Blog

Latest News
11 Feb

If you’ve spent ample time at the gym, you’d know how high of a pedestal gym-goers place nutrition. After all, all that hard work would be for nothing if you just ate like garbage, right? And if there was one macronutrient placed higher than the rest, that would be protein. Protein not only fosters muscle growth but also boosts recovery and fat loss. But not everybody is able to get their daily protein needs from whole foods alone. Instead, most people like to supplement with whey protein. In this article, we’ll be talking about the two primary variations of whey protein: isolates vs. concentrates. Read on to learn more about them and to find out which one is for you.

First things first: What is Whey Protein?

Before we dissect the two types of whey protein, we must first understand what whey protein itself is. Whey protein comes from milk, which is made up of fats, sugar, and protein. An interesting thing about whey protein is that nobody really meant to produce it in the first place. What I mean by that is that it actually started out as a byproduct of another product: cheese. To make cheese, you need to add enzymes to milk in order to separate the curds from the whey. Whey was often discarded before they realized it was jam-packed with protein and amino acids. In fact, whey is considered a complete protein because it contains all nine essential amino acids. 

Fast forward nearly a century, and you can find whey protein supplements virtually everywhere. Walk around a gym for five minutes, and you’d be hard-pressed not to find someone with a shaker bottle full of a protein drink. It’s no question that whey protein can significantly improve your performance and physique. Studies have shown it to enhance muscle growth, recovery, and lean muscle mass gains. Not only does whey protein provide all these benefits, but it also comes in a very convenient way to take it.

A man drinking whey protein.

Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC)

Moving on, we have whey protein concentrate, which is one of the most basic and common variations of whey protein in the market today. It is prepared through processes, such as filtration, dialysis, and precipitation. According to FDA regulations, all WPC must have a protein content of at least 25% of its weight. So, if you had a 100-gram scoop, at least 25 grams of it should be protein. Here are the other requirements to be classified as a whey protein concentrate:

  • Fat content: Maximum of 10%
  • Ash content: Maximum of 15%
  • Lactose content: Maximum of 60%
  • Moisture content: Maximum of 6%

The processes involved to make WPC are much less extensive, and it shows on its price. Whey protein concentrates are comparatively less expensive than isolates, but that isn’t to say they’re a bad product. Between the two, concentrates are just less refined. This results in a product not as concentrated (ironic) in protein, along with more fats, sugars, and lactose. Consequently, WPC products typically have more calories per serving compared to isolates. The lactose content can also be particularly alarming, especially for those with lactose intolerance, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). 

Whey Protein Isolate (WPI)

Whey protein isolate goes through the same initial process as WPC, but it takes it a step further. After this initial process, it is further refined to remove excess fat, lactose, and other undesired trace materials. The end-product is a much more protein-dense and cleaner product in whey protein isolate.

Whereas WPCs typically have a maximum protein content of 80%, WPIs have it slightly higher at 90%. You can expect WPIs to be more expensive than WPCs, and with good reason. WPIs are much purer than WPCs because they filtered out most of the other macronutrients. They’re also easier to digest, as the lactose content is kept to a minimum, generally not exceeding 1%. 

Concentrate vs. Isolate: Which One Should I Get?

Both WPCs and WPIs have similar properties, but the amount of which varies. If you’re looking to put on muscle mass, both products will be useful in helping you reach that goal. This is because both products will provide ample amounts of protein and amino acids integral to muscle growth. 

The primary difference between the two is their protein content. The actual amount of protein in one serving of WPC will naturally be less than one of WPI. Additionally, with WPIs, you know you’re getting the bulk of your calories from protein. You may need additional servings with WPCs, which could add unnecessary fats, carbohydrates, and sugar to your diet.

If you’re looking to put on weight, WPCs are the more calorie-dense option, helping you achieve that caloric surplus more than WPIs. 

Their taste also differs slightly, with WPIs having a much smoother taste and more mixability than WPCs. WPCs will be sweeter because of their higher lactose content, though.

