Apr 30, 2011

Advantages to performance-enhancing bracelets may be purely mental

Many sports-enthusiasts may have recently noticed stars like Kobe Bryant, David Beckham and Maurico "Shogun" Rua wearing bracelets with small metal medallions built in while on the court, on the field or in the ring.

There are at least two brands of these devices out on the market currently, the Power Balance and the Ampli5, but many are beginning to question whether they have any significant impact on performance beyond the placebo effect.

Tampa Bay Online recently published an article which states that there is little scientific evidence that the accessories work.

"While we have received testimonials and responses from around the world about how Power Balance has helped people, there is no assurance it can work for everyone," said company spokesman Adam Selwyn, quoted by the news source.

Other experts who were interviewed suggested that the positive effects that were reported during product testing may have been due to the mental effect of wearing the bracelets, a slight edge that may actually make a difference in competition.

Yahoo! Sports reports that belief that a product may work can be powerful, and provide positive results despite a lack of physiological effect. However, writer Chris Chase concludes that by admitting that the power of the Power Balance lies purely in belief, the company may be shooting itself in the foot as consumers catch on.  

Apr 29, 2011

Tea shown to induce muscle weakness, kidney problems

Kava tea is a somewhat recent trend in relaxing herbal beverages. Derived from a plant in the pepper family, the drink has been popping up in cafes across the country and has become popular for its mild sedative effects.

However, when a bicyclist was recently found nearly passed out by the side of the road due to muscle fatigue and kidney dysfunction, doctors identified kava tea as the cause.

The athlete had been drinking the beverage regularly for some time, since the tea has been thought of as a safe alternative to alcohol. But kava caused his creatine kinase levels to spike dramatically to 32,500 international units (IUs). Normal levels of the enzyme should be no more than 400 IUs.

This effect caused the biker's kidneys to malfunction and blood flow to slow to a dangerous rate. Additionally, the tea caused extreme muscle relaxation, which is what prompted him to get off his bike to rest by the side of the road.

While doctors said that this is a somewhat unusual case, muscle-builders should take note to avoid the tea before heading to the gym.

"Liver damage from kava has been reported occasionally, and only one other case of [muscle damage] has been reported. This is not to say it never happens, but we were fortunate to recognize it because it is so rare," said Ryan P. Bodkin, M.D., the chief resident who treated the patient.  

Help burn fat with five steps

No matter how much time an individual spends at the gym lifting weights to build muscle, it's hard to get a cut look when there is a layer of fat hiding bulging biceps or ripped abs.

It's important to keep in mind that a certain amount of body fat is protective and healthy, but bulges and rolls are not part of any bodybuilders agenda and may even adversely affect cardiovascular health. The following tips can help speed up your metabolism to help burn fat and keep energy levels high.

A healthy, protein-rich breakfast is important for everyone, but especially individuals who are looking to get ripped. A shake made with natural whey protein is simple for people on the go, and a low-calorie way to get energized.

Lifting weights is a great way to get the metabolism working - as you probably already know. But cardiovascular exercise is also important, so don't forget to include running or cycling for extra aerobic activity.

Eating vegetables - and especially leafy greens - can fulfill the body's need for the vitamins and nitric oxide it needs to operate.

While a T-bone steak may be a delicious way to get protein, it can also clog the arteries. So, choose lean sources of the nutrient like chicken breast, fish or egg whites.

Finally, natural supplements to get ripped can also be an important part of a bodybuilding regimen, since they provide the body with energy and nutrients without calories.  

Apr 28, 2011

Summer sports can help you get ripped

The sunshine and warm breezes may have you wanting to skip the cramped gym in favor of some sports that will not only help you build muscle, but allow you to take advantage of the summer weather.

WebMD reports that it's important to change up a routine in order to avoid a plateau in fitness progression, so this may be the perfect time to switch it up.

An article on reports that rowing is a great way to build muscles - especially in the arms and upper body - while also burning fat, which can help attain a cut physique.

Individuals who are lucky enough to live near the ocean should consider surfing, the source recommends. The sport requires whole body muscle activation to burn calories and get toned, and can also help improve agility.

Swimming is a surefire way to burn calories while building strength in a variety of muscles in the body, in addition to being great cardiovascular exercise.

