (growth). Overall volume increases slightly during these two weeks, mainly due to the addition of isolation exercises that you’ll perform before compound movements for your chest, back, shoulders and legs. Called pre-exhaustion, this technique dramatically increases workout intensity. You fatigue the main target muscle with an isolation exercise, then hit it in this fatigued state with a compound move, which if done right will lead to your main muscle failing before assistance muscles give out. (For example, for chest the dumbbell flye hits the pecs directly, so your triceps shouldn’t end up being the weak link and cause the termination of the set during the bench press).

4
Rock Hard Challenge 2015

Get huge, ripped, and perform better than ever. Show us your progress, and the reader with the most dramatic gains will win an M&F feature and a BSN prize pack. No matter who wins the grand prize, everybody wins big with this radical new program.

5
5 Ways to Shredded Abs

Combine these five moves in a single workout to pummel each abdominal region into submission.

6
7 Surprising Sugar Bombs

So you think steering clear of soda and candy keeps your sugar intake down? Beware of these seven sneaky sources of the sweet stuff.

7
Ain't Nothing But a Peanut

According to a new study, talking to yourself may be the extra boost you need to enhance performance. Researchers allocated subjects to either a control group or a self-talk group. All subjects first completed an incremental power test to establish peak power output andthe subjects were asked to cycle to peak exhaustion. For the self-talk test, they were reminded to use positive self-talk statements. When comparing the self-talk with no talk, there were no physiological differences between the groups in respect to heart rate at exhaustion, and blood lactate concentration sampled three minutes after exhaustion between the two groups. They found that the motivational self-talk increased time to exhaustion by 17.9% from pretest to post-test but not in the control group. The researchers also found that the self-talk group had lower psychological distress than the control group.

8
T NATION on Twitter

9
T NATION on Twitter

Eating less and exercising more can make stubborn fat MORE stubborn after a point. Info: https://www.t-nation.com/diet-fat-loss/how-to-burn-stubborn-body-fat … pic.twitter.com/cPMdN7gZcJ

10
Kings of Weightlifting

Featuring lifters like Ilya Ilyin, Artem Okulov, Apti Aukhadov, Dmitry Klokov, Tian Tao, Lu Xiaojun, Ivan Markov, Kianoush Rostami, Oleg Chen, Hysen Pulaku, Idalberto Arranda, Pyrros Dimas, Mohamed Ehab, Sa Jae Hyouk, Vladimir Sedov, and various bulgarians.

11
10 Foam Roller Moves for Your Entire Body

Lie down with your back on the floor. Place a foam roller underneath your upper back and cross your arms in front of you, protracting your shoulder blades. Raise your hips off of the ground, placing your weight onto the roller. Shift your weight to one side, rolling the upper to mid back. Alternate sides. 

12
Better Glutes Fast

Did you know the muscles of the butt are one of the strongest muscles on your whole body? It has layers over layers of muscle tissue that you can build and shape to become that round butt we all love!

13
The Facts (and Fiction) on Fat Loss

At some point, you just have to set the record straight and debunk all the nutritional myths floating around out there. But here’s the catch: some of those so-called myths are actually true! But which ones? To help you make sense of all the confusing rhetoric going back and forth, we’ve compiled 10 of the most common fat-burning quandaries and sought to apply one of two simple labels to each: fact or fiction.

14
20 Moves For a Jacked Back

To Do: Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width, holding a kettlebell by its handle with both hands, allowing it to hang in front of your hips. Squat as you lower the kettlebell between your legs, then swing it up and out in front of you as you extend your knees to drive it up. At the top, your arms will be outstretched in front of you and the kettlebell will be around shoulder height. In one continuous motion, allow the kettlebell to come back down to the start position as you bend your knees to position yourself for the next rep.

15
10 Rules to Control Your Appetite

Bodybuilders know that eating multiple meals a day leads to better leaning out. You end up with more muscle mass and less bodyfat than you do when eating the same number of calories per day in fewer meals. In terms of appetite control, spreading food intake over six to eight daily meals can also have a huge impact on your appetite. Every time you eat — even a very small meal — the appetite center of the brain is stimulated, relaxing a sometimes-urgent appeal for more food or an overwhelming desire to eat. Eating constantly — within your daily calorie requirements, of course — will tame your appetite and help accelerate the loss of bodyfat.

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Vegan Banana Protein Pancakes

Looking to add a little oomph to your breakfast? These banana protein pancakes might just fit the bill. Part pancake, part banana bread, they are packed with healthy, muscle building ingredients and make a delicious post-workout meal. Top with your favorite fruit, nuts, or syrup of choice and you’ll be ready to start your day!

