Monthly Archives: September 2011

When Thor, the Norse god of thunder, was adopted as a Marvel Comics hero, the character’s powers – aside from his immortality – were his superhuman strength, speed and durability. So making the leap from page to screen would require someone whose physique was more fitting of a deity than a mortal. Step forward Australian actor Chris Hemsworth, who will play Thor in one of this year’s most eagerly anticipated action movies.

‘In the comic strip Thor looks to be around 500lb [227kg], so obviously that wasn’t my goal, but it was very important for me to look the part and be as powerful as strong as I could while still maintaining that element
of agility,’ Hemsworth tells .

The £93m-budget blockbuster, which is directed by Kenneth Branagh and hits UK cinemas on 27th April, sees Hemsworth play the titular hero – a powerful but arrogant warrior whose reckless actions reignite an ancient war.

To help him get into superhero shape, Hemsworth recruited the assistance of Michael Knight, director of Michigan-based personal trainers Art of Strength. ‘Chris’s regime was split into two parts,’ says Knight. ‘The first was a bodybuilder-type protocol focused on high-weight, low-rep moves designed to pack on maximum size, while the second was total-body circuits designed to shift his excess fat while maintaining muscle.’

Hemsworth admits getting into superhero shape was hard work. ‘The kettlebell routines that Mike put me through were intense, partly because I’d never used them before but also because it’s a heavy combination of cardio and weightlifting,’ says the 27-year-old former Home & Away star. ‘Most of my training previously was geared more around cardio – mainly boxing and Muay Thai, with some elements of weights. I hadn’t experienced kettlebells, but it’s a great way to build functional strength.’

As if Hemsworth‘s training wasn’t tough enough, he had to start the programme while filming another movie. ‘When I started working with Chris he was doing 12-hour days on the set of Red Dawn, but he still had the time and energy to train for between 60 and 90 minutes five days a week after his shooting commitments were over,’ says Knight. ‘Above all, he has an amazing work ethic, always pushing himself further and harder. It shows that if you’re prepared to work hard you can get the results you’ve always wanted.’

Hemsworth adds, ‘It was certainly exhausting at times, but I prefer to be training than not. It gives me more energy and I just generally feel better about myself. I feel like I’ve earned that beer at the end of the week.’

Thor Workout Part 1 : 8 week bulking plan

How to do it:

  • Week one – sets 4 reps 4-6
  • Week two – sets 4 reps 6-8
  • Week three – sets 4 reps 8-12
  • Week four – sets 4 reps 4-6
  • Repeat for weeks five to eight

Session one – chest and back:

  • Bench press
  • Bent-over row
  • Weighted pull-up
  • Weighted dip

Session two – legs:

  • Squat
  • Deadlift
  • Hamstring curl

Session three – arms:

  • Weighted chin-up
  • Close-grip bench press

Thor Workout Part 2 : 4 week fat loss plan

‘Once Chris put on the muscle I needed to get him lean, which meant stripping away any fat he had accumulated during the first phase while maintaining all his newly built muscle,’ says Knight. ‘I did this by getting him to do this total-body circuit based around classic strongman moves, such as log presses, tyre flips, sledgehammers and prowler sprints, as well as circuits 
with kettlebells of varying weights.

‘This got Chris down to his fighting weight of 220lb [100kg] – and as you can see from the pictures, it was all muscle.’ Hemsworth adds that he kept a ‘very close eye’ on his diet.It was a lot of protein shakes, chicken breasts, a lot of calories, food and working out. I’ve tried to get as much rest as I can, that’s the other third of the equation. I put on about 20 pounds, and then lost a lot of it since shooting, because I wasn’t eating that amount.

Circuit one – Tabata 
(20sec on/10sec off):

  • Double kettlebell squats – four rounds
  • Eight rounds of snatches – eight rounds

Circuit two:

  • Kettlebell swings – 30sec two-hand, 30sec right-hand-only swings, 30sec left-hand-only swings, 30sec 
alternate swings
  • Cleans – 5 right, 5 left, 4 right, 4 left, 3 right, 3 left, 2 right, 2 left, 1 right, 1 left, then back up to 5 each side for a total of 60 reps with no rest

Circuit three:

  • Turkish get-ups – 5min continuous
  • Windmill – 5 each side

After the 2-part workout, Hemsworth was pure muscle. Partnered with his strenuous workout is a strict bodybuilding diet that is composed of clean protein, carbs, fruit, vegetables and 4-5 liters of water per day.

