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Meal Plans Need Not Be Difficult

Friday, April 4th, 2008

Meal variety sucks and how that can be the single factor that leads you away from yourmeal planning goals.

Pull up a chair and hear me out please.

“Variety Sucks!” - he said.

My eyes were wide open like a kid who just heard his first swear word when I heard that. In fact, stunned because many people who I’ve run across told me that variety in my meals is the KEY to success.

You know what I mean don’t you?

“No not that kind of variety,” he said. “Meal variety. When you change your meals all the time. Everything has to be new for each meal. You get bored right? So you always have to have something different. That sucks.”

 

Photo Credit: by helenjane

Again, I couldn’t believe my ears and yet, he was right.

You probably already know this…

What if you continually change your meals all the time, so it’s always a new meal every day. Of course you won’t be bored but what you will find impossible to do is stick with your plan and maintain a steady goal.

Obviously you can understand that makes perfect sense!

You’re probably wondering if most professional bodybuilders and those who you admire have pretty boring diets.

Let’s take an example of Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers or any number of other commercial diets on the market today.

Okay, you’re probably wondering…

What do they all have in common?

Face it… they are all using pre-planned meals!

Don’t miss a word of this…

You are never guessing at what to eat or making hasty choices without full well knowing exactly how many calories are in that meal, the protein, carb and fat contents too.

Knowing this is critical to keeping your meals targeted towards your goals. The more variety you have, the harder it will be to stick with a set meal plan to ensure you are getting the proper nutrients as well as enough calories.

And now you begin to realize that variety does suck.

Do you ever try and create a meal on the fly?

No planning just go to a restaurant and pick something off the menu only to track your meal later and find out you were way over your goal or you aren’t close to your calories for the day and have to literally stuff yourself later?

Here’s my confession…

My greatest success in terms of nutrition have come from a variety of pre-planned meals. 7 day meal plans where I know what I’m going to eat, what to shop for and all of them laser targeted towards my goal.

You see, variety in the food choices isn’t a bad thing at all. Variety ensures we are getting the proper nutrients and ratios. It helps to have several pre-planned meals so that you aren’t too bored but you know what’s ahead.

Pre-planning your meals for the week lets you go shopping for the foods you need as well.

Think of how impossible it will be to just “eat” if you don’t give some thought into the meals you are having to reach your goals.

Grocery shopping would be a nightmare if I didn’t already know my meals well in advance.

I know your boring alarm is going off right now but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Plan out your meals. The more pre-planned meals you have, the easier it will be to shop. The faster you can put together something that meets your needs.

The people who simply must have a new breakfast, lunch and dinner so they don’t get bored with foods, are the ones always counting calories. They are always guessing at what meal they are about to eat if it fits their goals. They find out AFTER they have eaten it.

The successful people know before the food hits their mouth what the meal is doing for them. They already know how many calories. They know the portions. Calorie counting only had to happen once.

Think about this for a minute.

If you want variety in everything you eat and you don’t want to have pre-planned meals because that just sounds too boring, then realize that might be why you aren’t reaching your goals.

I’m not saying meals have to be boring and bland but you should know before hand what you are going to eat.

That’s a pre-planned meal.

That’s why variety in one sense of the meaning sucks!

Meal planning does not have to be complicated. If you want pre-designed, bodybuilding meal plans in a variety of calories ranges and the ability to create future unlimited combinations, take a look at the meal plans in the NoBull Bodybuilding Program.

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How to Gain Weight in 6 Simple Steps

Saturday, March 29th, 2008

Here’s 6 simple ways on how to gain weight without getting fat. When I started I was 150 lbs at best before I got serious about weight gain. In just under 5 months, I put on 30 lbs of lean body mass and am able to maintain 190 lbs . Here’s the overview in a nutshell of:

How to Gain WeightHow to gain weight in six simple steps

Tip 1: Eating Enough Quality Calories

Have you ever asked somebody who’s trying to gain weight what they eat?

