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paradigmofmusclegrowth

How Does Sleep Affect Muscle Growth?

During your workout your muscles will build up a large number of microscopic tears on the cellular level. These tears must in turn be repair in order to strengthen and grow the muscle tissue bigger. The two main factors in how well your muscles are repaired after training are sleep and nutrition.

When you’re sleeping your body enters a higher anabolic state. This basically just means that your body uses the time when you’re sleeping to repair and rejuvenate all of the tissue in your body, including muscle tissue. While you’re sleeping your body will construct larger molecules which are used to repair various parts of the body including your muscular, immune and nervous systems.

How Much Sleep Do You Need?

During sleep your body will conduct protein metabolism at a much faster rate than when you are awake. Getting enough sleep every night is crucial to ensuring that your muscles are repaired and recover properly. This is especially true when you’re strength training.

Getting a good night’s rest is important every night, although it is even more important on the days you train. You should be aiming for anywhere from 8 to 10 hours of sleep every night.

The Effects of Sleep on Muscle Growth

Sleeping will ensure that your body is able to complete the necessary cycles of repair and recovery in order to achieve muscle growth. When you sleep your body creates spikes in larger amounts of human growth hormone, testosterone and melatonin. Both of these play a huge role in the reproduction and regeneration of cells within the body. Put simply, without enough sleep your body won’t be able to properly restore the damage done to your muscles during training.

Synthesizing Muscle Tissue

In order to build muscle mass, also known as hypertrophy, your body must be synthesizing proteins faster than it is breaking down proteins in the muscle. After absorbing nutrients your body begins to synthesize proteins to repair and build muscle tissue. Sleep is the longest period your body has between meals to synthesize proteins. By the time you wake up in the morning your body will have used up all of the nutrients you have absorbed during the day and protein breakdown will may soon exceed protein synthesis.

Using Amino Acids to Inhibit Protein Breakdown

You can inhibit protein breakdown in the body by raising levels of amino acids. These levels must be raised to approximately 25-50% above fasting baseline in order to inhibit the effects of breaking down proteins. Drinking whey protein isolate or casein before bed is an excellent way to inhibit the breakdown of proteins while you sleep. Whey proteins will elevate amino acid levels significantly, although this will only last for a limited number of hours. Casein protein would be the best choice just before bed because it has been found to be much longer lasting and can inhibit protein breakdown for up to 6 hours.

Sleep and Cortisol Production

Cortisol is a hormone found in the body which essentially counteracts testosterone. It will essentially aid in the breakdown of muscle tissue and inhibit muscle growth. Stress, like the stress caused by not getting enough sleep, can increase cortisol levels in the body, not a good thing when you’re trying to build muscle! Getting enough sleep will help to lower stress levels, and in turn lower cortisol levels.

Remember ~ Muscles are torn in the gym, fed in the kitchen, and built in bed. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep so your muscles can grow, grow, grow!!!

Mark Rippetoe is a national-level, American strength training coach and author. He is one of the few strength training athletics authorities to publish both peer-reviewed articles as well as books for the lay population.

Unlike most strength training and conditioning academics, he has several decades of practical application as an elite-level strength training coach, former competitive powerlifter and a current gym owner.

Mark Rippetoe’s first two books detail the technical aspects of each primary barbell lifts and major assistance exercises, and created a workout routine for the basic acquisition of strength using these lifts.

This workout routine is known as the Starting Strength barbell training program, or simply Starting Strength. The program involves:

  • 3 sets of 5 repetitions of the squat, bench press, and overhead press;
  • 5 sets of 3 repetitions of the power clean; and
  • 1 set of 5 repetitions of the deadlift

The bench press is alternated with overhead press and deadlift once a week, using power cleans on the other two days. Weights are gradually increased in each session until strength gains reach a plateau. He advocates 3 sessions per week for beginners and drinking a gallon of whole milk per day if underweight to maximize strength gains.

The Strength Training Routine

You alternate Workout A and Workout B every other day, 3 times a week. So you could either do Mon, Wed, Fri or Tues, Thurs. and Sat.

