Exercise Basics of Gaining Weight

January 4th, 2008

An important part of gaining weight is eating enough food, but to gain the right kind of weight you need to exercise. Putting on muscle is more complicated than taking in a lot of calories. You have to stress (workout) your muscles to a point where they become damaged. When they heal, they’ll become bigger and stronger.

Unlike losing weight, when you gain muscle you can choose what part of your body you want to focus on. This can be problematic if you work one part of your body more than another. You want to have a balanced workout that hits all areas of your body equally.

Your first step should be to figure out your routine. There are two basic options. You can use the ACSM workout and go to the gym 2-3 times per week. This workout requires that you do 1-2 sets per muscle group and hit every muscle group during your workout.

The other option is to split up your workout into different groups of muscles each day. A popular split is: day 1: chest & triceps, day 2: back & biceps, day 3: shoulders, day 4: legs. With this type of workout, you should do 6-12 sets per muscle group (12-24 sets if you do two muscle groups in one day). Remember to leave at least 48 hours between working out the same muscle group.

If you have never worked out before, start with the ACSM workout. If you follow their guidelines you shouldn’t be in the gym for more than an hour. The second workout could take between 60 and 90 minutes. The ACSM workout also only calls for you to workout 2-3 times per week where the second routine would require 3-4 times per week depending on how many days you have in your routine. You don’t want to do too much too quickly as this could cause you to quit all together.

Once you have a routine, you need to pick the exercises you’ll be doing. There are plenty to choose from but when you first start out you should try and use the machines rather than the free weights. Once you’re comfortable on the machines, you can move to the free weights. Keep in mind that free weights (especially if your form is off) do not necessarily provide a better workout. A good routine will combine machine and free weight exercises.

If you chose the ACSM workout, you’ll need to pick one exercise for each muscle group (quads, glutes, hamstrings, calves, chest, back, shoulders, biceps, triceps, abs). If you chose the split workout, you should do 2-3 sets per machine (or free weight).

With both the ACSM workout and the split routine, you need to workout the bigger muscles first. If you do the ACSM workout, start with legs and move on to upper body. If you do the split routine and pair back with biceps and chest with triceps, make sure you do your back and chest before your biceps and triceps.

The last thing you need to keep in mind is to change your workout. Overtime, your muscles become used to the workout you do and when this happens you need to change your exercises and the order that you do them in or you won’t progress. You can also write down all the weights and repetitions you do in a workout log. It’ll save you time when you do the same exercise during your next workout since you won’t have to guess where you left off.

While eating is very important in gaining weight, sticking to your routine is crucial in gaining muscle. If you eat without exercising hard you may soon find yourself needing to lose weight.

Guide to Gaining Weight

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Ken_Bendor

Many people in credit crisis

January 1st, 2008

The old year is ending with too many Americans in a credit card “hangover.”

Delinquencies and defaults in credit card payments are surging, according to a recent Associated Press analysis of financial data from the country’s largest credit card issuers, released Dec. 24.

The Federal Reserve estimates that Americans now owe just shy of a trillion dollars in credit card debt — a reported $920 billion.

Christmas 2007 is expected to only add fuel to a raging inferno.

“I stay away from them,” Annette Combs of Whipple, said of credit cards. “I’ve got my bank card that takes out of my checking, but that’s all. I learned from other people that you can get into trouble with credit cards.”

The AP study found that the greatest rise was among accounts more than 90 days in arrears. Deterioration of finances of many households is partly a byproduct of the subprime mortgage crisis, the analysis found.

The new data represents about 325 million individual accounts held in trusts created by credit card issuers in order to sell the debt to investors – similar to how many banks packaged and sold subprime mortgage loans. Together, they represent about 45 percent of the $920 billion the Fed counts as credit card debt owed by Americans.

Until recently, credit card default rates had been running close to record lows, providing one of the few profit growth areas for the nation’s banks, which continue to flood America’s mailboxes with monthly offers of easy sign-ups for new plastic.

Combs, who is in her 30s, said she and her husband get credit card offers in the mail every single week. She’s tired of it.

“I rip them up and throw them in the trash,” she said.

Unlike the majority of Americans, this couple used cash — not credit — for their Christmas shopping.

There will be no fear of bills in January.

