Instagram Marketing for Gyms and Fitness Professionals

Get the Basics…

  • Instagram is a visually-focused social media platform that makes it easy to engage with current members and clients.
  • Creating and sharing content on Instagram is an opportunity to interact with potential new members and clients.
  • Consistent and high-quality posts are two best practices to make the most of your Instagram profile.

Social media remains an important tool for marketing your fitness business. The great news is that many social media platforms are free and only take a little bit of time and a little bit of experience to use. Social media marketing is one digital marketing opportunity that any fitness business should jump on.

Instagram marketing for fitness professionals and gyms is a great way to connect with your current members and even generate leads for new members. If you are portraying your business as a fun, encouraging, and engaging gym then that will draw potential members your way.

Read on for some tips on how to market your gym on Instagram. Having a social media strategy for a fitness business is one helpful tool in your marketing toolbox, but having a fitness business app is another tool that can be useful for marketing and communicating with members. If you are ready to grow and manage your business with, schedule a demo today! 

Reasons to Start a Fitness Instagram Account

Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms for people of all ages and boasts a global follower base of over 1 billion people. It is a visually-focused social media platform with more emphasis on photos and videos and less focus on text posts.

An added bonus is that it only takes a few minutes to develop a good photo or video post for Instagram. According to Instagram, over 200 million Instagrammers visit at least one business profile daily and one-third of the most visited stories are from businesses.

This social media platform can help you get the word out about your business, establish a following, and reach more people. Instagram is one excellent way to market your gym or fitness business. With no cost investment and just a few hours of time a week, you can reach a wide audience anytime and anywhere. You can have a designated staff member who can focus on Instagram posts or it can be a team effort of posting on Instagram.

An Instagram profile is easy and free to set up. Users can download the Instagram app for convenient access from mobile devices or use the Instagram website. The app makes it easy to post photos or videos directly from a phone or tablet.

The first step is to create a fitness Instagram name. Choose something that has your business name or represents your business name in some way. You may also choose to include your city or geographical area if it makes sense. All Instagram user names start with the @ symbol and must be less than 30 characters.

You will also want to post a relevant Instagram profile photo. You can keep this simple with a business logo or graphic that your members and clients can recognize. The profile photo is small and will be cropped into a circle on your profile.

Instagram Marketing for Personal Trainers: Setting up Your Account

Let’s dive into how to set up your account before getting into how a fitness professional can make money on Instagram and what ideal Instagram marketing looks like for personal trainers and gyms. The first question that you want to ask yourself is: How do I want to manage my Instagram account?

Make One Staff Member the Point Person

Designating one staff member as the Instagram point person ensures that you have consistency and regular posts. Other staff can take photos or videos for posting, but having one point person ensures that posts are error-free and professional.

If you decide to have more than one staff member serving as the main contact, then make sure you have a clear schedule or add it to a daily tasks list. Regular, consistent, and high-quality Instagram posts are important for maximal customer engagement.

Use an Instagram Business Profile

With an Instagram business profile, you can post additional contact information, have access to data insights, and have the ability to promote posts. You can post business contact information, like your address, phone number, hours, email, and website.

You can also get insights on how followers are interacting with your posts. Shopping on Instagram allows you to create and tag a post from your business with products and retail items.

While posting on Instagram is free, you can also pay to advertise on Instagram and use your Instagram fitness ads to attract new clients. This may be worth the investment to take your marketing game to the next level.

Fill Out Your Instagram Profile or Bio Completely

This part could make or break you. With an Instagram business profile, you can include your business name, address, contact information, website link, hours, or other relevant information. Make sure you also include a relevant Instagram profile photo like a business logo or graphic.

Connect Instagram to Facebook and Twitter

If you also have a Facebook and/or Twitter page, it is easy to connect the two pages so posts from Instagram also post to other social media websites. This is a quick way to push content out to multiple social media platforms at once.

Create Instagram Content

Instagram recommends the following tips to get started creating content on its platform:

  • Define your business personality
  • Stand out with good creative
  • Create quality photos and videos

Instagram recommends creating at least nine initial image or video posts to establish an initial grid of images. You can also tag your location in these posts. Keep captions brief and informative. Hashtags can also be used, but Instagram recommends no more than three hashtags per post.

Pro Tip: Create a fitness content calendar where you plan your posts for the month. Brainstorm various fitness content ideas so you can quickly share them daily versus taking the time each day to come up with content.

Once you have your Instagram profile filled out and start posting photos and videos, your followers should increase. The more content you post and the more you interact with your current followers, the more your followers will continue to increase. Don’t get discouraged! Building a follower base takes time.

How Do I Promote My Gym on Instagram?

Once you have a business profile, it’s time to start interacting with your followers. Creative and regular posts are a great opportunity to engage with current members and clients but also open the doors to get new potential members or clients as followers. Instagram is also great for creating brand awareness. So, how do you promote a fitness brand?

Share Your Profile With Gym Members and Personal Training Clients

Post your profile name in your gym, share via email or text, and link from your website. This will help increase the number of followers that you have. Followers are those profiles that will be able to see your posts in their Instagram feed.

If you have fitness business software like, it is easy to push the profile name out to all of your members using notifications like a text or an email. This is a quick way to easily share your social media accounts with all of your members.

One great tip is to search by hashtag or location tags to find members posting and then like and comment on those posts. This is a useful way to engage with clients and members on their Instagram posts.

Post on Your Account Regularly

This goes without saying, but regular Instagram posts will keep your members engaged. Make it a point to post a high-quality photo or video at least daily. You can either use a schedule or have a list of post ideas, photos, and videos ready for your disposal.

Another tip is to make your content worthy of a post. It’s not a good idea to post just to post, so be creative. If you have something to share but it isn’t worthy of a permanent post, try using Instagram stories.

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Use Hashtags in a Fun Way

Hashtags can be used in a post as a way to search for other similar posts. A hashtag is a word or phrase without spaces that serves as a tag for your post. All hashtags have the # symbol before them. Instagram recommends a max of three hashtags per post. Too many hashtags may distract from the post or may be too overwhelming for your posts.

Hashtags are a great way to encourage members to get involved. You can think of a clever hashtag to represent your business, your city, or members, like #6amWarriors or #SouthCountyStrong. You can also think of daily or weekly hashtags to use like #NeverMissaMonday or #FlexFriday.

You can also use hashtags for events, holidays, or workout challenges. For example, #12DaysofFitness or #SummerChallenge. There are a variety of popular fitness-related hashtags that can give you some great ideas.

Have Personal Trainers or Staff Be Active on Instagram

Trainers and fitness professionals can post photos or videos of classes, workout sneak peeks, workout tips, or any other fun content. You can also use Instagram to introduce new trainers, staff, or members. For example, you could post a short question/answer session with a new personal trainer and encourage members to say hi or welcome them on Instagram.

Trainers or fitness professionals could also post various workout tips like the importance of stretching after a workout, how to do a proper warm-up or a demonstration of their favorite exercise. It can also be motivating for members and clients to see their trainers or fitness professionals meeting their fitness goals or working out on their own.

You could even have one staff member “take over” your business Instagram account for the weekend. They could give Instagram followers a view of them leading a class, what they are eating that day or a photo of what they do for self-care. This could help members see fitness professionals as real people and can give members an opportunity to get to know them outside of the gym.

