Top 3 Protein Supplements for Weight Gain

You already know that you can maximize your muscle growth with the help of supplements, but which ones should you be looking out for? With so many weight gain supplements on the market at the moment it’s extremely difficult to decide which ones work and which ones won’t.

protein and exerciseWe’ve put together a list of ingredients you should be looking out for to make this choice just a little bit easier for you. You should always consult a doctor and personal trainer before taking any supplements and remember to always read the labels.

What are the kinds of protein powder

1. Whey Protein Powder

What is Whey Protein Powder?

Whey Protein Powder is a milk-based protein that has good acids and peptides that help increase the blood flow to your muscles.

When to use it?

Because Whey Protein breaks down extremely fast, it is best to take Whey Protein immediately after you have finished your work out to get the absolute best results.

protein powder

2. Creatine 

What is Creatine?

Creatine is an organic acid that is found in your liver but can also be taken as a supplement in the form of ‘Creatine Monohydrate’ to enhance your performance at the gym. Amazingly, because of it’s ability to supply energy to cells throughout your body, it can also be beneficial for people suffering from neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s Disease.

When to use it?

You can add a small amount (2-3 grams MAX) of Creatine Monohyrate or Creatine Malate to your protein smoothies before your workout for the best results.

3. Casein Protein Powder

What is Casein Protein Powder?

Just like Whey Protein Powder, Casein Protein Powder is a milk based powder.

When to use it?

If your Casein Protein Powder includes a slow digesting casein like Casein Micellar, you can take it right before bed and then again with your whey protein powder after your work out.

If you’re looking for more information about protein powder has in depth guides and tips. You can also see this wiki article.

Hopefully you’ve learnt about what ingredients to look out for when you are looking to buy your next supplements. We want to remind you again to always consult professionals such as doctors and personal trainers before you start taking any type of performance enhancer.

Understanding The Basics Of Protein Powder

While working at my gym, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about Protein Powder for Women. Getting started with protein powders can be a confusing process. There are so many different types and even more brands available, it can be a bit overwhelming at times. Below is a simple guide to help you understand more about which protein powder is right for you.

How to Pick The Best Protein Powder?

There are a few different factors to consider when buying a protein powder.

protein powder for women1. Type of Protein.  Each of us have different requirements, luckily there is a protein powder suited for you. Examples of protein include whey, pea, egg, hemp and rice – just to name a few.

2. Protein Yield.  H0w much of the product is actually protein? The higher quality your protein powder the high yield it will have. This, of course comes with a price. There is a simple calculation for this:

(Grams Protein Per Serving X 100) / Grams Serving Size = Yield  For example: (24 Grams Protein Per Serving X 100) /28 Grams Serving Size = 85.7%

So, roughly 86% of total mass is protein. This would be considered a high yield and you’ll pay for that. On average you should expect a yield between 55% to 75%. See our chart for more product specific information.

3. Taste. Part of the appeal of using protein powders is that wide variety of flavours. Choosing a protein powder you are going to enjoy consuming everyday is important. Add you’re own extra ingredients can make this a fun daily experiment. You can also add a ton of other ingredients that will make a few nice protein smoothies, these are a great option when you’re looking to get a boost of other nutritional foods such as fruits and veggies. is a good source for protein powder recipes.

4. Price. Obviously this is an important factor. Generally you will pay more money for high quality or organic protein powder. However, you get what you’re paying for. There are many protein powders that taste great, are good for you and still reasonability priced.

Understanding Protein Shakes And A Few Recipes

A common misconception is that protein shakes for women are not ideal. In fact, most women think that protein shakes are for this bodybuilder types hitting the the gym twice a day. However, you’d be surprised to know that protein shakes are an ideal boost to your protein intake, for both men and men. It’s important to note that I’m targeting women because, well, it’s mostly women who ask me these questions.

As we’ve established in my previous post, protein powder’s can help you lose weight, gain lean muscle mass, and give you that extra kickstart in the morning. If you make a breakfast smoothie in the morning, adding a powder means you will get a extra kick of protein, boosting you to your daily requirement. Not to mention, you’ll really feel energized. In the morning is a great time to do this as your metabolism it at it’s all time peak and adding protein to your breakfast will help you drop fat.

A few recipes to get you started

If you’re looking for more information on protein powders and which protein powder is right for you. I direct most women and men to or womens health mag. These resources have given me the best information so far. So, I’ll stick to them!

Banana Shake:

Best Protein Powder for Women

Using banana’s in your protein shakes are a great way to add a consistent flavour. Even adding a few berries will give it a nice taste. I’d top if off with water, add milk can be fatty. Blend it with your protein powder and boom. You’ve got yourself a banana protein shake. If you like it a bit thicker you can always add some ice cubes.

Yogurt Smoothies Shake:

You probably already have some Yogurt in the house but this is a great source of protein.

Add a handful of your favourite fruits, throw in a cup of of yogurt, one scoop of your protein powder of choice and mix it all together in your blender or magic bullet.

