Posts Tagged ‘Vitamins & Supplements’

What the heck is a snack anyways? How many calories is it outside today?.

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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!!.

MACRO-NUTRIENTS
Macro-nutrients are nutrients that provide calories or energy.  Nutrients are substances needed for growth, metabolism, mental acuity as well as many other functions of the human body.  The word “macro” means large, therefore, we require macro-nutrients (macro’s) in large amounts.  There are 3 macro-nutrients; Proteins, Carbohydrates, and Fats.  The amount of calories or energy each macro provides varies, carbohydrates provide 4 calories per gram, proteins also provides 4 calories per gram, fats however provide 9 calories per gram.
Carbohydrates are required in the largest amounts, and as an athlete our requirement is greater than that of the average individual.  In order to really understand the importance of carbs, we must first know the purpose of carbs. 1) Carbohydrates are the body’s main fuel source.  2) Carbohydrates are easily used by the body for energy.  3) All the tissues and cells in our bodies can use glucose for energy.  4)  Carbohydrates are required for the central nervous system, kidneys, brain, and the muscles (including the heart) to function properly.  5)  Carbohydrates can be stored in the muscles and in the liver and later used for energy.  6) Carbohydrates are important for intestinal health and waste elimination.  Carbohydrates can be found in starchy foods like grains, potatoes, and fruit.  Other foods such as (fibrous carbs) vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, and milk (lactose) products contain carbs but in lesser amounts.
Fiber refers to certain types of carbs that our bodies can’t digest.  These carbs pass through the intestinal tract and help to move waste out of the body.  There are two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble.  The benefit/purpose of soluble fiber is that it binds to fatty acids allowing for removal from the body also soluble fiber prolongs gastric emptying to allow the sugars to breakdown at a slower rate.  Insoluble fibers job is to move bulk through the intestines helping to control and balance pH (acidity) in the intestines.
When an insufficient amount of carbohydrates are consumed, or not consumed for that matter, the body must utilize proteins for energy even to the point of cannibalizing muscle tissue as a source of energy.  This is never an ideal situation for anyone let alone an athlete trying to reach peak performance.
Proteins provide the basic structure of all living cells.  Proteins are used for making essential hormones and enzymes, tissue repair and growth, optimal immune function, and preserving lean muscle.  The basic building blocks of proteins are called amino acids.  There are two types of proteins, complete and incomplete.  Amino acids are categorized as essential and non-essential.  Of the 20 amino acids that have been identified 9 are considered to be essential amino acids, those that cannot be manufactured by the body therefore must come from dietary intake (or supplementation).  The body being the survival device that it is can manufacture the non-essential amino acids from the by-product of carbohydrate metabolism.  Meat, fish, milk, cheese, whey and eggs are examples for food sources that contain complete proteins, I believe as an athlete these foods should comprise the majority of your daily protein intake.
Fat is a major source of energy and aids your body in the absorption of several vitamins.  Types of fats vary considerably both from an athletic standpoint and a health standpoint.  While fats are the most energy pack of the macronutrients, saturated (with a few exceptions coconut oil being one of them) and trans fats should be very limited in one’s diet.  Foods such as butter, shortening, lard, and meats particularly high in fat are examples of saturated fats.  Trans fats can be found in vegetable shortenings, some margarines, snack food such as cookies and crackers, and especially in fried foods.  These types of fats should be replaced with healthy fats such as  omegas 3, 6, and 9, which are mono and polyunsaturated fats respectively.  As an athlete we need quality fats to keep our hormones at optimal levels, they also aid the body in the production of high density lipoproteins (HDL) or “good cholesterol”.  Essential fatty acids are essential in keeping the body healthy from a cellular level.  Excellent sources of essential fats can be found in nuts, and nut oils, avocados, olive oil, and fatty fish such as salmon, swordfish, and mackerel.  I do however find it worth mentioning that the research coming out on arterial plaque build up in connection to sub par ratios of Omega’s 3 and 6 verses all the blame going to saturated and trans fats is quite interesting.  The FDA previously recommended a ratio upwards of 20:1 for Omega’s 6:3; that ratio has recently (as of writing this) been adjusted to a 3:1 ratio recommendation for Omega’s 6:3.  I plan to elaborate on this as more research is published regarding the topic!
Even though water does not provide a caloric value it is widely considered a macronutrient, and for good reason, think of the amount we require just for survival.  Water is essential for ALL energy production in the body!  Water also plays a role in temperature regulation, waste elimination, and is integral to the cellular processes.  Upwards of 70% of body weight is water.  Insufficient water levels in the body results in a decrease of blood volume thereby reducing overall oxygen transportability of the blood to properly supply the muscles during exercise.  Since water is used to regulate body temperature, inadequate cooling of the body occurs.  The heart rate increases as the cardiovascular system is stressed and overheating occurs, leading to possible heat stroke or heat exhaustion.  An athlete should start consuming several 8 oz glasses of water starting 2 hours prior to activity, and as a rule of thumb should consume 4 oz every 15 minutes during exercise to replace the fluid lost through sweat and to maintain blood volume.  Keep in mind every BODY is slightly different and has slightly different needs!  Also, remember there is a big difference between “performance nutrition” and “cosmetic nutrition,” the piece above is geared specifically towards performance based nutrition.  When an athlete or individual needs to be at peak performance they must consume their macros accordingly!

Long story short….as we age the amount of fluid (mainly H2O) between the Dermis (bottom layer of skin) and the Epidermis (top layer) decrease over time due to Chronological, as well as environmental aging. As the fluid reduction progresses, so does the aging process of the skin. Optimal skin hydration is essential for a number of reasons; for one having an increased amount of surface area between the layers of skin allows for greater circulation, nutrient delivery, waste product removal (free radicals), as well as a faster turn over rate in which new skin cells are regenerated, creating a more full, supple look to the skin itself  thus removing, if not eliminate the signs of wrinkles.
At this point you may be asking yourself, “How can I prevent and/or eliminate the signs of aging and wrinkles with out breaking the bank or going through a 10 step process which just isn’t realistic for the average person?”
GLYCERIN; Being both hygoscopic and hydrophilic by nature gives glycerin the unique ability to draw moisture from the surrounding environment as well as moisture from within the body to hydrate the aforementioned layers of the skin.  Glycerin has countless applications in many forms, for many reasons.  For anti-aging and skin health purposes I’ll be referring only to pure glycerin which can be found in the cosmetic section of most retailers.

Applied topically glycerin acts as a super hydrating emollient and even has anti-microbial properties.  My personal preference is to create a glycerin solution mixed in a travel size spritzer bottle (I recommend using an alkaline water to dilute the glycerin into a solution).  Once you’ve mixed the solution simply spray a light layer of mist over the face and neck and allow it to air dry (it’s not necessary to create a thick greasy layer with the glycerin solution).  Another very affective and important time to use the mixture is after prolonged exposure to the elements such as the sun, wind, arid climates, etc. or anytime rapid skin hydration is a must!

This is very much a “cliff notes” version of skin health and the aging processes that occur, as well as, the measures we each can take to ensure the healthiest, youngest, most vibrant looking skin possible.  None the less give this simple, inexpensive, practical way of optimizing skin hydration a try and you’ll notice a definitive new radiance to your skin for pennies on the dollar compared to the over promising, under delivering products that flood the market daily!!

2011… contest prep time is here!.