Peloton is a perfect example of fitness Instagram marketing done well. Peloton’s trainers have each established loyal followings on their personal accounts and Peloton uses this to its advantage by having its trainers post about upcoming workouts on their own pages:

Encourage Members To Tag your Business in Their Posts

Many members may love to connect with their gym on Instagram and can give your business a huge shoutout that may reach new potential members. If a current member makes an Instagram post or Instagram story and tags your gym or fitness business, every one of their followers will see that post. Those individuals may decide to check out your page and become a follower of your gym this way. 

What Should I Post On My Fitness Instagram?

Be sure to include a mix of posts that still aligns with your brand’s identity, and be sure to use all of Instagram’s features, including Instagram Stories, Reels, and Highlights. Don’t be afraid to post something other than workout videos. You want your profile to showcase your brand as a whole – not just the workouts that you do.

Use Instagram Stories

Instagram stories are a post or series of posts that are only visible for 24 hours but do not show up in the permanent feed. This may be a good way to feature members on a regular basis but keep your regular posts focused on the posts you want to remain on your Instagram feed and grid.

Instagram stories also allow for polls, quizzes, surveys, and countdowns as extra ways to engage with members. For example, if members tag your business in a screenshot of their workout results, you could post this to your Instagram story. This is a great way to get members involved in your Instagram activity.

While Instagram Stories disappear after 24 hours, Instagram Stories Highlights are more permanent. You can use those for informative stories, workout tips, or other details about your gym. Instagram highlights, for personal trainers, offer a way to offer more insight into programming without taking away from your feed’s aesthetic.

Post Teasers

Instagram teasers are a great way to engage with members and keep them interesting in something coming up. It could be a contest, a workout challenge event, a sale or promotion, or an upcoming event at your gym.

For example, if you want to boost your retail sales, you can post a teaser about an upcoming sale and end with “come in this week to find out more.” Or if you have a special event coming up at your gym, you could post a teaser for members to tune in next week for a special announcement.

Feature Current Members

Another idea is to feature current members. You could make this a regular occurrence by featuring one member each week. You could feature members who have been active in the community, have met a recent health or fitness goal, or a new member who has been crushing it in the gym.

Use Instagram for Contests

There are many ways to use gym events to boost your gym or fitness business. Contests are one way great to do this. Contests could be simple and could include a giveaway for a retail item, free personal training session, one-month free membership, or even something small like a gift card.

There are many influencers, businesses, or brand representatives that run contests on Instagram. Most of them have the individual like and comment on a post, then tag a friend in the post as well. By tagging a friend, that friend will also see they were tagged and be able to see your contest post. This is a great way to increase your followers and engage with your current followers.

Share High-Quality Photos and Videos

This was stated above, but the importance of high-quality photos and videos cannot be underemphasized. One consideration is to use an editing software for photos to create the best photo posts possible.

Before-and-after photos are a great opportunity to highlight members and showcase their hard work toward meeting their health and fitness goals. These photos can also increase motivation in your members and show the success stories of your trainers, fitness professionals, and members. It is important to get permission before posting photos of a member.

Include Tips to Help Improve All Areas of Health

Your focus is on exercise, but that is only one part of a healthy lifestyle. We know that exercise and fitness are essential aspects of physical health, but overall health involves other areas as well. Social, emotional, cognitive, and spiritual health are also important. This could be nutrition tips, healthy recipes, self-care tips, recovery tips, or socializing tips.

Ask Members For Post Ideas

One of your Instagram posts could survey or ask members what types of posts they would like to see. This might help you develop a schedule of posts for consistency and ease. For example, you could give meal prep or healthy recipes on Sundays, or post success stories with before and after pictures on Mondays.

Check out Instagram’s Help Center

Instagram has an Instagram Business help center that includes many tools and ideas to help you connect with followers. There is also a regularly updated Instagram Business blog that includes updates and new features.

Advanced Instagram Tips for Fitness Professionals

After you have been using Instagram and you may be on the lookout for some more advanced tips. There are additional strategies to continue to increase your following. Instagram can not only serve as a resource for marketing your gym, it can also serve as an ecommerce platform.

Promote Your Posts

Promoting Instagram posts does have a cost associated with it, but you can determine how much you want to spend on advertising. This is a great opportunity to get new customers or reach more people than normal. Promoting posts means that these posts will show up in your follower’s feed. You can promote retail items, memberships, special events, or discounts by promoting those posts.

Find Instagram Influencers

Instagram influencers are individuals who are popular on the platform and may have thousands of followers. They may promote products or businesses for a fee. If you have any members who are Instagram influencers, you might choose to have them wear a t-shirt with your business logo in exchange for the shirt for free or a discount on their membership.

They might also give you a shoutout by tagging your business location, mentioning your business in a video post, or sharing a photo of them working out at your gym. This is a great way to create brand awareness and sharing your products and services with a wider audience.

Use the Link-in-Bio

Instagram posts are not link-friendly, which means you are not able to post links to other websites in an Instagram post. The one place you can post a link is in the Instagram bio. Ideally, this link should be to your website, but you can also use the link-in-bio to post to a “link tree” which allows you to post a link with a menu of additional links.

Try Other Instagram Apps

There are other Instagram apps that can enhance your photo and video posts on Instagram. Here are a few of those options:

  • Boomerang is an app that allows users to record videos of only a few seconds that loop continuously.
  • Hyperlapse helps with posting time-lapse videos.
  • Layout allows you to develop collages to post multiple photos.

Use Instagram Reels

Instagram Reels is a new feature that has a similar feel to TikTok. With Instagram reels, you can create and edit short videos and add music or text to share with your followers. This provides another opportunity to share fun content with your followers.

Share Live Video With Instagram Live

If your gym or trainers are also using online workouts or online training, Instagram Live is an opportunity to share a live video with your followers. You could have a personal trainer or other fitness professional leading your followers through a workout.

As you can see, Instagram is an opportunity to amp up your social media presence. Creating consistent and high-quality posts are great opportunities to engage with current members and clients and opens the door to get new potential members and clients.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If I am not tech-savvy, how can I easily get started with Instagram?

If you are not tech-savvy, you can rely on your staff to get started on Instagram. Many young adults use social media multiple times daily and have the skills needed to help launch your social media marketing to the next level. If that’s not an option, Instagram has many helpful resources on their Instagram Business page.

How many hours per week should I spend using Instagram to market my gym?

There is no set amount of hours, but you should ideally post at least once per day. This also depends on how you plan to use Instagram. If you just want to interact with followers, it will only take a few hours per week. If you want to advertise or sell products on Instagram, this will require a larger time commitment.

What are some ideas for exciting and creative Instagram posts?

Some great ideas for creative and exciting Instagram posts include peeks in a live group fitness class, meet your trainer photos and bios, features on members, recipes, workout tips, or motivational tips.

Where can I learn more about digital marketing for personal trainers and gyms?

We have an article that dives specifically into digital marketing for gyms!

And if you’re ready to learn more about how to grow and manage your fitness business with, schedule a demo today.

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Get More Power from Rowing

I’m a rower – on water and in the gym. I regularly watch rowers and trainers work out on their rowing machines with growing frustration. Why am I frustrated?


Because they could be getting much better scores if only they knew one key technique.




Master the Rowing Machine

Go into the average gym, CrossFit, or a rowing club, and you will see a lot of great athletes using the rowing machines.


What difference does it make?



They are an order of magnitude different. Somehow those on-water rowers seem to coax more and more out of a rowing machine and leave most gym rowers for dead.


