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How DNA Testing Helps you Determine Your Fitness Goals

How DNA Testing Helps you Determine Your Fitness Goals

For anyone with a strict workout schedule, you have likely already seen friends attempt the same type of workout only to fall flat where you succeed – and vice versa. It can sometimes be a strange prospect, as you put in the same amount of hard work, yet the results do not always match the work ethic. It is often an unfortunate fact that not everyone handles fitness the same way. What works spectacularly for some might not put so much as a dent in the fitness goals of others, which is undoubtedly frustrating.

It is the reason why some people look for ways to alleviate the situation through genetics. It helps that now you can check all the cheapest deals for DNA kits, as it provides you with an opportunity to understand more about your body, including potential fitness goals. Here are just a few ways how DNA testing can help your search for the ideal workout.

An understanding of your genetics can directly affect overall motivation

Without a doubt, it can be challenging to feel motivated when you see everyone else succeeding with a specific type of workout and diet plan, but when you give it your all, the results are not nearly as satisfactory. Those who are misinformed about the body’s capabilities will likely tell you to work harder and stick to the plan for longer, but it might not necessarily be the solution to your problems.

When you consider that your body is different from everyone else, it is only natural to want to learn more about your capabilities and limits. DNA testing offers a deeper understanding of what you can do, which directly translates to motivation.

Reducing the risk of injury

Injuries during a workout are relatively common, as they are typically due to poor form or a lack of knowledge about a workout routine. However, injuries can also occur even if you do everything right, as some people are more prone to getting hurt than others.

It might not seem like it is possible to figure out whether or not your body is more vulnerable to specific types of exercises, but DNA testing can provide you with the answers you seek. Understanding which workouts to use based on a risk of injury is a fantastic way of reaching your fitness goals.

Understanding post-exercise recovery

Aside from the risk of injury, there is also the post-exercise recovery to consider when it comes to determining fitness goals. Do not be ashamed if it takes you longer to recover from specific workouts compared to your peers. It means your body is likely wired differently, which can lead to longer recovery times or perhaps a different workout altogether.

While it is undoubtedly challenging to push your body to its limits, understanding said limits through DNA testing can save you from potential issues in the future. Not only will it allow you to be healthier in surprising ways, but it can also help you push your limits safely and efficiently.

A Breakdown: What To Look For At A Strongman Event

tire flip

What it is, what’s involved, and how you can start your Strongman journey.

We all have some idea of what Strongman is. Having seen competitions, most likely World’s Strongest Man, on TV when casually flipping through channels, our idea around what this sport entails comes from brief knowledge we have about it. But what Strongman truly is should not be overlooked. A test of sheer strength, maximum endurance, and the utmost will, these athletes train, mostly under the radar, to compete at the some of the world’s biggest events to hold the title of strongest man or woman.

While we all know names of notable strongmen like Hafthor Bjornsson, Brian Shaw, and Zydrunas Savickas, the sport of Strongman consists of a host of athletes at both the professional and amateur level all fighting to either make it pro or become the top in their field. If you are considering or have always wanted to try Strongman, knowing the basics and what it entails is important for you to start your journey.

While Strongman gains a lot of attention, Strongwoman competitions also exist and test the strength and athletic ability of hardworking strongwomen who should not be forgotten. Although still growing in popularity, Strongwomen competitions have appeared as great ways to continue to the build the sport’s growing community.

barbell press

What Is Strongman?

Strongman is a strength sport that differs from your traditional lifts like in powerlifting. It is almost like an homage to the old days of strongmen and performers in the circus where they would test their strength and show-off for the crowd. While Strongman is like any other sport in terms of overall entertainment, these athletes are out to compete and earn the respective title for each competition.

Strongman events test your strength, but also aerobic capabilities (1) and events may see you perform a max deadlift or log press only to attack a stone carry with the next event. For these reasons, Strongman has become a force to be reckoned with when it comes to both strength and endurance, as well as sheer mental will.

Strongman Events

Many events will vary in terms of exactly what the event is, but below are some staples that are traditionally seen in Strongman competitions. Each one unique in their ability to test an athlete, they serve to challenge strongmen and strongwomen in more ways than one.

Atlas Stone

As a classic Strongman event, the Atlas Stones often define a competition and are reserved for the end. This event requires athletes to lift five stone boulders each increasing in weight onto platforms that vary in height. A race format, the athlete who can get all five stones on top of each platform wins the event. As strongmen and strongwomen continue to get stronger, the amount of weight continues to increase.

tire flip

Tire Flip

The tire flip is a favorite of athletes and requires them to flip a heavy tire, the weight set depending on the competition. This event is usually for max amount of repetitions or the fastest time to cover a particular distance. The positioning to complete this event requires serious strength and determination and without proper form, this event can be very difficult.

Log Press

A unique event to Strongman, this event requires athletes to get the log off the floor to an overhead position, fully locking out their arms. The difficulty comes with the log itself, as the grip required and the correct positioning come into question when trying to complete this event.

