Thursday, August 27, 2009

Cardio gets your heart pumped now – but what about later?

Cardio burns calories immediately and gets your heart working. But did you know that different kinds of cardio can work your heart differently? And did you know that working your heart differently has different effects on your blood pressure? It’s true.

A Belgian study tested the effects of two different kinds of cardio exercise. Participants exercised over three 10-week periods, and during the first and third periods, they did either higher or lower intensity exercise. In between, the participants were sedentary. The only thing that the researchers changed was the intensity of the exercise the participants performed for one hour per week three times a week.

Before, during and after the study, researchers measured systolic blood pressure (SBP) and heart rate (HR). They found that endurance training at both lower and higher intensity significantly affected systolic blood pressure levels, but – and here’s the important conclusion – chronic cardio exercise did not significantly reduce systolic blood pressure. They also found that if you want to lower your resting heart rate, you need to do high-intensity training.

So here’s your FUSION FACTOID: If you want to do cardio, know how it affects your heart. If you want to lower your blood pressure, increase intensity. To lower your resting heart rate, increase intensity. And, the research seems to recommend avoiding excessive bouts of long cardio, as this has no effect.

Source: Cornelissen VA, Verheyden B, Aubert AE, Fagard RH. Effects of aerobic training intensity on resting, exercise and post-exercise blood pressure, heart rate and heart-rate variability. J Hum Hypertens. 25 June 2009; doi: 10.1038/jhh.2009.51.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The National Roller Coaster.

What a roller coaster ride it was for the FUSION team this past weekend at the 2009 CBBF Nationals in Vancouver. There was a lot of public support for Dave Naugler going into this event. His prep was spot-on and it looked like he was on his way to a top placing. Backstage there was magic in the air as Dave began the countdown to his appearance. When he took off his team suit in the staging room everyone went silent…he looked amazing! But something happened…between that time and when he got onstage Dave’s physique changed slightly and he missed the mark. He wasn’t put in the top 6 callout and this ended his bid for the 2009 CBBF Championships. We were all crushed and confused…but that’s bodybuilding.

On the up side, FUSION has recently signed a 21 year old powerhouse named Darnell Collins. He has only been training for 2 years but he is truly one of those guys you know has greatness knocking at his door. At his young age, he has a well balanced physique with plenty of densely striated muscle…maturity beyond his years. It would appear the judges thought so too because they awarded him the title of Junior Mr. Canada. Way to go Darnell and welcome to the FUSION team!

To conclude; bodybuilding is bodybuilding and no one can predict the out come. FUSION is extremely proud of Dave and Darnell for representing the company so well and for inspiring others. Next stop…WBFF World Championships.

Here’s a pic of Darnell with his hardware…see what I mean :-)


Monday, August 24, 2009

Pete loves sausage.

As we mentioned earlier, Furious Pete Czerwinski, bodybuilder and world-class competitive eater, would be doing a stunt for Sausage Fest, a BBQ concert put on by Toronto radio station 102.1 The Edge.

What did he do? He ate 20 Sausages in 2 minutes 30 seconds.

Yummmm. That's a lot of protein.

Hulk no dance.

Uh-oh Lou Ferrigno is angry, and we don't like him when he's angry. We mentioned before that Lou was interested in being on the upcoming season of Dancing with The Stars, but it looks like Lou didn't make the cut.

And he was pissed.

His wife/manager Carla had this to say, "The producers told us he would have made an excellent contestant, and when you compare him to some of the 'so-called' celebrities they picked, it just does not make any sense at all," she told Radar Online. "[The producers] never even had the class to give Lou a call and tell him that he was not going to be chosen. Lou is an American icon."

I can understand why they're upset. To be passed over is one thing, but to have a nobody like Ashley Hamilton (look him up, I know I had too) get on the show, it leaves you wondering what really went on during that selection process.

Then again, maybe it's the fault of this leaked audition tape.

Just kidding! Please Lou, and you too Carla, don't get angry at me!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Eat protein at Joe’s

What's the mark of a serious bodybuilder in training? It ain't muscles – nope, that would be too easy. Give up? It's a cooler. Eating can be a real drag, and of course, all that cooking isn't much fun either. Ah, for a world where there's a restaurant for bodybuilders on every corner instead of a McD's. While that isn't the case, we can at least raise a glass (of whey) to those places that do make a menu with the musclemen in mind.

The granddaddy of them all has to be The Firehouse in Venice, California, not too far from Muscle Beach. Every major bodybuilder has traveled to the mecca of Muscle Beach at least once, and chances are, once he was done, he went to The Firehouse to eat. (Hint, hint to the bodybuilding tourist.) Love it or hate it (they apparently have sushi on the menu now), you have to acknowledge its place in history.

If you're living in New Jersey or New York, you have some great joints to eat at. First, you can stop in at Muscle Maker Grill to get your protein and complex carb fix. Now with eleven locations in Jersey and more planned, they may not be McD's, but they're trying. Their menu has everything a growing bodybuilder needs, including whey protein smoothies, wraps and entrees such as lemon pepper chicken with steamed broccoli on brown rice. Or, if you find yourself in Manhattan, stop by The Pump and build the perfect meal of steamed veggies, protein, a tasty sauce and some good fats.