Stories From The Brisbane Fitness and Health Expo

BFHEThis year I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the Brisbane Fitness Expo. Wow, what a great example of the industry really coming together to celebrate fitness, promote ideas and expand our knowledge. This year was a huge success with over 100 exhibitors and 9,000 attendees taking over the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition, this is definitely the biggest event so far.

Walking around the convention centre, I was struck by how many different exhibits there were to explore and learn about, not to mention the abundance of food samples. Fantastic new products were on display, it’s really inspiring to be able to see the faces of the people behind the products, you can really see the passion and enthusiasm people have for healthy living.

The weekend was full of entertainment from CrossFit, Strongman, Powerlifting, and Weightlifting demonstrations and competitions by some of Australia’s best in the industry. They even held the annual Queensland arm-wrestling championships on the Sunday, with huge number participating and attending. There was also the ever-popular fitness model search, an afternoon of talented and beautiful men and women, no complaints there!

Here’s a video with some of the highlights from the expo.

When I wasn’t enjoy the presentations and seminars at the convention, I was soaking up the beautiful weather in Brisbane. Thanks to removalists brisbane I had an idea of where to go Exercise and outdoor life is just a common place here, with kilometres of running paths and a number of outdoor, public areas to train and work on fitness. I was lucky enough to stay at a fantastic hotel in the city and exploring the great restaurants and night-life was a real treat.

Next year’s expo will be held on the first week of September. I highly suggest you check it out. If you’re going to be visiting brisbane check out

I walked away with tons of knowledge that I look forward to sharing with you on the blog.

Why Calcium Is An Important Part of Your Diet

MilkCalcium is one of the most abundant elements in your body. We’ve all heard the old saying, “drink your milk, if you want strong bones”. Maybe we should change the saying to, “drink your milk, it’s essential for living organisms”. Not only does Calcium build and maintain strong bones, it’s also help strengthen communication between the brain and other parts of your body.

Calcium is found in many foods. For most people, milk, yogurt, and cheese are the main food sources of calcium. You can also find calcium in vegetables such as kale, broccoli, and chinese cabbage. For an adult between the ages of 19-50 you should be consuming 1000 mg of calcium a day, this means checking the labels of the products you eat to determine how much calcium you’re receiving.

The O word

Calcium is one of the most effective ways to prevent Osteoporosis later in life.

Those with Osteoporosis lose their bone mass. Fractures become commonplace in these weaken bones and this leads to the inability to walk. Maybe older people are seriously injured when they fall and rarely recover. Receiving the correct amount of calcium early in life is one of the best way to prevent Osteoporosis. People whose calcium intake is inadequate before the age of 20-25, have a considerably higher risk later on in life.

What else does Calcium do?

Your body needs calcium so that muscles can move and so your nerves can carry messages between the brain and other parts of your body. In addition, calcium is used to help blood vessels move blood throughout the body and to help release hormones and enzymes that affect almost every function in the human body.

Calcium is one of the most important nutrients for your body, allowing it to stay healthy and strong.

While, different ages groups and genders will require a different amounts. It’s important to recognize that everyone can benefit from eating calcium-rich foods.

The 4 Minute Ab Workout

So, you want to workout but finding the time between work, school, family and social activities is next to impossible. I get that, in fact, that’s one of the major reasons people give up before they’ve even started. Trying to fit a 30 minute exercise session is actually a lot harder than it seems.

What if we said you don’t need 30 minutes, in fact, all you need it 4. That’s what Mike Chang of is suggesting with his 4 minute ab assault, don’t worry it isn’t as violent as it sounds. The idea here is doing small but consistent exercises over a long period of time. Gaining muscle isn’t an over night event, as much as we’d like it to be. Training and learning to exercise on a regular basis is the same, you have to train you body and mind to enter into a regular schedule.

The four minute ab assault is a high-intensity, short workout that tones your stomach and burns belly fat. The result is great looking abs with little to no time spent at the gym.

How does it work?


This exercise consists of four rounds. Within each round you’ll be doing three exercises for 30 seconds.

Weighted Crunch. A simple crunch with an added weight. Take a five pound weight (or whatever you feel comfortable with), hold it behind you head and start your crunch. Remember to bring you shoulder blades off the ground.

Russian Twist.  Get into a sitting position with your knees bent. Your heels can be planted on the floor or you can raise them into the air, the latter is harder. Lean back as far as you can until you feel your abs tighten. Holding your weight in front of you with both hands and twist your torso to the left and right tapping the floor with your hands as you go.

Elevated Leg Lift. Your starting position will be lying flat on your back. Arms by your side, bring both legs up towards your head and use your arms to push your body straight up. Bring your legs back down and repeat.

Check out this video for more information

Must Have Home Gym Equipment

So you’re sick of commuting to the gym and paying their outrageous fees? We hear you! And the good news is you don’t have to any more. The even better news is that you can now look for all of your home gym equipment on the internet – from the comfort of your own couch. For example, is constantly cutting prices, offering free delivery and some exceptional warranty deals too. We’ve put together a few of our favourite amazon picks for you but take a look for yourself! You won’t be disappointed!