Credit card debt eventually leaks into other areas, whether it begins with the mortgage and goes to the credit card or vice versa, experts say.

“One of the big problems today is also the high cost of gasoline, other utilities, mortgages, on top of the very substantial amount of interest charged by credit card companies,” said Pete Gammon, 46, of Gammon Financial, 200 Putnam St. “Late fees on credit card debt is outrageous.”


Bhutto died of skull fracture

December 28th, 2007

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – Benazir Bhutto died from a skull fracture suffered when her head slammed against her car during a suicide attack — not from bullet wounds, the government said Friday.


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Pakistan‘s interior minister blamed al-Qaida and the Taliban for Thursday’s assassination and said another key opposition leader, Nawaz Sharif, is also under threat of militant attack.

The government released a transcript Friday of a purported conversation between militant leader Baitullah Mehsud and another militant.

“It was a spectacular job. They were very brave boys who killed her,” Mehsud said, according to the transcript.

Authorities on Thursday said Bhutto died from bullet wounds fired by a young man who then blew himself up, killing 20 other people. A surgeon who treated her said Friday she died from the impact of shrapnel on her skull.

But later Friday, Interior Ministry spokesman Javed Iqbal Cheema said all three shots missed her as she greeted supporters through the sunroof of her vehicle, which was bulletproof and bombproof.

He also denied that shrapnel caused her death, saying Bhutto was killed when she tried to duck back into the vehicle, and the shock waves from the blast knocked her head into a lever attached to the sunroof, fracturing her skull.

At a news conference, Cheema played a videotape of the attack showing Bhutto waving, smiling and chatting with supporters from the sunroof as her car sat unmoving on the street outside a campaign rally. Three gunshots rang out, the camera appeared to fall, and the tape ended.

Bhutto was slain while campaigning for the crucial Jan. 8 parliamentary elections in which she hoped to return as prime minister of the nuclear-armed country, a key U.S. ally in the war on terrorism. Upon her return from exile in October, she survived an assassination attempt. She had repeatedly complained that the government of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf did not give her adequate security.

As word of her death spread, her supporters blamed Musharraf of complicity in her assassination.

On Friday, Interior Minister Hamid Nawaz told The Associated Press that the government had evidence that al-Qaida and Taliban were behind the suicide attack.

Later, Cheema blamed Mehsud, described him as an “al-Qaida leader” and said he was also behind the Oct. 18 bombing against Bhutto’s homecoming parade through Karachi that killed more than 140 people.

Mehsud is a commander of pro-Taliban forces in the lawless Pakistani tribal region South Waziristan, where al-Qaida fighters are also active. His forces often attack Pakistani security forces.

This fall, he was quoted in a Pakistani newspaper as saying that he would welcome Bhutto’s return from exile with suicide bombers. Mehsud later denied that in statements to local television and newspaper reporters.

Cheema said Mehsud was “behind most of the recent terrorist attacks that have taken place in Pakistan.”

He said Pakistani security forces would hunt down those responsible for Bhutto’s death.


Asteroid Could Hit Mars Next Month

December 25th, 2007

Mars could be in for an asteroid hit. A newly discovered hunk of space rock has a 1 in 75 chance of slamming into the Red Planet on Jan. 30, scientists said Thursday.

“These odds are extremely unusual. We frequently work with really long odds when we track … threatening asteroids,” said Steve Chesley, an astronomer with the Near Earth Object Program at NASA’s Latest News about NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Latest News about Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Like a Nuclear Bomb

The asteroid, known as “2007 WD5,” was discovered in late November and is similar in size to an object that hit remote central Siberia in 1908, unleashing energy equivalent to a 15-megaton nuclear bomb and wiping out 60 million trees.

Scientists tracking the asteroid, currently halfway between Earth and Mars, initially put the odds of impact at 1 in 350 but increased the chances this week.

Scientists expect the odds to diminish again early next month after getting new observations of the asteroid’s orbit, Chesley said.

“We know that it’s going to fly by Mars and most likely going to miss, but there’s a possibility of an impact,” he said.


Caught on tape: Death star galaxy

December 17th, 2007

The latest act of senseless violence caught on tape is cosmic in scope: A black hole in a “death star galaxy” blasting a neighboring galaxy with a deadly jet of radiation and energy.