The news provider also says that kayaking can be a great way to build upper body strength and gain toned arms, shoulders and back muscles.  

Best quality protein is derived from food, not powders

An article in the Montreal Gazette reports that individuals who are looking to get ripped may be better off getting their protein from foods like lean meat, legumes and dairy rather than from shakes that claim to contain protein of superior quality.

While it's true that bodybuilders and those who engage in a lot of cardiovascular exercise do need more protein and other nutrients than their more sedentary counterparts, the author argues that the recommendations are easily achieved by consuming a variety of nutritious food.

"The protein from natural foods works perfectly fine," said sports nutrition expert Nancy Clark, quoted by the source. "Any animal protein is 'high quality' and contains all the essential amino acids you need to build muscles. Hence, eating balanced meals and then drinking protein shakes for 'high-quality protein' is an outrageous concept - and expensive."

The American Dietetic Association, Dietitians of Canada and the American College of Sports Medicine report that bodybuilders and athletes should get 1.2 to 1.7 grams of protein each day for every 2.2 pounds of body weight.

However, those who want to build muscles should keep in mind that the National Institutes of Health reports that heavy consumption of meat may lead to high cholesterol, gout and kidney strain. So be sure to explore high-protein options like soy, nuts and low-fat dairy.  

Muscle building myths that may lead to injury

Anyone who's embarked on a journey to get ripped is familiar with the phrase "No pain, no gain."

While it's true that there is a certain amount of discomfort involved in building muscle, the point is to become healthier and avoid injuries that may lead to time away from the gym. Too many of the widely believed myths circulating throughout bodybuilding communities may actually lead to torn ligaments, strained muscles or a sore back.

An article in Men's Health reports that while old advice about not letting the knees go past the toes while doing squats may be good for the knee joint, it can also put undue stress on the hips. The source recommends keeping the upper torso straight while doing squats and lunges and keeping forearms perpendicular to the floor.

The magazine also says that drawing in abdominals too much while lifting may raise a bodybuilders risk of injury because it strengthens the wrong group of muscles, while under-utilizing the right ones. Instead, be sure to brace your abs while doing weights as opposed to sucking them in. reports that the advice to work a muscle group until it becomes fatigued should only be followed two or three times per week, and not each time you hit the gym. Giving it your all every day may lead to overworking of the muscles and joints, and could eventually cause injury.

Apr 27, 2011

Get the day started with foods that help build muscle

It's long been said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It helps to kick start energy levels and can stave off unhealthy cravings for snacks throughout the day.

Individuals who are seeking ripped muscles should focus on high-protein, low-fat options. The following are some easy-to-make suggestions for a breakfast fit for an Ultimate Fighting Championship star.

An article on recommends an egg white omelet with shredded chicken to pack in the protein early on. Chilis have been known to get a metabolism going, so the source suggests thinly slicing some hot peppers to top off the egg dish. Avocados are loaded with healthy fats for optimal energy use, and are the perfect addition to this chicken omelet. reports that pre-workout breakfasts should contain adequate carbohydrates along with lean proteins - like an English muffin with a slice of ham and an egg. If you plan on heading to the gym soon after you eat, then fruit and low-fat yogurt may be a better option.

For early risers who start weight-lifting before breakfast, try to limit complex carbohydrates and favor low-fat, high-protein options, like smoked salmon and reduced fat cream cheese or egg whites and turkey bacon.  

Muscle strength may promote a long lifespan

High blood pressure is often associated with general poor health outcomes, but a new study from the University of South Carolina reports that some of these negative effects may be reversed by building muscles.

In a 18-year study, the team of scientists examined the health data of a group of men over the age of 40 who had high blood pressure. They found that the participants with the highest muscle strength were 34 percent less likely to die from any cause when compared to their counterparts with less muscle mass.

Study authors suggested that older people with hypertension should consider integrating strength training into their exercise routine.

In an earlier study that was published in The Journals of Gerontology: Series A, it was found that grip strength predicted a longer lifespan in healthy, middle-aged men, even when the team of researchers took into account age, education, smoking status, physical activity and height.