Two reasons why this happens:


  1. On-water rowers who use the rowing machines understand the concept of ratio and rhythm. This allows them to get more rest each stroke, thus allowing them to be more powerful because they’re getting less tired.
  2. On-water rowers know how to recruit extra muscles into their effort. The more muscles that are brought into the power phase, the more the flywheel accelerates, and the better the numbers.


The Basic Rowing Stroke

Rowing is comprised of two main parts:


  1. The Power Phase- In which you push against the footboard and accelerate the handle and chain towards you.
  2. The Recovery Phase– You rest and return to a bent-leg compressed posture with the chain retracted inside the machine.



An effective power phase uses legs, back, and arms to accelerate the handle and chain. So far, so good., but that isn’t what I’m seeing being done in the gym.


Most gym rowers fail to use their back muscles to accelerate the handle and chain.


This is a critical difference compared to the on-water rowers. This is what I teach my clients.


Add Back Power to your Rowing

First, learn which muscles to activate. Finding them and feeling these muscles, and knowing how to make them activate is probably the hardest part of this technique improvement.


Then, I would like to show you how to recruit them into your rowing stroke cycle and give you a drill to practice, which will enable you to add your back muscles into your rowing stroke.



Body Swing Only Rowing

On-water rowers learn technique and effective power using drills and exercises. And so I’m going to show you a drill called Body Swing Only Rowing.


  • Let’s start by sitting on the rowing machine.
  • Pick up the handle and sit with your legs straight, arms straight, and your body leaning forward.
  • The key is that your shoulders are forward of your hips (use a mirror to check), and your neck and shoulders are relaxed.


On-water rowers call this position the catch position. It’s achieved by hinging through your hips with a straight back. If you have tight glutes and hamstrings, you may find this challenging.


If you cannot achieve this position, don’t do the exercise. You won’t gain anything until you can stretch forward in this posture.


Stage One

  • Swing yourself backward until your shoulders are behind your hips.
  • Leave your legs and arms straight. Then swing forwards again, and back moving the flywheel with the handle and chain as you swing.
  • Try not to lean back further than 5-10 degrees.
  • Now make the flywheel spin faster by gripping your abdominals just before you start the backswing.


A strong mid-section helps you connect your backswing to the handle and chain without any slippage.


Stage Two

  • Add the arms to the backswing.
  • Start swinging the back alone as in stage one, and then add an arm draw to keep the handle and chain accelerating as the handle comes close to your body.
  • Then straighten your arms and swing forward from the hips.
  • This sequence is important—arms before body swing.
  • Keep working the swing-and-draw with a strong core to remove chain slippage so that when you start to move, the chain immediately accelerates the flywheel. Notice that you can do a tiny bit of backswing before you start the arm draw.
  • This is important for activating the back muscles. You have to get larger muscle groups (legs and back) working before smaller muscles (arms) in rowing.


This is a critical skill for developing stroke power.


Stage Three

  • Half the leg drive.
  • Add a half leg drive. Rowers call this half-slide, and it’s when your legs are 50% towards being straight.
  • Normally this is when your elbows are over your knees.


Stage one is the back. Add stage two, which is the arms, and then add stage three, the legs.


You are now moving the handle and chain faster because more body parts are accelerating the flywheel.


The critical component is the transition from one body part to the next.


Keeping this smooth and keeping the chain taut, and continuing to accelerate will give you the best results.


Stay focused on legs-back-arms and the reverse sequence when you return to start another stroke.


Learning this will reinforce the big muscles before the small muscles rule.


String It Together

Do the drill with 10 strokes at each stage. Then move to full slide and use a full leg drive; try to make the second half of your power phase feel like when you did the drill.


Use the mirror to check your posture. The first half of your power should be using only your leg drive. Check your torso is leaning forwards with shoulders forward from the hips. This is an unnatural posture and has to be learned – but it reinforces the big before small muscle rule, and that’s why it’s effective.


The last thing you can practice is rowing and try to finish your legs, back and arms simultaneously. This is an exaggeration from normal rowing technique – but it’s a good way to get a seriously powerful end of the rowing stroke.


And a good way to continue practicing or use it to do a 10 stroke power push during a workout when you want more power and that split to go down.


Next is learning that second thing… ratio and rhythm. But we’ll leave that for another day.

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Harry Styles’ Vogue cover wasn’t ‘manly’. Now, his revenge

Who is Candace Owens? The 31-year-old started out as a vehement opponent of Donald Trump and the Republican Party but has been steadily coming around to their causes, including playing down the severity of the coronavirus and expressing criticism of the Black Lives Matter movement (Owens herself is Black). It just so happens that when she made the initial comments about Styles, she had a new book out.

Are we seriously having the “girls” clothes and “boys” clothes argument again? It seems so, which is kind of ridiculous when the US is still reporting record numbers of COVID-19 cases each day.

Clearly the conservative movement has bigger issues than a pop singer. Isn’t it funny how in many ways theVogue cover of Styles, which most agree shows a man owning his masculinity, contrasts with images of President Donald Trump, in his uniform of ill-fitting suit or golfing shirt, a man who has a long record of weaponising his? The University of Melbourne’s Dr Lauren Rosewarne, who teaches about gender and sexuality, says the story plays into the hands of conservatives’ narrow, binary gender norms that leave little room for “any fluidity or ambiguity”. “For detractors, this is testimony to the crisis of masculinity and the supposed emasculation of men in contemporary societies,” she says.

Kurt Cobain, David Bowie and Freddie Mercury all subverted gender stereotypes through their clothing.Credit:Getty

One, two, three, four. I declare a gender war. Indeed. But as so-called “tough guys” have been showing us since Marlon Brando casually slipped on Eva Marie Saint’s glove as a courting gesture in 1954’s On the Waterfront, wearing “women’s” clothing needn’t carry judgments about masculinity or femininity. Or is Owens suggesting Brando wasn’t “manly”, too?

Man enough? Marlon Brando in 'On The Waterfront'.

Man enough? Marlon Brando in ‘On The Waterfront’. Credit:Reuters

So how did Owens’ spray against Styles go down? About as well as you can imagine. A ton of celebrities condemned Owens’ stance, including Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and actress Jameela Jamil, who pointed out that men wore heels and dresses as far back as the 16th century. Of course, Styles follows a long list of male (and female) celebrities who have subverted gendered stereotypes about dress: David Bowie, Mick Jagger, Kurt Cobain, Boy George, and so on. And one cheeky tweeter pointed out that if Owens has such issues with men wearing a dress, why then is she such a frequent wearer of pant suits? As my colleague, Samantha Selinger-Morris helpfully pointed out, we shouldn’t be worried about men in dresses; we should be worried about men dressing up in Nazi costumes or blackface.

Though not everyone rushed out to buy Vogue. Some transgender advocates took issue not with the cover but the applause that was seemingly heaped on Styles for wearing a dress. Being an outwardly straight, white man, trans advocates argued that Styles can doff the dress and go back to his normal (read: privileged) life, without having to suffer the discrimination, harassment and even violence regularly experienced by transgender people, especially trans people of colour.

Who had the last word? In his interview in Variety, Styles alluded to the spat with Owens by saying: “To not wear [something] because it’s females’ clothing, you shut out a whole world of great clothes. And I think what’s exciting about right now is you can wear what you like. It doesn’t have to be X or Y. Those lines are becoming more and more blurred.”