If you find yourself on the other coast, I've heard good things about Rocky Cola Cafe. Though their website seems to be on the fritz, I've heard this Fifties-diner-style restaurant has a pretty solid bodybuilder menu. You'll find a location in Montrose, California, and another in Hermosa Beach.

Going to Florida? Get your chicken and rice on at either Chick-N-Grill or Chicken Kitchen. Both menus are similar: Order a Chop at one or a Chop-Chop at the other, and you'll get grilled chicken with rice (you'll want brown, of course), and if you like, you can add beans, tomatoes and some less-than-healthy choices.

That's just a taste of the bodybuilder-friendly restaurants out there. I know there are hundreds more, and that's not counting the places that do requests. Guess what? I'd like to hear them all. Where do you go in your hometown that has a specific menu for gym rats like us? Let me know.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

FUSION Athlete, Jodi Boam, Kills It at the Nationals.

Jodi Boam is such a phenom. Only in her early twenties, she’s been able to skyrocket onto the national stage and make a commanding presence, taking on girls a decade older than her. Jodi's dynamic gymnastic ability combined with a fine-tuned physique nabbed her 3rd in the fitness short class. Putting the icing on the cake, she also walked away with the best posing routine. She is the first female athlete FUSION has sponsored and we are stoked to see this young star do even more damage next year at the CBBF Nationals hit Toronto.

Congrats Jodi!


Monday, August 17, 2009

Last pic of Dave Naugler before the Nationals.

Well, there's no doubt that Dave looks a little zoned-out here, but that's what it's like at this stage of the bodybuilding game. Dave is only 5 days out from stepping onstage at the CBBF Nationals and what an impressive prep it's been. Everyone at FUSION if proud of him. We'll be there cheering him on and taping the experience for an up and coming episode of Being A Bodybuilder. is the last pic of Dave before we see him in Vancouver...STOKED!


Friday, August 14, 2009

Dave Naugler - 1 week out from the Nationals!

What a journey it's been for Dave. It's been almost a year of dedication to his diet and training regimin that bring him to this point. In just over a weeks time Dave will be stepping onstage at the Canadian Nationals...think he'll be the newest pro? Well, we think he's a top-runner and we'll all be there cheering for him.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Can your heart predict your performance and growth?

You know that your heart is important – just see how far you get in the gym without it. But aside from the basics of life and death, your heart matters a lot more than you might think: It ultimately determines your muscle growth!

Researchers in South Africa wanted to see if they could link changes in heart rate recovery to exercise performance. To test this, they put two groups of participants through a series of intense workouts.

After analyzing the data, the researchers found that the rate at which your heart recovers from exercise can be used to monitor and, in some cases, predict your overall recovery. And this will help you establish an optimal training load/recovery ratio that can have you hitting peak performance and muscle growth with every rep!

So here’s your FUSION FACTOID: Start paying attention to your heart, because if your heart leaves the party early, your workout quality will tank and your potential gains will evaporate. So here’s what you do: Monitor your heart rate and time between sets to see how long it takes you to catch your breath for more work. Make sure you’re not working too hard, but work as hard as you need to. Do this and you’ll never be overtrained – just overgrown!

Source: Lamberts RP, Swart J, Capostagno B, Noakes TD, Lambert MI. Heart rate recovery as a guide to monitor fatigue and predict changes in performance parameters. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2009 Jul 3 [Epub ahead of print].


The team at Lift It Buddy decided to do a review on SHUT•EYE; very cool. Here’s what they thought: REVIEW


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Leah Wynne Snags the Hardware.

FUSION athlete Leah Wynne decided to step back onstage after a few years off and I bet she's glad she did. Leah walked away with second place in the Natural Pro Bodybuilding division. Here's what she had to say about the experience:

"I've been off the stage for 4 years, and in the past year I've recovered from a major car accident, ongoing health issues and a complete career change. Talk about stress! If not for the recovery assistance and sleep enhancement from FUSION's supplements, I might not have made it through to the end of my prep!"

Congrats Leah!


Monday, August 10, 2009

Managing your time

Life is busy. Working, maintaining a personal life (whether you’re dating or have a family), making meals, doing other chores, having a little fun, getting a little downtime and getting enough sleep can easily eat up the average person’s time. Now try to add in everything you also need to do as a bodybuilder, and it feels impossible. You don’t want parts of your life to suffer, so how do you fit everything in? Time management. Here are a few recommendations on how you can create a little balance and get more done.

Find wasted time

Before you can figure out how to make more time, you need to understand how you use your time. Spend one week recording how you use your time. Once an hour, jot down what you’ve done. Chances are that you’ll be surprised at what you’re spending your time on. Your TV and computer are likely wasting huge amounts of time that you could be focusing elsewhere.

Prioritize your tasks

Now that you know what you’re doing in a week and how much time you’re spending doing it, figure out what you should be doing. Prioritize everything you want to achieve in each day, week and month. Start with the mandatory things, such as sleeping, cooking and working, and then add everything else you’d like to get done, in order of importance. Assign how much time each item takes.