Authors of that study said that greater muscle strength is associated with physiological benefits that may contribute to longevity, such as proper blood flow and bone support.  

Apr 25, 2011

St-Pierre gears up for fight against Shields

On Saturday, April 30, Georges St-Pierre will go head-to-head with Jake Shields in Toronto in what may be St-Pierre's biggest challenge yet.

St-Pierre has told Men's Health that he typically begins a workout with some grappling, core and shoulder exercises, lifting and some neck-strengthening techniques. But to prepare for his battle against Shields, the fighter told Yahoo! Sports that he's been trying something that's a little unconventional for an Ultimate Fighting Championship competitor.

The 170-pound Montreal-born athlete hopes to build muscles and improve his flexibility by practicing gymnastics.

"As a longtime fan of the gymnastics, I welcome this development in [Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)] training. Gymnasts have fantastic functional strength, body control, balance and flexibility, all characteristics that are useful in MMA," St-Pierre told the source.

Internet videos feature the burly fighter doing cartwheels with ease and demonstrating some serious upper body strength.

St-Pierre has also been working with boxing coach Freddie Roach to get ripped and work on his striking abilities. Previously, the fighter worked with Roach in a successful battle against Josh Koscheck.  

Apr 22, 2011

Weight training is not just for the boys

While it's not uncommon for a woman to seek bulging biceps and ripped abs, most of the information in magazines and on the internet focuses on muscle building according to a man's physiology.

However, an article on has reported that many of the techniques used by guys can also help women who are looking to get ripped.

At the gym, women may want to consider adopting a man's approach by working multiple muscle groups at once in the form of squats and bench presses. Additionally, flexing after a workout can actually help build muscle, as can loading up on carbohydrates and protein post-workout.

In order to get a toned look, women may need to forego lady-like behavior and not be afraid of sweating during a workout. Also, if muscles are the goal, it doesn't help to focus on being thin rather than getting stronger. reports that nutrition is important when it comes to building muscle for women. In addition to eating balanced meals complete with lean meats, beans, legumes, fruits and vegetables, choosing healthy snacks can give muscles a boost.

Try munching on edamame, Greek yogurt, peanut butter on whole wheat toast, dried fruits and nuts for plenty of protein and nutrients.  

Milk shown to encourage muscle growth, help burn fat

Research led by Professor Stu Phillips of McMaster University previously demonstrated that milk can effectively help men burn fat and build muscle. Now, the same team has shown that the dairy product may have the same effect in women.

In a controlled, 3-month study, the researchers discovered that women who drank two cups - or 500 milliliters - of skim milk following a resistance training regimen experienced muscle gain proportionate to their body fat loss, when compared to participants who consumed an energy drink post-workout.

The women engaged in an exercise routine that was monitored by personal trainers and included bench presses, lateral pull-downs, hamstring curls and abdominal crunches, among others.

Authors of the study theorized that the high-quality protein, calcium and vitamin D contained in milk may have helped the women in their goals to get ripped. Additionally, they said that more women should consider resistance training.

"The health benefits of resistance training are enormous: It boosts strength, bone, muscular and metabolic health in a way that other types of exercise cannot," Phillips said.  

Apr 20, 2011

FDA to crack down on harmful muscle-building supplements

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) plans to develop a new labeling system for dietary supplements in an effort to better educate consumers on which products that are being touted by companies as safe are actually harmful to the body.

Certain products that contain illegal anabolic steroids or similar compounds have been advertised as safe alternatives to FDA-approved products without the appropriate testing.

In addition to new labeling, the administration is also developing a system whereby industry experts and regulators can easily identify the offending supplement companies and take appropriate punitive action.

Those looking to build muscles should beware of such supplements, and instead seek out natural supplements to get ripped.

Also, lean high-protein foods like chicken, fish and eggs can help individuals build muscles efficiently and safely. Beans and nuts are high in protein and contain fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, respectively. Whole grain carbohydrates like brown rice and whole wheat may help body builders as they provide the energy it takes for weight training.  

Apr 19, 2011

Antioxidant resveratrol may help individuals get ripped abs

In a clinical study, it was recently found that the naturally-derived antioxidant known as resveratrol - found in grape skins, red wine and supplements - effectively helps individuals reduce their body fat, which can help those looking to get ripped muscles.