The whole thing reminds me of that 1980s’ book, Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche. And yet, here we are. I wonder if Candace Owens’ husband, George Farmer, likes quiche?

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How the U.K. Approved Pfizer’s COVID-19 Vaccine So Fast

The U.K. became the first western country to authorize the use of a COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 1, when its medicines regulator gave the greenlight to the vaccine produced by Pfizer and BioNTech.

The U.K.’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) gave the authorization at record speed, just three weeks after Pfizer published the first data from the final stage of its clinical trial. Later results showed the vaccine to be 95% effective in preventing illness from COVID-19.

The announcement raises expectations for the impending decisions by regulators in the U.S. and the E.U., who are still poring over data from the vaccine’s trials. China and Russia approved vaccines for use in some groups in June and August respectively, without waiting for the results of large-scale efficacy trials.

The speed of the U.K.’s emergency authorization—at a time when the British government is aggressively seeking to boost its image after a poor handling of the pandemic—has raised eyebrows among European politicians and health experts.

But British regulators say their rapid approval of the vaccine did not cut corners. “We have carried out a rigorous scientific assessment of all the available evidence of quality, safety and effectiveness,” MHRA Chief Executive, Dr. June Raine, said in a statement. The public’s safety has always been at the forefront of our minds—safety is our watchword.”

Here’s how the U.K. fast-tracked its vaccine approval—and what it means for the rest of the world.

How was the vaccine approved so quickly in the U.K.?

In a bid to speed up its approval of any effective COVID-19 vaccines, Scientists from the MHRA began examining trial data in October, the agency said, in a process called a “rolling review”—where packages of data from a still ongoing trial are made available as soon as they’re ready, rather than in one release at the end of the trial.

U.K. health minister Matt Hancock—and other Conservative Party politicians—claimed on Dec. 2 that the MHRA’s rapid approval of the vaccine was made possible by the U.K.’s departure from the E.U., which is due to be completed at the end of a transition period on Dec. 31.

But the MHRA has pointed to an existing provision in E.U. law that allows member states’ regulators to issue temporary approval of products for use in their own countries during public health emergencies. In October, the British government changed legislation to expand the scope of what the U.K. can do with vaccines not yet licensed by the E.U., including allowing more people to administer them, and granting the companies that produce them immunity from legal liability in some civil cases concerning the vaccine.

The U.K. has pre-ordered 40 million doses of the vaccine—enough to vaccinate just under a third of the population with the two doses required. British officials said the National Health Service will begin to roll out the vaccine early next week. Healthcare workers and nursing home residents will be the first to receive the vaccine.

Government ministers have cast the approval as a success for U.K. leadership in the international pandemic response, after the country has recorded the world’s fifth-highest death toll, with almost 60,000 having died after testing positive for COVID-19 so far. “In years to come, we will remember this moment as the day the UK led humanity’s charge against this disease,” Business secretary Alok Sharma wrote on Twitter.

How have Europe and the U.S. responded to the U.K.’s approval?

After the U.K.’s announcement, Europe’s regulator––the European Medicines Agency (EMA)––pointed out that it is moving toward a longer-term authorization that requires more checks and evidence to be submitted than the temporary approval issued by the MHRA. In an emailed statement, the EMA said it considers the “extensive data” and “robust framework” required for so-called market authorization to be “essential elements to ensure a high level of protection to citizens during the course of a mass vaccination campaign.”

With its temporary approval mechanism, the MHRA will need to approve each batch of the vaccine and technically approval could be terminated at any time, according to the EMA. Market authorization by the EMA lasts for one year before renewal.

Guido Rasi, who recently finished his term as head of the EMA, told an Italian radio station that the U.K.’s emergency approval of the vaccine was a “substantially political step that is not without risks”. “If you evaluate only the partial data as they are doing they also take a minimum of risk,” he said. “Personally I would have expected a robust review of all available data, which the British government has not done.”

European politicians have also criticized the U.K.’s decision, which could create pressure for the rest of the world to act fast. “I consider this decision to be problematic and recommend that EU Member States do not repeat the process in the same way,” said Peter Liese, a German member of the European parliament and health policy spokesperson for the center-right bloc in the legislature. “A few weeks of thorough examination by the European Medicines Agency is better than a hasty emergency marketing authorisation of a vaccine.”

In the U.S., the U.K.’s approval of a vaccine developed by an American company may add to political pressure from the Trump Administration on regulators to speed up their emergency use authorization processes. White House chief of staff Mark Meadows called Stephen Hahn, head of the Food and Drug Administration in for a meeting on Dec. 1 to discuss vaccine approval timelines. Hahn told ABC he would resist pressure to speed up the process. He pointed out that it “would typically take between three and four months, maybe even longer” for the FDA to review all the data and grant approval after a trial on the scale of Pfizer and BioNTech’s. “No one at FDA is sitting on his or her hands. Everyone is working really hard to look at these applications and get this done, But we absolutely have to do this the right way,” he said.

When will the U.S. and Europe approve the vaccine?

The U.S. FDA will hold a meeting of its advisory panel on Dec. 10 and is expected to announce shortly after if it will authorize the vaccine. In late November Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla told TIME that the company will be ready to start distributing the vaccine “within hours” of its authorization. The FDA has warned that it could take days or a few weeks after authorization for doses of the vaccine to begin reaching its first recipients as the regulator deals with bureaucratic and logistical hurdles.

The EMA has been conducting a rolling review process of the vaccine since early October in order to speed up their own assessment of the vaccine. On Dec. 1 the agency announced it had received an application for marketing authorization from Pfizer and BioNTech. The EMA will announce whether or not it is granting that authorization after a meeting of its scientific committee for human medicines, which will take place by Dec. 29.

Write to Ciara Nugent at

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CEO Update: From community led initiatives to whole of government – we need to prevent suicide

Sadly it’s not hard to find stories, and lived experiences, of brave people who have been bereaved by suicide, or who have struggled with their own despair and suicidal thoughts. But it is always hard to hear them.

And for many of us in the mental health ecosystem, not only are we touched by these experiences and stories regularly, but they also drive us to help improve systems and reform. Drive us to help prevent suicide.

In my previous role at the Western Victoria Primary Health Network I had the opportunity to support the development of suicide prevention trials in Ballarat and Warrnambool.

I will never forget the crucial and defining work of drawing the community together. We listened to the lived experience, examined the suicide data, and the demographics behind the data that told the story of who was most at risk, and why this was the case. And then we worked with the community for the systematic design of a range of responses, not just one activity or idea, but a range of community led initiatives that together have helped change the dialogue and provide people with ownership, but more importantly hope.

But as we know change is not easy and it needs broad engagement, strong leadership, and in the case of suicide prevention a comprehensive community based response.

Last week we saw another catalyst for such change in the release of the Interim Advice to the Prime Minister on Suicide Prevention, and I’m sure many of us will take up the opportunity to review and provide feedback on this important piece of future reform.

“The Interim Advice calls for a national whole-of-government approach that strengthens and builds on what our health systems can offer. To be effective, we need all jurisdictions and portfolios working together. It also means using the levers of government and partnerships with other agencies to reduce and respond to the social and economic drivers of distress that are often deeply rooted in the social determinants of health – job security, economic security, safety from violence and abuse, meaningful participation and social connection.” National Mental Health Commission

The document is a welcome partner to the Productivity Commission’s Inquiry into Mental Health Final Report, and at Mental Health Australia we have welcomed both reports and acknowledge the important work of bringing together these comprehensive set of recommendations in relation to suicide prevention for consideration.

Understandably the recommendations are wide ranging with a consistent theme based on learning from lived experience, the need for whole of government approaches, targeting priority population groups and improved data collection and monitoring that will be widely supported.

Similar to the whole of government strategies recommended in the Productivity Commission Inquiry, how these recommendations should be taken forward as part of a comprehensive reform agenda in relation to suicide prevention will also be something we as a mental health ecosystem need to advocate for.

At a federal level the proposed establishment of an Office of Suicide Prevention could  provide a further focus in this area, but with states and territories also playing a crucial role in any suicide prevention strategy we need to know how arrangements will work across jurisdictions, and how they will filter down and link into community led and driven initiatives.  

Initiatives that will help change the stories and lived experiences for many.

Have a good weekend

Leanne Beagley

Reminder that the Annual General Meeting of Mental Health Australia Ltd will be held on Thursday 10 December 2020 at 2.30pm (AEDST). Due to extraordinary circumstances presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, and for the continued safety of everyone in our community, this meeting will be held virtually using Redback webinar.  A link to the virtual AGM will be sent to all registered members prior to the meeting.

Mental Health Australia is pleased to invite you to the 2020 Grace Groom Memorial Oration to be delivered by Dr Brendan Murphy, Secretary of the Department of Health and former Chief Medical Officer for the Australian Government.

The oration will take place at 3:00pm AEDT on Thursday 10 December, preceded by the Mental Health Australia Annual General Meeting at 2:30pm AEDTTo register for either or both events, please email RSVP by Monday 7 December.

It was great to catch up with a number of members and stakeholders actually in person, in Melbourne last week, and I’m looking forward to doing the same again in Sydney next week, and Brisbane later in December. As for visiting other states, I’m looking forward to scheduling these in the New Year.

On Monday I’m looking forward to meeting with former MP Cathy O’Toole who is a strong advocate for multicultural mental health services and literacy in Far North Queensland, while Harry Lovelock with be attending the first National Mental Health Digital Framework Workshop.
On Tuesday we’ll be catching up with Senator Rachel Siewert and later with the mental health team at the Department of Health. Also on Tuesday Lachlan Searle will be attending the National Mental Health Commission roundtable on wellbeing and mental health considerations for the Vision 2030 Roadmap, and Melanie Cantwell will be attending the Steering Committee for the COVID-19 carers project we are working on with Carers Australia and Mental Health Carers Australia.

On Wednesday I’ll be attending a digital mental health workforce workshop as part of the development of the National Digital Mental Health Framework, and also on Wednesday, the team will be holding another of our annual workshop-alternative monthly webinars for National Register, NMHCCF, and Embrace CALD Consumer & Carer Working Group members. This one is with Dr Michelle Banfield on lived experience research.

On Thursday I am meeting with ACOSS CEO Cassandra Goldie.

On Friday I have a CEO Forum with the NDIA and am also talking with the Board of the Mental Health Coordinating Council in NSW and hosting our webinar with Christine Morgan, Mark Roddam, and Tania Rishniw to discuss the Productivity Commission Inquiry into Mental Health and how it will link with Vision 2030.

The Framework for Mental Health in Multicultural Australia (the Framework) is a free, nationally available online resource which allows organisations and individual practitioners to evaluate and enhance their cultural responsiveness. It has been mapped against national standards to help you meet your existing requirements, with access to a wide range of support and resources. 

A new report has called for a Consumer Health Leaders Academy to strengthen the role of consumers in health system decision-making. The Academy would equip consumer advocates and advisers within health consumer networks and who work with governments, government agencies and other organisations where consumer involvement is vital to further develop their skills as leaders.

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Mental health services in Australia describes the activity and characteristics of Australia’s health care and social care services accessed by people with a mental illness. This web report provides the most recent data available on the national response of the health and welfare system to the mental health care needs of Australians. Data are progressively published as it becomes available throughout the year.

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A national organisation has officially launched this week, recognising the growing problem of loneliness in our community and starting a national campaign to bring people together. The coalition group – Ending Loneliness Together – has released a landmark whitepaper which delivered recommendations across multiple sectors to drive a national approach to ending loneliness. “The impact of loneliness in Australia is broad and deep; it cuts across all sectors of our society” said Scientific Chair, Dr Michelle Lim, Australia’s leading scientific expert on loneliness.

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Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme, Stuart Robert, this week released an Information Paper on the reforms that deliver on the Morrison Government’s commitment to all Australians to make the NDIS experience better and fairer. 

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Australian College of Mental Health Nurses
Australian College of Mental Health Nurses (ACMHN) is the peak professional mental health nursing organisation and the recognised credentialing body for mental health nurses in Australia. It seeks to represent the profession at all levels of government and across all health service sectors. In addition, the ACMHN sets standards for practice, supports mental health nursing research and provides a forum for collegial support, networking and ongoing professional development for its members. Importantly, the ACMHN also works to promote public confidence in and professional recognition of mental health nursing.

Lutheran Services
Lutheran Services provides quality and contemporary support and accommodation for older people, young people and their families, those living with disability or mental illness, and people experiencing domestic violence and hardship.  

This Prevention Consensus Statement has been developed by the Prevention Coalition in Mental Health, an informal group of like-minded organisations with a shared belief in the importance of prevention in the mental health field.

The Prevention Consensus Statement sets out what we can do to prevent depression, anxiety, and other conditions right now as we work our way through the social and economic challenges wrought by COVID-19, and into the future. Enhancing our focus on prevention will strengthen individuals and communities, save money, and save lives.

Please access the full document and summary document below.

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The Mental Health Services Learning Network conference is open for registrations. The largest multi-disciplinary conference in Australasia, it will offer 4 day ‘blocks’ of topical, relevant and inspiring content across the sector. See the program here and register now to get Early Bird rates. TheMHS Conference is an opportunity for Australians and New Zealanders to come together to exchange ideas, build relationships, and work towards building better mental health systems and approaches.

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Mental Health Victoria is hosting the next lunchtime webinar in their Thought Leadership series on 9 December. “Not Home Yet: What the future could hold for mental health and housing” is a collaboration between MHV and Mind Australia, Council to Homeless Persons and the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute. To find out more click on the link below.

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The Department of Social Services is currently seeking feedback on the usability of the pilot version of the Disability Gateway. The Disability Gateway is for all people with disability, their families and carers, and seeks to:

  • improve the navigation to access relevant information and services
  • span multiple sectors including health, housing, employment, transport and everyday living 
  • exist as a central point of entry for referrals to disability information, services and programs.

To participate in the survey, visit (or for the Easy Read format, visit


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Car Camping Gear for Cooler Fall Weather with Kids

It’s hard to beat camping in the fall. Temperatures in the mornings and evenings drop, luring you to longer, cozier sleep, while the days remain warm for comfortable outings. Destinations that were too hot to visit in the summer, like the desert, or too crowded, begin to feel welcoming again. And mountainous landscapes begin to emit that particular kind of magic only autumn can bring.

Spring and summer of this pandemic-defined year saw a boom in everything outdoors—from bikes to camping gear, anything to get people outside and adventuring—flying off the shelves. Don’t let the cooler temps and darker days keep you from recreating outdoors; here’s the fall car camping gear to keep everyone in the family healthy and happy, kids included.