Example:mark-rippetoe-quote

Week 1:

Monday – Workout A
Wednesday -Workout B
Friday – Workout A

Week 2:

Monday – Workout B
Wednesday – Workout A
Friday – Workout B

Etc.

The Workout:

Note: Optional: *

Workout A

3 x 5 Squat
3 x 5 Bench Press
1 x 5 Deadlift
*2 x 8 Dips (if you cant do these or no assist machine then do Decline Dumbbell Bench Press with your hands Facing each other)

Workout B

3 x 5 Squat
3 x 5 Standing military press
3 x 5 Pendlay or Bent Rows (or power cleans)
*2 x 8 Chin-ups (recommended mainly if doing the cleans)

Weight:

You will want the weight to be the same throughout the sets. For instance, if you are doing the first set at bench press at 200lbs, then the following two sets will also be at 200lbs. Warm up sets should precede these working sets however.

Every week make it a goal to increase each of your lifts by 2.5%. Meaning if I lifted 100lbs for my Bench Week 1 then Week 2 I would try for 102.5lbs. If I did 200lb Squats Week 1 I would try for 205lbs in Week 2.

Warm-up Sets:

Before all your working sets it is best to do a few warm-up sets. Specifically for your first lift. You don’t have to do the whole thing for the other lifts but definitely the first.

What you do is you ramp your weight up to your working sets as to prevent injury and to physically warm up the tissues.

For example:

2 x 5 x bar (sets x reps x weight)
1 x 5 x 85
1 x 3 x 125
1 x 2 x 155

And the working set weight would be 175.

If you are lifting your working sets under 150 I would cut out the 3rd warmup set of 1×5 because it wont be needed.

The Diet

If you don’t pair mark Rippetoes workout routine with a diet high in calories than you are wasting your time. Aim for 3000-4000 calories a day. Make sure you get 1 to 2 x your body weight in protein (in grams) and more than that in carbs. Mark Rippetoe also suggests that you drink up to a gallon of milk a day and plenty of water.

Your bulk could be clean but its hard to do so. I suggest just going all out and getting any protein you can get your hands on. For example lean grilled chicken and egg whites is best but if you want to gain that muscle fast then ground beef, steaks, whole eggs, cheeses etc is great. Eat a lot of oats, pasta, wheat bread, yogurt, cottage cheese, tuna, etc.

Make sure you get a huge breakfast. Mark recommends 4 huge meals a day with breakfast being the largest. Make sure all your meals have plenty of both carbs and protein! Also look into getting a PWO shake for post workout to get some carbs directly into your system when your done lifting. Then an hour later eat a meal. Its also good to eat a snack before bed. Just remember to get big you need to eat big because eating is 90% of your muscle gains.

References:

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Something most people don’t realize is that the human body doesn’t improve while you are weight training. No one has ever built an ounce of muscle or made any similar improvement to their body while at the gym in the middle of their workout.

The only thing you’re truly doing at that time is giving your body a reason to start the improvement process. You’re damaging your muscles, depleting your energy stores, fatiguing your nervous system and basically beating the crap out of your body.

And from there, as long as the required amount of rest, recovery and nutritional supplies are in place, this ENTIRE process of adapting can begin and the improvements you’re trying to make can all be made (while resting, not working).

It’s during this recovery period when your body rebuilds your muscle tissue so that it is just a tiny bit bigger and stronger than it previously was. This is when energy stores get replenished and the nervous system recovers. This is when your joints and tendons get the break they need to stay healthy and injury-free.

This rest and recovery period is when EVERYTHING you want your body to do (build muscle, get stronger, appear more “toned,” etc.) actually gets done. Unless of course you’re not allowing it to. In that case, none of this can happen. If your body can’t properly recover, your body can’t properly improve.

The faster you recover, the sooner you can start building muscle. Here are some muscle recovery tips to speed up the process.

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Optimize Your Post-Workout Meal

Your post-workout meal is your most important meal of the day. No other meal will have as big of an impact on your recovery as the first meal after your workout. What should this meal look like? Including carbohydrates in your post-workout meal decreases muscle protein breakdown

So our meal should be mainly protein and carbohydrates, but it should also be eaten as soon as possible after your workout. Having a meal within two hours after resistance training increases hypertrophy and protein synthesis (muscle building).