I did. And the response I received was shocking.

“I just eat.”

That’s what he said. I just eat.

You MUST know how many calories a day you need for your weight gain goal.

This person desperately wanted to gain weight and every time I saw him the gym he had some excuse as to why it wasn’t going his way. And it was usually related to his metabolism.

Let me tell you…

If you want to gain quality weight, you have to eat high quality dense foods and ENOUGH of them. Furthermore… if you want to gain weight without getting fat, then you bulk with the same principles as if you were on a cutting diet. Choose higher-calorie foods when given a choice.

Photo by: Side Salad

In my years of experience, when I bulked up and gained weight and fat, the biggest mistake I made was not tracking what I ate. I always tracked my diet when I was on a calorie restricted phase (that was a given) but when I wanted to gain weight I just ate everything I could.

Have you ever felt that way?

In order to gain weight, you need to eat more than your usual maintenance calorie intake but not so much as to just store the excess calories and get fat. And you need to eat consistently.

That should have been your “ah -ha” moment.

Gaining weight isn’t your cue to eat everything under the sun. In order to gain weight, lean mass and not get fat, you need to eat just over what you body needs to maintain. In this manner, you’ll provide your body with all the calories it needs to build muscle but you won’t give it so much as it stores the excess as fat.

[ Remember that anything in excess, even protein, can be stored as fat. ]

The key is to gain healthy weight and minimize the fat gains.

Tip 2: Grocery Shopping 101

If you are looking to gain weight, then don’t have bare cupboards. Go to your kitchen right now after reading this section and take a look at what you’ve got in stock.

Make sure your kitchen is fully stocked with the foods you need to eat. Dense foods work wonders for putting on the weight.

Examples are whole-grain breads, vegetables such as avocados and potatoes, kidney beans, lean red meat, poultry and fish.

Bare cupboards = no weight gain!

Bodybuilding doesn’t have to break the bank. Many times you can get bulk items for much cheaper than you think. Packages of tuna, turkey, chicken legs, pasta all are great bulking items that don’t cost a ton of money.

Perishable items like fruits and sugary laden items and condiments are usually things that cost the most.

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How Much Water to Drink?

Sunday, March 23rd, 2008

I think the following how much water to drink chart may help you to SAFELY determine how much water you need to stay properly hydrated for your activity without over consumption.

* this chart is meant to be a guide not an absolute *

This chart is courtesy of the ISSA

Recommended Water Intake:

Step 1 Select an appropriate need factor.

Need Factors

0.5 — Sedentary no sports or training
0.6 — Jogger or light fitness training
0.7 — Sports participation or moderate training 3 times a week
0.8 — Moderate daily weight training or aerobic training
0.9 — Heavy weight training daily
1.0 — Heavy weight training daily plus sports training or “2-a-day” training

Step 2 Multiply weight (in pounds) by the appropriate need factor to arrive at the recommended water intake in ounces per day.

Example 1 120 pounds x 0.6 = 72 ounces per day
Example 2 200 pounds x 0.7 =140 ounces per day

We recommend that you drink water eight to twelve times per day.

Example 1 72 ounces per day divided by 10 glasses = 7.2 ounces per glass
Example 2 140 ounces per day divided by 12 glasses = 11.7 ounces per glass

Lewis Black and Aquifina. Or as he says, “the end of water was we know it.”

Here’s Lewis Black with a little humor on the subject of how crazy water consumption is today.

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Download!

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Beware of Muscle Building Myths

Wednesday, February 6th, 2008

There’s a lot of misinformation floating around about Muscle Building and the rate of growth you can expect.

Muscular growth is rarely a liner process and tends to come in a series of cycles.

MP3 File

Other Ways to Listen

  • Add to iTunes
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  • Download the MP3 File (2 MB)

Items Discussed in this Episode

  • Muscle Building
  • Rates of Muscle Growth
  • Factors that Influence Muscle Building
  • How Much Muscle You Can Expect to Gain
  • The ONLY Way to Determine How Much Muscle You Gained

Episode Resources

  • Men’s Health Fitness Expert Christian Finn

Your Feedback

Your questions and feedback related to the BodybuildingSecretsLive podcast are always welcome. Please post a comment on this blog or send an email to me, Marc David thru the contact page.

