Marc Dressen Personal Training Studio in London https://www.marcdressen.com Marc is a leading authority on Sports, Fitness, and Martial Arts with a Master’s Degree from Europe’s top Sports University. Contact him for appointments and press enquiries Mon, 29 May 2017 16:45:07 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 Here are the Things You Need to Know about Clenbuterol https://www.marcdressen.com/what-is-clenbuterol/ https://www.marcdressen.com/what-is-clenbuterol/#comments_reply Mon, 22 May 2017 16:22:07 +0000 https://www.marcdressen.com/?p=9927 Here’s the deal. If you spend any of your free time in the gym, then the chances are that you’ll hear about clenbuterol. Similar to steroids in terms of its results, Clenbuterol is highly popular in the bodybuilding world, and…

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Here’s the deal.

If you spend any of your free time in the gym, then the chances are that you’ll hear about clenbuterol. Similar to steroids in terms of its results, Clenbuterol is highly popular in the bodybuilding world, and it’s the go-to drug for people who want to show off their muscles on stage.

I understand the desire to turn to supplements when simple health and fitness isn’t working, but I promise you, there’s a better way out there. Here, I’m going to take a look at the reality of Clenbuterol, and tell you everything you need to know.

If you want to figure out how to lose belly fat with Marc Dressen, while keeping your muscles strong, then you might think that clenbuterol is the easy answer. Unfortunately, as with most “simple solutions”, the negatives of clenbuterol may be far more significant than the positives.

I can’t emphasise the importance of understanding Clenbuterol enough. Speak to your online personal trainer, and you’ll learn that not only is Clenbuterol only a semi-effective fat burner, but it could be dangerous for your heart too!

In this article, you’re going to learn everything you need to know about Clenbuterol, from how it works, to why people take it, how safe it is, and why you should avoid it at all costs.

Defining Clenbuterol: How Does It Work?

Clenbuterol is a type of powerful stimulant that improves fat burning and increases your metabolic rate. Sometimes, it’s sold under a range of different names like Spiropent, Dilaterol, and Ventipulmin. Originally, the substance was designed as a drug for treating breathing problems in horses and similar animals. As a kind of bronchodilator, it relaxes the muscles around the airways and makes breathing easier.

For some time, Clen was also marketed as a decongestant and asthma medication for humans, but it’s dangerous side effects meant that most countries have switched to other alternatives. You’re probably wondering how this drug went from a respiratory aid, to one of the most popular bodybuilding substances.

Simply put, clenbuterol binds to the receptors that respond to epinephrine in the body, while producing more significant effects. It also binds to the cells of muscles and stimulates protein synthesis, which helps to preserve muscle while you’re cutting.

Why Do People Take Clenbuterol?

You’re probably wondering why people bother taking clenbuterol in the first place, particularly if it may have some seriously dangerous side effects. The answer is that people take clenbuterol to lose fat faster while keeping hold of their muscle, and also to improve their athletic performance.

Right now, there’s an ongoing debate in the fitness community as to whether this substance can actually boost physical performance. However, most studies indicate that it probably doesn’t do much to make you better at a particular sport or athletic endeavour. However, on the other hand, it’s safe to say that clenbuterol definitely plays a part when it comes to speeding up fat loss.

Research on both humans and animals has found that clenbuterol is fantastic at raising metabolic rate and stimulating fat burning processes, even though it isn’t technically a steroid. Additionally, some studies show that this substance stimulates muscle protein synthesis, too, which can help people to retain the lean muscle mass that they want to keep while losing fat.

How Safe is Clenbuterol?

So, here’s the big question: How safe is clenbuterol?

The answer is: not very.

I personally would never recommend it as part of a results-driven training solution.

Most of the research conducted on this substance has taken place on animals, and we’re not really sure how serious its impact is on humans. In spite of that, the current results don’t look good. Some of the side effects include:

  • Dizziness
  • Nervousness
  • Nausea
  • Dry mouth
  • Drowsiness
  • Headache
  • Facial flushing
  • Heartburn
  • Vomiting
  • Chest pain
  • Muscle cramps
  • Lightheadedness
  • Insomnia

That’s not all…

Clenbuterol is also likely to be very dangerous for your heart. As a powerful stimulant, the substance can easily spike your blood pressure and keep the levels significantly elevated for long periods of time. This increases your chances of left ventricular hypertrophy which refers to the thickening of the wall in the left-side of the heart.

LVH caused by clenbuterol could be a serious risk element in heart disease and its linked to sudden death and arrhythmias too. Though there haven’t been any long-term human studies on this substance, it’s safe to say that clenbuterol is dangerous. There’s even evidence that it can kill cells in the heart.

Clenbuterol and Sleep

Clenbuterol isn’t just dangerous when it comes to heart health, it can also have an impact on other areas of your life too. For instance, clenbuterol is a powerful stimulant, which means that it doesn’t just spike your metabolic rate, but it also stays in your system for far longer than most milder drugs that we use for energy such as caffeine.

Research actually shows that clenbuterol can remain in the blood for as much as 26 hours at a time, which is probably why it’s often associated with disrupted sleep patterns. The less you sleep, the unhealthier you become, and considering the fact that most of us simply don’t get enough sleep to begin with, adding a powerful stimulant to the mix isn’t going to be much help.

Additionally, it may also be worth noting that besides robbing you of your beauty sleep, clenbuterol also steals another substance from your system: potassium. Evidence indicates that large amounts of this substance might cause the body to lose taurine and potassium. This is important because potassium plays a crucial role in heart function and muscle contraction. What’s more, taurine can help to prevent muscle cramps.