More Protein

Protein synthesis increases with increased protein intake. Also, a protein intake of 1 gram/lb of body mass is better at maintaining muscle mass under calorie restriction – suggesting increased protein synthesis and retention of nitrogen.

Protein intake is important for more than just building muscle. It’s a component of every cell in the human body. Always err on the side of too much than too little. If you’re a highly active individual, or you have a low carbohydrate intake, your protein demands will be higher.

Muscle Recovery Supplements

Recovery supplements are quite popular. One of the most popular is BCAAs - taken both before and after exercise has been shown to reduce muscle breakdown and accelerates recovery

Another common product sold as a muscle-building, recovery agent is the amino acid glutamine. Research has shown that intramuscular glutamine levels play an important role in protein synthesis and the prevention of muscle breakdown. It also improves the body’s ability to use leucine. 

Drink More Water

Proper hydration makes every function of the human body work more efficiently. Your muscle is about 75% composed of water. You should be getting in at least a gallon of water a day. Individuals who are more active will require even more hydration. Increased water intake also has the benefit of keeping extra cellular water retention to a minimum.

Proper Cooldown

Many people do a warmup, but how many of them put the same focus on their cooldown? A 15 minute active cooldown plays an important role in muscle recovery. A cooldown more effectively returns your heart rate to normal and removes lactic acid waste – which in turn provides for a more rapid recovery.

Sleep

We know that a lack of sleep can cause negative effects on your health. It can also inhibit muscle recovery by causing negative changes to feeding behavior and glucose metabolism, and by causing an increase in cortisol, and a reduction in testosterone and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). All of these changes can lead to a decrease in protein synthesis, which can hinder muscle recovery. 

Getting in between 7-9 hours of sleep per night seems to be optimal for good body composition and general health. Sleep is a very important and often overlooked part of fitness – be sure you’re making them a priority.

Massage

The effects of massage on muscle recovery have been inconclusive. However, many studies have shown that using sports massage to improve recovery can be an effective way to aid recovery and performance after exercise. At the very least, the symptoms of delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) can be mitigated through massage. Even if the scientific literature is mixed, a massage still feels great, so what do you have to lose?

message-improve-muscle recovery

Contrast Water Therapy

Contrast water therapy is effective in reducing and improving the recovery of functional deficiencies that result from delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Contrast water therapy is a recovery treatment consisting of alternating immersions in both hot and cold water. The idea is that this process helps with the inflammation that results from exercise, which effectively leads to the restoration of strength and power of the trained muscle.

Take Some Time Off

Every 8-12 weeks you should be looking to take some time off from intense physical activity. Whether this comes in the form of passive recovery (doing nothing) or active recovery (using lighter loads) is up to you. The amount of time you should take off is not set in stone.

However, a period of one week should be sufficient to provide enough time to fully repair muscles and recover your central nervous system (CNS). It’s not possible to go at 100% intensity for 365 days out of the year. You need periods of rest in order to keep your intensity high and progress moving forward.

Do you have any muscle recovery tips you’d like to share? Did you like this guide?

The Heavy Hitting Mass Exercises

These are the meat and potatoes of you bicep building workout routine. They are usually done heavy and maintaing strict form as to reduce chances of injury.

Barbell Curls and Incline Dumbbell Curls

These are the two exercises Lou loves to keep strict form on, but lift heavy. He says that he likes to go as heavy as possible as to not sacrifice form. This is true even if you can only lift a small amount while keeping true form. We all have to start somewhere.

Standard Preacher Curls and Spider Curls

One of these exercises are tagged on the end of the biceps mass building to really isolate the biceps muscles and force maximal growth. This is done by completely wearing out the fibers found within the biceps in the rep range of about 8-10. During heavy movements the rep range is lower and type ll fibers are mostly stress.

When we do higher repetitions right after we can reach those type l fibers otherwise known as your “endurance” fibers. Basically you just need to know that for full bicep development training both types is better than one. You can read more about these fiber types here.