Researchers from University of the Basque Country found that while conjugated linoleic acid has limited benefits, resveratrol may be effective when combined with a reduced-calorie diet.

The antioxidant was found to lower blood levels of triglycerides - the chemical form of most fats - in both mice and humans.

These findings may come as good news for those who have been working hard to build muscles but still cannot achieve the cut look they desire. Reducing fat using natural substances may not only help muscle tone, but could eliminate harmful free radicals from the body.

Red wine as well as red and purple grapes contain the highest concentrations of resveratrol, but the antioxidant can also be found in cranberries, blueberries, peanuts and strawberries. Individuals looking for the highest dose of resveratrol may want to consider nutritional supplements.  

Patience is a virtue when it comes to ripped abs

Experts at warn that hitting the gym multiple times per day for several days in a row is not the smart way to build muscles, since it can lead to fatigue, illness or injury.

Common sense can tell an individual that weight-lifting too often can lead to sore, tired muscles, but the website reports that it can also weaken the immune system and make bodybuilders more susceptible to ailments.

Additionally, when the body's natural defense system is occupied repairing muscles and fighting off disease, recovery time is slowed and individuals may give up the gym for longer periods of time. When the body is busy getting better and taking time off from lifting, it makes it harder to spend the time that it takes to get ripped.

Achy muscles and painful joints can lead to recurring injuries, and such accidents may cause chronic fatigue, low energy levels and loss of appetite - which further hinders the body's ability to build muscle.

The experts recommend focused training, exerting only a limited amount of energy and gradual weight increases for lifting. Additionally, they said that using natural supplements to get ripped may be safer than hormones or steroids.  

Eggs are more than an economical breakfast food

Men's Health reports that eggs are packed with the nutrients necessary to get ripped since they contain not only protein, but many essential vitamins and minerals.

Additionally, the affordable food has a high biological value, meaning that the body uses its protein to build muscles more efficiently than other sources.

"Calorie for calorie, you need less protein from eggs than you do from other sources to achieve the same muscle-building benefits," said Jeff Volek, Ph.D., R.D., an exercise and nutrition researcher at the University of Connecticut, quoted by the source.

It's been trendy in the past to toss out the egg yolks because of reports that they may raise an individuals' cholesterol. However, the yellow center is actually packed with vitamin B12 to help burn fat and promote muscle contraction, and has not been shown to adversely affect heart health, according to Men's Health.

Self magazine reports that eggs are also rich in riboflavin, phosphorus and selenium. Additionally, every large egg contains just 71 calories and more than six grams of protein.  

Apr 18, 2011

Snack on almonds to get ripped

The antioxidants found in nuts like almonds may help the body eliminate post-workout free radicals, making for healthier muscles that recover quickly, according to an article in Men's Health.

Jeff Volek, Ph.D., R.D., an exercise and nutrition researcher at the University of Connecticut, told the news source that almonds are an optimal source for obtaining alpha-tocopherol vitamin E, which is easily absorbed by the body.

Volek recommends that those looking to build muscles or get ripped abs should snack on about two handfuls of the nut each day.

The source notes that almonds may also be good for brain health, as a recent study suggested that they may stave off Alzheimer's disease. Past research has also supported the theory that antioxidants may be effective in preventing cancer and promoting overall good health.

Self magazine reports that each one-ounce serving of almonds contains 161 calories and about six grams of protein. They are also low in cholesterol, sugar and sodium. Almonds contain healthy amounts of riboflavin, magnesium, fiber and manganese. 

Salmon provides the right nutrients to build muscle

Fish has long been touted as one of the best foods an individual can choose for optimal well-being, and an article in Men's Health now reports that muscle growth can be added to the list of benefits that salmon may provide.

In addition to being high in protein, salmon contains high concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to promote brain and cardiovascular health.

Human Performance Specialists nutritionist Tom Incledon, R.D. told the news source that the healthy fats may also help muscles heal from intense weight training

"Omega-3's can decrease muscle-protein breakdown after your workout, improving recovery," he said, quoted by the magazine.