Understanding Clenbuterol

The bottom line when it comes to how to get a flat stomach, is that there are better options than clenbuterol out there. Though this substance might help you to lose fat faster, it’s not as effective as some sellers claim. Usually, you’re only looking at a maximum of around a 10% increase in your natural basal metabolic rate. Though this increase is sure to help your weight loss, you could also simple work out more to achieve a better effect.

At the same time, there’s a good chance that the clenbuterol you take could kill you. It’s far worse for your body than many other milder stimulants such as ephedrine and caffeine, and evidence strongly suggests that it may increase your risk of heart disease, particularly when you take a high dose.

If you want a simple recommendation when it comes to clenbuterol, the best thing that you can do is stay away from this substance at all costs.

I can help you achieve your goals – without the danger.

 

Marc Dressen
Personal Trainer London

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The Simple Steps to Pulling off a Body Recomposition https://www.marcdressen.com/simple-steps-pulling-off-body-recomposition/ https://www.marcdressen.com/simple-steps-pulling-off-body-recomposition/#comments_reply Mon, 08 May 2017 11:00:31 +0000 https://www.marcdressen.com/?p=9903 Pulling off a body recomp is hard work, I know that better than most people. It’s tough to find a routine that not only helps you to lose belly fat, but also keep hold of that all-important muscle too. So…

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Pulling off a body recomp is hard work, I know that better than most people. It’s tough to find a routine that not only helps you to lose belly fat, but also keep hold of that all-important muscle too. So many diets and fitness regimes claim to be able to give you the body of your dreams, but they simply don’t work.

So, what’s the real story?

All it takes is five simple steps to pull off an incredible body recomposition, and we’re going to break all of them down for you in this article. There’s just one caveat. If you’re an athlete that’s already achieved most of what’s possible for you genetically in terms of muscle gain, you might struggle to re-comp effectively. Instead, you’d be better served by lean bulking. On the other hand, if you’re new to weight lifting, then you’re ready to get started.

Here, you’ll learn everything you need to know about what body recomposition really means, how aggressive calorie deficits can help, the importance of protein, and more. I’ll even give you the Marc Dressen guide to HIIT, compound weightlifting, and supplements.

The Truth about Body Recomposition

A lot of people believe that without the right collection of drugs, it’s practically impossible to pull off a true body recomposition strategy. However, the truth is that there are countless people out there who have already accomplished the body of their dreams thanks to a little bit of careful training and a strong strategy for success.

It’s absolutely possible for someone to lose fat and build muscle at the same time, and you can do this safely and naturally, so long as you know what you’re doing. You just need a results-driven solution, delivered by your own London personal trainer.

Step 1: Use a Moderately Aggressive Calorie Deficit

Research shows clearly that the only way to achieve great fat loss is to eat less than you burn in terms of energy. That means that the calories you eat vs the calories you spend matters a lot. When you eat less calories than you burn, you create a calorie deficit, and you can build muscle and lose fat in a calorie deficit.

One key issue to remember is that it’s possible to build muscle in a calorie deficit, and you can also build muscle in a calorie surplus, but you can’t lose fat without a deficit.

The only thing to remember is that if you want to learn how to lose belly fat, your personal trainer in London will probably remind you that you need to make sure that you’re not in too much of a calorie deficit. Starving yourself doesn’t work, because it can inhibit muscle growth, cause issues with your mood, and lead to binge eating. Instead, you should stick to a calorie deficit of around 25%.

Step 2: Eat Plenty of Protein

If you’re hoping to lose fat, but not muscle, then you need to make sure that you’re eating enough protein. Protein is essential to keeping your muscles strong, and research shows that when we restrict our calorie consumption, a high-protein diet is not only more effective at reducing body fat, but it also increases satiety and helps to preserve muscle too.

The government currently recommends an average of around 0.8 grams of protein according to kilogram of body weight, but research indicates that double, or even triple that amount might not be enough to make sure that you preserve lean muscle mass when dieting. Rather, it might be more effective to eat around 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight.

Protein is pretty much the most important macronutrient in your diet as far as body composition goes, and I would recommend that you eat about a gram of protein for every pound of bodyweight per day if you want to achieve a really successful body recomposition.

Step 3: Do Plenty of Heavy Compound Weightlifting

The primary drive for muscle growth is progressive tension overload, which refers to the process of increasing tension within your muscles over time. The best way you can do this is to add weight to your bar, which is why getting stronger is crucial to a weightlifter. Compound exercises are the ones that use a range of muscle groups, such as bench presses, squats, military presses, and deadlifts.

When you perform compound exercises, you create higher levels of muscle activation and tension within your muscles. This is crucial for whole-body muscle growth, and the effects can’t be replicated with isolation exercise alone.

Step 4: Try High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

While you don’t necessarily need to do a lot of cardio to get rid of fat, you will find that some cardio can help to speed up the process. The important thing is to find the balance between too much and too little. Too much cardio can get in the way of your muscle gains, which is why HIIT is so effective. It involves alternating between low-intensity periods and max-effort sprints to give you the best results.

Though HIIT is naturally a lot more difficult than low-intensity cardio, research also shows that it offers a host of major benefits. For instance:

  • It can reduce appetite
  • It can increase insulin sensitivity in the muscles
  • It can elevate your metabolic rate for more than 24 hours

HIIT is also far better at preserving muscle than your regular low-intensity cardio, largely because you don’t have to do as much to lose fat!