Your Supplier For 100% Legal Steroids Products

SDI Labs supplies some of the most ambitious and impressive body builders in the world with 100% legal steroids. Get to know our legendary brands with guaranteed low prices by visiting our shop. Buy legal steroids on our website and make sure to read our complete guide to Anabolic Steroids!
Terrence Tan Ting Author for Legal Steroids

About The Author

Terrence Tan Ting is an industrial engineer by profession but a full time writer by passion. He loves to write about a wide range of topics from many different industries thanks to his undying curiosity.

11 Feb

Many of us go to the gym, undeniably looking for results. We commit ourselves to hard training to keep our bodies fit and healthy. But we often get discouraged and impatient when these results don’t come. We put in the work, eat healthily, but gains just seem to be avoiding us. One big factor behind this could be our body type or somatotype. This article will specifically address us guys who have the short end of the stick – the hard gainers, the ectomorphs. This is the ultimate guide to training and diet for ectomorphs.

What is a body type or somatotype?

The concept of body types or somatotypes was introduced to us back in the 1940s by William H. Sheldon. To this day, nutritionists and exercise physiologists have used them as a basis for fitness plans. These body types are classified according to skeletal structure and body composition. This whole concept explains that each of us falls under a specific type: ectomorph, mesomorph, and endomorph. It used to be widely accepted that your somatotype at birth is lifelong. While the bulk of our body composition is formed through genetics, it doesn’t determine our fate entirely. Research has found that our body types don’t ultimately decide whether we’re fat, thin, or muscular. In fact, we can manipulate our body types through exercise, diet, and lifestyle changes. 

What are the characteristics of an ectomorph?

Ectomorphs are thin and lanky. They have little body fat but also have little muscle. Other notable attributes include narrow shoulders, faster metabolism, and flat chests. The most popular example we have of ectomorphs is fashion models. 

In the gym community, ectomorphs are commonly referred to as “hard gainers.” This is because of their limited ability to gain muscle mass. It’s not all bad, though, as ectomorphs have a hard time gaining any weight in general. However, with a sedentary lifestyle and uncontrolled diet, they can put on weight, particularly on their bellies.

Men with ectomorph body types.

Diet for ectomorphs

We mentioned how ectomorphs have a hard time putting on any weight, which plays a factor in diet. Ectomorphs don’t have to be very particular about calories as other body types. In fact, they should eat liberally if they want to gain any weight. What’s important is that ectomorphs achieve a caloric surplus, which means to intake more calories than you are using. To gain an extra pound of lean mass, you’d need 2,500 to 2,800 extra calories. Of course, it’s unrealistic and unsustainable to eat that much more in a day, so a surplus of 500 calories is enough. 

Additionally, ectomorphs are known to take carbohydrates well because of higher insulin sensitivity. Ectomorph diets should have a strong base of carbohydrates – about 60% of their caloric intake.

As for protein, 1.2 to 1.6 grams for every kilogram of body weight is a good place to start. Fats should be kept to a minimum. Supplements are also highly recommended to achieve fitness goals. Whey protein, casein, BCAAs, and creatine are some we’d recommend. Whey and casein are great sources of protein, especially when food sources do not suffice. 

  • Whey is best taken right after a workout because it is quickly digested. 
  • On the other hand, casein is best taken right before sleep, as it’s the opposite. 
  • BCAAs are best taken before workouts because they increase energy levels and sustain anabolic processes.
  • Creatine increases the volume of muscles and also increases energy.

Training for ectomorphs

Ectomorphs have a handicap when it comes to building muscle and sculpting their bodies. Their bodies are fit and engineered to have good muscular endurance, needed for activities like running. However, ectomorphs should keep cardio to a minimum if weight gain is the goal. The best training for ectomorphs should be focused on maximal strength and muscular hypertrophy. 

Muscular Hypertrophy

Working within the moderate rep range, ectomorphs can see maximum gains with this method. This method involves taking a “challenging weight” and lifting it for a total of 8 to 12 repetitions for 3 to 5 sets. The term “challenging weight” refers to a weight comfortable enough to be lifted at least 8 times but no more than 12 with good form. 

Maximal Strength

Strength training will be crucial to ectomorphs for gaining muscle mass. This type of training involves doing the basic compound lifts (squats, deadlifts, bench presses) with a long rest in between sets. This set-up should have 4 to 8 sets of 1 to 5 reps. 

Rest

A common mistake most ectomorphs make is overtraining. More work will not always materialize in greater gains, and this is one of those cases. Ectomorphs should have intense training workouts spread all throughout the week with a rest day in between. This is because muscles grow not during training but during rest.

Your Supplier For 100% Legal Steroids Products

SDI Labs supplies some of the most ambitious and impressive body builders in the world with 100% legal steroids. Get to know our legendary brands with guaranteed low prices by visiting our shop. Buy legal steroids on our website and make sure to read our complete guide to Anabolic Steroids!
Terrence Tan Ting Author for Legal Steroids

About The Author

Terrence Tan Ting is an industrial engineer by profession but a full time writer by passion. He loves to write about a wide range of topics from many different industries thanks to his undying curiosity.

01 Feb

Let’s face it: the main reason most of us go to the gym is to get bigger muscles. We strive to get bigger arms, a bigger chest, a wider back, bigger legs, and we want them immediately. We often see guys head into the gym with eager intent, pick up the lightest weight on the rack, and then perform 50 dumbbell curls in hopes of building muscle mass. In case you didn’t know, this isn’t a very effective way of going about that. But that begs the question, “how many reps do I need to build muscle mass?” In this article, we’ll be talking about that in detail and what the optimum training method is if building mass is your goal.

A man wondering how many reps to build mass.

Aim for the moderate rep range

The moderate rep range is king when it comes to muscle growth. The moderate rep range is from 8 to 12 reps. When thinking about how heavy you should lift, you should select weights that sufficiently challenge you. If you find yourself unable to do 8 reps, go lighter. Likewise, if you can easily do more than 12 reps, you’ll want to go heavier. You’ll know you’ve hit that sweet spot when the 12th rep is the last good rep (rep done without breaking form) you have in you. 

Science supports this rep range, as seen in one popular study looking into the effects of volume on muscular adaptation in fit men. The results of the study showed that the muscle growth from doing three sets in the moderate rep range was as effective as doing seven sets in the low rep range. Besides the quantitative aspect, the group doing the low rep sets were exhausted and complained of soreness after completing their sets in 70 minutes. The moderate rep group finished their sets in 17 minutes and felt fresh and ready to do even more exercises. 

Low rep range

People often associate muscle strength with muscle mass. I think this association stems from seeing guys like Ronnie Coleman easily squat 800 pounds looking like an absolute mass monster. Because of this, people often take the powerlifting approach to their training. However, training for strength and training for mass are two different things. This isn’t to say that strength training won’t lead to muscle mass gains; it just isn’t the most effective way if you want quick results. 

Strength training typically involves performing exercises in a low rep range. Low rep range means 1-6 reps per set. The amount of weight you will be lifting with this rep range will be pretty close to your 1-rep max, ensuring that you won’t be able to exceed this range. While training at this rep range is still great for muscle stimulation, it’s only 50-80% effective as the optimal moderate range. This has to do with the time under tension, as low rep sets take around 15 seconds to complete compared to the 60 seconds that moderate rep sets typically need. 

A study shows that research subjects performing 2-6 reps of an exercise needed 26 sets to gain as much muscle as the group that performed 8-12 reps in just half the number of sets at 13. Low rep range training will not be as efficient in building muscle, but it’s exceptional for increasing your 1-rep max. 

High rep range

The common mistake most beginners make is that they just do as many reps as they can, thinking this is the most effective way to build muscle mass. While there are definitely some gains to be had with this method, the moderate rep range still proves to be the most advantageous. 

The major drawback of utilizing high rep ranges is that you will fatigue more quickly, especially if you aren’t accustomed. High rep range refers to performing upwards of 12 reps per set. It can also be a major nightmare performing high reps of bigger compound movements. And lastly, the weights you will be lifting will likely not be heavy enough to recruit your fast-twitch muscles, which is where true muscle growth and size lies. 

With moderate rep range optimizing hypertrophy, low rep range optimizing strength, high rep range optimizes muscular endurance. Muscular endurance is crucial for people who need a sustained level of performance, as in running a marathon or swinging a tennis racket in a long match. 

Your Supplier For 100% Legal Steroids Products

SDI Labs supplies some of the most ambitious and impressive body builders in the world with 100% legal steroids. Get to know our legendary brands with guaranteed low prices by visiting our shop. Buy legal steroids on our website and make sure to read our complete guide to Anabolic Steroids!
Terrence Tan Ting Author for Legal Steroids

About The Author

Terrence Tan Ting is an industrial engineer by profession but a full time writer by passion. He loves to write about a wide range of topics from many different industries thanks to his undying curiosity.

01 Feb

Let’s be honest; who doesn’t want big biceps? I know I don’t speak for myself when I say that getting huge arms was the primary reason I started working out. It’s probably because of the ideal image we have in our heads about what a real man should look like – with big, strong arms that symbolize reliability and masculinity. While the biceps are a relatively small muscle, they are a big deal. But because of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, it makes it a risk to go to the gym. Without a gym, all is lost, right? Not exactly. In this article, we’re going to list down ten of the best bicep exercises you can do at home. And the best part? All you need are a pair of dumbbells.

An example of bicep workout you can do at home.

The Best Home Dumbbell Bicep Exercises 

Working your biceps out won’t just benefit your aesthetics. Biceps are an integral part of elbow flexion, which means they work every time you bend your elbows. Building bigger biceps can directly translate into lifting heavier loads. But enough talking, here are the ten best dumbbell bicep exercises you can do at home.

Standing Dumbbell Curl

We start this list off with the classic: the standing dumbbell curl. This is the fundamental exercise people most easily associate when thinking biceps. 

  1. Grab a dumbbell in each hand with an underhand grip, meaning palms are facing up.
  2. Stand tall with your chest up and out and feet shoulder-width apart with a slight bend in your knees.
  3. Start with arms fully extended at your sides, keeping your elbows as close to your trunk as possible. 
  4. Slowly curl the dumbbells up, squeezing at the top.
  5. Slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.

Standing Hammer Curl

The hammer curl is a variation of the bicep curl that works slightly different muscles in the upper arm.

  1. Grab a dumbbell in each hand with a neutral grip, meaning palms are facing each other.
  2. Stand tall with your chest up and out and feet shoulder-width apart with a slight bend in your knees.
  3. Start with arms fully extended at your sides, keeping your elbows as close to your trunk as possible. 
  4. Slowly curl the dumbbells up, squeezing at the top.
  5. Slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.

Reverse Dumbbell Curl

Reverse curls are another variation fantastic for increasing grip strength and developing the brachialis

  1. Grab a dumbbell in each hand with an overhand grip, meaning palms are facing the ground.
  2. Stand tall with your chest up and out and feet shoulder-width apart with a slight bend in your knees.
  3. Start with arms fully extended at your sides, keeping your elbows as close to your trunk as possible. 
  4. Slowly curl the dumbbells up, squeezing at the top.
  5. Slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.

Zottman Curl

Like the Arnold Press, the Zottman curl is named after a famous weightlifter from the 19th century in George Zottman

  1. Grab a dumbbell in each hand with an underhand grip.
  2. Stand tall with your chest up and out and feet shoulder-width apart with a slight bend in your knees.
  3. Start with arms fully extended at your sides, keeping your elbows as close to your trunk as possible. 
  4. Slowly curl the dumbbells up, squeezing at the top like you would with a conventional dumbbell curl. 
  5. Once at the top, rotate your hands to shift to an overhand grip with palms facing away. 
  6. Slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position with the underhand grip.

Concentration Curl

Concentration curls are one of the most effective bicep isolation exercises, as it takes away a lot of the momentum we tend to use to make lifting easier.

  1. Grab a bench or seat that’s set at a height where your knees can be at a 90-degree angle, with your feet flat on the ground.
  2. Pick up a dumbbell with one hand and lean the back of your upper arm against the inner thigh of the same side. 
  3. Your arm should be fully extended as you hold the weight off the ground.
  4. Slowly curl the weight up, moving only your forearm. At the top of the curl, squeeze your bicep before lowering the weight slowly.
  5. Repeat on the other side.