Circus Dumbbell

The circus dumbbell is used to determine maximum amount of weight lifted. Athletes lift an oversized dumbbell overhead using one arm. The difficulty comes with the various shapes and size of the dumbbell as well as the proper form to actually get the weight overhead. A great event, it tests an athlete’s balance and stability while also looking visually impressive.

Yoke

This event requires athletes to test their overall strength and conditioning ability by standing inside the yoke, a piece of equipment with a bar on your shoulders consisting of four legs with weight carrying capabilities. Set to walk from a starting point to an end point with the fastest time, this event is a staple in Strongman competitions and is also fun to watch.

Stone Carry

The stone carry is a very popular sport for Strongman competitions, and like the yoke, requires a high level of both strength and endurance. Athletes carry stones of a set weight for a set distance. With many variations, the core of this event is a staple for aspiring strongmen to learn. Given the awkward grip of the item, proper form is important to really maximize performance with this event.

barbell press

Starting Your Strongman Journey

For those interested in starting a strongman journey, looking into proper training and a diet plan is more than important. Working the right muscles and also working to improve overall form for various events will pay off as you begin this unique sport (2). While many people think you can eat whatever to see huge gains, it is important to fill yourself with the right foods and nutrients to maximize muscle growth and keep yourself in top physical condition. Picking the right competition to start training for is also key in getting a plan together. Look into local competitions to start because they will not only provide you with great experience, but also help you progress onto bigger competitions.

Wrap Up

Strongman is a unique sport and the respect it deserves is growing with more and more popularity. As a test of sheer strength, aerobic capacity, and serious determination, the sport is challenging and physically very taxing, but one that provides great personal benefits and growth. Working with a solid training plan and proper diet can get you ready to take on whatever event you set out to complete and learning from professionals and those in the sport can really help your overall growth as a strongman or strongwoman. Be a part of this growing community and see what benefits the sport of Strongman has in store for you.

Let us know what you think in the comments below. Also, be sure to follow Generation Iron on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 

*Images courtesy of Envato

References

  1. Bennett, Scott (2008). “Using “Strongman” Exercises in Training”. (source)
  2. Woulfe, Colm; Harris, Nigel; Keogh, Justin; Wood, Matthew (2014). “The Physiology of Strongman Training”. (source)

Toney Freeman Is Confident That Flex Lewis Can Win His First Men’s Open Mr. Olympia

Toney Freeman joins a growing collection of athletes and experts who believe Flex Lewis has a strong shot to win the Mr. Olympia 2020.

One thing that will make the Mr. Olympia 2020 exciting is the fact that Flex Lewis will be competing for the first time in the Men’s Open division. Lewis is a 7x Men’s 212 Olympia champion and announced last year that he would be moving up to Men’s Open after retiring from the Men’s 212. It’s unknown what his heavier physique will look like as he has not competed in any other Men’s Open competitions before his debut at the Olympia. In our latest GI exclusive interview, Toney Freeman joins a growing list of athletes who believe that Flex Lewis can win the Mr. Olympia 2020.

Flex Lewis’ legendary status in the Men’s 212 division has brought him to supernatural levels of myth in the industry. So it was shocking to hear back in 2018 that he would be retiring from the division. He later confirmed that he would move up to the Men’s Open and make his debut at the Mr. Olympia 2020.

Without ever seeing him maintaining a Men’s Open physique, it’s hard to tell exactly how well he will do on the Olympia stage. What we do know is that he was near-perfect for his entire run competing in the Men’s 212 division. If he can bring that same level of physique at a bigger size – he can be a true threat to the Men’s Open Olympia line up.

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Today I have been overwhelmed with so many messages, reposts and tagged images, so blessed to have ALL your support. #Humbled #ThankYou ————————————————————————— @npcnewsonlineofficialpage: It’s Official!!! After months of speculation, one of the year’s most exciting storylines has been confirmed. Flex Lewis will return to the Olympia stage this year in pursuit of bodybuilding’s most coveted title. After winning a record 7 consecutive titles in the Under 212lb division, followed by a year away from competition, Flex is now focused on becoming just the 16th winner in the 56 year history of the Mr. Olympia. “I spent a year away from the stage The year off has given me the chance to prepare myself for the most intense contest prep of my life.” Flex continues, “It’s every bodybuilder’s dream to become Mr. Olympia. This process started the moment I walked off the stage at the 2018 Olympia. I am laser focused on competing against the best of the best this September in Vegas.” At just 36 years old, the Welsh Dragon is still in his competitive prime and fans have often wondered how the former 212 King might stack up next to the biggest and the best in the world. Chief Olympia Officer Dan Solomon adds, “The bodybuilding world has waited a long time for this. Flex is one of the most popular bodybuilders on the planet and we can’t wait to see what he looks like without the limitations of a weight restriction.” According to IFBB Professional League rules, an athlete must qualify to secure a spot in the Olympia lineup. In Flex’s case, his previous wins in the Under 212 division do not qualify him for the event, however, Pro League President Jim Manion has cleared the way, “With 7 wins in the Olympia 212 division, Flex’s situation is unique and we feel a special invitation is appropriate.” explains Manion. With the return of @oksanagrishina to the Fitness Olympia lineup and several other anticipated announcements across all divisions, the 2020 Olympia Weekend is already looking like an epic showdown. – Tickets and exhibitor opportunities for the Septembers 9-12th event are set to go on sale at https://mrolympia.com

A post shared by Flex Lewis™ (@flex_lewis) on

But can he win? That’s the question on a lot of people’s minds as they wait for the Mr. Olympia later this December. Some dismiss him right away, not for lack of talent but for lack of experience in this heavier weight division. Other think he can place in the top 5 but not win the whole show. But there are some who are surprisingly confident that Flex Lewis can win the whole show. Throughout our series of interviews, Jerry Brainum and Hidetada Yamagishi have both stated he has a fair chance to win the whole show. We can now add Toney Freeman onto that list as well.