Step 5: Take the Right Supplements

Finally, this isn’t the most important aspect of getting the perfect body, but it can help. The truth is that most of the supplements on the market for losing fat and building muscle are pretty much useless, and no number of pills is going to give you the ideal frame. However, the good news is that if you know how to drive your body recomposition process with the right diet and exercise, you can boost the speed of your progress with some of the right supplements.

Often, the right supplements will involve some combination of creatine, protein powder, some kind of fat burner, and a pre-workout powder. You may need to do some experimentation before you’ll discover the perfect combination of supplements for your specific goals and body type.

Good Luck!

Body recomposition can be a lot easier than you think, you simply need to know where you can get started. If you implement the five steps that we’ve covered above, then you should be on track to the best body you’ve ever seen in no time!

 

Marc Dressen
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Your Ultimate Guide to SARMS https://www.marcdressen.com/ultimate-guide-sarms/ https://www.marcdressen.com/ultimate-guide-sarms/#comments_reply Mon, 01 May 2017 12:41:35 +0000 https://www.marcdressen.com/?p=9877 If you want to find out exactly what “SARMS” are, or how they work and how effective they can be, then you’ve come to the right place. If you’ve been watching your macros and your calories, and giving your workouts…

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If you want to find out exactly what “SARMS” are, or how they work and how effective they can be, then you’ve come to the right place.

If you’ve been watching your macros and your calories, and giving your workouts everything you can stand, you may still discover that you’re not giving your online fitness coach the answers you were hoping for when he asks about your progress. You might have been thinking about steroids – despite their obvious health risks, but then suddenly, you stumble across SARMs.

For some people, SARMS appear to be the holy grail of bodybuilding, helping us to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time. However, what’s the truth, where’s the science behind these supplements, and are they safe?

Introducing SARMs: How Do They Work?

For the uninitiated, “SARM” stands for selective androgen receptor modulator – a kind of drug that’s similar to anabolic steroids. There are plenty of these things on the market, and some have more side-effects than others. What’s more, at this point in time, SARMs have not been approved for medical use, which means that pharmaceutical marketers haven’t even given them real names.

To understand how SARMs work, you need to understand how hormones work – the chemical messengers that your body uses to communicate with other cells. You can think of these like the outgoing mail that sends important messages throughout your body. When they reach the hormone receptors in your body, then important activities are carried out. For instance, androgens are the hormones that produce facial hair, muscle, and lower fat levels (like testosterone).

Androgens impact the body by:

  • Binding to androgen receptors in your cells
  • Converting DHT (dihydrotestosterone) which further binds androgen
  • Converting estrogen (estradiol), which binds to different receptor cells

When you start using anabolic steroids, your cells can become flooded with androgens, which means that the receptors suddenly become saturated. This sends a powerful message to all of the cells that are listening – including muscle cells, which rapidly grow in response. While that sounds great – the truth is that research shows that the side effects are terrible.

Research shows that some of the side effects of steroid use can be permanent. However, taking SARMs is different. They have a certain affinity for particular tissues such as bone and muscle, but don’t impact others such as the liver, brain and prostate.

They also don’t naturally become unwanted molecules that cause side effects such as DHT and estrogen! Additionally, SARMs are resistant to the enzyme aromatase, which converts estrogen into testosterone, and because they’re less powerful than a typical dose of steroids, they can be easier to recover from. But that doesn’t mean they’re safe.

But Are SARMs Safe?

Nonsteroidal SARMs have only been around for a couple of decades, which means we don’t have much research to inform us of how safe they are. What we do know, is that the more SARMs you consume, the more likely you are to have side effects – ranging from problems with testosterone, to cancer. Additionally, SARMs are much likely to be more easy to recover from than typical steroids.

Although they don’t convert into estrogen and DHT in the way that a batch of steroids do, they also don’t have the same negative impact on your system. Additionally, they aren’t as anabolic as pure steroids, which means that they won’t suppress the creation of natural testosterone anywhere near as much. However, that doesn’t mean that SARMs are safe – in fact, the risks are far greater than the potential benefits.

The Truth about SARMs

At the end of the day, SARMs are drugs that can deliver some of the benefits associated with anabolic steroids, with less of the short-term side-effects. Though they’re not quite as effective as steroids, they can boost muscle growth more than standard natural supplements that are available on the market, and they’re generally safer too – but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re totally safe.

Research has shown that SARMs can also suppress natural testosterone production and have a negative impact on the endocrine system, and there is some evidence that they may increase the risk of cancer too. What’s more, we have no idea if there are any long-term effects of using SARMs yet.

Because of this, we’d often recommend staying away from SARMs.

The risks simply outweigh the benefits.

 

Marc Dressen
Personal Trainer London

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How to Reduce Belly Fat without Exercise https://www.marcdressen.com/reduce-belly-fat-without-exercise/ https://www.marcdressen.com/reduce-belly-fat-without-exercise/#comments_reply Mon, 24 Apr 2017 09:59:02 +0000 https://www.marcdressen.com/?p=9859 It’s time to face the facts on losing weight without exercise. The truth is, it’s actually a lot easier than you might think, but it’s not without its problems. Indeed, one of the biggest issues that people will face when…

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It’s time to face the facts on losing weight without exercise. The truth is, it’s actually a lot easier than you might think, but it’s not without its problems. Indeed, one of the biggest issues that people will face when it comes to limiting their stomach fat without exercise, is that they increase their chances of becoming “skinny fat”.

By the end of this article, our aim is to let you know how to reduce belly fat without exercise, but also to inform you that if you want to lose weight without exercising, you’re probably going to risk a good body composition at the same time. After all, body composition is far more important than the numbers on the scales.