17
The Top 8 Time-Crunch Moves—Ever

We all know that interval training cuts cardio time pretty much in half but what about a straight up lifting workout? How do you fit in more moves in less time at the gym? The secret is in “combinations.” Combinations are movements that combine two exercises or more into one — rather than doing a squat followed by a military press , now you’ll do the two together, which targets more muscle groups in the same amount of time. This gives your body a huge stimulus for growth and fires up your metabolism for a lot of fat loss; with so many moving parts, you’ll also get a lot of great cardio and conditioning benefits too.

18
20 Essential Superfoods For Every Man's Diet

First, we polled 40 of the country's most respected food experts-registered dietitians, college nutrition professors, and authors-asking them each: What are the 10 most important foods every guy should include in his diet for maximum fitness? Then, as the results rolled in, we ranked our experts' recommendations.

19
Watch The Rock Shave A Man's Beard In An Earthquake Simulator

Watch as The Rock attempts to shave MTV’s own Josh Horowitz’s beard… in an earthquake simulator. LOL, what could possibly go wrong?

20
Your Daily Mass-Building Nutrition Checklist

1. Eat a satisfying breakfast. Make sure you get plenty of quality protein, complex carbs (e.g., oatmeal) and dietary fats (e.g., egg yolks, natural nut butters, breakfast meats) within one hour after waking up in the morning. You should strive to take in about 20–25% of your daily calories at this meal. 2. Load up before you train. Whether you take in a whole-food meal about an hour before you train or a protein shake within 30 minutes of hitting the weights, you want to give your body enough energy so that you don’t crash during your workout. Take in about 10% of your daily calories at this meal. 3. Recover and grow with a post-workout shake. Undoubtedly one of the most crucial meals of the day for fueling muscle building is your post-workout shake. Make sure to consume this shake as soon as you can after training. The mixture should contain whey protein and dextrose (or another form of sugar) for best results. Take in 10–15% of your daily calories at this meal. 4. Consume a large, healthful meal an hour or so after you train. About an hour or so after your post-workout shake, you should eat a whole-food meal that consists of ample protein, complex or starchy carbs, and vegetables.

21
How Much Fat Should I Eat? - Born Fitness

When it comes to cooking, butter, olive and coconut oil are all great options. While each individual is different, a good rule of thumb is that you the higher level of your fat intake will be around .4 to .5 grams per pound of your target body weight. (For example, if you want to weigh 180 pounds, you could eat as much as 90 grams of fat.) The number might initially seem like a lot, but when adjusted for how many calories you should take in per day, it’s exactly right.

22
Big Meals vs. Small Snacks: What's Best for You? - Born Fitness

If you’ve read a diet book, seen a nutritionist, or hired a personal trainer, you’ve probably been told that in order to lose weight or gain muscle you need to eat more often. Maybe you were told, “eat five to six small meals per day” or that eating big meals was no good for your body. The range from big meals harming digestion, the nutrients (like protein) going to waste, and not eating often slowing your metabolism.

23
Download the Bio-Gro 8-Week Hyper Growth Program

There’s no catch. You just need to add a hard-work ethic in and out of the gym and Bio-Gro™ Bio-Active Peptides to your routine, and the results will begin to happen. Whether you are trying to get lean for a competition or just look good with your shirt off, the Bio-Gro Hyper Growth program will help you achieve more than you ever imagined.

24
Do High Protein Diets Cause Early Death? - Born Fitness

Let’s get the worst news out of the way. It’s irresponsible to blindly claim, “High protein leads to premature death.” Or say it’s as bad as smoking. That’s not what the study found. If it were true I’d run around the streets screaming at the top of my lungs, and try and go door-to-door and let the world know I’d made a mistake. But that’s not the case. Why? For starters, the study was epidemiological, meaning the design made it impossible to make that type of claim. For those of you who don’t have a background in research (or simply don’t care), this how these studies work: They take information (“data”) after the fact and then try to draw conclusions.

25
Project Flex Camp Ticket April 18-19th

IFBB Pro Flex Lewis presents the first  PROJECT FLEX  exclusive 2-day camp, presented by BSN will be hosted April 18-19th at the warehouse in Boca Raton, FL. This flextraordinary experience will allow fans to spend the day with Flex, learning about his story, his principles for success, nutrition, training and much more.