During our conversation with Freeman, he was almost baffled at his own response to our question. Can Flex Lewis do well at the Mr. Olympia 2020. Freeman believes that Lewis can win it all in his very first Men’s Open appearance. Why exactly does he believe that? Because Freeman has seen Lewis’ physique weighing at a higher weight.

Toney Freeman reflects back to earlier in the decade where he went out on the European tour. This is a typical series of big bodybuilding competitions after the Mr. Olympia. Freeman recalls seeing Flex Lewis weighing at around 230 pounds. What Freeman saw shocked him. With the added weight, Lewis’ physique was still incredible. It’s something that Freeman had rarely seen in his life.

“I’m a tell you, Flex Lewis, I can see him winning. I can see him winning it first time which is a very hard thing to do,” Toney Freeman states in our interview. “But I’ve seen Flex at 228, 232 [pounds], I’ve seen him… We went to Italy to guest pose together. Man, that ain’t what they want bro. Him at 232 is… I’m sorry.”

Vlad then chimes in to clarify. Is Flex Lewis at over 230 pounds too much? Does he not look as conditioned? Freeman responded:

“I’m just saying. There ain’t too many humans that have ever existed that can ever beat that. So I don’t know what he’s coming in at and he’s improved so much since then.”

Freeman goes on to say that Flex Lewis was always “killing himself” to get down to the lower weight limit. It seems Freeman is implying that Lewis was naturally born to build up to a larger size. Perhaps increasing mass won’t be too challenging for him.

Toney Freeman goes on to call Flex Lewis at a higher weight the “craziest thing I’ve ever seen in my life.” Big and exciting words as we all wait with bated breath for his reveal later this December.

You can watch Toney Freeman’s full comments on Flex Lewis in our latest GI Exclusive interview segment above.

Hafthor Bjornsson Spars Pro Boxer and Improves His Endurance

Hafthor Bjornsson is looking sharper.

As time marches forward so too does the boxing training of Hafthor Bjornsson. The retired Icelandic strongman has been polishing his skills in the squared circle in preparation for his boxing match with Eddie Hall.

Bjornsson has come a long way in his training, leaning out and

In his most recent YouTube video, “The Mountain” spoke about his training and his vastly improved cardio.

“I did some sparring sessions this morning,” said Bjornsson. “I’m grinding guys. I’m training four times a week in the morning, and six times a week around two. So I’m training a decent amount and I can feel my endurance increasing, which is good. This morning I did four rounds, three minutes and what was great there is that my opponent was more tired than I, which is good because I’m usually the one who is tired.”

This time Hafthor Bjornsson trained with the only male professional Icelandic pro boxer Kolbeinn Kristinsson. The two did some controlled sparring in the ring, working on technique and tactics.

In the full training video it’s clear that Hafthor Bjornsson is making some improvements. He is looking more and more comfortable in the ring and his movement is getting sharper. Eddie Hall should be prepared for a serious battle come 2021.

For more news and updates, follow Generation Iron on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Managing Editor at Generation Iron, Jonathan Salmon is a writer, martial arts instructor, and geek culture enthusiast. Check out his YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Sound Cloud for in-depth MMA analysis.

Craig Golias Talks His Past As A Teenage Homeless Stripper

Craig Golias details becoming homeless and doing anything possible to get out of it.

Craig Golias is best known as a controversially huge bodybuilder. In recent years, he has maintained a weight of over 300 pounds. This gives him the appearance of a seemingly inhuman hulking mass monster. But before he became a mass monster influencer, he was a 19 year old kid looking to find a place in the world. A streak of bad luck landed him homeless and he was willing to do anything to get out of that situation. In our latest GI Exclusive interview, Craig Golias details his past becoming a male stripper to break free from being homeless.

Craig Golias is featured in our upcoming documentary Bigorexia (hitting digital this Friday October 16th. Pre-order here!). While that focuses more on his current situation and obsession with being the largest bodybuilder on earth, there is much more to his story that we couldn’t fit all in one film. That’s why we connected via video chat to take a deeper dive into his past and how he became the bodybuilder we know today.

In this exclusive interview segment, Craig Golias looks back at his time as a male stripper. It was a job he took part time out of necessity. He was 19 years old and suddenly found himself homeless. Living from his car for over three weeks – he realized that he was smart enough to get much more out of life. The next day, he dedicated himself to not only finding one job but earning himself three different jobs.

