Vitamin J to Improve Memory – Updated 2017

Vitamin J, otherwise known as choline, could be considered the forgotten vitamin as its more famous brothers Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and others soak up the spotlight. This is a shame because Vitamin J is an essential nutrient and is quite important for healthy function, especially of the memory. Older people are especially at risk of Vitamin J deficiency. If you are elderly, you should consider supplementing with Vitamin J in order to maintain a healthy brain and keep your memory sharp. Ideally you would get your Vitamin J from foods high in this nutrient, such as beef liver or egg yolks. However for many people this is impractical. These people should use Vitamin J supplements. (Typically sold as “choline” – don’t worry, it’s the same stuff!)

ImageProduct DetailsSoyCholine
NATURE'S WAY Choline 500mg 100 TabletsNo500mg
Alpha GPC Choline Supplement, Pharmaceutical Grade, Made in USANo300mg
N/ANOW Foods Choline and Inositol, 100 Capsules / 500mg (Pack of 2)Unknown250mg

Vitamin J, or choline, is very important for the brain. It is a critical component of the brain neurotransmitter Acetylcholine, which facilitates intelligence, memory, and even improves your mood. For this reason, supplementing your diet with Vitamin J has been shown to cause improvement in these areas.

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Vitamin J deficiency is especially high among elderly people. Shockingly, one study found that 90% of older people have too little Vitamin J in their diets. Since the elderly are already at risk of memory loss, this makes Vitamin J deficiency a big problem for this group. A healthy diet containing enough nutrients and protein is critical for elderly people to stay fit and well.

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Vitamin J also is critical for burning fat. It speeds up the body’s metabolism and improves the efficency of the fat-burning mechanism. Of course, the critical ingredients for any fat loss are a healthy diet and lots of exercise, but supplementing with Vitamin J does seem to help. One study found a rapid drop in body fat from supplementing with Vitamin J (choline) in just one week! Effect of Choline Supplementation on Rapid Weight Loss and Biochemical Variables Among Female Taekwondo and Judo Athletes

Diet Tip to Build Muscle and Lose Fat at the Same Time

No matter what training method you use, you will lose fat the fastest when you eat a clean, muscle-retaining diet. You should eat at least 1.5 times your bodyweight in grams of protein every day. Get as much as possible from whole food sources such as meat, eggs, and milk, and fill up the rest with high quality protein powder. For example, if you weigh 200 lb, you should eat 300 grams of protein. Protein actually has a thermic effect, meaning that the digestion process for protein actually burns more calories, boosting your metabolism and speeding up fat loss. Most fat-loss diets tend to be lower in carbohydrates, but make sure that you have some around the time that you train. This will give you the energy you need to lift heavy, as well as the fuel needed to let your muscles recover after you train. Try to drink a gallon of water a day to further stimulate fat loss and avoid injury.

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At Home Strongman Workout for Fat Loss and Strength

Five circuits with two minutes rest after each circuit:

Sandbag (or a bag of dirt/mulch) Toss (into the wheelbarrow!) x 5 bags
Rest 15 seconds
Wheelbarrow Push x 60 yards
Rest 15 seconds
Sandbag Zercher Squat x 25 reps

You can incorporate this one into a landscaping or gardening project. This is a great way to fit an intense weight loss workout right into your daily routine.

Best Strongman Exercises

The best thing about strongman is the ease with which you can train. All you need is some awkward heavy objects and you’re set. You can even do these in your backyard while you do yard work. There is no need for an expensive gym membership or fancy machines, although you can certainly do strongman training in the gym too.

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There’s nothing better than working out in the backyard!

The best strongman exercises require you to hold or move a heavy load over a 30 second – 2 minute period of time. Here’s some of my favorites:

  • Atlas stone loading
  • Ground-to-shoulder with a sandbag
  • Sled pushing or dragging – push from the low bars, drag from the loading pins, pull it with a rope hand-over-hand, etc.
  • One Arm Dumbbell Push Press (also called a circus dumbbell press)
  • Battle Ropes
  • Farmer’s Walk – can be done one arm at a time for added core training
  • Overhead carry
  • Sandbag lunges
  • Carry rocks, cinderblocks, or anything heavy back and forth in your yard
  • Carry and throw hay bails
  • Push a wheelbarrow loaded with rocks
  • Truck pull with a rope
  • Truck push
  • Yoke carry – can be done with a barbell or even with a person, fireman’s carry style

Choose 3-5 of these exercises for each workout. Try to pick a variety of exercises to cover all kinds of different movement patterns like pulling, carrying, pushing, lifting off the ground, explosive movement, etc. Keep rest times minimal for the best fat loss effect. Always move as fast and hard as possible while keeping proper, safe form in mind at all times. Most people won’t be able to keep this pace up for more than 30 minutes, so plan accordingly!

Strongman Workout Routine for Rapid Fat Loss

Why Strongman?

If you’re on the lookout for something new to throw in your workout to kickstart weight loss, look no further than strongman. Strongman training is fun and extremely effective. You can do it practically anywhere and get great results in a surprisingly short period of time. Strongman is exceptionally good for fat loss for a whole bunch of different reasons. In this article, I’ll explain why Strongman works so well and then give you some brutal and effective strongman routines that you can try for yourself either at the gym or at home.