Incline Dumbbell Curl

This next exercise may require the use of an adjustable bench, but you can get creative with what you have at home.

  1. Grab a bench and adjust its incline to a 45 or 60-degree angle. 
  2. Sit comfortably on the bench with your back fully pressed against the backrest. 
  3. Grab a dumbbell in each hand with an underhand grip and arms fully extended. 
  4. Curl the weights up, keeping your upper arms tight to really isolate those biceps.
  5. Slowly lower the biceps back down to the starting position.

Dumbbell Drag Curl

  1. Grab a dumbbell in each hand with an underhand grip.
  2. Stand tall with your chest up and out and feet shoulder-width apart with a slight bend in your knees.
  3. Start with arms fully extended at your sides, keeping your elbows as close to your trunk as possible. 
  4. Slowly curl the dumbbells up, making sure they’re in contact with your sides at all times, as you pull your elbows back.
  5. Squeeze your biceps at the top position.
  6. Slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position, still keeping the dumbbells as close to your sides as possible.

Dumbbell Crossbody Hammer Curl

The dumbbell crossbody hammer curl is yet another variation of the curl with more emphasis on the forearm. 

  1. Grab a dumbbell in each hand with a neutral grip. 
  2. Stand tall with your chest up and out and feet shoulder-width apart with a slight bend in your knees.
  3. Start with arms fully extended at your sides, keeping your elbows as close to your trunk as possible. 
  4. One side at a time, you curl the dumbbell up and across to the opposite shoulder, keeping your palms facing inward. 
  5. Squeeze your biceps at the top position before returning to the starting position.
  6. Repeat on the opposite side.

Dumbbell Strict Curl

As with the concentration curl, the dumbbell strict curl ensures you use little to no momentum in lifting the weights.

  1. Grab a dumbbell in each hand with an underhand grip.
  2. Lean on a wall with your back and butt fully pressed against it. 
  3. Stand tall with your chest up and out and feet shoulder-width apart with a slight bend in your knees.
  4. Start with arms fully extended at your sides, keeping your elbows as close to your trunk as possible. 
  5. One side at a time, curl the dumbbells as high as you can.
  6. Squeeze your biceps at the top position before returning to the starting position.
  7. Repeat on the opposite side.

Dumbbell Alternating Cheat Curl

Last but certainly not least is the dumbbell alternating cheat curl. While most of the exercises aim to minimize momentum, cheat curls actually need momentum to lift heavier weights. The science behind this lies in the eccentric contraction your biceps experience on the way down.

  1. Grab a dumbbell in each hand with an underhand grip.
  2. Stand tall with your chest up and out and feet shoulder-width apart with a slight bend in your knees.
  3. Start with arms fully extended at your sides, keeping your elbows as close to your trunk as possible. 
  4. One side at a time, curl the dumbbells as high as you can, using a slight swing to get the weights up.
  5. Squeeze your biceps at the top position before returning to the starting position as slow as possible, maximizing the eccentric contraction.
  6. Repeat on the opposite side.

Your Supplier For 100% Legal Steroids Products

SDI Labs supplies some of the most ambitious and impressive body builders in the world with 100% legal steroids. Get to know our legendary brands with guaranteed low prices by visiting our shop. Buy legal steroids on our website and make sure to read our complete guide to Anabolic Steroids!
Terrence Tan Ting Author for Legal Steroids

About The Author

Terrence Tan Ting is an industrial engineer by profession but a full time writer by passion. He loves to write about a wide range of topics from many different industries thanks to his undying curiosity.

18 Jan

Cardio isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and with good reason. It’s not particularly enjoyable to be huffing, puffing, and out of breath with minimal gains to show for your efforts. However, running remains a fantastic form of cardio and can have many benefits for our health. This article will cover how exactly running changes your body, how it affects your muscle quality, and if it’s for you.