In order for the body to build muscle, it must store new protein before a breakdown of the nutrient occurs, according to the expert. has reported that the fatty acids found in salmon are essential because they give the metabolism a boost and may also support healthy testosterone levels and thyroid activity. Additionally, omega-3 has been shown to promote joint health and clear skin.  

Vegetarian dishes for body builders

Leafy greens like spinach and kale contain high levels of nitric oxide, a compound which assists in blood flow and muscle metabolism - which may be especially beneficial for those looking to get ripped abs.

A balanced diet is important for any gym-goer, so it may be time to skip dinner-time favorites like chicken or steak every now and then and try out some dishes using nitric oxide-rich greens.

Kale and white beans are an Italian classic. First, saute garlic and shallots in some oil until they become translucent. Then add clean, chopped kale and cook it until wilted. Pour in a can or a cup of cooked white beans and saute until heated through. Add this mixture to cooked spaghetti or other pasta, then sprinkle with some lemon juice and parmesan cheese for a tasty, heart-healthy meal that provides vitamins, carbohydrates and protein.

Spinach and eggs are best friends when it comes to flavor. Simply wilt some spinach in garlic-infused olive then add some beaten eggs. Cook until done, and serve with some whole wheat toast for a fast, inexpensive and nutritious meal.  

Apr 14, 2011

Best protein shake ever? That’s the claim by world-famous chef Attila Hildmann. Oh yeah, and it’s vegan, too!

World-Famous Chef Claims the Best Protein Shake
Even though he’s world-famous, Attila Hildmann might not be a household name. But he’s causing a bit of a stir on Youtube with his video, in which he claims that he has invented the Best Protein Shake ever. It’s vegan, so the main protein source is soy, so some body builders may not agree with Attila’s claim. But, we’d love to hear if anyone’s ever tried this recipe and thinks it’s worth others to try.

BEHIND THE SCENES: Try the MMA Workout yet? Looks like another great way to get ripped. Check out the article featuring Jens "Lil Evil" Pulver

WEC Fighter “Lil Evil” Reveals the MMA Workout
To get ripped and build muscle effectively, you need to change it up every now and then. That’s not really a secret. But when you’re talking about MMA fighters, a lot of people wonder how those athletes workoutand what kind of weight training they use to get so shredded and in top fighting shape. Jens "Lil Evil" Pulver was recently interviewed and he shared what he does to get and stay ripped. Not surprisingly, he does 10x reps of Heavy Bag Burpees as part of his upper body workout.

You can read the entire article courtesy of Men’s Fitness, by reading it here:

Apr 13, 2011

Muscle building pro and coach Lee Hayward shares 2 great secrets for killer biceps

Muscle Building Pro Lee Hayward Shares Killer Bicep Routine
In terms of internet resources for getting ripped and building muscles effectively, one name that constantly appears is Lee Hayward. This guy transformed from a self-described weakling to an example of what it means to get and stay ripped. Lee has put together several effective weight training programs and we found a great video that shows 2 secrets for shredding killer biceps. For example, he recommends overhead cable curl, which simulates hitting a double bicep pose, and the overhead rope extension to stretch out and add muscle fitness.

You can see the entire video on his web site by following this link. Feel free to come back and comment here or on our Facebook page, too! []

Washington Caps star Alexander Ovechkin Shares How He Stays Ripped

Washington Caps star Alexander Ovechkin Shares How He Stays Ripped

On the eve of the NHL playoffs, we bring you this insider look on pre-workout and post-workout tips from one of the hottest stars in the league: Alexander Ovechkin. As the Caps prepare to take on the NY Rangers in the first round, no doubt he will be challenged to push his body building routine to new heights as he meets the rigors of playoff hockey. During an interview earlier this year, Ovechkin’s team trainer Mark Nemish shared some of the star’s weight training secrets to getting ripped. One of them is that Ovechkin does landmines, which help build "rotational strength, power and recruitment of the abdominals and glutes," says Nemish.

Read the entire article courtesy of Express Night Out, here:

Is this guy totally clueless? It has to be one of the funniest workout videos ever:

Think This Is the Most Ridiculous Workout Technique?
Sometimes we all need a good laugh, even if it involves weight training and building muscle, which are serious and important topics. Every now and then, a funny video pops up that not only makes us laugh but also points out how much bad advice there is out there for body building and getting ripped. So, enjoy the following video. That sure doesn’t look like a great way to ensure ripped abs! Feel free to leave your own comments or even better, send us funny workout videos of your own!


