Posted by & filed under Bodybuilding.

Website updates

We are glad to announce, that the new and improved version of the Gymwolf.com website is now available. The website has now many new features that include:

  • Sending private messages to other Gymwolf users
  • Weekly and monthly summaries on the front page
  • Improved progress chart pages
  • Improved profile view

We also added new features for advanced Gymwolf users. The PRO features include:

  • Export your workouts: Download a single workout or all of your workouts as an Excel spreadsheet.
  • Advanced charts: Get advanced progress charts for Body Mass Index, Maximum Weight and more.
  • Flexible workout plans: Create new workout plans from any gym workout – choose your own, or someone else’s workout.
  • Compare workouts: Get weekly/monthly summary and compare the results of single workouts, weeks or months.
  • Calculators: New calculators for Body Fat, Body Mass Index, Basal Metabolic Rate and more.

We value our PRO members: you get the PRO member sign and Gymwolf will remain ad-free for you.

New and responsive design

The overall design of Gymwolf went through major overhaul. We dropped the old design, kept only the logo and general usability features and created a completely new design using the Twitter Bootstrap framework. This means, that the user interface of the website is now responsive and works on all different screen sizes and resolutions.

Next steps

The next thing on our TO-DO list are mobile apps. We will be updating the existing Windows Phone and Android applications and we also hope to bring some good news to iPhone users that have had to settle with the Gymwolf mobile website until now.

Posted by & filed under Bodybuilding.

We are happy to announce that the brand new Windows Phone 7 Gymwolf application is now available for download! It is the first fully native applictaion in the Gymwolf family, so it’s smoother, faster and better than the previous version that was based on our mobile website. The application still saves the workout data to gymwolf.com, so you don’t have to worry about syncing or backing up your workout data.

Here are some of features of the Windows Phone 7 app:

  • Fully native Windows Phone 7 Silverlight application
  • The app uses the new Gymwolf API to communicate with gymwolf.com
  • You can sign in or sign up from the application using your email address/password or Facebook Connect
  • Browsing your workout list, workout details
  • Adding new gym and cardio workouts
  • Exercise list with detailed descriptions, tips and pictures
  • Different graphs (including gym and cardio workout graphs and a bodyweight graph)
  • Adding new exercises to your own exercise list
  • Profile settings

We hope that Windows Phone users will enjoy our new application!

Get the application from Windows Phone Marketplace.

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Posted by & filed under News.

What happend with Gymwolf in 2011

Last year was the first full year for Gymwolf and we are still very young, but we have already proved to be a useful tool for thousands of people around the world. Here are some of the 2011 highlights:

  • Around 3000 new users
  • More than 4 000 000 kg (8 800 000 lbs) lifted using Gymwolf
  • Loads of new features – better graphs, cardio workout support, latest workout feed etc.
  • Over 270 new exercises with pictures and detailed description
  • Workout plans – create your plan and add your workouts with just one click
  • Smartphone support – Android, Nokia Symbian and Windows Phone 7 apps, mobile website

What will 2012 bring to Gymwolf?

  • More graphs that will allow you to analyze your progress better
  • Tips and recommendations
  • Faster and better mobile apps, starting with the Windows Phone 7 native application
  • Gym database – Choose your gym and see who else from your gym uses Gymwolf, see their workouts and graphs or comment on their workouts

 
Remember – Gymwolf is the best tool to track your workouts online.

Keep lifting weights with us,

The Gymwolf Team
http://www.gymwolf.com

Posted by & filed under Bodybuilding.

Cardio Workout

Today we released new versions of the Gymwolf website, mobile website and mobile apps. The biggest update can be found on the “New Workout” screen – you can now add cardio workouts! To create a new cardio workout, click on the “New Workout” button and select the “Cardio Workout” tab from the new workout screen. You can enter the following data for cardio workouts:

  • Activity name (with suggestions)
  • Duration
  • Distance
  • Heart rate
  • Calories burned
  • Incline
  • Bodyweight

You can also add cardio workouts from the mobile version of Gymwolf and from  the Gymwolf mobile apps. Graphs for cardio workouts will be added in the following weeks.