The problem with buying a cardio machine is that you will almost always have to sacrifice a lot of space for it. Buying a rowing machine is a great alternative if you are particularly ‘space poor’ at the moment but still want to get that full body cardio work out. Most home rowing machines will fold away to some extent and some will even fold right under your bed.

If you’ve got deep pockets, we recommend the Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine which is priced at a whopping $900 on amazon at the moment. We can see why over 300 people have given it 5 stars! It’s a tiny looking thing with all of the power and bells and whistles including a performance monitor which will keep track of everything from your strokes to calorie count.

Screen Shot 2013-11-14 at 12.43.01 PM


If this is (understandably) a little out of your price range Amazon have rowing machines starting from around $70! Not bad at all.


Sure you can go out and buy an entire home gym but have you ever considered looking at a dumbbell set? Buying a full set of dumbbells is a cost and space effective alternative and will often fit in your garage with your vehicle which is a great bonus.

If you’re looking at buying a set of dumbbells online there are a few things you need to consider. Firstly, postage because obviously your package is going to be insanely expensive and you do not want to be paying the post office on a ‘per pound’ basis. Another thing to consider is storage. Once you have purchases your dumbbells are you going to have somewhere safe and efficient to store them?

Lucky for you we’ve done the research and picked a great option that covers all categories. The CAP Barbell 150 lb. Hex Dumbbell Set with Rack is exactly what it sounds like, 150 pounds of dumbbells on a perfectly fitted rack. This set can be purchased on amazon for around $399.00 but at the moment it is on sale for just $254.99 with FREE SHIPPING and a 30 day manufacturers warranty. Perfect!



Wondering what to do with your new dumbbell set? Check out these great dumbbell work outs for some ideas:

We hope we’ve made your next home gym equipment choice a little bit easier. If you have any questions or suggestions we’d love to hear from you! Simply comment on the post below and we will do our very best to get back to you as soon as we can.

Why Box Squatting is the Bomb

Here at A1 Muscle Sports we like to give our readers as many options as possible when it comes to your newest work outs. This week we are going to talk about the forgotten benefits of Box Squatting and why you might be missing out on this killer leg exercise. If you’d like some other suggestions on leg workouts, please check out our post ‘Best Leg Workouts’.

What is a Box Squat?

It doesn’t sound complicated because it isn’t! A Box Squat is just like a regular squat except there is a solid object like a bench or box behind you, preventing you from squatting all the way down.

Are they safe?

It might be surprising to learn that box squats are actually a safer option then almost all other forms of squats. Sitting in between reps forces you to keep the correct form which ultimately leads to less injury and more time in the gym!

Why should I be doing Box Squats?

As mentioned above, the Box Squat keeps you in the correct form but it also keeps the weight off your knees and is easier on the back then some other forms of squatting. You are forced to have a wider stance so this gives your glutes, hips and the upper portion of hamstrings a better workout. By sitting in between reps you are actually breaking the eccentric concentric chain which will give you explosive strength!

You can have a look Brandan Campbell’s advice of safe Box Squatting here:


Remember safety is always key when you are completing strenuous exercise – particularly if you want to push yourselves to your absolute limits. We recommend discussing your work out routine with a qualified personal trainer before you start to experiment with new exercises and it’s always a good idea to have a buddy site you just in case.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our article about Box Squats, again if you are interested in looking into some different types of leg exercises you can always head over to our other page ‘Best Leg Workouts’ right here. Be sure you comment on this post below and we will be sure to get back to you as soon as possible.


Best Leg Workouts

There’s nothing worse than looking top heavy but it’s easy to forget your lower half when you’re hitting the gym. It’s a little known fact that working out your legs and glutes can actually increase your whole bodies lean muscle mass which basically means you’ll perform better in all other workouts and sports. We’ve selected the best leg workouts that will get you the biggest results in the shortest amount of time.


 1. Dead Lifts

Targets Muscles: Glutes AND Hamstrings

Dead Lifts are great if you’re looking to gain overall mass because they also work out your lower back and obliques. Doing this simple exercise is a great way to make yourself look a little bit more proportionate if you’re worried about looking too top heavy. We must point out that there is a high injury rate with this one, particularly from people doing them incorrectly so please make sure you know what you are doing before start and always remember not to lock up your knees or elbows.

Check out what the Buff Dudes have to say about Dead Lifts here:

2. Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat

Targets Muscles: Calves, Quads and Glutes

Believe it or not – these squats are just as good as your standard squats – they might even be a even better. Why? Firstly, they keep you balanced so you can make your workout more intense by adding dumbbells, you are forced to focus on each leg separately and they also take the strain off your back while you are doing them.

Curious? Learn how to do a ‘Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat’ by watching the video below:

3. Calve Raises

Now that you’ve decided you need to work out your legs, your calves are probably the last muscle on your mind. Lucky for you they are the easiest leg muscle to work out especially if you are doing calve raises. The great thing about this exercise is that you can do them literally anywhere with a flat ground or if you’re up for a challenge – somewhere with a step. You can even change it up a bit and do them with dumbbells and/or with one leg raised to really push yourself.