Posts Tagged ‘muscle growth and repair’

I Have a Message….Go Get a Massage!!!.

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You’re Being Lied To…By The Scale!.

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.

Motivation & Visualization through Thoughts.

Motivation & Visualization through Thoughts

I certainly don’t know it all…matter of fact I don’t know much!  None the less, the following is a compilation of what I DO know, test the techniques out and if they work, Awesome!  If they have no business in your quest to attain Ultimate Human Performance…forget’m!  Use and apply what works for YOU!

“The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.”  ~Albert Einstein

I Think!  Therefore I am…

– Thoughts can be measured.

– The skull is by no means solid…look at a human skull, eye sockets, nasal openings, mouth, ears, etc…

– Bone under a microscope resembles a honeycomb structure.

– It’s naive to think our thoughts stay with-in the confounds of our skulls.

– Whether you realize it or not you receive outside thoughts.  Don’t think so??…Ever have a bad vibe about something?  Ever get good vibes?  Ever say to yourself, “I just don’t have a good feeling about this” or “My gut feeling is…this or that?”  Do you think it’s an accident when, no matter what you do or how hard you try, you just can’t seem to get another person off your mind? When everything you see reminds you of that individual?  Then, out of the blue, without fail, next thing you know you’ve either received a new voicemail from that person or you just so happen to bump into them at the supermarket days later!?  Think about…

– The vibes you receive are thoughts from elsewhere which you’re tuned into via the frequencies you emit through your thoughts.  This is analogous to finding the proper station on your radio dial.

– The key here is to stay on a positive, motivated, loving frequency with your thoughts.  Doing so will manifest good things into your life, as well as inspire you to accomplish all your current goals and the greater goals you’ll strive for once you’ve mastered this thought process.  When an individual consistently gives off good vibes (without expectation of reward or payment) it ONLY allows that individual to attract vibes on a similar frequency…a frequency that is positive and motivating.  One that puts you into a productive, assertive, confident state of mind for the task at hand.

– What does this have to do with Ultimate Human Performance?………EVERYTHING!!

– To perform your best, you must feel your best!  Both mentally and physically.

– You must believe you can do anything if you put forth the consistent effort and hard work.

– You must surround yourself with positive people, Period!  We’re a product of our surroundings…Likes attract Likes!!

– Nobody wants to be around, let alone help, anybody who constantly gives off negative vibes.

– People help people who help themselves…If YOU don’t show 100% effort, why would anyone else help you with 100% of their efforts?

What Motivates You…

– Tony Robbins advocates NLP(Neuro Linguistic Programming), while I am by no means an authority on the subject, I do know that it works!!  And it CAN work for you if you keep an open mind to the following…

– I know that when reminiscing of my days play’n ball or telling stories of my experiences winning bodybuilding titles.  I instantly begin to remember specific sights, smells, sounds, and the same emotions I felt during those times.   By this point I feel as if I can move mountains!

– Incorporate placing yourself in a particular moment when you’ve felt empowered, confident, focused, intense, etc…if the circumstances require something different, simply place yourself in a moment of tranquility, serenity, or calmness.  Or whatever the situation calls for.

– The more vivid the recollection the greater those feelings become in the present.  Personally, I use this technique while sitting in my car, before entering the gym.

– Fit your “self-programming” to the circumstances.  If you’re about to give a big speech, you may not want to recall the time you were in the mosh pit at a Metallica concert (save that for leg day).

– If not memory recall, perhaps music, a movie, poem, or book will put you in the ideal mind frame to approach the task at hand.

Visualization…

– Here I’m not referring to past events, although you should be using visualization techniques when utilizing the aforementioned practices.

– Visualize yourself conquering the task at hand, whether it be a new PR on the squat or acing a Mid-term.

– Be as detailed as possible of the visual picture you’re painting in your mind.

– DON’T visualize failure!!!!  Why??  Thoughts manifest into actions.  This works both ways depending on your beliefs, or visual beliefs rather.  Seeing yourself excelling or you failing is what WILL happen!

– “Whether you believe you can or you can’t, you’re right.”  My variation to this quote would be something to this effect, “Whether you visualize doing or can’t doing, you’re right.”

– Like anything it takes practice as well as trial and error, as you become more accustomed to these techniques you’ll recognize how the principles outlined here cross over into every aspect of your life.

– Harness the powers you possess and reap the rewards of happiness, health, financial success, the body you’ve always desired and anything in the realm of your imagination can be yours!

**Please give feedback if you’ve used any of these practices, if anyone has input or testimonials as to the legitimacy of Power thru Thoughts and Visualization plus contribute.  As I said I DO NOT know much, if anybody has effective techniques they’ve used in their quest for Ultimate Human Performance….Please share!

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

 

Human beings are arguably the most complex organisms on the planet.  That being said, I plan to highlight what I feel to be the most important topics for the purpose of human performance to make you a better athlete.
PURPOSE AND FUNCTION OF THE HUMAN BODY
    I believe that to understand the needs and requirements of an elite athlete we must first understand the primary purpose and function of the human body.  First and foremost, the human body is designed for survival, we are a survival mechanism.  Having said that we are complex organisms with the built in motivation that is present in every life form to develop our potentials to the fullest extent possible.  It’s not just about survival, but also that all creatures strive to make the very best of their existence.  The body’s organ systems works together to maintain a constant internal environment called homeostasis.  This homeostasis becomes disrupted from the physical and mental stress that our bodies go through when we train, practice, and play sports.  The human body must maintain specific ph levels throughout the blood, organs and  the remaining parts of the body.  For instance, when the ph level of the blood is not within the range of 7.35-7.45 the body must derive compounds from elsewhere to act as a chemical buffer if you will, to maintain a proper ph level.  It is vitally important for the body to maintain blood ph, even a minimal variation in either direction can change the entire electrical chemistry of the body, this will never produce ideal end results.  It’s important to note that the body, as a byproduct of training and exercise creates various acids (most notably lactic acid) therefore, we as athletes need more alkaline compounds.  Thankfully we can combat this through a proper diet with correct nutrient breakdown, and supplementation, I also firmly believe in the benefits of alkaline water.   An even greater benefit of the adaptive nature the human body possesses occurs when put under the physical and mental stress of intense anaerobic training, we respond by repairing ourselves to be bigger, faster, and stronger for the next training session or big game.  Keep in mind that growth refers to an increase in size either through an increase in the number of cells (hyperplasia) or through an increase in the size of each individual cell (hypertrophy).  In order for growth to transpire, anabolic processes must occur at a faster rate than catabolic processes.  The human body works on an as needed basis.  We as athletes have a much greater caloric expenditure and higher rate of muscle tissue breakdown than the average individual therefore requiring a greater amount of macro and micronutrients for proper growth and repair.