From my experience, I often see new faces join gym and some of them can’t reach there goals. Lack of motivation is the main cause. It is difficult for us to accomplish our goals without motivation. Motivation keeps us on track and reminds us of what we are trying to accomplish and why. It is funny that a simple comment about how fit we are looking our how we have lost some weight can give us the extra boost to work even harder in the gym and become even more focused on our diet.

Here are some ways we can stay motivated to workout and eat well. 

Track of Your Weight and Body Measurements

Nothing is more motivating than when you are starting to see results in your size and shape. When you actually see that your diet and training is resulting, it gives you added motivation to continue to eat right and train consistently. You do not need to do this everyday, but I would suggest tracking your body measurements once every two weeks and tracking your weight once every week. Make sure you do this at the same time of the day each time.

Take Pictures of Yourself

Whether you’re looking to build muscle or lose fat, nothing is easier to see progress by than a simple before and after picture of yourself. Try to take a picture of yourself once a month to see the progression that you are making. You will be amazed how seeing the actual results can motivate you to continue your diet and training routine.

Make a Bet with Yourself or Someone Else

Make a bet with yourself to stay motivated. Something like you will go buy a few outfits if you reach a certain goal. You can bet a family member as well. Let them make the bet and if you reach it then they have to pay up.

Compete with Someone

This is one of the best ways to stay motivated. Find someone to compete with that has similar goals. A little friendly competition will ensure your diet doesn’t slip up.

Learn To Cook Tasty Healthy Meals

Another way to stay motivated to eat right is have fun cooking healthy and nutritious meals. Make it a priority to learn to cook new meals every week that actually fit your diet. Eventually eating healthy will become just a normal habit.

Buy a Music Player / Ipod

Music is a great way to get you through a workout. Don’t miss out on this is motivation. It will help you lift more weight and make you muscle building workouts more intense for sure.

If you have any other ways that you stay motivated please share with us.

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Breakfast is the most important meal of the day; it is the meal that gives momentum to your day-to-day activities. Therefore, a quality breakfast will automatically yield a quality life style. It is not only important for your physical growth, but it is also required for the mental growth. People who eat better breakfast are found to be better performers than those who eat poor breakfast.

Importance of Breakfast & Weight Gain

What you eat for breakfast causes a chain reaction for the rest of your day. When you wake up from sleep, your body is in a catabolic state. It has high levels of cortisol (the muscle breakdown hormone). Your glycogen levels in your liver and skeletal muscle will also have been depleted after hours of “fasting” while you sleep. The only thing that can reverse the cortisol production, is insulin. Carbohydrates create the biggest insulin spike so are the most effective in halting cortisol. Breakfast restores sugar levels after up to 8-10 hours of not eating.

Having a big balanced breakfast will give you energy throughout the day and raise your metabolism. If you don’t get enough calories in your breakfast it will effect your mood and energy for your workouts later in the day.