Changes to Expect with Running

Fat Loss

The first and probably the most sought after effect of running is fat loss. You see it all the time in Hollywood films, people running to lose weight, get fit, and burn fat. Fat burning basically refers to the ability of our bodies to oxidize or use fat as energy instead of carbohydrates. Greater fat burning typically occurs during a low-intensity and long duration workout—aerobic activities like running fall under these workouts. 

Improved Metabolism

Cardiovascular exercises encompass a wide range of activities, including swimming, running, and walking. It is not limited to these exercises, though, as any strenuous activity that raises the heart rate and increases blood pressure may be considered a cardiovascular exercise. These stimulate your metabolism, helping you burn calories even after your workout. 

Builds Lower Body Muscles

Of course, it should go without saying that the muscles in the lower body will develop once you start running. When the image of most runners come to mind, the chances are you won’t picture someone who’s exceptionally toned with bulging muscles. No, you’d picture someone like Mo Farah, whose skinny body is efficient for long-distance runs. However, studies have continually shown that running does increase muscle mass, reporting skeletal muscle hypertrophy in the muscle groups most utilized during which. Muscles such as the lower back and core, which stabilize the body, quads, hams, glutes, and calves are most involved during running. 

Improved Mood and other Mental Benefits

You’ve probably heard of the term “runner’s high,” and this phenomenon is more than just a runner’s made-up fantasy; in fact, runner’s high has been well-studied and reported through scientific research. Starting out a run can be tedious, to say the least; your breath gets heavier, your heart starts pumping more rapidly, and you can feel your muscles begin to flare up with activity. However, once you finish your run, your body may produce endocannabinoids, biochemical substances that are similar to cannabis, only naturally produced. This leads to a relaxed, joyous state following an intense workout session. 

But that is not the only mental benefit of running. Cardiovascular exercise sparks the growth of a whole host of new blood vessels in the brain, leading to improved cognitive performance. Some mental benefits include improved memory, better multitasking ability, and an elevated disposition overall.

A picture of someone who is running in a dirty sand

But Does Running Kill Gains?

One thing that stops most bodybuilders from running is the fear that they will lose their gains. To understand how running might kill gains, it’s important we learn about the concepts of anabolism and catabolism. Anabolism and catabolism comprise the broad types of biochemical reactions our bodies have with regard to metabolism. 

Anabolism involves building more complex molecules, while catabolism does the opposite by breaking down larger molecules into smaller ones. Simply put, anabolism is the process that stimulates muscle growth, causing what we commonly refer to as “gains.” To support muscle growth, we need to supply our body with ample amounts of energy and nutrients.

However, when our bodies don’t have enough of these nutrients and energy, that’s when it undergoes catabolism. This nutritional deficiency forces the body to break down its own muscles to supply the body with the energy it needs. This is simply unacceptable for bodybuilders, having put in countless hours at the gym pumping iron, only to have it wasted. 

Running is an extremely demanding sport, and a common mistake many runners make is not providing their bodies with ample fuel to operate. It’s crucial for you to adjust your food intake according to your physical activity to prevent catabolism from taking place. 

So, should you add running to your training program?

Running isn’t for everybody; some people just can’t stand the idea of the activity. However, cross-training by incorporating running into your program could be extremely beneficial. That being said, you can’t haphazardly go out and start running without a plan, though. 

The main benefits bodybuilders and powerlifters might get from running is an increased VO2 max level. VO2 max is the maximum volume of oxygen your body can process. Think of it as your body’s horsepower: the higher it is, the bigger the engine you possess. This will translate into more efficient movement with your muscles, as they can extract oxygen more easily for strenuous activities. The best way to increase this is by training as close to your VO2 max as possible through a higher intensity run than just a light jog.

Your Supplier For 100% Legal Steroids Products

SDI Labs supplies some of the most ambitious and impressive body builders in the world with 100% legal steroids. Get to know our legendary brands with guaranteed low prices by visiting our shop. Buy legal steroids on our website and make sure to read our complete guide to Anabolic Steroids!
Terrence Tan Ting Author for Legal Steroids

About The Author

Terrence Tan Ting is an industrial engineer by profession but a full time writer by passion. He loves to write about a wide range of topics from many different industries thanks to his undying curiosity.