By the way, for those of you who don’t know, spider curls are simply one handed dumbbell curls done sitting at the end of a bench with your elbow resting on your leg.

Lou Ferrigno Biceps

Bicep Building Techniques: 21′s

Lou uses this technique during the last exercise of his routine. He says he likes to do barbell curls with the 21 technique and picks a weight that is half of what he would normally use on his last bicep set.

How to do it: Start performing the first 7 reps from the normal start position up until your arms are parallel with the floor or halfway through the full range of motion. When those are done go immediately into curling the weight 7 more times but this time starting halfway through the motion to the top of the motion (arms perpendicular to floor). The last 7 repetitions of the entire set are killer as you must go through the complete range of motion or a full reps. This technique burns but it works.

Muscle Confusion

Muscle confusion is achieved by constantly switiching something up in your workout. No two workouts should be the same and can be done by simply switching the order of the exercises, rep ranges, or implementing special techniques like the 21′s.

Lou Ferrigno was a strong believer in muscle confusion as used it in all his workouts. He used to do exercises in a standard routine but said his muscles soon become well adapted and would not show a further growth response.

Lou states, “If I were to do the same routine every workout, my biceps would eventually adapt to the exact kind of stresses I?m putting on them and not respond. To combat that, I?ll reverse the order, swap out different exercises for my usual ones or just mix up the entire workout on occasion. Joe Weider calls it the Muscle Confusion Training Principle, and I?m a strong believer in it.”

Form, Form, Form

Emphasizing how important form was to Lou Ferrigno’s training routines cannot be stressed enough. You will reduce injury and make your workouts that much more effective by ONLY targeting the muscles you are there to target.

For example, when doing barbell curls, you want to take a shoulder-width grip, keep your chest high, your shoulders back and, as with seated inclines, never completely straighten your elbows at the bottom of the movement. You also want to keep the motion steady throughout.

Lou Ferrigno would also employ a mental techniques. “A mental trick I’ve used is thinking of the motion as if I were playing a violin, keeping the same pace both in the positive and negative portions of each rep.”

Lou also states that your biceps should be in a constant contracted state throughout the exercise and should never be relaxed. This ensures strength and mass building with every rep- don’t just go through the motions.

Training Back With Biceps?

Most often you will find people pairing back training with biceps but Lou Ferrigno does it a different way. He finds that by the time he actually gets to his biceps they are burnt out because of all the heavy rowing, etc. which incorporate biceps. He says he likes to have a total arm day separate from back day as this lets him focus more into the arms, reduces fatigue, and even creates blood flow to the triceps before hitting them.

The Hulking Bicep Workout Routine

Lou Ferrigno uses the following mass building bicep routine twice a week keeping the intensity high, maintaining strict form, and squeezing the biceps in every rep:

Whole Body Warm-up – Your favorite cardio routine (5-10 min)

Focused Warm-up – Standing barbell curls – 4 Sets, 10 Reps
Incline dumbbell curls – 4 Sets 8 reps
Preacher-bench curls – 4 Sets, 8-10 Reps
Concentration curls – 2 Sets, 8-10 Reps
Barbell-curl 21′s – 2 Sets, 21 Reps

There is a misconception when it comes to professional wrestlers who have an undeniable amount of strength. While a majority of the fans on the Internet tend to gravitate towards wrestlers with overwhelming technical ability, Antonio Cesaro is someone who has both major attributes. At 6-foot-5 and 232 pounds, Antonio Cesaro boasts an awesome combination of athleticism and power. He shares five tips for getting in the best shape.

Be honest with yourself

“Be honest with yourself and don’t make excuses, which means you have to be accountable. Don’t eat bad food. Only eat good food. Don’t say, ‘Oh, it doesn’t matter if I ate bad once.’ No. You never eat bad, and you get in the habit of eating good.”

Get into habits

“Go to the gym every day and build a routine. You get in that routine and it takes about two months to build a habit or a routine. So you stick with it, and once you stick with it, then you have a good diet and a good routine.”

Stick to the basics

“Stick to the basic exercises and do them well. You don’t have to worry about doing a bicep curl on a BOSU (exercise) ball while squatting down. You have to worry about doing basic maneuvers.”