He succeeded. His first two part-time jobs were working for Pepsi and also a bouncer. His third job was working weekends as a male stripper. Between those three jobs he was able to save a large amount of money. He eventually found a place to live properly and even earned so much cash that he bought a Mustang convertible.

Not only that, but he was finally able to put more focus on the gym. He was able to pay consistently for a gym membership and also finally afford supplements to help further improve his physique. This was the springboard that allowed him to dive deeper into the world of bodybuilding and become the athlete and influencer we know today.

But what was his experience like as a young male stripper? Craig Golias admits that it was pretty easy as he simply leaned into his muscular physique. He claimed that he mostly flexed and let women touch his muscles. By his own words, Golias didn’t, “I didn’t like dance like Kai Greene shit or whatever.”

While some individuals in America find the profession of stripping to be immoral or simply degrading, Golias’ story showcases just how beneficial the profession can be to those looking to change their lives. For Craig Golias, it was a stepping stone using the skills he had available. For others, it can be a full career – a very lucrative one at that.

You can watch Craig Golias’ full comments on his past experience being homeless and being a male stripper in our latest GI Exclusive interview segment above! You can also pre-order Bigorexia on digital today. Available October 16th! Click here or the banner below to reserve your digital copy.

Bigorexia


*Header images courtesy of Craig Golias’ Instagram

Regan Grimes Reflects on Disappointing Showing at the Europa Pro, Posts Day After Photos

Regan Grimes addresses his most recent showing.

Sometimes things just simply don’t go as planned. We strategize and try to be as tactical as possible in training prep. But at times the more we lean on our plans the more likely they are to topple over.

Regan Grimes saw his plans fall apart in Spain.

With so much riding on topping this past weekend’s Europa Pro, Regan Grimes was looking for a big showing. Unfortunately, Regan Grimes wasn’t able to crack the top three.

Coming in at fourth place, Regan Grimes was unable to earn the points necessary to qualify for the Olympia.

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. Regroup and planning my next move! Will keep you all posted on what that will be! Huge thanks to everyone who has supported me we aren’t done yet!”

What did you think of Regan Grimes and his Europa Pro performance?

For more news and updates, follow Generation Iron on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Managing Editor at Generation Iron, Jonathan Salmon is a writer, martial arts instructor, and geek culture enthusiast. Check out his YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Sound Cloud for in-depth MMA analysis.

Header image courtesy of Instagram

NAS National Championships Athletes To Watch: Justin Kealhofer

Justin Kealhofer

Can this Georgia fireman and strongman move through this event to take the Super Heavyweight title?

Justin Kealhofer spends his days in the firehouse, protecting his community of Newnan, Georgia from whatever emergency may strike. As a go-getter, he owns his own lawn care business, so when not suited up in his gear, you can find him outside and staying active. Always doing something to better himself and the lives of those around him, Justin keeps his plate plenty full. But what those don’t see out of this humble and dignified athlete is the passion that lies deep within, the drive to compete and succeed in a sport he loves: Strongman.

From an early age, Justin loved football. Starting in the second grade working to a brief career in college, lifting weights was always a staple for him to stay in shape and keep his performance high on the field. While upper body strength always came naturally, it was in middle school when he started to take lifting seriously. By the end of high school, Justin was putting up nearly 450 pounds on the bench press alone.

Justin Kealhofer

But his Strongman journey would be one of chance and in 2015, he would find himself enthralled in a sport that 5 years later would see him competing for the Super Heavyweight title at the NAS National Championships and the opportunity to earn his pro card. A local CrossFit gym held their own annual version of a Strongman competition and while Justin watched a friend compete, he wondered what the amateur world of Strongman looked like. After learning of the potential opportunities, he entered the competition the following year and placed second. For Justin, the rest is history. A new sport and passion blossomed and his natural ability combined with his new found desire to explore this new world led him to start his Strongman journey.

Competing in powerlifting competitions as well, he earned the title of World’s Strongest Firefighter after competing in the 2019 SPF/ISPF World Championships where he totaled over 2,100 pounds. Powering through a foot injury, he proved that mind over matter truly is no myth and sticks to that mantra in all facets of each competition.

Justin’s Routine

Training

To train for strongman events, Justin focuses on incline exercises and the incline press is the biggest building block for him to increase his overhead press strength. Working with coach Mike Westerling, the 12-week training programs designed are beneficial to make the necessary changes in his training and have proved to be great for his strength gains in both pressing lifts as well as the deadlift. Core strength is important for any athlete, and Justin finds that building such strength works best for him when training through lifts. He won’t use a lifting belt on certain exercises and what that does is forces him to rely on proper form with an engaged core in order to avoid injury, but through this, serious gains in core strength are made. So while you won’t find him doing crunches or other isolation exercises, this strongman works to activate his core in other ways to provide for a solid foundation and increased strength to keep him stable and avoiding injury.

