Posts Tagged ‘Low Carb Nutrition’

The Forbidden (timing of) Fruit!.

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You’re Being Lied To…By The Scale!.

    One of my early mentors in bodybuilding used a phrase to explain ones relationship w/ the scale.  “The scale doesn’t lie, but it sure don’t tell the truth!”  How is that possible!??  Allow me to start by tackling the age old question- “What’s the difference between losing weight and losing fat?”  The common belief is that if you simply reduce your caloric intake you will lose weight and change your body composition.  This approach becomes flawed very quickly!

“Action is the fundamental key to all success.” -Pablo Picasso

    When the body experiences a continual decrease in caloric intake, it will lose both fat and muscle.  As a result, the numbers on the scale will drop twice as quickly.  However, muscle comprises a machinery necessary to burn fat.  If you lose this fat burning machinery, your body will not be able to maintain the weight loss (less muscle = fewer calories burned).
When attempting to lose “weight” the primary goal is the retention or increase of the present lean muscle tissue, which will enable you to burn more fat and eat more food.  Typically, when designing a weight loss program often times people initially state that they won’t be able to consume the amount of food recommended.  However, it generally does not take long for most clients to become accustomed to, and enjoy the quantity of food.  Additionally, the elevation in caloric intake becomes necessary in order to increase lean muscle mass.  As previously stated…by increasing your lean muscle tissue this will increase ones ability to burn fat!

“Believe in yourself!  Have faith in your abilities!  Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.” -Norman Vincent Peale

Bottom Line…
Accomplishing muscle hypertrophy and/or body fat reduction requires continual manipulation of food consumed (potential energy measured in calories) and food used (work measured in calories).  When these two factors are equal (energy balance), there is no change in body mass.  This is also the state the body constantly strives to maintain.  In other words, every time the human body experiences an energy imbalance (mandatory for body mass change) it’s job is to bring the energy back into balance.  The body accomplishes this by adapting to the exercise and/or energy input (diet) and ultimately reaches a plateau.  At this point, an adjustment must be made in the energy output (exercise) and/or energy input (diet), if progress is desired.  The bodies obligatory response to energy imbalance creates the need for continual manipulation of food and work in order to achieve continuous progress.
The key to favorably altering body composition is to direct the body to use it’s stored fat to supply the extra calories needed to sustain or build muscle, therefore, simultaneously reducing the fat stores.  This is building or sustaining muscle at the expense of body fat.  This is the art and science (the fun stuff) of favorably altering body composition until you reach your goal.

People Don’t Plan to Fail… They Fail to Plan!.

TRAINING- CARDIO, WHEN AND WHY?