Ridiculous Work Out Technique
Ridiculous Work Out Technique

(Video Courtesy of

Suspended MMA Fighter Chael Sonnen Rips the State of MMA

Did you hear? Chael Sonnen both praises Jon Jones while ripping the state of MMA in interview following his suspension

Suspended MMA Fighter Chael Sonnen Rips the State of MMA
During a recent interview on, former champ Chael Sonnen shared some uncensored comments that are sure to catch some heat. Sonnen, known for his rigorous weight training ethic and doing what it takes to get ripped, talked about where he stands on being able to fight again, current title holder Jon Jones and the direction MMA is going. While Sonnen praises Jones for his body building and talent, he is points out that other fighters seem hesitant to challenge him in the 205 division. Which Sonnen takes exception to, saying, “All these guys want to tell everyone they're in the UFC, but they don't want to have to carry the heavy water.” He adds: "I will fight any man God ever made, period."

Read excerpts from the interview, or watch the entire video, at

Shelly Martinez Loves Ripfire!

Apr 12, 2011

Nitric oxide provides stamina to get ripped

Researchers at the University of Exeter have conducted a study which reveals that dietary supplements that aid absorption of nitric oxide may allow everyday gym-goers and bodybuilders alike to hit the weights or treadmill for up to 20 percent longer.

The team of scientists said that nitric oxide has been shown to help the body use oxygen more efficiently.

"The research found that when the dietary supplement was used there was a striking increase in performance by altering the use of oxygen during exercise," said Andrew Jones, from the university's School of Sport and Health Sciences.

The researchers looked into the effectiveness of a nitric oxide-boosting supplement after the discovery that beet juice - which is rich in the compound - may significantly improve physical performance.

Nitric oxide works by helping to maintain the flexibility and function of vascular smooth muscle cells, thereby promoting healthy blood flow. Additionally, it has been shown to help repair or prevent vascular damage in a previous mouse study that was conducted at Stanford University.

Results of the study suggest that taking nitric oxide supplements pre-workout may help individuals build muscles and burn fat.

Apr 11, 2011

Study reveals repetition is the best way to get ripped

Researchers at McMaster University have discovered that lifting lighter weights and performing more repetitions builds muscle more efficiently than doing fewer repetitions with heavy weights.

When weight training, the key is to work until the muscles become fatigued.

"We're convinced that growing muscle means stimulating your muscle to make new muscle proteins, a process in the body that over time accumulates into bigger muscles," said Stuart Phillips, associate professor of kinesiology.

Study participants lifted weights that were 90 percent and 30 percent of their maximum potential. When using heavy weights, most were able to do only five to 10 repetitions before fatigue set in. When lifting a lighter load, the participants were able to do about 24 repetitions.

Since more repetitions means more stimulation, study authors concluded that it may be best to lower the weight bar when it comes to muscle growth. This may also help prevent injury, since being overly ambitious about lifting may sometimes cause strain.

Results of the study were published in the journal PLoS ONE. 

Mark Whalberg Shares His Fighter Physique Secrets

Mark Whalberg Shares His Fighter Physique Secrets

If you haven’t seen The Fighter yet, we recommend you do as soon as possible. Not only is this movie a gritty look at boxing, but it also shows what you can look like if you put some hard work into your workouts. Star Mark Whalberg spent two years getting ripped for this role, so when you see him in The Fighter, that’s not a body double. Mark recently shared some of his secrets in an article of Men’s Health Magazine…Tell us what you think of his 3 minute boxing lesson.

(Adapted by original article by Mike Zimmerman, posted on Men’s Health, May 13, 2008)

"Wanna roll a couple?" Mark Wahlberg asks. He's not talking about sparking up a Bob Marley special, though—just putting a few golf balls. I'm out at his house in Beverly Hills—way up in Beverly Hills—and I nod before following him to the putting green, which is between the big house and the guesthouse. It overlooks his home gym (another building with about the square footage of your local Gold's) and the outdoor basketball court with the Celtics logo painted in the center.