26
4 Reasons Dwayne Johnson Should Host the Oscars

Because the Oscars are #sowhite. The Academy took a lot of flak last year for snubbing Selma director Ava DuVernay and her star, David Oyelowo, especially since the acting lineup was comprised of 20 lily-white nominees. In a transparent attempt to mitigate that controversy, the Oscars signed up several nonwhite actors (including Johnson) to serve as presenters, but the hosting gig still went to a white dude, as it so often does. Since Chris Rock’s 2005 Oscar stint, the telecast has been hosted by no people of color (and only two women); isn’t it time to broaden that pool of talent, especially if it means booking one of the stars from the Fast & Furious series, perhaps the best example of a successful multicultural franchise that Hollywood can boast? He’d bring in a younger audience. The elusive young male demographic remains the Holy Grail for any Oscar producer, but recent hosts like Neil Patrick Harris and Ellen DeGeneres haven’t exactly arrived at the Oscar dais with a loyal audience of dudes. Ex-wrestling champ Dwayne Johnson would provide exactly that, and he’d certainly be a classier bro-outreach pick than the smirky Seth MacFarlane.

27
Why Do Squats Hurt? (And How to Fix The Problems) - Born Fitness

Squat Like a Pro:  As I already mentioned, many people have an issue with stability or mobility, but before even testing for that, the simplest fix is the most obvious: drop the weight and strengthen your legs in a full range of motion. If you can make it into the hole with less weight, the problem might simply be that you’re going too heavy. A greater range of motion with the correct weight will build more muscle and leave you less susceptible to injury

28
It's Good to be an Eastwood

The house, a 1978 bungalow, is a work in progress. Eastwood shows me where he and some buddies removed a wall from the living room to open the space, installing two crossbeams for support. There’s now a full-size pool table where most people would put a couch. “I was looking for a beater to fix,” he says. “A little beach house, you know. It was pretty compartmentalized.” As we head upstairs to check out the ocean view from his bedroom, we pass a desk littered with scripts (“I get so many fucking scripts”) and a hall closet open to reveal a hulking steel safe. “That’s my gun safe,” he says. How many guns does he own? “Ten? I don’t know. A bunch of rifles and shotguns.”

29
FD The Women's Guide (Athlete)

Hello Pauline Nordin & Fighter Diet, I was into sport all my life. I was a tri-athlete for more than 15 years. I still like to go for a run or a long bike ride. It was really important to me to try not to lose muscle during these long hours of cardio . I tried to eat more carbs but it always ended up in fat . I met Pauline and she told me about fighter diet. I tried it and I have to tell I could not find anything like it. It keeps me in shape,no fat at all and also I do not loose the muscle mass I built during years. I have also competed and done it for fitness competition prep. I never feel hungry since the veggies fill me up. The only thing I miss is the desert but this diet let U eat once a week desert and it satisfies me. I love fighter diet! It is simple to follow and combined

30
6 Non-Boring Ways to Eat Your Steel-Cut Oats

Ready to dig in? Skip the sugar -heavy insta oatmeal packets and go for the real deal. Leftovers keep in the fridge for a week, so make a big batch over the weekend and reheat before you dash out the door. Here’s how to do it: Bring about three cups of water or milk to a boil, then mix in one cup of steel cut oats and a pinch of salt. Simmer, uncovered, for 20–30 minutes, stirring every few minutes so that the bottom doesn’t burn.

31
Squat, Swing, Carry for Lean Muscle

It takes muscle and stamina to carry heavy stuff from point A to point B. Brought into vogue within fitness circles by Dan John, carries will build your grip, arms, and core, and teach you to maintain a high level of force output for extended periods of time. Carries are the bridge between being strong and having great strength-capacity.

32
Photo Shoot with Flexatron!

Come behind-the-scenes with FLEX Magazine and photographer Per Bernal for a photo shoot with IFBB Pro Bodybuilder Shawn "Flexatron" Rhoden.

33
Joe DeFranco's Industrial Strength Show

I have been waiting for Joe D to put out a podcast for the longest time! And once again Joe has over delivered to his audience. The first show was jam-packed with so much info I can't imagine how good the rest of the shows will be. DeFranco is the most well rounded coach in the world so I expect lots of great training information for a wide range of athletes and washed up meatheads (Joe's term for former athletes) alike. He also has a knack for making things very simple and practical. Whether you're training for the NFL Combine, looking to improve your running form, or trying to get abs for the summer, this should be your #1 podcast. I could listen to this guy speak all day. Kudos coach D. Jon (DeFranco follower since 2006)

34
4 Reasons You're Not Getting Stronger - Born Fitness

There is nothing in strength training that will pay higher dividends than simply lifting a heavier weight, or lifting the heaviest weights you can for more repetitions. And then making sure each week you try to add to this amount. There’s a place for speed/high rep days. There’s also a day for grip days. (Yes, grip can be a big barrier.) But if you don’t have a day (or an exercise) dedicated to simply adding more weight to the bar, you won’t become stronger.