THERE ARE TWO TIMES OF DAY WHEN THE BODY’S ABILITY TO UTILIZE BODY FAT AS A SOURCE OF ENERGY (AKA LIPOLYSIS) IS AT IT’S PEAK. THE FIRST BEING IN THE MORNING RIGHT OUT OF BED ON AN EMPTY STOMACH AFTER HAVING FASTED FOR SEVERAL HOURS WHILE SLEEPING (HOPEFULLY). HOWEVER, I DO HIGHLY RECOMMEND DRINKING A LITER OF WATER, AND IDEALLY, ADDING SOME BRANCHED CHAIN AMINO ACIDS TO ENSURE MUSCLE CATABOLISM IS HELD TO A MINIMUM (CURRENTLY STUDIES ARE SHOWING THAT FASTED CARDIO IS NOT THE END ALL BE ALL TO FAT LOSS, AND THAT ACTUALLY ADDING BCAA’S CAN INCREASE THE LIPOLYTIC EFFECTS INDUCED BY AEROBIC EXERCISE). THE KEY HERE IS TO MAINTAIN A HEART RATE OF NO HIGHER THAN 130 BEATS PER MINUTE (FOR MOST, GENERALLY SPEAKING) TO REMAIN IN AN AEROBIC ZONE. REMEMBER, FAT IS AN INEFFICIENT SOURCE OF ENERGY, THEREFORE IT’S PREFERRED DURING LOW INTENSITY EFFORTS WHERE THERE IS NO NEED TO BE EFFICIENT.
THE OTHER TIME WHEN CARDIO IS MOST EFFECTIVE TO BURN FAT IS FOLLOWING RESISTANCE TRAINING. DURING TRAINING ONE PERFORMS REPS BY REPEATED MUSCULAR CONTRACTIONS WHERE GLYCOGEN IS THE PRIMARY SOURCE OF ENERGY. CONTRARY TO POPULAR BELIEF, YOU WON’T ACTUALLY DEPLETE GLYCOGEN LEVELS THAT MUCH UNLESS YOU HAVE BEEN UNDERGOING DAYS ON A CARB DEPLETION. HOWEVER, BLOOD GLUCoSE LEVELS WILL BE LOWERED, HENCE THE OCCASIONAL BOUT OF LOW BLOOD SUGAR FOLLOWING AN INTENSE WORKOUT, DESPITE NOT FEELING ALL THAT GREAT, THE BODY’S LIPOLYTIC ABILITIES BECOME HEIGHTENED DURING THIS TIME; PROVIDED THE HEART RATE STAYS WITHIN THAT AEROBIC ZONE (65-75% OF MAX TARGET HR). ONE IMPORTANT THING I WANT TO POINT OUT IS THAT WHILE YOU MAY BURN A FEW HUNDRED CALORIES DURING A PARTICULAR CARDIO SESSION THE REAL BENEFIT COMES FROM YOUR ELEVATED CALORIC EXPENDITURE FOR THE OTHER 23 HOURS OF THE DAY. BE CONSISTENT, FOLLOW A HEALTHY NUTRITION PROGRAM, AND ABIDE BY THESE TWO SIMPLE RULES AND YOU’LL BE SURE TO INCREASE YOUR FAT BURNING ABILITY IN NO TIME.

NUTRITION- PRE/POST WORKOUT MEAL PLANNING

I LIKE TO THINK OF PRE AND POST WORKOUT NUTRITION AS THE BOOKENDS TO YOUR TRAINING SESSION; WITH THESE IN PLACE THE BODY IS STRONG AND STURDY, WITHOUT THEM THERE’S NO FOUNDATION. PRIOR TO RESISTANCE TRAINING YOU WILL WANT TO AVOID CARBS THAT ARE DRASTICALLY HIGH ON THE GLYCEMIC INDEX DUE TO THE FACT THAT A RAPID SPIKE IN ENERGY WILL TRANSLATE TO A RAPID CRASH IN ENERGY. FOR MOST ATHLETES EATING A MEAL AN HOUR TO AN HOUR AND A HALF PRIOR TO TRAINING IS IDEAL. THIS ALLOWS FOR GLUCOSE TO ENTER THE BLOODSTREAM AND TO MAINTAIN ENERGY LEVELS THROUGHOUT THE WORKOUT. A FEW OF YOUR IDEAL PRE WORKOUT CARB CHOICES ARE OATMEAL, BROWN RICE, PASTA(YES DURHAM SEMOLINA IS ON THE LOWER END OF THE GI SCALE), AND SWEET POTATO JUST TO NAME A FEW. ONE PRINCIPLE THAT I USE WITH MY CLIENTS, ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO PARTICIPATE IN PERFORMANCE BASED ACTIVITIES OR EVENTS, IS WHAT I CALL CARB STACKING. WITH THIS APPROACH I LIKE TO BLEND A MIXTURE OF HIGH AND LOW GLYCEMIC CARBOHYDRATES, THIS ALLOWS FOR IMMEDIATE AS WELL AS SUSTAINED ENERGY TO ASSIST THE TRAINEE IN ACHIEVING PEAK PERFORMANCE THROUGHOUT THE DESIRED ACTIVITY. YOUR PRE WORKOUT PROTEIN INTAKE IS EQUALLY IMPORTANT AS RESEARCH TELLS US THAT 80% OF THE GLYCOGEN NEEDED DURING INTENSE TRAINING IS SYNTHESIZED THROUGH AMINO ACIDS. A LEAN MEAT SUCH AS CHICKEN OR A WHEY PROTEIN SUPPLEMENT WOULD SERVE QUITE WELL IN THIS SITUATION. ADDING A PROTEIN SOURCE WILL ALSO SLOW THE BREAKDOWN OF CARBOHYDRATES INTO GLUCOSE, THUS ALLOWING FOR A SLOWER, MORE CONSISTENT RISE IN BLOOD GLUCOSE LEVELS, RESULTING IN A MORE BALANCED RATE OF INSULIN SECRETION BY THE PANCREAS. INDIVIDUAL’S WITH A FASTER THAN NORMAL METABOLISM, GENERALLY ECTOMORPHIC BODY TYPES, MAY WANT TO ADD IN SOME ADDITIONAL CARBOHYDRATES, DUE TO THE ELEVATED RATE OF GASTRIC EMPTYING. ON THE FLIP SIDE, THOSE WITH SLOWER METABOLISMS MAY BENEFIT MORE BY ADDING MORE FIBROUS CARBOHYDRATES LIKE GREEN VEGGIES TO FURTHER SLOW THE BREAKDOWN FROM THE STARCHY CARBS, IN ORDER TO REGULATE INSULIN SPIKES TO A GREATER DEGREE. MY IDEA OF A PRE WORKOUT MEAL WOULD BE A GRILLED CHICKEN BREAST, A MIXTURE OF WHITE AND BROWN RICE, AND A SMALL AMOUNT OF STEAMED BROCCOLI.
THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE WITH PRE AND POST WORKOUT NUTRITION IS WHERE YOUR PRE WORKOUT MEAL CONSISTS OF A SLOW DIGESTING OR A BLEND OF CARBOHYDRATES. POST WORKOUT SHOULD CONSIST OF A HIGH GLYCEMIC CARB AS WELL AS AN EASILY DIGESTIBLE LIQUID PROTEIN SUCH AS A WHEY ISOLATE TO START THE RECOVERY PROCESS AS FAST AS POSSIBLE. A HIGH GLYCEMIC CARB WILL REPLENISH GLYCOGEN LEVELS TO STARVING MUSCLES READY TO SOAK THEM UP LIKE A THIRSTY SPONGE. A LIQUID PROTEIN SOURCE WILL GET VITAL AMINO ACIDS TO THE MUSCLE FASTER THAN SOLID FOOD, WHICH ULTIMATELY BECOMES A LIQUID THROUGH THE DIGESTION PROCESS ANYHOW. MY IDEA OF AN IDEAL POST WORKOUT MEAL WOULD BE WHEY PROTEIN POWDER MIXED WITH WATER AND A BAKED POTATO OR WHITE RICE. AFTER THAT I WOULD NOT WAIT LONGER THAN 2 HOURS TO HAVE YOUR POST/POST WORKOUT MEAL. USE THESE “ANABOLIC WINDOW’S” TO YOUR ADVANTAGE TO MAXIMIZE YOUR RESULTS, THERE IS NOTHING WORSE THAN CONTINUOUSLY TAKING ONE STEP FORWARD AND TWO STEPS BACK. GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR HARD WORK BY BECOMING MORE AWARE OF YOUR BOOKENDS!! NOTE** WHEN STRIVING SOLEY TO REDUCE BODY FAT WHILE MAINTAINING LEAN MASS…MANY BODYBUILDER’S ONLY CONSUME PROTEIN AND ESSENTIAL FATS AFTER TRAINING. THIS APPROACH, WHILE NOT IDEAL FOR THOSE TRYING TO ADD THE MAXIMUM AMOUNT OF MASS, DOES HAVE IT’S PLACE IN ANY NUTRITIONAL PROTOCOL ARSENAL WHEN THE MAIN GOAL IS TO REDUCE ONES BODY FAT!

SUPPLEMENT REVIEW — CREATINE!!… THE MOST RESEARCHED SPORTS SUPPLEMENT EVER!!

CREATINE MONOHYDRATE- In my experience when talking to coaches, parents, and fitness professionals creatine is one of the most controversial supplements pertaining to athletes. Over the past few years a number of variations of creatine have been developed. For our purposes I will be referring exclusively to creatine monohydrate as it is the most heavily studied sports supplements to date. In layman’s terms creatine is simply a chain of 3 amino acids; Arginine, Glycine, and Methionine. Creatine can have many positive benefits to an athlete. First off creatine draws fluid into the muscle cell creating cell volumization. Greater cell volume means better nutrient synthesis which leads to a positive nitrogen balance therefore preventing catabolism. Creatine monohydrate also is catalyst to ATP production in the mitochondria of the cell. ATP is what gives the cell energy output allowing for greater contractile force over longer periods of time. The biggest issue against creatine I hear most often is that it causes muscle cramps and strains, and in some cases gas and bloating. My response to this is to keep in mind that with any supplement it’s a foreign object to the body and the body has two choices either to accept it or reject it. I believe that a high quality brand of creatine monohydrate will eliminate many of the stomach and intestinal irritation. As I stated, creatine works through cell volumization, so yes, you must keep your water intake elevated. Personally, I believe most muscle strain associated with creatine is from dehydration and probably would have occurred anyway. Creatine monohydrate is the most studied sports supplement and has yet to show any toxicity to the body. Foods that are naturally high in creatine are red meat, fish and poultry.

The 5 Simple Steps.

Quickfire Q & A…..

You asked for it, no literally…I’ve selected a handful of questions from emails, gym conversations, clients, and general inquiries that I’m asked most often.  To keep it interesting and fun (for those reading and myself), I narrowed it down to the questions that don’t require a long explanation, plus some that are just fun to think about!

Q: How much do you bench?

A: Just kidding…making sure I have your attention!!

Q: What key points do you find most important when trying to reduce body fat?

A: **Manage blood glucose; **Hydration (alkaline water should be included if poss.); **Hold yourself accountable; **Motivation/Passion/Goal Setting/Visualization; **Consistent hard work

Q: What 5 supplements will you never be without?

A: **Quality Whey Protein; **Vitamin (Ester) C; **Vitamin D(3); **Omega-3 Fish Oil; **Sea Salt (I use it liberally, 27 minerals that your body can actually use)

Q: If forced to choose only 1 exercise to use in your training, which would it be?

A: Deadlifts

Q: What kind of music do you train to?

A: Ideally…Nothing but the clang’n of the iron!  To answer the question, I’m definitely not into the heavy metal stuff, it makes me over stimulated and I can’t think straight…I prefer to slow the mind down and focus on the muscles!  Kings of Leon, Dave Matthews, Jack Johnson, pretty much anything Motown too!!

Q: Most common mistake you see people make in the gym?

A: People walking through the doors without a PLAN!

Q: Do you use any lifting equipment? Gloves, belt, wraps, etc..

A: Belts bother me!  I prefer to feel the weights, so no gloves!  I use straps for maybe 3 or 4 total sets ea. week(back movements)!  Wraps just take to long and I prefer to do my heavy compounds at the end of my training session to avoid the stress on my joints!

Q: What exercises did you do in your most recent shoulder training routine?

A: Reverse Pec Dec; Wide grip upright rows (stopping at bottom of pec’s); Behind the Neck Hammer Strength Press; Front raises (only do these every 3rd wk or so); Lateral raises (as many sets as it takes to completely engorge the muscle with blood, short rest between sets…I DO NOT count sets & reps on these)….Note: I typically do rear delts and traps w/ back, this particular workout I threw in rears w/ shoulders.

Q: What is your favorite “dieting” meal?

A: Grilled Sirloin; Roasted Red Potatoes; Mixed Greens w/ Romaine, Spinach leaves, Kale, Sprouts, and cucumbers

Q: Favorite cheat meal?

A: This is a toss up…it depends what I’m craving but it’s usually Pizza (not from those chains either, quality pizza!) or Chinese!

 

Yes or No’s…Plus one word answer questions…

Q: Do you recommend your clients set an alarm to have a shake in the middle of the night?

A: NO

Q: Do you agree w/the statement, “A calorie is a calorie?”

A: NO (emphatically)

Q: Will Jay Cutler win another Olympia title?

A: NO

Q: Who is Phil Heath’s biggest threat to take the title?

A: Evan (Centopani)…but not for a few years yet!

Q: Do you like the new IFBB points system?  Is there anything you’d change?

A: YES…I’d like to see a page out of the NASCAR book and have an overall points champion

Q: What pro athlete do you think would make the best bodybuilder? One current and one retired?

A: Retired- Bo Jackson…Current- Brian Cushing (Texans), although I’d love to see what Dwight Howard would look like if he trained/ate like a bb’er! FREAK

Q: Who or what was your bodybuilding inspiration as a child?

A: He-Man and Thunder Cats

Q: Favorite physique of all time?

A: That’s a tough one…I’d have to go with Lee Labrada (of course a shorter bb’er), but if I had to pick one guy @ one contest I’d go with Danny Padilla @ the 81′ Olympia!

Q: Ever a chance you’ll get on stage again?

A: YES

 

starting a nutrition program 101!!.

I WANT TO ANSWER SEVERAL OF THE QUESTIONS THAT I GET ASKED ON A REGULAR BASIS. I ALSO TRIED TO CHOOSE QUESTIONS THAT APPLY TO THE LARGE MAJORITY OF FITNESS ENTHUSIASTS. I’M A BELIEVER THAT KNOWLEDGE IS POWER, AND THAT PEOPLE ARE MORE LIKLY TO ABIDE BY CERTAIN PRINCIPLE’S IF THEY HAVE AN UNDERSTANDING OF WHY THEY ARE ADHERING TO THEM.

QUESTION- I RECENTLY HAD MY BODY FAT MEASURED. I WAS TOLD THAT MY LEAN BODY MASS IS 12O LBS, WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF KNOWING THIS?

ANSWER- Lean Body Mass (LBM) is found by subtracting an individuals pounds of body fat from their total body weight. This number represents the combine weight of that individuals muscle tissue, bones. and organs. A person’s LBM is important for me as a trainer to know for the purpose of nutrition. I personally calculate a clients daily requirements for protein, carbs, and fat according to their LBM. A pound of fat at rest burns 2-3 calories per day, a pound of muscle at rest burns 20-30 calories per day. Therefore I calculate in accordance with the clients LBM, otherwise I call this feeding the fat. Once the LBM is found I take a number of variables into consideration before determining the final requirements for macronutrients.

Q- I’VE HEARD IT’S IMPORTANT TO INCLUDE BRANCH CHAIN AMINO ACIDS (BCAA’S) BEFORE AND AFTER MY WORKOUTS AS WELL AS THROUGHOUT THE DAY, IS THAT TRUE?

A- The amino acids leucine, isoleucine, and valine are commonly known as branch chain amino acids. These aminos in particular are required for muscle tissue repair and protein synthesis. BCAA’s are an essential part of creating an anabolic environment in order for the muscle building process to occur. One thing that a lot of people lose sight of is whey protein is comprised of over 20% BCAA’s. As long as you use a quality whey protein supplement a couple times per day, you are getting plenty of muscle building branch chain amino acids.

Q- I DO SIT-UPS AND CRUNCHES ALL THE TIME AND I STILL DON’T HAVE A SIX PACK, WHAT’S THE SECRET?

A- Let me make this simple….”abs are made in the kitchen and on the treadmill!!”

Q- MY DOCTOR TOLD ME I WAS BORDER LINE FOR ADULT ONSET(TYPE 2) DIABETES. WHAT CAN I DO TO MAKE SURE I STAY OFF PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS?

A- While I am not a doctor, I have witnessed a number of people learn to control their blood sugar by making a few simple changes. It’s important for everybody to understand how to control insulin for general health purposes. 1) Include more dietary fiber 2) Eat your protein and fats before your carbs at meals 3) Choose foods that are low on the Glycemic Index 4) Include plenty of essential fatty acids in your diet 5) Supplement with Vanadyl Sulfate and Chromium Polyniconate at meals. In order to truly know how foods and supplements affect your blood sugar I recommend using a glucometer.