"I always wanted to create a great guy space," he says, knocking a 30-footer within 3 feet. "I bought the place in 2000 and it was just the house. Everything else was just a dirt hill. I always wanted the gym, the guesthouse for my mom, the pool, this green. It has some breaks and it rolls pretty true."

This is Wahlberg's reward for focusing on his work, fitness, and family.

"C'mon, man!" Wahlberg barks. "Take a swing!" The guy, Eiran, one of Wahlberg's buddies, doesn't. So Wahlberg pummels him, body blow after body blow going off like gunshots. We're in the gym now, and the gloves are on. So is the padded headgear. And Eiran, a heavyset man who perhaps isn't quite sure he's enjoying himself, is able to take those blows because he's encased in a thick, barrellike sheath of body armor. Wahlberg's all boxer now. I may be able to putt with the man, but in this arena he would take me apart like a coroner dissecting a cadaver.

Wahlberg's workout space is essentially a warehouse with an 18-foot ceiling, packed with enough equipment for a football team. To the left, a Power Plate and racks of iron. To the right, an array of punching bags (heavy, speed, and others) along with a regulation-size boxing ring complete with turnbuckles. On the adjacent wall, a huge, framed poster of Muhammad Ali, autographed "to Mark." The entire back wall lifts to reveal a lighted basketball court. Upstairs on a catwalk are the cardio machines and trainer's room. A massage table arrives while we're there.

The place does Wahlberg's physique a lot of good, but it's not just for getting ripped. When he's working on other films, he jumps rope and hits the bags and mitts (those oversize catcher's mitts you've seen Rocky pound) for maintenance. But when he's between films or, as he says, "When I don't have to worry about showing up to work with a black eye," he goes balls-out.

Wahlberg warms up by jumping rope or doing a few sets of squats on the Power Plate (a machine with a vibrating platform that, studies have shown, may increase muscle activity as you do squats, deadlifts, and other exercises). Then he takes on the bags: 5 minutes each with the speed bag, double-end bag (that's the one with cables attaching it to the floor and ceiling), and heavy bag. Then mitt work, practicing punch combinations. After that, maybe some sparring. "My buddies from Boston are always dying to take my head off. Like Andy and Big Bo—they're very tough. They'll go 10 rounds if you let them."

The boxing goes on for roughly 45 minutes. Wahlberg hits the weights even before the sweat dries from boxing. "I do 30 to 40 minutes," he says. "No rest. I superset everything." He breaks up the muscle groups depending on the day: Monday is legs, biceps, and back. Tuesday is chest, shoulders, triceps. Wednesday is legs and biceps again. He'll rest 2 days and start again on Saturday.

The iron work on its own, however, isn't enough for him. "I do everything wearing a 35-pound weighted vest," he says.

"It's so relaxing here." An 8-foot landscaping waterfall washes down a wall in the yard behind us. We sit on the patio next to the guesthouse where Wahlberg's mother lived for a while ("She missed Boston too much.") and where visiting friends and family members stay. This is also where he watches his kids romp on a big redwood play set out on the grass.

Mark Wahlberg's 3-minute Boxing Lesson
Don't expect instant contender status
Enjoy boxing for its fitness benefits early on, and expect little else. Why? It takes a long time to get good at it, Wahlberg says. "I really feel now that for the first time, even after a year and a half concentrating on it, and training on and off for a good portion of my life, I can throw punches with power from any angle."

Know your five 
"The key for me is balance and working the throw," says Wahlberg. "You take that from five things: the jump rope, the heavy bag, the speed bag, the double-end bag, and hitting mitts. It's repetition, throwing constant combinations. I just step in there and do it."

Don't be a lazy trainee
"It's important to become good at all five of those things," he says. "A lot of people don't get the hang of jumping rope or working the speed bag right away, so they don't do either one. They'd rather hit the heavy bag, because it's easy. But you have to do it all, or what's the point?"

Stick with basic strategy in the ring
Save the rope-a-dope stuff and stick with simple strategies as you learn. A good basic: "Go to the body hard and force the guy to drop his hands so you can attack his head," says Wahlberg.

[To read the original article on Men’s Health, click here: