Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I'll pump, YOU up!

Now that we've gone over the basics of good nutrition and pre/post workout supplements, it's time to talk about workout programing. Just browse the magazine stands, view the covers of bodybuilding mags, and read again and again titles like "gain 10lbs of muscle in 4 weeks!" or "how to put on size like the pros". I'm not debunking these articles, but I do suggest learning how your body responds to different workout principles. The following principles, listed below, are considered the foundation of weight-training programming. This brings us to the seven "granddaddy" laws:

1. Principle of individual differences - This principle states that we all have different genetic blueprints. Yes, we all have similar responses and adaptations to the stimulus of exercise, but the rate at which our body responds will differ. Some will respond slower, others faster. Adjusting your workout program accordingly will help you get the most efficient results.

2. Overcompensation principle - Muscle fiber will increase in size and strength in response to training. Injured tissue (the result of weight-training on muscle-fibers) will lead to scar tissue. Scar tissue will strengthen the muscle and ultimately result in increased muscle size and strength.

3. Overload principle - This is related to the Overcompensation principle. The Overload principle states that in order to continually gain strength and size, you must exercise against a resistance greater than that "normally" encountered.

4. SAID principle - "Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands." If you want more explosive power, then train more explosively. If you desire greater limit strength, then you must use heavier weights, etc.

5. Use/Disuse principle - "Use it or lose it!"

6. Specificity principle - You must move from general (or foundational) training to specific and highly specialized training as your final objective draws closer.

7. GAS principle - "General Adaptation Syndrome"
1) alarm stage:  caused by the application of intense training stress ( the overload principle)
2) resistance stage: when our muscle adapt in order to resist stressful weights more efficiently (the overcompensation, SAID and Use/Disuse principle)
3) exhaustion stage: if we keep applying stress, then we will exhaust our reserves and be forced to stop training.

There you have it; a quick explanation of the seven "Granddaddy" laws. There are many other systems and methods out there to help on your quest to complete your ultimate fitness goals. Here are some of the top-contenders:

1. Positions of flexion (POF)
2. High intensity training (HIT)
3. Super slow training
4. Heavy duty training (HDT)
5. Body contract training
6. Bulgarian power burst training
7. Hardgainers system
8. Supersquats training
9. Bigger, Faster, Stronger (BFS)

I'm not going to explain these in detail yet. I'll leave it up to you to do some research, find the right one, and learn how to implement it into your workout program.

Never be afraid to try something new! Try this, and I guarantee results!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Everybody's workin for the weekend.

With the weekend over, its time to get serious for this week. Now that the eating is on the mark, lets go over some supplementation advice. For the meat-heads out there, I'm sure you've experienced someone coming up to you in the gym and asking you "hey, what do you take?" and for some reason when I tell the truth on what supplements I'm using, they seem to be let down. I'm sure thinking to themselves that I was going to let them in on the secret pill that only big guys know about.

With that in mind here's the low-down on the best all-natural supplements that I've been taking for years, and are proven to work.

AMINO ACIDS - The building blocks of all proteins. They break down rapidly and are absorbed into the bloodstream. Your blood then escorts these amino acids to muscle tissue, where they can quickly ignite protein synthesis-the process that ultimately produces bigger and stronger muscles. Lets go over the best of the best.

GLUTAMINE - Glutamine becomes depleted during heavy and intense workouts. Use Glutamine to curtail delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and to prevent overtraining syndrome (OTS). All in all, Glutamine is considered a recovery agent. Best dosage - 5 grams before and after workouts.

Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAA's) - BCAA's are metabolized to the greatest extent in the muscle itself as opposed to to the liver or other organs, such as the intestines. The same as Glutamine, BCAA's will get depleted throughout your intense training which results in a rise in cortisol, causing the breakdown of muscle proteins and release of amino acids. When you lose them, you wanna put them back. Best dosage - About 6 grams a day, 3-4 grams of L-leucine, 1-2 grams of L-isoleucine, and 1-2 grams of L-valine. Take it within 30 minutes of postworkout.

Arginine-Alpha-Ketoglutarate (A-AKG)/
Ornithine-Alpha-Ketoglutarate (O-AKG) - These natural Amino Acids are used in nearly every nitric-oxide (NO) pre-workout supplement. The reason I'm recommending you to use them separately, and not just go out and buy a pre-made concoction, is you skip on all the fillers and caffeine they use. Also you save a few dollars too. A-AKG is a great vasodilator. O-AKG has a strong influence over amino acid metabolism and hormone secretion. Best dosage - A-AKG 1.5 grams - 2 grams 30 minutes before workout. Best dosage O-AKG 250 - 500 mg taken with A-AKG.