Strongman is Perfect for Fat Loss

Strongman training is made up of intense, heavy interval training. Believe it or not, anaerobic training like this is actually better for burning fat than aerobic endurance training because it forces the body to burn fat as fuel instead of muscle. Anaerobic training also releases growth hormone (HGH) which is a huge part of the body’s fat storage system. Aerobic training, in contrast, burns through the carbohydrates in your bloodstream and then immediately starts eating into your muscle. Aerobic training increases production of cortisol, a stress hormone that leads to fast muscle loss.

Anaerobic interval training works so much better than aerobic training because it forces the metabolism to adapt—in order to sustain the level of intensity needed, your body must burn fat. It also keeps the metabolism raging for 24 hours or more after your workout, which has been shown to have a dramatic effect on fat loss, especially from the belly region. (See Is Aerobic or Anaerobic Training Best for Getting Rid of Belly Fat? by Charles Poliquin)

This means that strongman trainers are burning more fat during their workouts and they actually continue to burn fat for over 24 hours after their workouts are finished! Strongman training increases Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) meaning that you keep on burning fat long after your workout is finished. A 2006 study showed that anaerobic workouts like strongman training produce higher EPOC values than long distance aerobic training because the muscles are forced by the intensity of the effort needed to restore nutrients expended by the cells; in other words they used a ton of energy. This is terrific for fat loss since it means your metabolism is getting jacked up like crazy. Lose fat while eating more, who doesn’t want that!

Another aspect of strongman training that accelerates fat loss is the use of uneven and oddly shaped objects. Typical strongman equipment like sleds, ropes, stones, sand bags, not only makes training exciting, but also makes it harder for you develop a perfectly efficient technique while you lift. While great technical efficiency is great for performance, a less efficient athlete is actually working much harder than an efficient one. This is bad for competition, but terrific for fat loss because of all the calories being burned by this inefficient movement. Efficiency is developed when your Central Nervous System “learns” which muscles should be activated and which ones should be relaxed for the best coordination of effort. However, when the balance point of the odd object you’re lifting is constantly moving around, your nervous system can never quite figure out how to adapt. The efficiency process becomes much harder and you will have to use every muscle in your body just to hold onto the weight. The more muscles you use, the more energy is expended and the more energy expended, the greater the fat loss results.

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Get Motivated, Stay Motivated

One of the biggest challenges for fat loss is the motivation required. Strongman trainers are constantly motivated for their workouts because of the challenge and uniqueness of the movements. Every week they train something new and exciting. Not only does this sort of training increase your lean muscle mass, it also develops real-world strength and even helps improve poor posture and joint instability. Strongman training definitely improves mental toughness, as anyone can tell you who has done a heavy sled workout, flipped a tire for high reps, or loaded heavy atlas stones.

Check out our list of the best strongman exercises as well as these two great strongman workout programs you can do at home or at the gym.

Bench Press Workout for Strength and Explosive Power

Monday

Dumbbell Snatch – 4 sets of 8 reps with 10 lb

This will get your stabilizer shoulder muscles operating at peak performance.

Exercise demonstration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDRiPLPzUVg

Plyometric Pushup – 4 sets of 5 reps

This is a regular pushup except you push yourself up so explosively that your hands actually leave the ground at the end of the rep. You should get more powerful every set.

You are now ready to bench with maximum performance.

Close Grip Bench Press – Sets of 5 reps, starting with 45 and adding 20 lb each set, until you get to a weight where you can’t get all 5 reps, even when you strain as hard as possible. Make sure you have a spotter!

Grab the bar with your hands just touching the smooth center portion of the bar. Lower the bar all the way down to your chest. This exercise will help you with your weak point at the top of the bench press.

Flat Dumbbell Press – 4 sets of 6-10 reps, Pick a weight where you can just barely get all 10 reps. Try your hardest to get at least 8 reps every set.

Dumbbell Tate Press – 4 sets of 8-12 reps, Pick a weight where you can just barely get all 12 reps. Try your hardest to get at least 10 reps every set.

This exercise is going to help you especially, so focus hard on it!

Exercise demonstration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nr1jQX6Fnz0

Dumbbell Front Raise – 4 sets of 10-15 reps, Pick a weight where you can just barely get all 15 reps. Try your hardest to get at least 12 reps every set.

Thursday

Speed Bench Press – After warming up, do 8 sets of 3 reps starting with 45. Add 5-10 lb each set.

Lift as FAST as you can, but only if you can use perfect technique. This is not a time to get sloppy, in fact you should use this time to practice great bench technique! Remember, FAST and perfect.

Dumbbell Row – 4 sets of 6-10 reps, Pick a weight where you can just barely get all 10 reps. Try your hardest to get at least 8 reps every set.

Lat Pulldown – 4 sets of 8-12 reps, Pick a weight where you can just barely get all 12 reps. Try your hardest to get at least 10 reps every set.

Hammer Curl – 4 sets of 10-15 reps, Pick a weight where you can just barely get all 15 reps. Try your hardest to get at least 12 reps every set.

This exercise is actually key to getting a big bench, especially for people like you who have trouble locking out their bench press reps. Hammer curls train the brachialis muscle in addition to the biceps, this often over-looked muscle is key to driving force through the elbow joint into the bar.

Face pull – 4 sets of 20 reps, Pick a fairly light weight and pump out the reps. This is critical for keeping your shoulders in balance. We’re putting a lot of stress on our shoulders with the bench press, so it’s important to keep the shoulders strong and injury-free. A healthy, balanced shoulder is a strong shoulder, so don’t skip the face pulls!

Exercise demonstration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEfFE2AAmAA

Good luck with this program, if you stick with it and train hard, you are guaranteed to get results!

Be sure to check out our top 10 bench press form tips as well.

 

Note: This workout is for intermediate lifters who have maxed out their beginner gains from a basic linear progression program. Beginners would get better results from a program such as Starting Strength or the Greyskull Linear Progression.

Top 10 Bench Press Form Tips

  1. Squeeze the bar as hard as you can from the moment you unrack the bar until you finish the lift. This causes all your muscles to contract harder through the irradiation principle.
  2. Squeeze your shoulder blades together. This shortens the range of motion allowing you to lift more, it’s safer for your shoulders, and it increases the activation of the pecs.
  3. Take a big breath of air into your chest before you unrack the bar. This will keep you stable on the bench.
  4. Make sure the bar is at the base of your hand, right above your wrist. If the bar is high up in your hand, you will lose strength. Don’t let your hand flop backwards and never use a thumbless grip. It’s dangerous and you won’t lift as much.
  5. Twist your hands against the bar like you’re trying to snap it in half. Your hands won’t actually move, but this will still cause stabilizing muscles in your shoulders to contract, giving your more strength.
  6. Do more warmup sets, but don’t do as many reps in the sets. A good warmup should never fatigue you; it should amp you up to lift big weights! For example, if your max bench is 275, a good warmup would look like this: 45 x 10, 95 x 10, 135 x 6, 165 x 3, 195 x 3, 225 x 2, 245 x 1, 265 x 1, 285 x 1 (10 lb more than your max!)
  7. Squeeze your abs and glutes while you lift, this allows force to transfer through your body better.
  8. Dig your feet into the floor and drive with them like you’re doing a leg extension against the floor. Believe it or not, this can add quite a bit to your bench press.
  9. Imagine that your are pushing yourself down into the bench, instead of pushing the bar up off your chest. This tricks your brain and often makes the bench press feel way stronger.
  10. Lower the bar down to your nipples or slightly below. Lowering the bar high up on your chest is bad for your shoulders and is much weaker.

Now go set a new bench press max!!

The Three Rules of Building Muscle Fast

Every day, millions of people pack gyms all across the world trying to build up their bodies. Depressingly, most of them look exactly the same year after year, completely failing to build any muscle despite thousands of wasted hours. Does this mean that building muscle is a mysterious process, only possible for a few rare genetic freaks? Not at all! Gaining muscle is simple, as long as you follow a few simple rules.
Before you can understand the first rule of muscle, you need to know a few things about the muscles themselves. All your muscles are made up of thousands of long fibers that contract to move your body. These fibers are slightly torn when you lift heavy weights. Your body doesn’t like having weakened, torn muscles, so it immediately goes to work rebuilding these fibers to be capable of handling that weight without being torn again. The result is a slightly bigger and stronger muscle. What most gym-goers don’t realize is that the cycle of tearing and rebuilding can be performed over and over again, until your muscles are as big as they can get.
After the muscle has rebuilt itself, the weight you lifted in your first workout will no longer overload the fibers. To continue making muscle gains, you must use slightly more weight in your next workout. If you keep using the same amount of weight, your muscles will have no reason to grow. You should progressively increase the overload to your muscle fibers every time you work out. While other forms of exercise, such as calisthenics or running, can also cause muscle fibers to tear, lifting weights is the most efficient way to constantly increase muscular overload. You can always add another 5 pounds of weight in your next workout and cause the growth process to occur again; it’s less simple with other forms of exercise.
For the rebuilding process to occur, the body must have the nutrients it needs to make new muscle fibers. For body tissue to grow, it needs more food to provide energy, so you need to eat significantly more than you are used to. Because muscles are primarily made up of protein, most of this extra food should be high in protein, such as meat, milk, or peanut butter. If you tear your muscle fibers with heavy weights and then fail to give your body the nutrition it needs, you will start to lose the muscle you already have.
Most muscle regeneration occurs during sleep. If you don’t get enough sleep, you will have less muscle growth. When you start lifting heavier weights, you will probably find you need more sleep. This is your body telling you it needs time to build the muscles you want.
There are three rules for building muscle. First, progressively increase muscle fiber overload by lifting slightly more weight in every workout. Second, eat much more than you are eating right now, preferably healthy, high-protein food for best results. Finally, get enough sleep to give your body time to build muscle. As long as your workout program and diet respect the three rules, you will build muscle.
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