Although his training week consists mainly of three days, he makes the most out of each day to progress his Strongman career and overall performance. Working one day of upper body and another day of lower body, it is Saturday where Justin finds himself in the gym for 4-5 hours working with fellow strongmen to train for events in a competitive, yet supportive environment. Working in a gym in North Atlanta, Justin focuses on the implements and specifics that strongman requires to keep himself in top shape and building his overall work load and strength with sport specific lifts required to succeed.

Justin Kealhofer

Rehab

Recovery and rehab are key for Justin, for while training is obviously required to build and maintain overall strength, it is that pre- and post- work that keeps him healthy and able to perform. While traditional techniques like foam rolling are essential for him, his weekly visits to the chiropractor and massage therapist provide huge benefits to keep him relaxed and feeling good for whatever for the next day’s lift may bring. One interesting tool he uses is rather unconventional but is one he finds to be the most beneficial. While some may not believe it, a car buffer machine is something he keeps at the ready at all times. Battery powered and portable, this machine builds up heat and the flat surface provides for overall coverage, while the edge works to target specific spots of pain. A useful machine to not only wax a car, it has the unusual benefit of loosening up those tight muscles to keep Justin loose and ready for any challenge.

Nutrition

Nutrition is of the highest importance to Justin and when it came time to really nail down a solid nutrition plan, he worked with the highly sought after Nathan Payton for all of the nutritional knowledge needed to put him on the right track. Payton has worked with professional strongmen and athletes and is a source of true knowledge when it comes to eating well for whatever your intended goal is. Working to lose weight, while also increasing strength, Justin found great success with the methods put before him. His diet consists largely of protein shakes, chicken and beef, and white rice every few hours throughout the day. Cheat days were something he found to work well for him and as those “dirty” foods entered his body, his metabolism would kick into overdrive to burn all of that out of his system resulting in beneficial results for weight loss.

When it comes to supplements, Justin uses Orange TRIad from Controlled Labs to aid in joint, digestion, and immune health. He first started taking this for joint support and while the pain he experienced is now gone, this supplement is one he swears by for all the benefits included. On top of this, he also takes fish oil, CoQ10, and vitamin D3.

Justin Kealhofer

NAS National Championships

Going into this weekend’s event, he feels that his strength is at a high level, but more importantly, his conditioning, which has typically been his Achilles heel, is at an all-time high. An event like the stone carry, which requires a high level of endurance, can be a make or break for strongmen competing at any level and while this may be his most challenging event, Justin feels his versatility and adaptability coupled with his increased training has prepared him well for such an event.

His bread and butter event will be the log press, and after coming off a world record in the block press in January, Justin prides himself on his ability to thrive in any overhead event. Whether it be pressing a log, axle, block, or stone, this lift has come naturally for him and makes him a threat in any overhead event. But regardless of strength, the mental game is the most challenging part of any competition, and rightfully so. Learning to prioritize the nerves comes with experience and although there will be plenty of them, once that first event concludes, the nerves will fade, and pure enjoyment kicks in. He is always dialed in and ready to perform but makes sure to enjoy the weekend and everything his process has laid before him.

Justin’s Journey Unfolded

From his first competition back in 2015, Justin has embarked on a journey not even he could have foreseen. His training has not come without its fair share of injuries, but the experiences gained and the connections he has made have been more than memorable for him coming into this event. Earning his pro card will advance him to bigger competitions for the sport he loves and with the opportunity to compete at America’s Strongest Man in November on the line, this event holds a lot of promise for Justin in his quest for greatness. While he may be going into this event with the same traditions, the same motions, and the same confidence he’s always had, this event holds the key to boosting this world’s strongest firefighter to the next level.

For information on the NAS National Championships including event details, ticket prices, and more, click here!

Let us know what you think in the comments below. Also, be sure to follow Generation Iron on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 

*Images courtesy of Justin Kealhofer Instagram

Sixteen High-Fiber Foods To Add To Your Diet

Bodybuilding fitness diet nutrition fiber

The Many Benefits Of A High-Fiber Diet

Fiber is a non-digestible carbohydrate that is found in beans, legumes, vegetables, fruits, and grains.

Consuming enough fiber each day is imperative for maintaining good health and function. Unfortunately, however, many individuals fail to consume enough.

This article will provide detail on sixteen excellent high-fiber foods that you should look to incorporate into your diet to boost your fiber intake.

Bodybuilding fitness diet nutrition fiberThe Health Benefits Of Fiber

Before moving on to the high-fiber foods, let’s first consider some of the health benefits associated with increased fiber intake.

1) Enhanced Digestive Health

Fiber plays an important role in regulating digestion and causing regular bowel movements. Failing to consume enough fiber may lead to constipation or diarrhea.

Furthermore, consuming ample fiber every day may also enhance gut health as the consumption of specific fibers can promote the growth of good bacteria (1)

2) Decreases Cholesterol Levels

Cholesterol is a waxy-like substance that the body requires for maintaining the structure of cells and transport, amongst other things.

Having a high level of a type of cholesterol, known as low-density lipoproteins (LDL), can increase your risk of developing heart disease. However, consuming adequate fiber has been found to reduce LDL levels (2). 

3) Better Blood Sugar Regulation

Research on high fiber consumption has indicated that it may also help to regulate blood sugar levels and prevent them from spiking (3).

Based on these findings, it has been suggested that consuming plenty of fiber may reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

strong man

4) Body Weight Management

For those who aspire to lose weight, eating a lot of fiber is recommended. This is partly due to the fact that fiber can suppress appetite and leave you feeling fuller for longer.

It is thought that fiber draws in water in the intestine which consequently slows the absorption rate of nutrients thus increasing feelings of fullness (4). 

5) Reduced Disease Risk

A combination of the above health benefits combine to reduce the risk of death from cardiovascular, infectious, and respiratory-related diseases. (5).

Sixteen High-Fiber Foods

This section will recommend sixteen foods that you should consider adding to your diet due to the fact that they contain a large amount of fiber.

High Fiber Beans and Legumes

1) Split Peas

With 16.3 grams of fiber per cup, increasing the amount of split peas you eat can have a positive impact on your total fiber intake.

Split peas are a highly versatile food which can commonly be found in dishes such as dhals and soups.

There are two main varieties of split peas – green and yellow. Green split peas tend to be sweeter and less starchy than the yellow variety.

2) Lentils

A cup of lentils contains 15.6 grams of fiber. In addition to being high in fiber, lentils also contain a great amount of protein which plays an essential role in growth and repair.

Like split peas, lentils can be used in a variety of ways and are common ingredients in salads and soups.

There are different lentils types including brown, green, yellow, red, Puy, and Beluga. Be aware that the fiber content varies slightly between each type.

fiber foods

3) Black Beans

As well as being high in essential micronutrients such as manganate, folate, and thiamine, a cup of black beans contains 15 grams of fiber.

These nutrients can have an array of positive effects on bone, muscle, and heart health while also significantly reducing the risk of developing disease.

In summer, a black bean salad goes brilliantly with basically all foods that are cooked on the grill while in winter, considering adding them to vegetarian chili.

4) Lima Beans

While lima beans may not be the most popular choice for some, they do contain a great amount of fiber and can be used in many different ways in the kitchen.

Lima beans, sometimes referred to as “butter beans”, contain 13.2 grams of fiber per cup. Adding them to a range of meals can quickly and easily bump up your total fiber intake.

As well as being one of the main ingredients in succotash, lima beans can be added to soups, stews, and hummus, and salads.

High Fiber Vegetables

5) Artichokes

This strange-looking vegetable is loaded with key nutrients and antioxidants and also contains 10.3 grams of fiber per cup.

As well as potentially improving digestive health, artichokes have been associated with positively impacting cholesterol levels and blood pressure.

Artichokes are great boiled, braised, stuffed, and baked. They also go well with a variety of other foods including dairy products, chicken, seafood, and eggs.

fiber foods

6) Peas

Peas are particularly high in vitamins A and C which play important roles in the repair and maintenance of body tissues. In addition, per cup, peas provide 8.8 grams of fiber.

The simplest way to cook peas is to simmer them in slightly salted water for approximately five minutes. Pureeing peas is another commonly used method in cooking.

One of the most well-known ingredients to pair with peas is fresh mint. However, peas also go extremely well with onion and ham too. 

7) Broccoli

Along with lima beans, broccoli is another controversial food that some seem to love while others despise.

Similarly to peas, broccoli provides an abundance of vitamins A and C and also contains 5.1 grams of fiber per cup.

Often when cooking broccoli, only the florets are used and the stems discarded. However, the stems are edible and can actually be used in a variety of different snacks and meals.

fiber foods

8) Brussel Sprouts

With 4.1 grams of fiber per cup, Brussel sprouts are another vegetable that you should consider consuming more often.

Brussel sprouts are particularly high in vitamin K which plays a crucial role in bone health and blood clotting.

Sprouts are cruciferous vegetables that are typically cleaned, cut, and cooked to accompany a main course. They can go with a range of different foods such as chicken, pork, duck, tofu, and mustard.

High Fiber Fruits

9) Raspberries

As well as being low in calories, raspberries contain many vital nutrients and antioxidants that are critical for good health. They also provide 8 grams of fiber per cup.

It is very straightforward to add raspberries to your diet as they can easily be added to your favorite breakfast, lunch, and dinner dishes.

Considering the sweet taste that raspberries have, they are mainstays of many deserts. Adding a cup of raspberries to your deserts is a quick and easy way to get a fiber boost.

fiber foods

10) Blackberries

Blackberries are an absolute staple of summer. As well as tasting great, they can bring a number of health benefits which can partly be associated with the high fiber content.

There are 7.6 grams of fiber found in a cup of blackberries. In addition, this fruit is packed with vitamin C, vitamin K, and manganese. 

Although commonly used in desserts, fruits such as blackberries are becoming more popular in savory foods such as salads, sauces, and even sandwiches!

11) Avocados

While you may not consider avocado to be a fruit, it technically is a single-seeded fruit. The avocado is held in high regard by health-enthusiasts and for good reason!

As well as having a variety of culinary uses, the avocado contains 6.7 grams of fiber per cup. Furthermore, it contains healthy fats that can protect against heart-related diseases.

Avocados can be used in a number of different ways and are commonly eaten with eggs, toast, pasta, and more. They can also easily be added to salads, soups, and smoothies.

12) Pears

At 4.6 grams per cup, pears are another excellent source of fiber. However, be aware there are many pear varieties and, therefore, the fiber content may differ.

In terms of health, as well as providing fiber, pears also contain folate, niacin, and vitamin A. These substances play an important role in energy synthesis and cellular function.

Pears go well with a number of dairy products such as mascarpone and creme fraise. However, they can also be paired with savory foods such as pork and nuts.

High Fiber Grains

13) Bran Flakes

Bran flakes a great source of fiber with one serving of bran flakes providing approximately 7 grams of fiber. 

Additionally, bran flakes are also highly nutritious and are rich in plant compounds and key minerals such as niacin, iron, vitamin B6, riboflavin, thiamin, and folic acid.

While a bowl of bran flakes in the morning is a great way to start the day, adding them to smoothies, yogurts, and desserts can help to increase your fiber intake.

fiber foods

14) Wholewheat Pasta

Although perhaps less popular than white pasta, wholewheat pasta has many additional health benefits.

While white pasta contains approximately 2.5 grams of fiber per cup, wholewheat pasta contains more than double at 6.3 grams per cup!

Pasta is one of the most versatile foods around. Consider cooking a wholewheat pasta-based meal that combines a number of the aforementioned high-fiber foods. 

15) Pearled Barley

Barley is a grain that comes in a number of different forms – pearled, hulled, barley flakes, and barley grit.  This grain is widely consumed and is commonly found in slices of bread and cereals. 

As well as containing 6 grams of fiber per cup, pearled barley also nourishes the body with key micronutrients such as manganese, thiamine, riboflavin, and selenium.

When it comes to cuisine, barley is commonly associated with soups, such as Scotch broth. However, barley can be used in many different dishes including risotto, salads, and stews.

fiber foods

16) Oatmeal

When it comes to a nutritious and delicious breakfast, you need to look no further than oatmeal. Not only is it quick and easy to make, it can be combined with a variety of other high-fiber foods.

While oatmeal contains a modest 4 grams of fiber per cup, adding other high-fiber products such as fruits and nuts can significantly increase the fiber content.

Oatmeal can also be added to baked goods such as muffins, granola bars, and cookies to boost fiber intake further.

Four Simple Ways To Add Fiber To Your Meals

There are a number of ways that will allow you to quickly and effectively boost your fiber intake. This section will highlight four simple methods that can have a positive impact on the fiber content of meals.

Flaxseeds

Although not mentioned in the previous section, seeds are an excellent and versatile source of fiber. To put this in perspective, just two tablespoons of flaxseeds contains 3.8 grams of fiber.

Therefore, adding flaxseeds to your oatmeal, baked goods, and yogurts is a simple way of boosting your total fiber intake. Additionally, consider breading fish or chicken using flaxseeds.

fiber foods

Chia Seeds

Leading on from the previous point, chia seeds contain an even greater amount of fiber than flaxseeds at 5.5 grams per tablespoon!

When combined with water, these seeds create a paste that makes a great addition to many smoothies and desserts.

Carrots and Spinach

Although carrots and spinach don’t contain the same amount of fiber as the vegetables mentioned above, they can easily be grated down and added to a variety of meals to boost fiber content.

Food Processors

Food processors allow you to puree a number of these foods together to substantially increase fiber content. Consider pureeing a variety of cooked vegetables before adding them to sauces and stews.

Final Word

It is clear that consuming enough fiber per day is of great importance and something that should be prioritized. By incorporating a number of the foods outlined in this article, you can substantially increase your fiber intake and consequently experience these health benefits.

References:

1 – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22555633/ Parnell, Jill A.; Reimer, Raylene A. (2012-01). “Prebiotic fiber modulation of the gut microbiota improves risk factors for obesity and the metabolic syndrome”. Gut Microbes. 3 (1): 29–34. doi:10.4161/gmic.19246. ISSN 1949-0984. PMC 3827018. PMID 22555633.

2 – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9925120/ Brown, L.; Rosner, B.; Willett, W. W.; Sacks, F. M. (1999-01). “Cholesterol-lowering effects of dietary fiber: a meta-analysis”. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 69 (1): 30–42. doi:10.1093/ajcn/69.1.30. ISSN 0002-9165. PMID 9925120.

3 – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18287346/ Weickert, Martin O.; Pfeiffer, Andreas F. H. (2008-03). “Metabolic effects of dietary fiber consumption and prevention of diabetes”. The Journal of Nutrition. 138 (3): 439–442. doi:10.1093/jn/138.3.439. ISSN 1541-6100. PMID 18287346.

4 – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10721886/ Burton-Freeman, B. (02 2000). “Dietary fiber and energy regulation”. The Journal of Nutrition. 130 (2S Suppl): 272S–275S. doi:10.1093/jn/130.2.272S. ISSN 0022-3166. PMID 10721886.