35
The Best Healthy Steak Recipe (You’ve Never Tried) - Born Fitness

Your goal is to realize that eating healthy doesn’t have to be a frustrating experience. Any limitation can be viewed as a bad thing or as a gateway to creativity and enjoyment. After all—healthy food can be delicious and food should be enjoyed. It’s the best approach to any eating plan, and something that I stress with all the diets I create for my online clients.

36
Get a Massive Upper Back With the Jump Shrug

Use this move to kick off your back or shoulder workout (depending on when you work traps), at the start of your trap workout, or add it to a day when you do numerous multijoint exercises, such as deadlifts (see sample workout.)

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USC Strength Training - How to hang clean

USC Strength Training - How to hang clean

38
Turn Any Park Into a Gym

It’s hard to justify training in a dark gym when the sun is still shining outside. Especially since you can build muscle just as effectively using your own body weight as you can by lifting some iron. All you really need is something to push on or pull on and a little open space where you can move your body and activate all the muscles you’re used to training indoors. We came up with a plan you can do at your local park (or in the prison yard—hey, we won’t judge) to get you ripped and strong while improving your tan at the same time.

39
Web Buzz Grows Over the Rock's Epic Diet

FiveThirtyEight broke down the Rock's impressive diet  earlier this week, calculating that he scarfs down 800 pounds of fish every year. It referenced our own story on The Rock's bodybuilding diet , racking up the numbers and going viral. Outlets like Business Inside and USA Today ran with it. Fellow M&F featuree Steve Weatherford even commented on the dinosaur-esque diet,  telling USA Today , "Anytime anyone eats 800 pounds of anything in a year, lends itself to being a little insane. However, there is a method to the Rock’s madness ... While I don’t know if it is possible to keep up with the Rock’s pace, cod offers so many different health benefits and I recommend eating as much as possible."

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21 Things to Add to Your Home Gym in 2015

You probably have a few training products at home. Here are 21 more for reaching any fitness goal.

41
The No-BS Jacked Back Workout Routine

Back training is like the tax code of physique building. The methodology is as diverse as it is mystifying, and as complex as it is confounding, but in the end your goal is simple: You just want to get as much back as possible (pun intended). You experiment with new workouts and flirt with multiple angles, all with the hope of adding a little swole to your rearview. If this sounds like you, breathe deep and let this simple strategy wash over you: Pull heavy stuff. Rest. Repeat.

42
Trust Your Gut Instincts: Advice On Life, Training & Business - Zach Even-Esh

Zach's inspiration in training comes from the Golden Era of Bodybuilding & Days of Old School Strength. His mission is to help You kick ass & take names in Life AND Lifting without the hype, fancy fads or gimmicks. Zach's Commitment To Your Success Is Unmatched. He Knows What It's Like To Go From A Weakling To An Unstoppable BEAST In Charge Of His Life, Business & Destiny. Zach Made It Happen Through The Iron and Now it's Your Turn!

43
T NATION on Twitter

"Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion. You have to set yourself on fire." http://goo.gl/Ry5z2Z  pic.twitter.com/mtUAgVsUyA

44
The Easiest Hummus Recipe Ever

Did you know that every time you buy a $7 container of pre-made hummus, a chickpea cries? Making homemade hummus is incredibly easy. All you need is a blender, a few secret ingredients, and fifteen minutes. In fact, Dimitri Moshovitits, chef of Cava Grill, found a way to make the process even easier. By cutting out the addition of oil, he also eliminates the need for emulsifying the hummus. Translation: You still create creamy hummus without the risk of the mixture separating into a gloppy mess. After you puree the hummus, decorate the finished product as you like. Pop some chopped roasted red peppers on top. Adorn it with toasted pine nuts. Or just scatter on some chopped parsley and a shake or two of paprika. This recipe makes a few servings. Feel free to store the hummus in an old supermarket hummus container. You won’t be buying any more of those soon. Cava Mezze’s Homemade Hummus Recipe by Dimitri Moshovitis, chef of Cava Grill restaurants in the Washington, D.C. area What you’ll need: 4 garlic cloves 1 15.5-ounce can chickpeas, drained with 2 Tbsp liquid reserved 1 tsp salt 2 to 3 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice 2 Tbsp tahini Hot sauce, to taste How to make it: In a food processor, mince the garlic.

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Hard Work Is BEAUTIFUL!!! - Zach Even-Esh

You’ll find resistance all around you as you work your ass off to achieve greatness in any endeavor, be it in the gym or in life. People will call you “crazy” and say “that’s not normal”.