Q- I KNOW THAT EATING PLENTY OF FRUITS AND VEGETABLES IS IMPORTANT FOR MY HEALTH AND I EAT THEM AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. HOWEVER I STILL HAVE TROUBLE MEETING THE DAILY RECOMMENDED REQUIREMENTS, WHAT CAN I DO?

A-Correct, an active individual must eat plenty of fruits and veggies to get the required amount of vitamins and minerals needed for optimal health. However, due to poor soil quality, mass production, and the use of pesticides among other things reduces the nutrient value of the foods we eat. I believe it to be especially important for training individuals to include a multi-vitamin into their supplement regimen. The key things I look for when choosing a vitamin/mineral supplement are 1) At least 250 mg of vitamin C per serving 2) Between 20-40 mg of most B vitamins 3) A decent amount of calcium and magnesium.

Q- SOME FRIENDS OF MINE TRAIN AND DIET PRETTY SERIOUSLY BUT EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE I HEAR THEM TALKING ABOUT A CHEAT MEAL, WHAT’S WITH THAT?

A- Some trainer/nutritionist have their clients eat a cheat meal usually once a week for a few reasons. First, to maintain sanity during a strict diet. Second, it gives the individual something to look forward to as a reward for staying on the diet all week. The reason I personally have my clients eat a cheat meal is after maintaining a caloric restriction for a period of time then introducing a mass influx of calories at one time places the body into what I call a “hyper-metabolic state.” This process also has a positive affect on the fat burning hormones naturally produced in the body.

Q- WHEN I DO BACK EXERCISES LIKE ROWS AND PULLDOWNS I FEEL IT IN MY BICEPS AND SHOULDER AS MUCH AS I DO IN MY BACK. WHY IS THAT?

A- It’s virtually impossible to eliminate the biceps when training back, but there are a couple techniques to emphasize the back muscles. Start by not wrapping your thumbs around the bar or handle, place them on the same side as the rest of your fingers. Start your back movement by retracting the scapula before pulling with the arms. Mentally activate the muscle you are training to ensure complete concentration. Include plenty of isolateral exercises, I find this allows for more intense focus on each side. Some athletes find that straps or training hooks allow greater activation of the training muscles.

Q- I’VE BEEN READING ALOT ABOUT NUTRIENT TIMING AT SPECIFIC TIMES DURING THE DAY, CAN YOU CLARIFY THIS FOR ME PLEASE?

A- The only nutrient timing you need to worry about is every 3 hours. Make sure your getting a quality meal every 3 hours in the form of whole foods, shakes, or as a last resort a meal replacement bar.

Q- IM A WOMAN AND I LOVE LIFTING WEIGHTS BUT I DON’T WANT A “BULKY” LOOK. SHOULD I JUST DO MORE REPS WITH LESS WEIGHT LIKE I’VE ALWAYS HEARD?

A- This is a common misconception. First of all woman don’t naturally produce the hormones required for substantial muscle growth. A person can lift all the weight in the world but if they’re not providing the muscles with enough calories to spark growth, it just won’t happen. We grow muscle through the foods we eat not the weights we lift. As far a rep range goes stay in the 10-15 range. Lightweights for high reps does not burn more fat.

Q- I’M RECENTLY RETIRED AND WANT TO GET BACK IN THE KIND OF SHAPE I WAS IN YEARS AGO. AM I JUST KIDDING MYSELF TO THINK THIS IS AN ACHIEVABLE GOAL?

A- Absolutely not! I won’t be cliche by saying “it’s never to late” but I guess I just did. Believe it or not muscle maturity is not fully reached until the late thirties. The aging process takes place at a cellular level, if we can keep our hormones where they where in our youth we keep the body healthy from a cellular level. If we can prevent cellular degradation we could hypothetically live forever. Resistance training coupled with proper nutrition naturally keeps our bodies hormones functioning to the best of their abilities. Now I’m not suggesting weight training and a healthy diet will allow you to live forever, but it will ensure that everyday is an opportunity to improve no matter what age you are.