Master the core lifts

“Keep things simple. Do squats, deadlifts and some kind of press. Base your routine around those lifts.”

Have fun!

“Finally, have fun. If these tips don’t sound like fun to you, then you’re probably not as motivated as you think you are to get in shape.”

Check out Antonio Cesaro’s Insane Workout Routine!!!

Please leave your comments below and we can talk about his insane workout! 

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Television advertising, magazines, movies and websites relentlessly bombard us with images of the supposed beauty ideal, where women are thin and big-busted and  often assumed to be healthy because they look the part. But there is a hu-u-uge difference between looking healthy and being healthy. Infact, being skinny doesn’t always mean healthy.

Well, it depends on how you define ‘healthy’ and ‘skinny’. If you define healthy as merely ‘anything but fat’, and skinny as ‘Keira Knightley’, then yes, all you skinny people are ‘healthy’. But is health merely a visual absence of obesity? Go on, take a guess. If your answer is ‘yes’, you are gravely mistaken!

A healthy person has a sound body, mind and spirit. Even if we ignore the psychological and spiritual aspects of health for the matter of this discussion, skinny is not a sound state of body. In nature, too much either way of any optimum is harmful. So, while obesity is a much-publicized danger, the other end of the spectrum is also harmful, possibly even more so.

Let’s shoo the elephant out of the room right away.

Don’t Be Skinny Fat

A new research points to just how dangerous being skinny can be — if you are a “skinny fat” person. The medical term for this is “MONW,” or metabolically obese normal weight. It means you are under lean but over fat — not enough muscle and too much fat (especially belly fat). It seems it is better to be fat and fit than thin and out of shape.

The shocking news from a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association is that nearly 1 in 4 skinny people have pre-diabetes and are “metabolically obese.”

What’s worse is that if you are a skinny fat person and get diagnosed with diabetes, you have twice the risk of death than if you are overweight when diagnosed with diabetes.

Type of Fat Matters Too

Another study has shown that it’s not just being fat, but the kind of fat that’s the issue. Time.com reported on the study.

[F]at deposited just under the skin doesn’t contribute that much to the development of metabolic disorders such as diabetes or heart problems. But fat accumulated in deeper tissues and organs, within muscle and embedded in organs like the liver, for example, can put you at greater risk of these diseases. And that goes for lean people too: they might not have much visible fat under the skin, but may be sequestering so-called visceral fat inside their body.”

Are You Super Thin?

Exercise is important for both lowering cholesterol and staving off diabetes. If you’re super thin, you may think that you don’t need to exercise but this is just false according to Oz Garcia, Ph.D., nutritionist, who wrote about one surprised patient:

A few years ago, one of my thinner clients who looked externally healthful came to me for a consultation after she had been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Rightfully, she was nervous and confused and couldn’t understand how she had developed this disease, she thought only “fat” people were diagnosed with these types of conditions. When asked if she exercised, she shook her head, stating that she had never really had to think about exercising or eating healthy, that she had always been lucky to have such a great metabolism. 

Moreover, If you’re not doing any weight bearing exercise because you’re thin and you’re not eating a healthy whole foods diet for the same reason, you could end up with brittle bones and even osteoporosis. You want to have some muscular tone in addition to being thin in order to avoid bone density issues later on.

So, it’s time for us to redefine what being healthy looks like.

Being healthy starts with your attitude. How you look at yourself and the world around you play a major role in your overall health.  If your glass is always half empty, you are probably sabotaging all of your healthy living efforts.

Health comes in all shapes and sizes. Being fit  is not defined by one standard “look”.  Every body is different and beautiful and it is up to you to embrace yours and define it the way that makes you feel the best about yourself.

Health is balance.  This is balance in every sense of the word.  Exercise, diet, stress, sleep, work, family, you need to find balance in your life in order to be healthy.

Health is different for everyone. The aspects of being healthy for me may be very different for you.  Take some time think about what being healthy means to you. You need to love you, exactly the way you are right now while striving to make changes in your health habits.