How to Reduce Belly Fat – Exercise Free

Let’s start by looking at how you think losing weight without exercise really works. Usually, most people assume that it’s all about low-carb dieting, eating clean, and banishing sugar from their diet, while overdosing on handfuls of fat-burner pills. However, the truth is that none of these are more important than simply creating a calorie deficit.

A calorie deficit is all about eating fewer calories than you burn, and the overarching mechanism in play is “energy balance”, the relationship that exists between the amount of energy that you consume, and the amount of energy you burn. The unit of measurement that we use when discussing energy balances is “calorie”, which is how much energy you need to heat a kilogram of water by one degree.

Energy balance is one of the most crucial things your online personal trainer can tell you about, as it informs you exactly how many calories you should be eating, and how much you need to do to achieve meaningful weight gain or weight loss.

Without question, a century of metabolic research has shown that energy balance is the primary mechanism for regulating body weight. That doesn’t mean that losing weight is all about counting calories, but it does mean that you need to understand the relationship that exists between weight loss, weight gain, and calorie expenditure.

So How Can You Burn Calories without Exercise?

The chances are that when you think about burning calories, you think of working out – but that’s not the only option available to you. In fact, the human body burns calories non-stop, regardless of whether you’re sitting down or lifting weights.

This is because of something known as the “basal metabolic rate” or “BMR”, and it’s the minimum number of calories you can burn each day, and the minimum amount of energy required to stay alive. When you factor in the additional energy you burn throughout any physical activity, you get a number that’s identified as your “Total Daily Energy Expenditure”. Once you know your TDEE, the only thing you need to do to lose weight is eat fewer calories each day than you expend.

For instance, if you find out that you burn about 2,200 calories a day, and you eat about 75% of that amount (or 1,650 calories), then you’ll lose about a pound a week – regardless of exercise. This is because you’ve created a calorie deficit that forces your body to tap into your fat resources for energy.

The Issue of Losing Weight without Exercising

The weight that you’re going to lose when you’re shedding pounds without exercise isn’t just going to come from fat. In other words, you’re not learning how to reduce belly fat without exercise, you’re just learning how to reduce weight. Some of that weight is going to come from your muscle too, and the more muscle you lose, the weaker your immune system becomes, and the slower your metabolism works. That’s why the goal shouldn’t be to “lose weight”, but to “lose fat”.

Not just any form of workout will be useful either – resistance workouts, for instance, are more effective, meaning that you should be focusing on weightlifting over cardio. When you combine weightlifting with the right dieting, then you’ll gain strength and muscle, while losing fat at the same time, to give you the perfect body composition.

Losing Weight without Exercise

The truth is that it’s easy to lose weight without exercise – what’s hard is figuring out how to lose fat, and not muscle. After all, you want to get rid of that extra blubber around your midsection, but you don’t want to get rid of the muscle that could help you to lose fat in the long-run.

Improving body composition is important, and even doing the bare minimum of exercise can help you to preserve the muscle you want to maintain while dieting. Simply lifting a few weights in a couple of intense workout sessions enough could be enough to do the trick.

Marc Dressen
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The Truth Behind “Fat Burning Pills”: The Evidence You Need to Know https://www.marcdressen.com/truth-behind-fat-burning-pills-evidence-need-know/ https://www.marcdressen.com/truth-behind-fat-burning-pills-evidence-need-know/#comments_reply Mon, 10 Apr 2017 13:53:49 +0000 https://www.marcdressen.com/?p=9846 “Fat burning” pills are some of the most controversial substances on the market today, and a pain in the neck for the online fitness coach trying to teach people how to lose belly fat realistically and effectively. The truth is…

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“Fat burning” pills are some of the most controversial substances on the market today, and a pain in the neck for the online fitness coach trying to teach people how to lose belly fat realistically and effectively. The truth is that most of these pills are worthless, and no number of pills is going to make you think without the right diet and exercise routine to go alongside them.

However, if you know how to drive your weight loss effectively, then some supplements can be effective at accelerating the process. Here, we’re going to take a closer look into the truth behind fat burning pills.

Caffeine for Weight Loss

While most “fat-burning” pills aren’t really worth the cost of their container, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t supplements out there that do work. Caffeine helps to improve strength, enhance muscle endurance and anaerobic performance, and accelerate fat loss too!

Caffeine works by increasing the number of catecholamine in the blood – chemicals that are responsibly for mobilising the stored fat in your system that needs to be burned. This also raises your body’s basal metabolic rate – the energy burned during rest periods. The only downside to using caffeine as an aid for weight loss is that it can lose its potency over time as we become more desensitised to it. Fortunately, you can limit this reaction by cycling your intake and combining caffeine with other substances. For instance, some research shows that the naringin in grapefruit juice can help caffeine to work for longer in your system.

Garcinia Cambogia for Weight Loss

One of the biggest false messiahs on today’s market when it comes to learning how to lose belly fat, Garcinia Cambogia is a sour fruit that can be used in cooking. It contains hydroxycitric acid which has been shown to reduce periods of weight gain in animal studies – but not in any human research.

Although we all know that animal research is important for uncovering potentially useful areas to explore in human research, it’s important to note that meta-research into a dozen clinical trials of this substance found that only three studies saw any reduction of fat mass when compared to a placebo.

Green Coffee for Weight Loss

Green coffee is another popular solution in the world of “fat burning” pills these days, but just like Garcinia Cambogia, the hype isn’t really backed up by anything solid. The truth is that this supplement Does include a substance called chlorogenic acid, but there isn’t much research available that suggests this substance is any good for weight loss.