A fleet of space and ground telescopes have captured images of this cosmic violence, which people have never witnessed before, according to a new study released Monday by NASA.

“It’s like a bully, a black-hole bully punching the nose of a passing galaxy,” said astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York, who wasn’t involved in the research.

But ultimately, this could be a deadly punch.

The telescope images show the bully galaxy shooting a stream of deadly radiation particles into the lower section of the other galaxy, which is about one-tenth its size. Both are about 8.2 billion trillion miles from here, orbiting around each other.

The larger galaxy has a multi-digit name but is called the “death star galaxy” by one of the researchers who discovered the galactic bullying, Daniel Evans of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

Tens of millions of stars, including those with orbiting planets, are likely in the path of the deadly jet, said study co-author Martin Hardcastle of the University of Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom.

If Earth were in the way — and it’s not — the high-energy particles and radiation of the jet would in a matter of months strip away the planet’s protective ozone layer and compress the protective magnetosphere, said Evans. That would then allow the sun and the jet itself to bombard the planet with high-energy particles.


Youths riot for 3rd night outside Paris

November 28th, 2007

VILLIERS-LE-BEL, France – Youths rampaged for a third night in the tough suburbs north of Paris and violence spread to a southern city late Tuesday as police struggled to contain rioters who have burned cars and buildings and — in an ominous turn — shot at officers.

A senior police union official warned that “urban guerrillas” had joined the unrest, saying the violence was worse than during three weeks of rioting that raged around French cities in 2005, when firearms were rarely used.

Bands of young people set more cars on fire in and around Villiers-le-Bel, the Paris suburb where the latest trouble first erupted, and 22 youths were taken into custody, the regional government said. In the southern city of Toulouse, 20 cars were set ablaze, and fires at two libraries were quickly brought under control, police said.

Despite the renewed violence, France’s prime minister said the situation was calmer than the two previous nights. About 1,000 officers patrolled trouble spots in and around Villiers-le-Bel on Tuesday, he said.

The government was striving to keep violence from spreading in what was shaping up as a stern test for new President Nicolas Sarkozy. The unrest showed anger still smolders in France‘s poor neighborhoods, where many Arabs, blacks and other minorities live largely isolated from the rest of society.

The trigger was the deaths Sunday of two minority teens when their motorscooter collided with a police car in Villiers-le-Bel, a blue-collar town on Paris’ northern edge.

Residents claimed the officers left without helping the teens. Prosecutor Marie-Therese de Givry denied that, saying police stayed on the scene until firefighters arrived.

Rioting and arson quickly erupted after the crash. The violence worsened Monday night as it spread from Villiers-le-Bel to other impoverished suburbs north of the French capital. Rioters burned a library, a nursery school and a car dealership and tried to set some buildings on fire by crashing burning cars into them.

Officials have pledged tough punishments for rioters: Eight people were convicted Tuesday in fast-track trials and sentenced to 3-10 months in prison, the regional government said.


Bush Administration Blocked Waterboarding Critic

November 6th, 2007

Former DOJ Official Tested the Method Himself, in Effort to Form Torture Policy

A senior Justice Department official, charged with reworking the administration’s legal position on torture in 2004 became so concerned about the controversial interrogation technique of waterboarding that he decided to experience it firsthand, sources told ABC News.

Daniel Levin, then acting assistant attorney general, went to a military base near Washington and underwent the procedure to inform his analysis of different interrogation techniques.

After the experience, Levin told White House officials that even though he knew he wouldn’t die, he found the experience terrifying and thought that it clearly simulated drowning.

Levin, who refused to comment for this story, concluded waterboarding could be illegal torture unless performed in a highly limited way and with close supervision. And, sources told ABC News, he believed the Bush Administration had failed to offer clear guidelines for its use.

Bush Administration Blocked Critic

The administration at the time was reeling from an August 2002 memo by Jay Bybee, then the head of the Office of Legal Counsel, which laid out possible justifications for torture. In June 2004, Levin’s predecessor at the office, Jack Goldsmith, officially withdrew the Bybee memo, finding it deeply flawed.

When Levin took over from Goldsmith, he went to work on a memo that would effectively replace the Bybee memo as the administration’s legal position on torture. It was during this time that he underwent waterboarding.