Select your Gym

We also added an option to select your home gym so you can see who else from the same gym or sports club is using Gymwolf. Set your gym from your profile page or your front page (below your latest workouts list).

Android App

In addition to our Nokia Application, the Gymwolf Android Application is now ready and can be downloaded from the Android Market. It has all the same features as the Nokia app except for the graphs view – we are working on the problem and hope to get it working on Android soon.

We have also done some testing of the mobile website of Gymwolf with the following phones:

  • Nokia Symbian^3 phones: Nokia N8, Nokia C7, Nokia C6, Nokia E7
  • Nokia MeeGo phones: Nokia N9 and N950
  • Android phones: Samsung Galaxy S II and a low-end Samsung Android phone
  • Windows Phone 7: Samsung Omnia 7
  • iOS-devices: iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and iPad

Gymwolf Mobile works nicely with all of these devices.

Posted by & filed under Bodybuilding, Mobile, News.

We are glad to announce that the Gymwolf mobile application is now available in the Nokia OVI Store. The app is based on the Gymwolf Mobile website and works with all Nokia Symbian^3 smartphones. Download our free Nokia application here.

Let’s point out some of the key features of the application:

  • you can add new workouts (exercises, sets, weights and reps, comments, bodyweight)
  • browse and edit your existing workouts
  • see different graphs
  • manage your exercises
  • edit your profile and preferences (units, language)

We are alse planning on releasing the Android version of the app soon, until then you can use the Gymwolf mobile website from your smartphone. The mobile site has the same features as the Nokia app and it supports all major smartphone platforms (tested on iPhone/iPad, Android, Symbian^3 and MeeGo devices). We are working constantly on improving the mobile version of Gymwolf, so stay tuned for updates.

The next time you go to the gym – take your phone with you and add your workout data directly in between your sets!

 

Posted by & filed under Bodybuilding.

There are moments in your life when you are acting lazy and wanting to escape the responsibility of working out. The reasons for not working out goes down to three things and it could be one of them or all of them: lack of time, lack of enthusiasm, and lack of willpower. Here are 5 tips to get back your enthusiasm and willpower.

  1. Join Gymwolf and share your workouts! Teaming up with fellow bodybuilding enthusiasts lets you know that you aren’t going on this journey alone. Surround yourself with people that share the same goals as you.
  2. Always give 110% in everything that you do and track your progress. Just as important as it is to set goals, you must track your progress. Tracking your progress will help you push harder each day, because you will constantly strive to outdo the last. In addition, this will also help you recognize your changes, growth and where you have come from.
  3. Stay disciplined in all areas, including sleep, nutrition and strength training. You need all of these to be in the best shape that you can be. Remember that this thing called bodybuilding is a marathon and not a sprint.
  4. Find a quality workout and meal plan that specifically meets your goal. Not all workouts or meal plans suit for you, we are all created  differently. Choosing to live a healthy lifestyle with clean eating and training should not be a hassle or boring.
  5. Pump your energy levels and motivation with good music. Whether it is hard rock, metal, hip hop, or any other genre that gets you going, get a mp3 player, add those songs and listen to them before and during your training.

Posted by & filed under Nutrition.

The pre-workout meal is the second most important meal of the day, after the post-workout meal. It aims to provide the body the energy needed during training. An effective meal before training must take into account the carbohydrates type. Carbohydrates with a low glycemic index (e.g. vegetables, beans), complex carbohydrates (e.g. wholegrain breads, oats, muesli), are recommended because it provides a steady flow of energy for the body. Carbohydrates with a high glycemic index, simple carbohydrates, are rapidly released into the blood stream and lead to the release of large amounts of insulin to balance blood sugar concentration. This leads to a rapid increase in energy, followed by a rapid decline and thus leaving the body tired and weak during training.
Pre-workout meal should be consumed approximately 60 to 90 minutes before workout. A snack based on simple carbohydrates such as fruit or fruit juice could be served with 15-30 minutes before training to provide the body with an immediate source of energy.

Pre-workout sample meals or snacks:
• cereals with skim milk;
• whole bread with peanut butter;
• fruit juice;
• chicken breast with whole bread;
• yogurt with fruits such as sliced bananas and/or strawberries;
• grilled chicken with pasta;
• steamed non-gaseous vegetables;
• fruit salad.
These foods can be combined to create a complete meal, such as a bowl of milk with cereals, bread with peanut butter and a glass of fruit juice.