Combine activities

Consider how you can combine activities of similar priorities together to save time. Can you stop at the grocery store on your way home from work, thus saving you a trip? Can you do your cardio or warm-up by jogging to the gym instead of driving and then spending time on a treadmill? Get creative with the possible combinations.

Use teamwork

Get the people in your life working together to give you more time. Let them know what you’re trying to do, and chances are that they’ll be willing to help. They can help keep you motivated and offer suggestions on how you can save time, and together, you can combine your efforts. Instead of going to the supplement store yourself every few weeks, you and a friend can take turns, thus saving you a trip.

Tighten up your activities

Consider how you can be more efficient with the activities you do. How can you get your shopping done faster? Can you spend less time in the gym while getting the same workout?

Here are some things you can do to lessen your training time.

Train only one hour, or less – Keep your gym time to an hour. It’s the optimal time for muscle gain, and anything more is a waste.

Train at home – Is there any training you can do at home? It might be as simple as purchasing some weights or doing cardio-only days without having to haul yourself to the gym. Try to eliminate your travel time.

Train at off-peak times – This is obvious. Don’t waste your time waiting to train. Schedule your gym trip during slow times.

Keep your warm-up short – Ten focused minutes on the treadmill or 6 to 8 warm-up sets with 15- to 30-second rest periods are enough. Just do enough to get your joints ready and your blood pumping.

Have a game plan – Know what you need to get done, and do it. You’re there to work out, then get out.

Don’t chat – Everyone wants to chat, but unless the gym is also your social centre, avoid the temptation. One way to do it without being rude is to wear headphones.

Use compound movements – This allows you to work groups of muscles all at once, giving you the greatest bang for your exercise buck.

Don’t rest long between sets – Your body only needs a couple of minutes for your breathing to return to normal and the lactic acid to clear from the muscle group before you’ll be ready to lift again.

Supersize your sets – All it takes is to do two exercises back to back without resting in between. You can work either the same muscle group or opposing muscle groups such as the biceps and triceps, hamstrings and quads, or chest and back.

Add machines – Calm down! We’re not advocating using only machines – we’re just suggesting including a couple more machines in your training. Changing out plates takes time that moving that pin up or down doesn’t.

Develop a schedule

Now that you’ve thought about what you need to do, it’s time to write it all down. Use your list of prioritized tasks to develop a detailed schedule for the week. Start by slotting in the must-haves, and work your way down the list. Be realistic with the amount of time each item is going to take. Budgeting less time than it actually takes is going to stress you out and throw the entire schedule out of whack.

Stay focused

Noble intentions are great, but if you’re going to find more time, you need to keep your head in the game. At any given moment, there are dozens of things that can distract you – the TV, the Web, friends, the phone, etc. Keep your focus, and get the job done. Watch TV or surf the Web only when you’ve scheduled it.

Look ahead, plan ahead

Keep an eye on what’s happening in the next couple of days. If you know you have something unusual going on, factor it in and be ready for it. For instance, make sure you pack an extra meal if you’re going to be at work longer.

Dave Naugler - 2 weeks out!

I've been on the phone almost every day for the last week with Dave. We've been talking about his progression and what he's accomplished over the past year. Last year at the WBFF he was not very happy with his performance, you can see it on - Episode 1. Well, true to his word, Dave didn't take any time off from the gym and got right back into doing what he does best...being a bodybuilder. In just under two weeks Dave will be stepping on the national stage as he makes a bid for his IFBB pro-card. This is a side-chest he sent me this weekend; it's going to be a great show!


Thursday, August 06, 2009

Furious Pete At Sausage Fest

Furious Pete Czerwinski, bodybuilder and world-class competitive eater, will be performing a stunt at this years Sausage Fest. When I asked him, curiously, what he’d be doing he said with a smirk: “You’re going to have to come see.”

Sausage Fest is an annual BBQ concert put on by radio station 102.1 The Edge. It seems they have taken a liking to Pete as he’s made a number of guess appearances on Dean Blundell’s morning show. This is going to be a lot of fun, so if you are in the Toronto area, be sure to check it out. The action goes down Friday, August 14th at the Sound Academy.


Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Another Great SUB•Q Review



Lou Ferrigno to be on ‘Dancing With the Stars’


Life & Style is reporting that Lou Ferrigno is going to be on the next season of ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars.”

“I had a good meeting with the producers for ‘Dancing With the Stars.’ It was really positive, and they loved the idea of having me on the show,” said Lou. “I've never done that type of dancing before, so I know that I'll have to train hard. I'm a glutton for punishment, so I'll give it my best shot.”

Training hard for something shouldn’t be a new experience for the former bodybuilder. Lou was featured in the 1977 film “Pumping Iron,” a documentary about bodybuilding that also featured Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Lou is probably best known, though, for portraying the Hulk on the CBS series “The Incredible Hulk” from the late 70s/early 80s.

Ferrigno had reportedly been training with recently deceased Michael Jackson before his upcoming concerts.

We wish Lou, who has had a hearing impairment since he was a child, the best of luck!

Eric Winkler,