Other Benefits of Balanced Breakfast

  • Help to Meet Calorie Consumption Goal. As you are underweight, you must have to eat 6 times including 3 large meal along with 3 small snacks. Skipping your breakfast means that you miss one of the most important meal of the day. It will be hard enough to meet your daily calorie need. Moreover, eating a bigger meal in the morning and a smaller meal at night optimizes your daily energy levels.
  • Curbs Your Appetite. It is extremely difficult to get all of your necessary daily nutrients without breakfast. Eating a good breakfast that is full of all the right nutrients can actually help to hold you for longer and curb your appetite. If you start off with some good proper nutrients, it will hold you and keep you full longer.
  • Keeps You Focused and Sharp. Eating breakfast can keep you focused throughout the day as it provides a good start for the activities ahead of you. This helps you to be smarter, sharper, and allows you to stay focused for longer as you work through the tasks that you take on. Eating a healthy breakfast has been linked to better learning ability and memory functions.
  • Increases Energy. Having a good solid breakfast at the beginning of the day can give you much more energy and keep your energy levels constant throughout the day. You will feel energized and ready to take on the world almost as soon as you finish that last bite.
  • Improves Your Metabolism. Eating breakfast can raise metabolism by as much as 10 percent, according to MSNBC Health. This is great for getting yourself into proper nutritional shape.
  • Provides Better Eating Habits. It is believed that eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day makes for better eating habits and therefore starting off with breakfast is a surefire way to get a jump on that.
  • Provides Less Risk of Blood Sugar Problems. People who eat breakfast have far less of a chance of developing blood sugar problems, particularly diabetes. If you keep your body running with fuel throughout the day, you are far less likely to see a drop or spike in blood sugar levels and this is good for your overall health.
  • You’ll feel smarter. “Eating breakfast provides an energy boost to the brain for mid-morning alertness and performance,” says clinical dietitian Chen. Fueling up your brain is the right thing to do whether you’re at the office, in class, or on the go. After all, who can concentrate when their stomach’s rumbling?

Forget Confusion. Build Smart Diet Habit

Through googling you will get hundreds of confusion information about breakfast. Some research articles say like: Breakfast boosts your metabolism which will help to burn more calories through out the day causing weight loss. Some articles suggest that, skipping breakfast will cause you gaining weight. Which is correct? What will you do? Will you skip your most important meal to gain weight? Or breakfast is Not Really The Most Important Meal of the Day? Infact, recent study finds that big breakfast may make you fat.

Can you differentiate between obese vs. healthy weight gain? Skipping breakfast or Big breakfast will make you obese in long run. As you skinny now, try to gain weight by putting some quality muscle. Build a smart diet habit. Hence healthy balanced breakfast is the key. This will give you more control over your weight throughout the life.

Building a Balanced Breakfast

Breakfast should provide at least one quarter of the calories you need for the entire day. When compiling your first meal of the day, remember this simple formula:

Whole grain + dairy/protein + fruit = healthy breakfast

Most nutritionists agree that a good breakfast contains the following ingredients:

  • At least one serving of  fiber
  • At least one fruit and/or vegetable
  • Milk or another source of calcium
  • Protein, i.e., from meat, cheese or eggs

So, include whole grains for the starch portion of your meal. This will be your main carbohydrate source. The dairy/protein digests more slowly than carbohydrate, helping you feel satisfied. And fruit is rich in essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber — plus it’s a healthy carbohydrate source.

If this sounds like a tall order, it’s not. A bowl of cereal with fruit, a cereal bar with a glass of milk or a pita pocket with ham and cheese all fill the bill, as do bigger, traditional breakfasts, like eggs, ham and juice or blueberry pancakes with bacon. And, yes, cold pizza (with a glass of milk) qualifies as a healthy breakfast alternative.

No Breakfast? What your Excuse? Overcome Your Excuses

Every excuse or barrier to eating a nutritious breakfast has a solution. Don’t let these excuses stand in your way of starting your day with a good breakfast:

  • “I’m not hungry in the morning.” Start your day with a cup of 100% fruit juice or a piece of whole-wheat toast. Later when you are hungry, eat a mid-morning snack — a hard-boiled egg, low-fat or fat-free milk or yogurt, low-fat string cheese or a whole-wheat bagel.
  • “I don’t have enough time in the morning.” Stock your kitchen with easy-to-prepare foods such as breakfast cereal, instant oatmeal, small bagels, whole-grain toaster waffles, yogurt and fresh fruit.
  • “I don’t like breakfast foods.” Breakfast can be any food you like. A slice of pizza, bowl of soup, a lean-meat sandwich or leftovers all make a fine breakfast.

Never Eat Breakfast?

If your usual breakfast is a cup of coffee, start small by incorporating a glass of juice or milk into your morning routine for a week or so, and then gradually build up to a balanced meal. If you think you don’t have time in the morning, consider making breakfast the night before or buying ready-made alternatives, such as cereal bars and juice boxes.

So, Breakfast like a King, Lunch like a Prince, Dine like a Pauper!!!