Post-workout meal should contain carbohydrates and proteins and be designed to supply proper nutrients to the muscles as soon as possible. It is recomended that post-workout meal to be taken immediately after training or in the first 30 minutes. Fats should be avoided during this time.

Example of post-workout replenishing meals:
• one or two poached eggs on whole-wheat toast;
• tuna, vegetables and brown rice;
• whole pastas with chicken breast, broccoli and eggplant;
• cereals with milk and fruits such as sliced bananas;
• salmon, spinach and sweet potatoes;
• chicken breast with mixed vegetables.

 

References: Vinturis, S. (2010) Workout Nutrition. Body Building Science Journal. Vol 2, No 1

Posted by & filed under Bodybuilding.

This month on Gymwolf we are talking about overtraining. People are unique and each of us must discover his or her own weaknesses, vulnerabilities, and sensitivities. The clinical definition for overtraining – a state of chronic fatigue, depression, and underperformance that persists despite rest. Overtraining occurs more readily if you are simultaneously exposed to other physical and psychological stressors, such as jet lag, ongoing illness, overwork, poor nutrition etc. It is a particular problem for bodybuilders and other dieters who engage in intense exercise while limiting their food intake.

So how do you know if you’re overtraining? Well, the truth is there is no black and white line that you must cross to be overtraining. Everyone is different and everyone responds to weight training or other heavy training differently, but here are some signs (these are just few of them) :

1. You repeatedly fail to complete your normal workout.
If you’re actively getting weaker, slower, and your stamina is deteriorating despite regular exercise, you’re probably training too much.

2. You’re losing leanness despite increased exercise.
If losing fat was as easy as burning calories by increasing work output, overtraining would never result in fat gain – but that isn’t the case. It’s about the hormones. Sometimes, working out too much can actually cause muscle wasting and fat deposition. You’re “burning calories,” probably more than ever before, but it’s predominantly glucose/glycogen and precious muscle tissue. Net effect: you’re getting less lean. The hormonal balance has been tipped.

3. You’re primarily an anaerobic/power/explosive/strength athlete, and you feel restless, excitable, and unable to sleep in your down time.
When a power athlete or sprinter overtrains, the sympathetic nervous system dominates. Symptoms include hyperexcitability, restlessness, and an inability to focus (especially on athletic performance), even while at rest or on your off day. Sleep is generally disturbed in sympathetic-dominant overtrained athletes, recovery slows, and the resting heart rate remains elevated.

4. You’re primarily an endurance athlete, and you feel overly fatigued, sluggish, and useless.
Too much resistance training can cause sympathetic overtraining; too much endurance work can cause parasympathetic overtraining, which is characterized by decreased testosterone levels, increased cortisol levels, debilitating fatigue (both mental and physical), and a failure to lose body fat. Being fit enough to run ten miles doesn’t mean that you now have to do it every day.

5. Your joints, bones, or limbs hurt.
In the lifts, limb pain can either be delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) or it can indicate poor technique or improper form; DOMS is a natural response that should go away in a day or two, while poor form is more serious and can be linked to overuse or overtraining. Listen to your body!

6. You’re suddenly falling ill a lot more often.
7. You feel like crap the hours and days after a big workout.
Exercise generally elevates mood; if it’s having a negative effect on your mood, it’s probably too much.

There is also planned overtraining. Overtraining can be used advantageously, as when a bodybuilder is purposely overtrained for a brief period of time to supercompensate during a regeneration phase. These are known as “shock micro-cycles” and were a key training technique used by Soviet athletes.
Preventing overtraining:
Overtraining prevention is up to you. All you need to do is follow a few of the basic principals in muscle building. Quality over quantity, eat big including lots of carbs and protein and rest up between workouts.

References:
– Marks Daily Apple [http://www.marksdailyapple.com/overtraining/]
– Muscle and Strength [http://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/overtraining101-what-you-need-to-know.html]
– Smith DJ (2003), “A framework for understanding the training process leading to elite performance”, Sports medicine 33 (15): 1103–26
– Wikipedia [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overtraining]

Posted by & filed under Bodybuilding.