5 – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5731843/ McRae, Marc P. (2017-12). “Dietary Fiber Is Beneficial for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease: An Umbrella Review of Meta-analyses”. Journal of Chiropractic Medicine. 16 (4): 289–299. doi:10.1016/j.jcm.2017.05.005. ISSN 1556-3707. PMC 5731843. PMID 29276461.

Debunked: The Top 5 Myths About Six Pack Abs

Generation Iron Exercise Guide Abs

BroScience Revealed…

Abs. One of the most common tell tales of a physically fit individual. While we know it comes down to body fat and genetics, we still can’t help but be drawn to a tight set of perfectly ripped abdominals.

Perhaps its nature, perhaps it’s nurture, but even in 2020 people are looking for the perfect formula for the ever elusive 6 pack abs. While there are 8 packs, and sometimes even more, the 6er has always been a standard for a gold standard for a good looking body. Without it you’re like  a burger without fries, always missing something. But with lots of buzz comes lots of rumors, and the 6- pack has been a hot topic for a long time.

Some myths start as excuses, some start as perceived truths that have been found out over time, and some are just to save face Either way they’re ruining your gains, and the gains of people around you. Here are some of the 5 top myths about 6-pack abs.

Generation Iron Exercise Guide Abs Myth #1 Carbs Are Bad

For the last couple of years carbs have been getting a bad rap. Damn near every fad diet condemns it, and carb loading is all but a thing of the past. What they’re not telling you is complex carbs are good, it’s the simple carbs that give you your spare tire. Things such as bread, processed sugars, sports drinks, and cereals, are all considered simple carbs because they break down easily. Try eating legumes, nuts, and and vegetables instead. All the benefits, none of the drama.

Myth #2 You Can Substitute A Bad Diet For A More Strenuous Workout

There’s an old adage that “abs are made in the kitchen”, and while we’re in the process of throwing out old theories, this one is actually true. Your diet is Quintessential to sculpted abs. The reason we say “sculpted” is because that’s exactly what you’re doing, trying to reveal the art surrounded by subcutaneous fat. So put down the Twinkies, and pack on the extra reps instead.

Myth #3  Eat Right, Work Out, The End…Right?

Wrong. While eating right and working out are definitely essentials, so is rest. By rest we don’t only mean Sleep, which is also a big component, but rest in the sense of being at ease. A state of being without stress. Stress through not sleeping right or a hectic lifestyle can actually build up cortisol levels which make it harder to lose stubborn fat. Take a walk, watch a movie, meditate…just do what you love.

Myth #4 You Can Shape Your Abs

The harsh reality about abs is what you get is what you got. You can’t add an extra pack or change your symmetry. Some abs line up, some don’t, all you can do is do the best with what you were given. However, you can improve muscle thickness and abdominal imbalances with a good workout routine.

Myth #5 The Be All And End All Of All Ab Exercises

While not all ab exercises are created equal, there’s no end all be all of ab exercises. The truth is your abs will get use to even the best exercises over time if you do them consistently. Switch up your exercises and the angles they’re performed to promote new stimulus and muscle confusion.

Are you underwhelmed with you ab development? Let us know by hitting up our comments below or head on over to our official Facebook and Twitter.

Putting Up Big Numbers, Simeon Panda is on the Road to Benching 500Lbs

Simeon Panda is gaining some solid strength.

For many bodybuilders setting new personal records in terms of weight isn’t usually a pronounced goal. While lifting heavy is a priority, many bodybuilders are focused more on their aesthetic results than the numbers on the bar. But the desire to bolster strength is one that some athletes simply can’t deny.

Simeon Panda is one of those kinds of athletes.

Looking to bench press 500lbs, Simeon Panda has been hard at work in the gym. Day in and day out, week after week, Simeon Panda has been improving his strength steadily.

Now as he recently benched 435lbs, the fitness influencer is looking to join the 500 club. His recent Instagram video shows a dedicated and determined Simeon Panda lifting some serious weight in the gym.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

435 (197kg) shot up like a piston? then 405 (183kg) for 3.75 reps ? shout to the big benchers I follow* @mikerashid @dundeal @big_ty_russ @bigneechi 500lbs (227kg) is coming! ? ⁣ ⁣ *@larrywheels not included regular humans only ?⁣ ⁣ ? Sign up to the @elimin8challenge for your chance to win a share of $6,000 ? just to get in the best shape of your life ? Head to Elimin8.com Link in bio⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ? Follow @innosupps INNOSUPPS.COM ⚡️ for the supplements I use??⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ? Be sure to SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube channel: YouTube.com/simeonpanda ?⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ Many more ? home workouts all FREE at Youtube.com/simeonpanda ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣ #simeonpanda #benchpress

A post shared by SIMEONPANDA.COM (@simeonpanda) on

The influencer went on to challenge a number of other athletes like Big Neechi and Mike Rashid, though he left out Larry Wheels who he considers to be inhuman.

Are you impressed with Simeon Panda and his bench numbers?

For more news and updates, follow Generation Iron on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Managing Editor at Generation Iron, Jonathan Salmon is a writer, martial arts instructor, and geek culture enthusiast. Check out his YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Sound Cloud for in-depth MMA analysis.

Header image courtesy of Instagram

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