Eddie Bauer Carbon River 4 Tent
Talk about roomy. If you’ve got a growing family and need an affordable tent that’s going to fit you all comfortably, while holding up to the elements, this four-person option from Eddie Bauer should be at the top of your list. Set-up is so easy the kids can help pitch in, no problem. Mesh panels offer breathability and ideal stargazing views, and the 50-inch center height makes the tent feel even more spacious.

Big Agnew dual tandem sleeping bagBig Agnes Double Bag + Kids Bag
If there’s one thing nights on the ground teach you to invest in, it’s a quality sleeping bag. A bad night’s sleep can derail any camping trip, especially if you’re just getting kids used to the idea of sleeping outdoors too. That means, split up: Try the Big Agnes Sentinel 30 double bag for the adults, and a separate kids’ bag for each of your offspring (check out BA’s Little Red option). It all comes down to being comfortable, and Big Agnes is known for proven quality and longevity. For maximum use, pick a bag that’s got a temperature rating that fits a variety of locales.

Big Agnes sleeping bags

Note the Vasque boots, a solid hiking boot option for both parents and kids—the perfect stomp-anywhere camp footwear—solid meaning high comfort and low break-in period. For stretching fall into winter, the Vasque’s Breeze WT GTX provides an extra layer of elemental protection with added insulation plus its integrated Gore-Tex laminate.

Vasque Breeze WT GTX Hiking Boot

Front Runner TableFront Runner Table
Picking out a camp table is tricky. First, it needs to be in stock (pandemic demand=serious production delays). Second, it needs to be easy to tote, pack, and assemble. And then it must still do its one job: create a capable cooking and eating space without being too cramped. If you’re car camping with more room to work with, check out the Front Runner Table. It integrates with the Platform Rack, but can stand alone as well.

The table is reasonably lightweight, and easy to clean and store. At 44.5 inches long and desk height, it’s got plenty of room for prepping and eating camp meals, and is tall enough for adults and kids alike to share.

FjallRaven bagsFjallraven Kanken Bags – Adult and Kids
Most of us camping with kids in tow won’t be going on seven-day ultralight backpacking trips. (At least, not for your first adventure.) So the pack you pick doesn’t need to be the lightest, or that technical. Consider the classic Fjallraven Kanken. In a dizzying array of colors, the backpack also comes in matching kids’ and adult versions. It’s got ample room, plus a handy pocket for stashing goods gathered along hikes. It also comes with a hidden seat cushion, which is worth its weight in gold on longer hikes with lunch breaks.

Rumpl NanoloftRumpl Blanket
Rumpl’s blankets are perfect for family camping for a number of reasons, the most important clean-up. For small spills, simply wipe and let air dry. For larger messes, throw it in the washing machine after the trip. It’s versatile, synthetic-insulated NanoLoft Puffy blankets can be used however: for cozying up next to the fire, adding a bit of warmth and padding to the tent, snuggling up to read a book, or watching the stars.

Maven spotting glassMaven Spotting Glass
Although technically made for hunting, Maven’s Spotting Glass works equally well for stargazing. The key for checking out the night skies (or the wildlife surrounding your campsite) is stability. If you’ve got a tripod handy, great. If not, choose a safe and secure place to rest the Maven, and keep an eye out for shooting stars.

Adventure Medical KitsAdventure Medical Kits
It’s never too early to start teaching kids the basic rules of first aid, or too late to learn. Since emergencies are never planned, Adventure Medical Kits make a variety of sizes to fit different needs, and they come stocked with the supplies necessary for most camping trips. I particularly like the Day Tripper—it’s the perfect size for kids to carry in their own packs, and gives them the autonomy to take first aid into their own hands.

GSI checkers chess camp gameGSI Indoor/Outdoor Games
Gone are the days of a deck of cards being the only entertainment on a camping trip. Although I’m all for simplicity when it comes to outdoor adventures, sometimes it’s nice to bring along a game or two. That being said, don’t lug around the board games from home. Sorry Monopoly: too bulky, and too many small parts to lose. That’s where GSI Outdoors and its indoor/outdoor games come in. The magnetized checker board comes in clutch during long car rides (or bumpy ones), and the bocce ball set is so portable and lightweight you’ll hardly notice you brought it, until you start playing.

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7 Healthy Holiday Food Swaps

When it comes to holiday meals, we tend to forget about the healthy diet and lifestyle choices we make the rest of the year in favor of whatever is put in front of us, which is completely okay. There is no harm in enjoying in a holiday meal; however, sometimes, we overdo it and wish we had used a little more discretion to avoid the stuffed and bloated feeling.

To have a healthier holiday, you don’t have to throw all your traditional favorites out the window. Instead, you can make a few swaps to just a few of the dishes on the menu and still make a dent in your calorie intake (and guilt too)! Here are seven healthy holiday food swaps that taste just as good as the traditional offerings:

1. Swap Creamy Dip and Chips For Hummus and Fresh Cut Veggies

Creamy dips, an appetizer favorite, made from full fat sour cream or cream cheese pack a whole lot of calories! Before you know it, a few scoops of dip could add up to more calories than should be consumed in one meal. Instead of creamy dip and chips, save your calories for the main course and try eating fresh cut veggies with hummus. Made with chickpeas, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and tahini, hummus is packed with the good stuff and only provides 1g of fat per tablespoon!

7 Healthy Holiday Food Swaps - Switch ups that taste as good as the original

2. Swap Mashed Potatoes For Mashed Cauliflower

Just replacing mashed potatoes with mashed cauliflower is the first step to saving unnecessary calories. A 1-cup serving of potatoes delivers 113 calories and 2 g of fiber; whereas, a 1-cup serving of cauliflower provides just 25 calories and 3 g of fiber. To save even more calories, skip over the cream and butter, and use roasted garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper and rosemary or fresh chives.

7 Healthy Holiday Food Swaps - Switch ups that taste as good as the original

3. Swap Dark Turkey Meat For White Turkey Meat

Dark turkey meat is tempting and tasty, but it also has whole lot more fat and calories! A serving of skinless turkey breast meat provides 30 g of protein, 2 g of fat and only 147 calories; whereas, dark turkey meat provides the same amount of protein but 206 calories and a whopping 10 g of fat! And that’s only if you stick to one helping!

7 Healthy Holiday Food Swaps - Switch ups that taste as good as the original

4. Swap Bread Stuffing For Rice Stuffing

Bread just adds unnecessary calories and carbs we don’t need. Instead of bread stuffing made with butter and white bread, try making a rice stuffing using wild rice, sticky rice or quinoa. Sauté mushrooms, onion, celery and garlic with coconut oil or olive oil. Then, add dried fruit and nuts, like pecans or walnuts.

7 Healthy Holiday Food Swaps - Switch ups that taste as good as the original

5. Swap Cranberry Sauce For Cranberry Relish

Since cranberries are sour and bitter, they are sweetened with a whole lot of sugar or corn syrup, if you buy it from the can. Instead of eating cranberry sauce, try making your own cranberry relish using natural sugar alternatives like Stevia or naturally sweet fruit juices like orange or pineapple, along with zest from fresh orange and lemon. A two-tablespoon serving of cranberry relish made with Stevia and an orange will provide just 28 calories per serving and only 7 g of carbs; a store bought cranberry sauce will deliver 86 calories and 22 g of pure sugar!