Well there you have it. My very simple pre and post workout supplement recommendation. Now, dont think this is all the supplements that are out there, but this is what I'm taking on my road to getting cut like a diamond.

Soon I'll go over my entire day of supplements, from waking up to what I take with my meals. But remember, don't rely on supplements. Make sure your eating and workouts are perfect before getting caught up in the supplement game.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

To win a war, you gotta become war.

Ah, the wise words of Sylvester Stallone as Rambo. We gym goers battle it out every day, from fighting off the temptation to eat junk food, to destroying our muscles through our workouts. Like any good General in a war would tell you, one of the best ways to win is to have a great strategy or plan of action! What are some good strategical maneuvers you might ask? Well I'm here to enlighten you on the subject. One of the greatest ways to see results is to track and log everything. Planning your eating regimen, writing up a workout plan, logging your weight through out your progress, taking measurements and body fat percentage, etc.

Here is an example of my day to day eating habits through my "getting back on track" process.
Breakfast -

3/4 cup egg white
4 slices turkey bacon
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup blueberries

Snack -

250g greek yogurt 0%
1 scoop casein protein

Lunch -

8 oz. chicken tenderloins
2 cups spinach (cooked)
1 cup cottage cheese/fat free

Pre workout -

2 scoops whey protein
8 oz. water

Post workout -

2 scoops whey protein
40g dextrose
10 oz. water

Dinner -

8 oz. chicken tenderloins (optional with tilapia fillet) 
2 cups broccoli
3 tbsp hummus (for broccoli dip)

Before bed -

1 scoop casein protein
(optional with 150g greek yogurt 0%)

Totals : Calories 2249
Fat - 22g
Sodium - 3986mg
Carbs - 181g
Sugar - 52g
Fiber - 27g
Protein - 341g

Alright, now that I have the battle front on my eating moving forward I'll have to get my workouts spot on as well. Making sure the fuel (food) I'm feeding my body goes to good use.

Remember this, the battle might be won, but the war is far from over!

Monday, August 8, 2011

It a long road...and its hard as hell.

Well, this marks the first day of getting back on track. With my cardio and workout done, the only thing left was the healthy eating part. Lets go over a quick explanation of calorie tracking and how it works. Now you have to remember (which a lot of people forget) is that, just because you eat every 2-3 hours doesn't mean you will get fat or bulky. Its going to come down to calories in to calories out. Here's how it works. First of you have to get your BMR or Basal Metabolic Rate to get a rough calculation on how many calories your body naturally burns at rest.

Here is the formula - Women: BMR = 655 + ( 4.35 x weight in pounds ) + ( 4.7 x height in inches ) - ( 4.7 x age in years )
Men: BMR = 66 + ( 6.23 x weight in pounds ) + ( 12.7 x height in inches ) - ( 6.8 x age in year )

Or you could make it easy on yourself and just Google "BMR calculator".

So now all it comes down to is simple math. Just remember a pound of fat is the equivalent of 3500 calories, so if your in the caloric deficit of 500 calories per day you'll be dropping a pound a week.

Now that you have your BMR, all you have to do is calculate how many calories you burn from your daily activities, and make sure your in the caloric deficit at the end of the day and vuala! Calories in to calories out.

I have a BMR of 2224 and then add the exercise, cardio, and day to day activities and I'm around 3500 calories per day, just to maintain my body weight! So my target through out this transformation is to keep my caloric intake to about 2800 - 3000 calories per day.

Another point to remember is that, after weeks of dropping weight you might hit a plateau. The reason being is that your BMR is changing and you have to adjust your calorie intake accordingly I.E. a 220lb man is not going to need the same caloric uptake as a 200lb man.

The beginning

It's not necessarily the beginning, but to a lot of people it feels like it. Say you take a week off from the gym (maybe longer) and you've been eating whatever you want. Feeling unmotivated, stressed, depressed? I'm sure you've heard that hitting the weights has a myriad of health benefits for you but what are we really taking about here, its how you look right? Yes, when we look at ourselves or others look upon us, working out is ultimately judged on how you look. This 3 week Blog will follow me, doing what it takes to get in shape (the best shape). From how to eat to workouts, and even sodium depletion for the hardcore followers to try-out.

First things first, the "before picture". Remember how I said your looks are the basis on how your judged when talking about hitting the weights? Well, after only a week of binge eating I'm looking at the lard-ass in the mirror, that doesn't look like he knows what he's doing in the gym or has been there in awhile, which only the latter is true. I went from a ripped 214 pound "Adonis", to a 229 pound mere mortal in just a week. Reality is setting in. I have to get my ass back on track and back in the gym, before I turn into the guy that comes up to everyone and says "I used to be big and strong and awesome".