In December 2004, Levin released the new memo. He said, “Torture is abhorrent” but he went on to say in a footnote that the memo was not declaring the administration’s previous opinions illegal. The White House, with Alberto Gonzales as the White House counsel, insisted that this footnote be included in the memo.

But Levin never finished a second memo imposing tighter controls on the specific interrogation techniques. Sources said he was forced out of the Justice Department when Gonzales became attorney general.


2007 is deadliest year for US in Iraq

November 6th, 2007

BAGHDAD – The U.S. military on Tuesday announced the deaths of five more soldiers, making 2007 the deadliest year for U.S. troops despite a recent downturn, according to an Associated Press count.

At least 852 American military personnel have died in Iraq so far this year — the highest annual toll since the war began in March 2003, according to AP figures.

The grim milestone passed despite a sharp drop in U.S. and Iraqi deaths here in recent months, after a 30,000-strong U.S. force buildup. There were 39 deaths in October, compared to 65 in September and 84 in August.

Five U.S. soldiers were killed Monday in two separate roadside bomb attacks, said Rear Adm. Gregory Smith, director of the Multi-National Force-Iraq’s communications division.

“We lost five soldiers yesterday in two unfortunate incidents, both involving IEDs,” Smith told reporters in Baghdad’s heavily-guarded Green Zone.

Some 850 troops died in 2004, mostly in larger, more conventional battles like the campaign to cleanse Fallujah of Sunni militants in November, and U.S. clashes with Shiite militiamen in the sect’s holy city of Najaf in August.


China, Japan to launch lunar missions

August 26th, 2007

By HIROKO TABUCHI, Associated Press Writer Fri Aug 24, 4:23 PM ET

TOKYO – Japan claims its project is the biggest since Apollo. China says it is readying its probes to study the lunar surface to plan a landing.

With Asia’s biggest powers set to launch their first unmanned lunar missions — possibly as early as next month — the countdown has begun in the hottest space race since the United States beat the Soviet Union to the moon nearly four decades ago.

Japan’s space agency said last week that its SELENE lunar satellite is on track for a Sept. 13 launch, following years of delay as engineers struggled to fix mechanical problems. China, meanwhile, is rumored to be planning a September blastoff for its Chang’e 1 probe, but is coy as to the date.

The Chinese satellite and its Changzheng 3 rocket have passed all tests, and construction of the launch pad is finished, according to the National Space Administration’s Web site. Last month, China’s minister of defense technology told CCTV that all was ready for a launch “by the end of the year.”

Officials have tried to play down the importance of beating each other off the pad, but their regional rivalry is never far below the surface.

“I don’t want to make this an issue of win or lose. But I believe whoever launches first, Japan’s mission is technologically superior,” said Yasunori Motogawa, an executive at JAXA, Japan’s space agency. “We’ll see which mission leads to the scientific breakthroughs.”

China’s military-run space program has taken a great leap forward in recent years, and the country sent shock waves through the region in 2003, when it became the first Asian country to put its own astronauts into space.


Greek fires kill 51 and threaten Olympia

August 26th, 2007

ZACHARO, Greece (Reuters) – EU firefighters and planes joined the battle on Sunday against the fires raging in Greece for three days, killing 51 people and threatening areas near ancient Olympia, historic site of the first Olympic games.

Greece declared a state of emergency on Saturday as towering walls of flame cut a swathe of destruction through the southern Peloponnese peninsula and across other areas of the country.

The fires have bathed Athens in white ash, forced thousands to flee their villages and burned about 500 homes and thousands of acres of forest and farmland.

Fire brigades on Sunday began evacuating villages near ancient Olympia as strong winds pushed the flames towards the historic site near the Peloponnese’s western Ionian coast.

“We are concerned not only about the archaeological site but about the whole area,” town mayor George Aidonis told Reuters. “We depend on tourism for our livelihood and now everything is being destroyed.”

About 90 firefighters and soldiers were trying to stop the flames from reaching the site, which installed a well organized fire protection system for the 2004 Athens Olympics.

“We have no water, we are at God’s mercy,” a resident from a village near Olympia told Greek television by phone. “Please tell someone we are putting out the fire with our own hands, we have no help. The village will disappear from the map.”

Ancient Olympia boasts ruins of the stadium and pagan temples that hosted the ancient games for centuries from 776 BC and is the site of an Olympic flame ceremony every two years.