7 Healthy Holiday Food Swaps - Switch ups that taste as good as the original

6. Swap Alcohol For Soda Spritzers

Not only does alcohol provide empty calories, it can make us feel hungry causing us to eat even more! Alcohol is also considered a toxin in the body and causes the body to stop all other metabolic processes until it is completely removed from the body. If you still want to indulge with some holiday cheer, reduce the amount of alcohol you are consuming by watering it down with club soda or a clear diet pop. A full glass of wine can provide about 120 calories; however, if you cut that glass in half with soda water, you will save yourself 60 calories!

7 Healthy Holiday Food Swaps - Switch ups that taste as good as the original

7. Swap The Christmas Cookies For Fruit With Dark Chocolate Fondue

Sure, its once a year when these tasty treats come around, but just a few Christmas cookies will skyrocket blood sugar and push your daily calorie consumption over the edge. Instead of cookies, pies, squares or whatever else is put in front of you, try making a dark chocolate fondue. Use a dark chocolate with a minimum cacao content of 70%, add Stevia to sweeten instead of extra sugar and a bit of coconut milk to thicken, and then serve it with fresh cut fruit!

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Galbi Korean Charcoal BBQ, Waterloo

Galbi in Waterloo has been one of our little saviours during the zombie apocalypse – outdoor seating, purdy bonsai garden and healthy delicious food. 

Galbi is in the Crown Square Shopping Plaza, which is a wee nugget of b-kyu greatness with about half a dozen little restos, a couple of which have outdoor seating. Unfortunately this culdesac is a bit hidden and doesn’t get the foot traffic it deserves, the crowds tend to gravitate more towards the shopping/eating areas of Dank Street to the North and Gadigal Avenue/Zetland to the south. 

Galbi lured us in with outdoor seating and some beauties on the menu that are hard to find elsewhere.


The owners have a lovely little bonsai garden to distract you from the monolithic Toyota dealership on the other side.


We seriously dig on Galbi’s banchan, it always has an abundance of veggies (we are veggie fiends), and one or two dishes of something fried or sweet to balance it out.

The brocolli in sesame oil is a standout favourite. Making one humble ingredient taste amazing is the hallmark of b-kyu genious.

Our favourite dish here so far is the eel bibimbap – $19. The eel is much like in Japanese cuisine, coated in a sweet sauce to balance the fishy flavours, it works so well in bibimbap.. 

The bibimbap is loaded with veggies and purple rice,  it’s super healthy and super yum. We always walk away from Galbi feeling quite full yet healthy, a nice feeling.

This is the dish that lured us in – Al bibimbap $19. We loved the fish roe but it does get lost in all the other flavours when mixed together.

Al tang – $18. Spicy fish egg soup. Those white firm meaty hunks of whatever that hold the fish eggs have a lovely texture and a funky flavour that we are yet to acquire a taste for. 

Galbi Korean Charcoal BBQ is the Crown Squre Shopping Plaza, at 6/5 Potter St, Waterloo. Corner of Bourke Street, just look for the big white Toyota dealership that has been there forever. 

This post was brought to by Ms Tinker J. Pussycat of Paddington, possibly the smoochiest pussycat we have ever met.

OT – one of the many great little pleasures of living in the Newtown area is the art display window of the  Newtown School of Performing Arts. A recent favourite was this recreation Charles Burton Barber’s Suspense, which Shawn will pretend he knew of and didn’t google it.

Galbi Korean BBQ Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Boosting Muscle Growth: The Best Bodybuilding Pills

Dietary supplements are ever-popular—and bodybuilding pills continuously lead the way. They’re advertised a lot, but healthy skepticism prevails: Are they the real deal?

The Best Bodybuilding Pills

The Rundown: Exercise Supplements

The Best Bodybuilding Pills

When it comes to bodybuilding pills, there’s a lot of variety. Primarily, this is because different types of supplements aid different goals—and each type of supplement offers additional customization.

No one’s body is the same, after all—and, at the end of the day, supplements really are just that: Supplemental to one’s fitness lifestyle, dietary habits, and personal health.

So, what’s the deal?

The trick to understanding bodybuilding pills, as with any other supplement, is to first differentiate between the major supplements available. Yes, bodybuilding pills can be effective. But not all will follow through on their claims.

Additionally, some of the most effective bodybuilding supplements can be unhealthy—or even dangerous.

Let’s take a look at the most popular options—as they’re popular for a reason: More often than not, they tend to work.

BCAA Capsules

BCAA Capsules

One of the leading one-step bodybuilding supplements available is the BCAA capsule. BCAAs are critically acclaimed for their athletic benefits, prioritized by everyday fitness enthusiasts and highly trained athletes alike.

BCAAs, or branched-chain amino acids, are scientifically proven to assist muscle growth, decrease post-workout muscle soreness, and reduce fatigue. Amino acids are our muscles’ building blocks—and BCAAs stimulate muscle growth response directly.

Studies provided by Frontiers in Physiology cover the practice of taking BCAA supplements in isolation—which, surprisingly, still succeed in terms of muscle growth.

This said the metabolic mechanisms responsible for muscle growth won’t be maximized by BCAAs alone—as a full spread of amino acids, alongside a healthy diet, is required to keep our muscles full, flexible, and strong. And this is where BCAA capsules come into play.

BCAAs are commonly consumed in liquid-form—stirred or shaken as a blend for consumption either alongside a meal or by themselves. Again, though, BCAAs work best when a healthy diet is also maintained. Micro-managing this type of supplement-diet balance, understandably, can get difficult. As such, leading industry providers have compressed daily BCAA dosages into gelatin capsules.

You’ll still get the valine, isoleucine, and leucine which constitute a full BCAA blend, of course—but you’ll have a much easier time ‘getting your scoop’ in throughout a busy day.

BCAAs are directly absorbed by your muscles, too, as opposed to being metabolized by your liver, first. This makes them particularly effective in capsule form—as one needn’t consume food alongside them to maximize absorption.

This said, having a small meal alongside your BCAA bodybuilding pills is still a good idea—as it’s whole food protein sources synergize with BCAA absorption, in general.

Creatine Pills

creatine pills

Up next, we have creatine pills: micro-sized variants of the supplement world’s most popular supplements. Creatine is considered one of the most effective supplements for increasing muscle strength and size.

As such, it’s considered a fundamental bodybuilding supplement for anyone serious about gaining mass. Research shows that creatine supplementation can even double the rate of strength gains—matching this rate in male muscle growth, as well.

Creatine is known to have a lot of variations when it comes to forms of consumption.

It’s found in standalone powder form—but it’s also a popular sports drink ingredient. Some protein powders have creatine, and some protein bars do, too. And then there’s creatine pills: A lesser-recognized form of creatine, but an effective one nonetheless.

Creatine is pretty effective regardless of the way it’s consumed—as the molecule is found in the body, naturally, already. It’s also found in eggs, meat, and seafood—comprised of three amino acids: arginine, methionine, and glycine. While plenty of bodybuilders keep their kitchen shelves stocked with creatine to maintain muscle mass, plenty of people benefit from its ability to provide backup energy during tough workouts.

Some prefer creatine pills to powders for male muscle growth, however. In some cases, this preference stems from the same convenience BCAA capsules provide.

Often, however, this preference stems from a person’s unique dietary needs. Creatine powder is absorbed much quicker than creatine pills are—making them ideal post-workout supplements.