What’s more, the research that is out there isn’t very reliable. According to meta-analyses of the five green coffee extract weight loss trials that have been published relating to humans, only three were worth review, and those three were conducted with funding from people who sell green coffee pills.

Green Tea for Weight Loss

Some green substances, however – are worth the hype. Green tea leaves are rich in catechins, which are responsible for many of the health benefits of green tea. Extensive research has shown that one benefit of consuming catechins is weight loss, and the reduction of abdominal fat! Those effects are improved by caffeine, too!

Catechin is effective for weight loss because it blocks the enzyme that breaks down noradrenaline and adrenaline – which are the chemicals that increase basal metabolic rate and mobilise fat stores. In most cases, a daily dosage of around 400 to 600 milligrams of catechins is enough to reap the benefits of its weight loss abilities.

Yohimbine and Weight Loss

Yohimbine is a chemical that is extracted from a species of African plant. Studies indicate that it can be useful for accelerating fat loss, but how it accomplishes this is complex. The best way to look at it is to know that fat cells use two receptors for the chemicals that mobilise fat stores – alpha 2 and beta 2 receptors. Catecholamines in Yohimbine bind to beta 2 receptors and mobilise cells for weight loss.

Research suggests that around 0.2 mg/kg of bodyweight is enough Yohimbine to have a good impact, but this substance can also raise blood pressure, so it’s important to be careful.

Raspberry Ketones and Weight Loss

Raspberry ketones are no longer as popular as they once were, but they’re still found in many fat burner supplements, so they’re worth paying attention to. Like many other options on the market, raspberry ketones are really only backed up by animal studies for the most part, and the only human weight loss trial conducted is confounded by the inclusion of various other ingredients like capsaicin and caffeine, so it’s hard to know if raspberry ketones really have any significant effect on fat.

Synephrine and Weight Loss

Finally, Synephrine is great for losing fat. It helps to increase lipolysis, speeds up the process of fat metabolism, and increases the thermic effect of food too! Research even shows that when combined with caffeine, this can enhance both of the fat loss properties for this chemical, which makes it even more effective.

Additionally, synephrine is an appetite suppressant, because things that can increase the activity of noradrenaline and adrenaline are also great for reducing hunger.

The Truth

Fat burning pills are similar to many other supplements in the sense that if they seem as though they’re too good to be true – then they probably are. At the same time, if you haven’t got the help of an online personal trainer to get you on the right track, then you’re probably not going to get the results you’ve been looking for.

 

Marc Dressen
Personal Trainer London

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Sugar Withdrawal: What Everyone Needs to Know https://www.marcdressen.com/sugar-withdrawal-everyone-needs-know/ https://www.marcdressen.com/sugar-withdrawal-everyone-needs-know/#comments_reply Mon, 03 Apr 2017 08:26:23 +0000 https://www.marcdressen.com/?p=9838 Sugar has become such a serious issue in today’s world, that it’s getting a little out of hand. Some people are actually saying that sugar is similar to cocaine, and for those who want to figure out how to get…

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Sugar has become such a serious issue in today’s world, that it’s getting a little out of hand. Some people are actually saying that sugar is similar to cocaine, and for those who want to figure out how to get a flat stomach, it feels as though sugar addiction is one of the biggest threats out there.

However, though sugar is bad for you – it rots your teeth and fills you full of excess calories that your personal trainer in London is sure to warn you against, it may not be quite as drastic as the media seems to claim. In fact, the truth is that the addictive aspects of sugar are being seriously over-exaggerated. It’s time to learn the truth.

What is Sugar Withdrawal – Is It Real?

If you’ve learned that one of the first steps in learning how to get a flat stomach begins with cutting out sugar, then you’re probably concerned about the concept of sugar withdrawal. For drugs and alcohol, withdrawal refers to the unpleasant mental and physical effects that happen when we stop a habit.

For instance, cocaine interferes with the brain’s ability to regulate dopamine, which leads to a euphoric high for a set period. However, as that high wears off, the balance in your brain chemistry remains swayed, which causes you to feel nervous, stressed, and desperate for another hit. As you use the drug more often, your body starts to become resistant to the effects, which means that you need more to get the same results.

While we crave sugar, struggle to avoid eating it, and some studies indicate that it can stimulate our brains in a way that’s similar to habit-forming drugs, sugar addiction is not the same as drug addiction. In fact, it may not be an addiction at all. Though sugar does alter our dopamine levels, so do things like sex, listening to great music, or driving a car at a fast speed.

In fact, almost anything that we find enjoyable alters our dopamine levels. However, in the case of sugar, studies show that sugar fails the litmus test of addictive substances. In other words:

  • People don’t suffer physically or psychologically when they stop consuming sugar
  • People don’t need to eat more to get the same effects
  • Sugar tolerances aren’t built up after constant exposure.

You Can Give Up Sugar – without Withdrawal

From a scientific perspective, giving up sugar is no different to giving up pizza, or driving your car about the speed limit. It can be difficult thanks to cravings, but it doesn’t lead to the same mental or physical distress that are experienced by alcohol or drug addicts.

Though a low-sugar diet leads to less food-based pleasure than one that’s rich in sugar, and that can make changing your diet more difficult, it’s not an impossible feat. If you want to control what you eat and improve your diet, while learning how to get a flat stomach, then cutting out sugar is a big factor in those things.

This might mean that you have to throw away all of your favourite treats, and drink water instead of fizzy drinks and juices, but you can do it.

The Truth about Sugar Withdrawal

The truth about sugar is that too many of us are eating far too much of it. While giving up may not be easy, the idea that sugar is just as addictive as drugs is ludicrous, and it simply gives people an excuse not to quit.