Good flexibility is known to bring positive benefits in the muscles and joints. It aids with injury prevention, helps to minimize muscle soreness, and improves efficiency in all physical activities. Here are some bodybuilding streching exercises for strength training:

Neck
In a seated position, take your hand and gently pull your head towards your shoulder – i.e. your ear towards your shoulder.
Apply gentle pressure with your arm over your head. Repeat on the other side.

Upper Back
Hold on to an upright support at waist height with your arms straight. Bend at the hips until your torso is parallel to the floor.
Gently pull back, ensuring your back is flat.

Lower Back
Lie on your back, knees bent and arms straight out to each side. Rotate both legs to each side, keeping your head, shoulders and arms in contact with
the floor.

Shoulders
Grab one elbow with your opposite hand. Gently pull it across your body, aiming the elbow towards the opposite shoulder. Repeat on the other side.

Chest/Biceps
With your arm fully extended, hold on to an upright support at shoulder level. Gently turn your body away from your arm, pressing your shoulder forwards. Repeat on the other side.

Triceps
Place one hand between your shoulderblades, hand pointing downwards and elbow pointing upwards. Use your opposite hand to gently press down on your right elbow until you feel a
stretch in the triceps. Repeat on the other side.

Quadriceps
Hold on to a sturdy support. Bend one leg behind you and hold the ankle. Keep your thighs level, knees close, and push your hips forwards until you feel a good stretch. Repeat on the other side.

Adductors
Sit on the floor and place the soles of your feet together. Hold on to your ankles and press your thighs down using your elbows. Keep your back straight.

Hamstrings
Sit on the floor with one leg extended and the other leg bent. Keeping your back straight and flat, bend forwards from the hips. Reach down towards your foot. Flexing your foot will increase the stretch on the calf. Repeat on the other side.

Hip Flexors
From a kneeling position, take a large step forwards so that your knee makes a 90° angle and is directly over your foot. Keep your body upright and press your rear hip forwards, keeping it square. Repeat on the other side.

Hips/glutes
Sit on the floor and cross one foot over your straight leg. Place your elbow on the outside of the bent knee and slowly look over your shoulder on the side of the bent leg. Keep your opposite arm behind your hips for stability. Apply pressure to the knee with your elbow. Repeat on the other side.

Calves
From a standing position, take an exaggerated step. forwards, keeping your rear leg straight. Hold on to a wall for support if you wish. Your front knee should be at 90° and positioned over your foot. Lean forwards slightly so that your rear leg and body make a continuous line. Repeat on the other side.

References
Manescu, C. O. (PhD) (2010) Importance of good flexibility and stretching movements in fitness and bodybuiding training. Body Building Science Journal.

Posted by & filed under Bodybuilding, Nutrition.

During exercise the body consumes large or small quantities of oxygen that are designed to help restore energy substrate. Athletes involved in heavy physical activity need more food than more sedentary, less active people. The energy expenditure of a sedentary adult female/male is approximately 1800/2800 kcal/day. Physical activity will increase the daily energy expenditure by 500 to 1000 kcal/h, depending on physical fitness, duration, type and intensity of sport. For this reason, athletes must adapt their energy intake by increased food consumption, according to the level of daily energy expenditure, in order to meet energy needs.

There are three main sources of calories: carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Their ratio in the diet of a bodybuilder is of great importance. Carbohydrates helps to replenish muscle glycogen and glycogen is used for quick muscle energy during physical exertion.

The human body works better with a balanced intake of carbohydrates and protein. Protein is essential not only for building healthy muscle, but also to maintain a strong immune system. Another benefit is given by the fact that food proteins reduces appetite. For an optimal nutritional calories needs should be consumed in the following proportions:

  • 60-65% carbohydrate;
  • 20-25% fat;
  • 15-20% protein.

Fat is a slow energy source compared to carbohydrates. When primarily using fat as an energy source, athletes can only work at 40-60% of their maximal work capacity. The daily fat intake in athletes is recommended to be relatively low, i.e. <30%.

References
Ion, I., Vinturis, S. (2009) Effort – nutrition corelation. Bodybuilding Journal.