So, Focus on being healthy, not skinny. Eating a balanced diet and finding coping strategies to deal with stress are a good start, as is getting regular exercise, which aside from the obvious physical benefits also boosts feelings of happiness and well-being.

How do you view skinny vs. healthy?

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If you are below a healthy weight, putting on pounds can prove difficult. A common – and wise – tip for gaining weight is to eat calorie-dense foods that provide a large amount of nutrients in small servings. At 90 calories per tablespoon, peanut butter is an ideal candidate. To gain weight with peanut butter, look for every opportunity to fit it into your diet.

In recent years though, peanut butter has managed to gain a bit of a reputation as an “unhealthy” food. The reason for this is simple: peanut butter is high in fat and extremely calorie-dense and therefore, it’s become one of the scapegoats of a nation suffering from an obesity epidemic.

Something is high in fat and calories doesn’t make it unhealthy. In fact, peanut butter is extremely good for you, and here’s a few reasons why this is the case:

1# Peanut butter is extremely nutritious

Peanut butter is absolutely packed with nutrition. Just a couple of tablespoons of the stuff contains almost 3 milligrams of Vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that assists in skin repair among other important processes.

It’s also full of magnesium (around 49 milligrams), potassium (around 210 milligrams) and a variety of other vitamins, all of which play vital roles in maintaining a healthy body.

2# Peanut butter can help you gain healthy weight

Being so protein-rich, peanut butter is a fantastic food for bodybuilders and those looking to gain healthy weight. As many of you already know, protein is essential for building and repairing muscles and I imagine that any individuals looking to build muscle are already on a relatively high-protein diet.

Sure, it’s not as protein-dense as chicken breast or turkey, but if you combine it with a couple of slices of bread and a glass of milk, you’ll probably be consuming around 30 grams of protein and some decent carbs too.

Peanut Butter is also pretty cheap, especially when compared with energy bars and protein shakes.

3# Peanut butter contains healthy fats

Fat is one of the three primary macronutrients (fat, protein and carbohydrates) and is absolutely vital to maintaining health. The problem is that most common fast foods and snacks are loaded with unhealthy types of fat [saturated fats and trans-fats].

Peanut butter is different. It’s packed with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats predominantly, which are considered to be heart-healthy fats. Monounsaturated fats have also been found to lower belly fat and lower the chances of suffering from metabolic syndrome.

The bottom line is this: don’t let anyone fool you into thinking that peanut butter is unhealthy. Sure, it’s pretty calorie-dense and also contains a substantially high amount of fat, but don’t let that scare you. When consumed in moderation, peanut butter can only have a positive effect on your health (unless you have a nut allergy of course!)

What’s your favorite way to enjoy peanut butter?

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 When John Cena stood in the ring one night after losing the WWE Championship at SummerSlam, his torn triceps injury was expected to keep him away from the ring for at least four months and, perhaps, as many as six. But when the record 11-time WWE Champion steps back into the squared circle, he will do so far ahead of schedule, returning at the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view on Oct. 27, after only two and a half months on the shelf.
 
The polarizing veteran hardly ever takes time away from the spotlight, but when he does, Cena seems to return sooner and sooner than expected. In an exclusive conversation, WWE.com asked the Massachusetts native why he pushes himself, what he’s feeling when he watches Raw from the couch and how he takes his mind off performing in front of millions of people in each week.
 

Why WWE’s biggest star can’t take time off   

Cena wasn’t surprised about his rapid return to the squared circle, as he’s “happy with the way everything has gone.”

“I didn’t feel too bad when the injury happened,” states Cena. “It started to really be a pain in my neck about two weeks before SummerSlam. I had to tell the greatest surgeon in the world that I have a physical therapy team that I’m extremely familiar with. In doing therapy, it’s good to know that the therapist will push you. A lot of times, people are reserved or maybe scared of testing what your body is capable of. I’m not. I have complete faith in my surgeon. When it was time to test range of motion a little bit or test strength a little bit, a lot of people — if it’s their first surgery — they want to wait a few weeks before they do that. I kind of want to say, “Hey I got a new arm. Let’s see how it works.”