Don’t let the concept of sugar withdrawal absolve you of your dietary sins. It’s not chemistry to blame for your food choices – but your inability to show your willpower. Though sugar can have some of the same effects on us that drugs do, that doesn’t mean they’re one and the same. You choose to eat sugar because it makes you feel good, but people can’t control their choices regarding drugs. There’s a huge difference.

The good news is that you don’t have any excuse to fail at giving up sugar. You can do it. All you need is the willpower.

Marc Dressen
Personal Trainer London

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Protein Timing: Should Protein Come Before or After Your Workout? https://www.marcdressen.com/protein-timing-protein-come-workout/ https://www.marcdressen.com/protein-timing-protein-come-workout/#comments_reply Mon, 27 Mar 2017 12:25:38 +0000 https://www.marcdressen.com/?p=9817 Some people think that it’s crucial to eat protein before a workout if you want to improve your strength and muscle gains and figure out how to reduce belly fat, whereas other people believe that eating before you train simply…

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Some people think that it’s crucial to eat protein before a workout if you want to improve your strength and muscle gains and figure out how to reduce belly fat, whereas other people believe that eating before you train simply doesn’t matter so long as you consume protein after your workout. Then, you’ve even got people who claim that when you eat protein doesn’t matter as all – the only thing that matters is that you get enough of it into your diet!

So, how do you make sure that you’re getting the best results from your diet?

In general, eating enough protein each day is the most important factor to think about when your goal is developing strength and muscle as quickly as possible. Everything else, like when you consume that protein, how much you get, and where it comes from, is just a secondary concern – but that doesn’t mean that these factors don’t matter. While most of your progress will come from the fundamentals of protein consumption, you can speed up your progress by making changes to your training, diet, and other elements too.

While individually the refinements you make might only have a small impact on your body, alongside the steeps you take with your online fitness coach, when they’re combined, they can become more significant over time. So, let’s take a closer look at protein, and why when you eat it can make a difference.

Why Does Protein Matter Anyway?

Protein is a compound that’s made up of chains of smaller molecules which are otherwise known as “amino acids”. These molecules help to create the building blocks that make up the entire body, and tissues such as ligaments, muscles, hair, organs, and tendons all rely on protein. On top of that, enzymes, hormones, and various chemicals that affect the way that you function every day all relate to protein too.

The human body requires no less than 21 amino acids each day to create the proteins it needs to function. While we can create 12 of these amino acids internally, we need to get the others from the foods that we eat. These are our “essential” amino acids, and they’re made up of:

  • Histidine
  • Lysine
  • Isoleucine
  • Leucine
  • Methionine
  • Tryptophan
  • Threonine
  • Valine
  • Phenylalanine

The main reason that we consume protein is to give our bodies those extra amino acids that we need to build and repair the various tissues in our bodies that face risks and destruction every day. As you can probably imagine, regular exercise and weightlifting can increase the body’s protein-based needs, but proper intake is necessary among sedentary people too! If you don’t eat enough protein – no matter how active you are, you can lose muscle faster, and that puts you at serious risk.

Should Protein Come Before your Workout?

We’ve established that protein is important, but we’re still not certain whether it should come before, or after our workouts. Some people say that eating protein before a work out doesn’t help or hurt you, and they point to various studies that support their claims, whereas others point to studies that seem to demonstrate that eating protein before training is best for boosting muscle growth.

The truth is that it depends on the surrounding factors in your workout. When you eat your protein before your workout counts towards whether it has an impact on your exercise. After all, it takes the body several hours to properly absorb and digest protein, and the composition of your meal size effects the way that protein is digested significantly. In other words, if it’s been several hours since you last ate a small amount of protein, then your body will have already absorbed the protein from your meal. In this case, you might benefit from eating another serving before you work out.

Alternatively, most of the time, you’ll find that you really don’t need to eat protein right before you hit the weights if you want to see a difference. It’s most effective if you’re training five or six hours after a meal, or if you’re training first thing in the morning when your body needs fuel.

Should Protein Come After your Workout?

Post-workout protein is a little easier to understand than the pre-workout science. The consensus between most online fitness coach trainers, and fitness professionals, who base their findings on science, is that you should eat protein after you’ve hit the gym. Though it’s not as important as simply making sure you eat enough protein day-to-day, most research shows that it can help you to gain more muscle.

The reason for these results splits into two areas:

  • After you start working on your muscles with weights or exercise, they become extra responsive to the stimuli that builds muscles caused by the protein.
  • Rates for protein breakdown can begin to rise rapidly after you have finished training, and eating more protein can eliminate this issue.

Most of the time, your online personal trainer will recommend 20 to 40 grams of protein eaten after a workout to help to do the trick, and studies have shown that whey protein is particularly beneficial for post-workout nutrition.

Before or After: The Bottom Line

Though protein timing does have an impact on your body, the truth is that it’s simply crucial to make sure that you’re getting enough protein in your system. Eating protein before your workout when appropriate, and consuming enough afterwards to offset protein breakdown can help you to build muscle and strength more effectively.

 

Marc Dressen
Personal Trainer London

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Stubborn Weight: How to Lose Belly Fat https://www.marcdressen.com/stubborn-weight-lose-belly-fat/ https://www.marcdressen.com/stubborn-weight-lose-belly-fat/#comments_reply Mon, 27 Mar 2017 10:08:24 +0000 https://www.marcdressen.com/?p=9793 There’s a good reason why some of the fat cells in your body are less likely to burn than others. Unfortunately, as any online fitness coach will tell you – the most stubborn fat cells generally accumulate in your hips,…

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There’s a good reason why some of the fat cells in your body are less likely to burn than others. Unfortunately, as any online fitness coach will tell you – the most stubborn fat cells generally accumulate in your hips, thighs, and stomach – leaving you wondering how to lose belly fat fast.