This type of timing isn’t feasible for everyone, of course, which makes creatine pills incredibly useful as a ‘pre-loaded’ supplement: If you’re on the go, you can take your creatine pill before you hit the gym. If timed correctly, it’ll be absorbed around the time you wrap up.

Diving deeper into the digestive differences between creatine powder and pills: Many people get upset stomachs from creatine. Bloating is a common factor to consider, which can make taking creatine a pain in general.

Because creatine pills take longer to digest, they tend to be easier on the digestive system in general.

So, if you’ve had trouble with creatine in the past, you might benefit from its pill form much more. After all—fully digested creatine, at the end of the day, is the most effective creatine you’ll get.

Fish Oil Capsules

Fish Oil Capsules

Surprisingly, fish oil is suspected to aid muscle growth. High in DHA, EPA, and omega-3 fats, fish oil is even a favored supplement by bodybuilders—as it’s shown to significantly reduce post-exercise muscle soreness.

Fish oil’s benefits don’t end here, of course, as its anti-inflammatory properties directly boost the range of motion—directly bolstering any workout routine. While you can get a healthy dose of omega-3s from walnuts, flax seeds, and pine nuts, it’s simply easier to have an all-in-one capsule to do the job.

Fish oil capsules also contain more alpha-linolenic acid than fish, itself, does—so it’s certainly a good food-alternative extract to consider.

Exploring fish oil’s direct impact on workout quality, its ability to reduce swelling prevents strength decline throughout your weekly workouts. Also unique to fish oil is its increased benefits to those on low-calorie diets:

In one study, those supplementing with 4,000 mg of fish oil, daily, experienced increased lower-body strength and muscle gain.

Fish oil’s anti-inflammatory properties, in the long run, is suspected to enhance our muscles’ sensitivity to protein, too, making it a solid companion on your resistance training adventure. It’s also body-friendly at any age, making it a preferred supplement among middle-aged and older fitness enthusiasts.

So don’t pass up fish oil, the next time you’re browsing bodybuilding pills: It’s secretly one of the more effective you’ll find.

Diet Pills

diet pills

Diet pills tend to be the most-advertised type of bodybuilding pills—as they’re capable of slimming the waistline while revealing hard-earned muscle. But the term ‘diet pills’ is pretty broad.

What are they, exactly?

Most are stimulant-based, existing as blends of caffeine, green coffee extract, green tea extract and guarana. Indeed, these supplements do work: Their stimulant properties speed up the metabolism, also compounding in-workout fat-burning effects due to being thermogenic. For male muscle growth, they can even boost exercise performance. Still, they’re best used for melting away fat stacked on top of every inch of muscle we carry.

One of the most effective ingredients found in diet pills, green tea extract, is found to be particularly effective in weight loss: It boosts fat oxidation alongside the metabolism, and studies suggest that it can even inhibit carbohydrate uptake after a meal. This is sort of a double-edged sword, however, as our muscles need a healthy supply of carbohydrates to grow.

As a result, your male muscle growth mileage may vary with diet pills. To take them as bodybuilding pills, your best bet is to consume them as a pre-workout supplement—utilizing their stimulant properties to get a much-needed energy boost before big lifts. In any event, ask your health provider if diet pills are safe to consume—as pre-existing health conditions can make diet pills, in any form, dangerous to take.

Staying Healthy, and Avoiding the Steroid Hype

Staying Healthy, and Avoiding the Steroid Hype

Anabolic steroids are well-known to boost muscle mass—dramatically so.

Their hype, however, isn’t worth the health risks. It’s important to cover these popular bodybuilding supplements—as they are available in pill form. This form of anabolic steroids is especially dangerous, as the liver has difficulty breaking them down.

The digestive tract, too, has difficulty processing oral anabolic steroids—which is why bodybuilders often take anabolic steroids by injection.

In any form, however, anabolic steroids are still pretty dangerous—even for experienced bodybuilders with the know-how needed to take them. They’re often referred to as ‘recipes for disaster’ for a reason, as their potential hormone-related damages sit alongside insulin and cardiovascular risks.

In some cases, anabolic steroid use can be fatal.

Getting the Most Out of Your Supplements

Getting the Most Out of Your Supplements

There are plenty of effective bodybuilding pill options for male muscle growth, out there. In most cases, it’s simply a question of what to look for. The best supplements to aid your muscle-bound career, fortunately, are widely available: You can find BCAA capsules, creatine pills, fish oil capsules, and diet pills at your local nutrition shop.

When in doubt—your local pharmacy, or even the grocery store, is a good place to look.

The best thing about today’s leading supplements for muscle growth is their adaptability: The nutrients which work the best, more often than not, work in many forms.

So don’t worry, if you’re not keen on taking pills, as you’ll still gain plenty of muscle by utilizing BCAAs, creatine, fish oil, and green tea extract in any regard. If you need a schedule-friendly exercise boost, however, supplement capsules are definitely the way to go in terms of accessibility and convenience.

As always, definitely talk to your health provider before choosing your next supplement to enhance your fitness. The bodybuilding supplements listed above tend to be healthy, for most, but every person’s body has unique needs. Once you’ve determined the best way to supplement your day, you’ll be well on your way to increased strength, reduced fatigue, and bigger muscles.

-Terry Asher

Terry Asher

After changing his best friend’s life by helping him lose over 70lbs, dropping him down to an amazing 7% body fat, Terry was inspired to be a full-time internet trainer knowing he could do the same for many more. In 2010, Terry published his own diet and fitness e-book that can be purchased on this website. Let Terry help you change your body for the better!

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Boosting Muscle Growth: The Best Bodybuilding Pills

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Boosting Muscle Growth: The Best Bodybuilding Pills


Boosting Muscle Growth: The Best Bodybuilding Pills, dietary supplements are ever-popular—and bodybuilding pills continuously lead the way.


Terry Asher

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Gym Junkies

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Dr. Michael Davidson, Who Studied Infectious Disease, Dies at 77

He was badly injured in a biking accident shortly after he relocated to New Jersey for a new job heading up an H.I.V./AIDS research team for Roche Pharmaceuticals.

“He had two real loves in life, the outdoors and cooking,” Dr. Sprott said in an interview. Dr. Davidson honed his culinary skills by trying every recipe in the 24-volume “Time-Life Foods of the World” cookbook collection.

For the past 10 years, he required round-the-clock home care. “He drove his aides crazy, telling them how to cook, but they could never do it like he did,” Dr. Sprott said. A lover of jazz and the blues, Dr. Davidson played the saxophone.

Michael Davidson was born on April 8, 1943, in Greensburg, Pa., outside of Pittsburgh, to Peter and Selma Davidson, who owned a men’s clothing store in Greensburg and later in Meadville, in northwest Pennsylvania, where Dr. Davidson grew up. His older sister, Paula, a nurse, died at a young age.

He earned a degree in biology in 1965 at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa., and received his medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in 1969. He spent a summer while in medical school on a Navajo reservation studying the high prevalence of gallstones among the people there, Dr. Thomas Welty, a friend and medical school classmate, said. The experience inspired Dr. Davidson to work with Indigenous people in Alaska, he said.

Dr. Davidson completed his internal medicine training at George Washington and Georgetown universities, and had a fellowship in infectious disease at the University of New Mexico, where he later taught while running a private practice in internal medicine. He earned a master’s degree in public health in 1983 and, in 1999, a doctorate in clinical epidemiology from Johns Hopkins University. He also taught at the biomedical program at the University of Alaska.

Dr. Davidson had no immediate survivors.

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