46
The 10 Basic Exercises to Build a Workout

You don't need a ton of equipment, fancy  machines, or crazy new moves to get in a good workout. In fact, some of the most basic exercises are still some of the best exercises. Take the humble push-up, for example. It's a total body move that uses your body as the equipment and works your chest , arms , shoulders , even your core. Every good gym routine will use moves like that as building blocks. You can then add other, tougher variations of those moves or throw in some fancy equipment to get a little variety. But, mastering the fundamentals is key to seeing gains in the gym. We spoke to Colin Young, the Regional Performance Manager at  EXOS , to bring you these 10 basic exercises that you can use as the foundation for hundreds of strength routines.

47
T NATION on Twitter

When you tweet with a location, Twitter stores that location. You can switch location on/off before each Tweet and always have the option to delete your location history. Learn more

48
Mind Over Muscle

They’re part of your vision, too. When I competed against Sergio Oliva the first time, and he posed his tremendous lats, I shied away. Regardless of how good my body looked, I let him beat me mentally. Because I felt like a loser, I became one. But when we rematched a year later, I was able to convince myself that I was the winner before the contest even began. As a result, no matter what Sergio threw at me, I had the guts to match him pose for pose, and I took the Mr. Olympia title from him. As strong as the body is, the mind is where true strength comes from. One of my favorite examples is the Russian weightlifter, Vasily Alekseyev, who was the first man to clean and press more than 500 pounds. Think about that: Few men ever bench-press 500 pounds, let alone press it overhead. Nevertheless, Alekseyev wasn’t intimidated. He did it, then American Ken Patera did it, and others have followed. That kind of feat will never be easy, but once someone has the courage to do it, it happens again and again. Whatever your goals, in the gym or in life, you must make up your mind about them first.

49
Optimum Nutrition Opti-Men at Bodybuilding.com

Optimum Nutrition's Opti-Men is a complete Nutrient Optimization System providing 75+ active ingredients in 4 blends specifically designed to support the nutrient needs of active men. Taken as a single tablet at breakfast, lunch and dinner, our new & improved multi provides 22 vitamins and essential minerals - including 1,500 IU of Vitamin D, free form amino acids, botanical extracts and antioxidants in foundational amounts that can be built upon through consumption of a healthy balanced diet. Think of Opti-Men as potent nutritional insurance for your fitness lifestyle.

50
Tough Mud, Warrior Blood Endurance Race Workout

Whether you’re an obstacle newbie or veteran racer, we’ve got the training plan to prepare you for any 3-5 mile obstacle race course. Designed by owner/founder of Epic Hybrid Training and elite Reebok Spartan Racer Alex Nicholas, this four-week training program is a surefire way to finish a race fast.

51 Strength Training For Runners: 5 Rules To Run Faster! - Bodybuilding.com
52 10 Workouts That Work Better Than "Cardio"
53 Mark Dugdale on Twitter
54 Fans Vote, Name Greg Plitt's Physique Greatest of All Time
55 The 5 Best Barbell Complex Workouts to Burn Fat and Build Muscle
56 Branch Warren on Twitter
57 4 Reasons to Stop Slouching
58 Drive the Ball Longer With Our Golf Workout Routine
59 Bodybuilding.com on Twitter
60 8 Fierce Facts About Game of Throne’s Star Hafthór ’Thor’ Björnsson
61 FiveThirtyEight on Twitter
62 10 Perfect Muscle-Building Foods | Eat This Not That
63 Sabra Dipping Co. recalls 30,000 Cases of Hummus
64 Kai Greene on Twitter
65 Kai Greene on Twitter
66 http://www.poliquingroup.com/ArticlesMultimedia/Articles/Article/1306/Gain_Muscle_Lose_Fat_By_Training_Giant_Sets.aspx
67 David Dodrill on Twitter
68 Victor Martinez on Twitter
69 Golden Rules for Beginning Weight Trainers
70 Mike O'Hearn on Twitter
71 Bodybuilding motivation - Kevin Levrone
72 Fans Pick The Classic Survey
73 Laurence Shahlaei on Twitter
74 Minimize Neck Pain for Optimal Performance
75 How to Survive Your Noisy Office
76 Fighter Diet on Twitter
77 Go Long!
78 Special Forces
79 6 Perfect Post-Workout Meals
80 ASK MF: What’s the Best Way to Make Shower Sex Work?
81 The Hybrid Athlete
82 Fighter Diet News
83 Even Stronger Than They Look: Casey Viator