The fat in your body contains two types of catecholamine receptors. These are receptors are known as alpha and beta receptors. The bottom line is that alpha receptors hinder lipolysis (fat burning), while beta-receptors trigger it. In other words, fat that has a lot of beta receptors is much easier to get rid of than fat brimming with alpha receptors. Belly fat is more stubborn because it contains more alpha-receptors than beta.

You Can Get Rid of Belly Fat

It’s important to remember that if you struggle with belly fat, you’re not some genetically cursed individuals who has to do constant special exercises to regain control of your waistline. The truth is that your hormones are probably fine and you shouldn’t have to give up on carbs just to fit into your favourite jeans. Unfortunately, you could be following all the rules of having a tiny tummy, and you may still struggle with extra pounds around your mid-section. This is all simply because the fat in your stomach is different to the fat elsewhere.

Fortunately, however, no matter what your hormones or genetics might indicate, you can have the stomach you’ve always wanted – all you need to do is figure out how to lose belly fat effectively. It’s simpler than you might thing too, all you need to do is reduce your overall body fat percentage.

So, how can you do this? Let’s look at 5 key steps.

1.     Find a Moderately Aggressive Calorie Deficit

When you’re dieting to lose fat, you should be also searching for ways to preserve your health and muscle. A small calorie deficit will yield slower results than a large calorie deficit, but larger deficits also place a risk on your muscle. Fortunately, if you eat enough protein and stick to a regular weightlifting regimen to help drive your fat loss, then you should be able to maintain a 25% calorie deficit to maximise fat loss and reduce your chances of muscle loss.

2.     Use Fasted Training

If you’ve ever tried to learn how to lose belly fat before, then you’ve probably read about the benefits of exercising with an empty stomach. Training when you haven’t eaten is a great way to increase the amount of fat your body burns. In fact, research shows that fasted training helps to increase both fat oxidation and lipolysis rates. On top of that, blood flow around the abdominal region is improved when training in a fasted state – helping to burn fat quicker.

3.     Try High-Intensity Cardio

HIIT is a type of exercise wherein you alternate between periods of low-intensity recovery, and all-out intensity. The idea is to push yourself as hard as possible during high-intensity bouts, and give yourself a chance to catch your breath during the low intensity moments. The bottom line of this strategy is that HIIT is far more effective than low-intensity cardio. Research tells us that HIIT:

  • Decreases your post-exercise appetite
  • Spikes your catecholamine levels
  • Elevates growth hormone levels
  • Increases your muscle ability to burn fat
  • Helps to improve insulin sensitivity
  • Boost your metabolic rate for around 24 hours

4.     Lift Heavy Weights

Compound weight listing is a fantastic way to build muscle and reduce fat. This solution helps you to preserve your strength when you’re working in a calorie deficit, and also dramatically increases your basal metabolic rate for days after your workout. Research even shows that heavy weightlifting can result in burning hundreds more calories than workouts that use lighter weights.

5.     Take Supplements

Importantly, supplements aren’t the ultimate answer to fat loss, but they can help to boost your diet and exercise routine significantly. For example, caffeine can help you to lose weight by increasing the amount of energy you burn throughout the day, while promoting muscle endurance, improving strength, and enhancing anaerobic performance. Additionally, Yohimbine can accelerate fat loss by helping to reduce the activity of alpha-receptors in fat cells.

How to Lose Belly Fat

Losing belly fat doesn’t have to be a magic trick. Using the tips outlined in this article, you should be able to achieve the body of your dreams in no time!

 

Marc Dressen
Personal Trainer London

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How to Fix the Skinny Fat Problem https://www.marcdressen.com/fix-skinny-fat-problem/ https://www.marcdressen.com/fix-skinny-fat-problem/#comments_reply Mon, 20 Mar 2017 16:44:33 +0000 https://www.marcdressen.com/?p=9786 There’s a serious problem in the world of dieting and fitness today – and it’s known as the “skinny fat” physique. For those of you who haven’t heard of this term before, we’ll give you a closer insight soon, but…

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There’s a serious problem in the world of dieting and fitness today – and it’s known as the “skinny fat” physique.

For those of you who haven’t heard of this term before, we’ll give you a closer insight soon, but for now let’s focus on the fact that you can follow every rule for dieting on the internet, work on your cardio for the rest of time, and even do every home workout fitness program with your online fitness coach that’s ever been made, and you can still end up skinny fat.

What is Skinny Fat?

The phrase “skinny fat” is complicated. It’s difficult to understand how someone can be both fat and skinny at the same time. The skinny aspect refers to being able to maintain low levels of lean muscle mass, while the fat is informed by having far too much body fat. When you combine these two problems, you get a “skinny fat” appearance.

One way to understand it is that the less muscle you have, the more likely you are to look skinny fat at low body fat percentages. If you want to get the right body – the body that you find yourself lusting after when you watch movies and read magazines, then you need to build muscle.

If you’re a woman, and you’re worried about working out and looking bulky – don’t be. It takes a lot more than some strength training to give you huge muscles, and many people have to go through years of dedicated training to achieve this kind of look. However, bulkiness can become an issue when fat levels are too high and you attempt to add muscle. An imbalance between fat and muscle is what causes the skinny fat appearance.