As a result of the recovery process, Cena can only catch up with Raw from the comfort of his own home as a fan. Cena, however, says watching the show as a fan “[is] something [he does] anyway.”

“It’s just in a greater capacity when you can no longer physically contribute,” said Cena. “At all Live Events, I’m watching somewhere, whether peeking behind a curtain or peering at a TV backstage. I watch just as much WWE as almost anyone, but I love to. It’s something I enjoy doing. I don’t force myself to watch. I get excited for Mondays. I get excited to see the show.”

Another question posed to Cena is whether his injuries will force him to alter his in-ring style. He says, “If you broke down my technique, it wouldn’t really take a rocket scientist to do so. I don’t know how you could take something so basic and do less [laughs].”

Much more is contained in the interview, as Cena discusses the recovery process, his upcoming match against Del Rio, going after the World Heavyweight Championship as opposed to the WWE Championship, learning Mandarin, and more. The full interview is available here.

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For anyone suffering from loss of appetite, hence is unable to gain weight, we strongly recommend they first visit a physician to get a complete checkup and make sure there is nothing imbalanced in the digestive system.

Once this has taken place, there are some nutritional strategies can be followed that can help support the rebalancing of appetite hormones. Here are some great suggestions for kick-starting a healthy appetite.

Choose your favorite foods. Eating more is easier when you eat foods that you actually enjoy. Put some time and preparation into buying and planning out meals and snacks that you like, that way you should never end up not eating just because there’s nothing in the house that appeals to you.

Eat less fiber. Fiber-rich foods can be extremely filling, so it may be best to eat such foods like brown rice or pasta and wholewheat cereals only in moderation when trying to increase your appetite.

This should only be used as a short-term solution, however, as fiber is essential for healthy and normal body function.

Avoid eating alone, Make meal times pleasant. Arrange to eat family dinners or invite a friend over to eat with you. You will enjoy the experience more and may even forget that you’re eating. Light some candles, put some music on, or watch your favorite TV show while eating.

Increase your zinc intake. Zinc is a very important important mineral for body-builders – it strengthens the immune system and stimulates testosterone production. Some foods which contain high levels of zinc include: oysters, chicken, beef shank, pork chops, wheat bran, cashew nuts and pumpkin seeds.

Restore your body’s HCl levels. HCl is an important substance for increasing your appetite when body-building. You can naturally increase your HCl levels by drinking a glass of fresh lime juice diluted in water first thing in the morning.

Take B vitamins. Certain forms of B vitamins help to increase appetite – namely, B12 and Folic acid. You can take these vitamins in tablet form.

Certain herbal teas have also traditionally been used to increase appetite, in particular peppermint, anise and licorice teas.

Always eat breakfast. Eating a healthy, balanced breakfast kick-starts your metabolism after a long night of not eating and gets your body ready for the day.

Eat small, frequent meals. it is a great way to build towards a healthy appetite. Moreover eating smaller meals can also help you to feel less bloated and sluggish after eating, which is the reason many people with small appetites don’t enjoy large meals. Try eating 4 to 6 small meals a day to avoid feeling overly full.

Eating healthy snacks. can help when you have trouble eating much food at mealtimes. The small quantities can be less daunting, while frequent snacking can help get you into the correct mindset when it comes to eating.

Just remember that snacks are not meant to be eaten instead of meals, but in addition to them. So avoid snacking too close to meals times, otherwise you might ruin your appetite.

Drink enough liquids. You should aim to drink between 6 to 8 glasses of water or water-based drinks a day. Drinking a glass of water an hour before and an hour after a meal can help with digestion and ensure that there is not too much food in the stomach at any given time.

Keep a food diary. Keeping a food diary is a great way to identify the best times and foods for you to eat, so yu can maximize your appetite. In addition, keeping a food diary will allow you to track your progress to see how far you’ve come, which can be a great confidence boost.

Finally, regaining appetite should be supported by a regular exercise program. Exercise should include both cardiovascular exercise and strength training. Only through strength training can a person increase their bone mass density and lean body mass. The very act of engaging in these forms of exercise should also increase a person’s appetite.