How People Become “Skinny Fat”

Although getting the body of your dreams isn’t simple, there is a simple way to make sure that you become skinny fat, and stay that way. This involves:

  • Restricting calories severely
  • Doing too much cardio
  • Not getting enough resistance training

Not being skinny fat means learning how to undo the damage that may have already been done, and preventing further problems. Guys tend to think that their entire focus should be on losing muscle, while girls want to focus on losing more fat – but the truth is that you need to do both!

You’ll need to figure out how to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time if you want to get great results – in a process that is known as body recomposition. So, how can you accomplish this?

1.     Lots of Compound Lifting

Although you’ll need to gain muscle and lose fat to get rid of your skinny fat past, you’ll need to remember that gaining muscle is the most important step. This solution is what will give you the body you’ve always wanted. Heavy compound weightlifting will help you to develop muscles quickly by targeting large groups of muscle at the same time.

Remember to focus on exercises like deadlifts, bench presses, squats, and military presses to make the most out of all your muscles.

2.     Limit Your Cardio

Too many people place too much focus on cardio. The best way to include cardio in your fitness regimen is to keep your total weekly amount as low as possible. The idea should be to do just enough that the fat keeps burning, without going any further.

Most experts believe that the best solution is to stick to no more than thirty minutes of cardio per session, and no more than one and a half to two and a half hours of cardio per week in total.

3.     Learn How to Diet

A bad diet is going to damage even the world’s best workout program. However, the good news is that a great diet isn’t as complicated as you might think. If your caloric intake has been low for a while, then the first step is simply bringing some speed back to your metabolism. If your calorie intake is in a normal range then you can simply start using a proper calorie deficit to lose fat.

Don’t be Skinny Fat

The truth is that there is no real reason to be skinny fat. The less muscle you have, the leaner you’re going to have to be if you want to make sure that you don’t look skinny fat. The simple fix for everyone who suffers from this body type currently is to gain more muscle, and lose more fat!

Marc Dressen
Personal Trainer London

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Read this article in German: Wie man das Phänomen “Schlank und trotzdem fett” in den Griff bekommt

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The Simple Solution for Maintaining Strength and Muscle https://www.marcdressen.com/simple-solution-maintaining-strength-muscle/ https://www.marcdressen.com/simple-solution-maintaining-strength-muscle/#comments_reply Mon, 13 Mar 2017 10:16:49 +0000 https://www.marcdressen.com/?p=9773 Did you know that it’s possible to gain, and maintain your muscle and strength without forcing yourself to visit the gym every day? The secret isn’t something that’s closely guarded by your personal trainer in London, or your online fitness…

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Did you know that it’s possible to gain, and maintain your muscle and strength without forcing yourself to visit the gym every day? The secret isn’t something that’s closely guarded by your personal trainer in London, or your online fitness coach – it’s something that’s much simpler than you might think.

The truth is that many of us have the positive intention of maintaining strength, but life can quickly get in the way and throw some difficult curve balls. From vacations, to complex periods of stress at your job, you might find yourself missing out on the meal prep that you’d grown used to, or failing to find the time for regular reps at your local health club.

Fortunately, even if your routine starts to struggle, these tips could help you maintain strength and muscle with just one or two workouts a week.

The Truth about Staying in Shape

The important thing to know about staying in shape – is that it’s much easier than actually getting into great shape to begin with. Although training up to 6 times a week might be the best way to get your gains on point, you don’t need to work nearly as hard when you’re trying to protect your muscle. In simple terms, once you’ve established the body that you want, you can limit your workouts significantly. It’s all about knowing how to make the most out of the time you have.

The truth is that the frequency and length of your workouts aren’t really what matter. What matters is the type of exercise you do when you actually get a chance. Instead of forcing yourself to do 54 sets a week, you can make your muscles bigger and stronger by forcing yourself to work hard with compound exercises and muscle-maintenance workouts. Here, we’re going to show you what a muscle maintenance workout should look like – depending on whether you have time for one, or two a week.

Muscle Maintenance Twice a Week

If you only have time for two workouts a week, then it’s safe to say you can’t afford to be frivolous with your energy or time. Instead, you need to focus on exercises that are going to recruit the most significant amounts of muscle, including bench presses, deadlifts, squats, and more. Here’s a quick and simple routine to follow:

  1. Barbell Incline bench press – Warm up for three sets of four to six reps
  2. Barbell Row – Three sets of eight to ten reps
  3. One-arm row with dumbbell – three sets of about eight to ten reps
  4. Back barbell squat – warm up for three sets of four to six reps
  5. Deadlifts – three sets of four to six reps
  6. Lying hamstring curl – two sets of eight to ten reps
  7. Leg press – two sets of eight to ten reps

Try to give yourself a three-minute rest between your four to six rep sets, and two minutes of rest between eight to ten rep sets. This should help your muscles fully recuperate so you can give your maximum effort each time.

If you’re limited to one workout a week, use the following routine:

  1. Back barbell squat – 2 sets of four to six reps
  2. Deadlift – 2 sets of four to six reps
  3. Barbell incline bench press – 2 sets of four to six reps
  4. Barbell row – two sets of eight to ten reps
  5. Close-grip press – two sets of eight to ten reps

Maintaining Strength and Muscle

At the end of the day, most of us would like to have the time to workout as frequently as we want to. Unfortuantely, life isn’t quite that simple. The good news is that if your time is limited, you don’t have to give up your physique or your performance. If you can spend a couple of hours each week performing compound exercises and ensuring you maintain your strength, then you should keep the body you have worked so hard to achieve.

 

Marc Dressen
Personal Trainer London

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Read this article in German: Der einfache Weg Muskeln und Kraft zu erhalten

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