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How to Shop Like a Pro

Thursday, December 27th, 2007

budget grocery shopping

Here’s a Step-By-Step Guide to Bagging Some Serious Grocery Bargains!

Two days ago I went grocery shopping again and when I looked at the bill, my eyes got big! I didn’t seem to have any more food than usual but my bill sure was higher. Something was aloof and all I knew was that the price of food is rising steadily and I’d better get savvy with my shopping if I wanted to keep up with this bodybuilding lifestyle.

Many people bust their butts in the gym but when it comes to making the right food choices or getting enough of the good stuff, they simply fail.

FACT: The average grocery bill has risen 5.7% in just 2 years since 2007.

I’m going to give you some tips and tricks so you can shop like a pro when you are bodybuilding on a budget. You’ll save money and get more food for your dollar. This is even more important for you skinny guys and gals that need to eat and just can’t seem to keep the cupboards stocked with enough food.

Sit tight and take notes.

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How I dropped 2 jean sizes in 4 weeks

Thursday, November 29th, 2007

There is some debate among fitness pros about the best way to burn fat thru cardio exercise. Is it long moderate intensity?  Short, high intensity intervals? None at all?! A combination of both methods?

Honestly, I’ve read plenty of newsletters that preach all types of cardio to no cardio (or at least traditional cardio) and
that’s all good. Getting a group of fitness pros to all agree to anything will happen when pigs fly.

I’m not going to tell you what to do and I’m not telling you anybody else is right or wrong. All I’m going to do is tell you
what worked for me and how I did it.

Here’s what I’ve done to personally go from 19% body fat to 13% in less than 12 weeks…

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You Can Brush Your Teeth with Milkshakes

Friday, October 26th, 2007

I’ve got to get this off my chest before I explode!

Just a few hours ago, a kid posted a simple question about
gaining weight to a bodybuilding forum and received some
typically bad advice on the topic commonly referred to as
bulking.

Here’s what one person said, “It takes a damn long time withoutWeight Gain Tips
eating junk. If you are willing to put the hours in the gym, then you should start stuffing your face with KFC and McDonalds, it’s so much quicker.”

No doubt about it… if you choose to workout and be healthy, you’ll want to make the quickest decisions you can make even if you put your health at risk. Who wants to put in the time? (please note the sarcasm in my voice).

As if that advice wasn’t bad enough, you’d think I’d just let
bygones by bygones but when I saw another person follow up with this gem, I snapped when I read…

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How to Speed Up Your Post Workout Recovery

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007

exercise recovery

Many weight lifting programs, bodybuilding forums and fitness articles written by experts spend hours and hours talking about a new way to lift a weight and how to kill yourself in the gym. Even better are the one line answers on most forums that after exercise, you just down a crap-load of protein as fast as possible and that’s it folks. Then go eat a meal later. It’s all good. Post workout recovery is about the shortest topic in bodybuilding and one of the longest in distance runner circles.

Have you ever asked a question about post-training recovery and received the standard “Drink your protein shake,” as the full answer?

While this is true (as little as six grams of protein has been shown to be beneficial) it’s a little more detailed than just protein if you want to perform at an optimal level.

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How Many Calories Do I Need Per Day?

Saturday, October 13th, 2007

How Do I Calculate Caloric Needs Based On My Goal (gain/loss/maintain)?

Listen, figuring out how many calories a day you need to lose weight, maintain your weight or gain weight really isn’t too hard. And with the formula I’m about to give you plus a very cool website, you can easily track where you are and what you need to do daily to reach your goals. So lets’ begin!

IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHERE YOU ARE, THEN LOSING, MAINTAINING OR GAINING WILL BE IMPOSSIBLE!

Step 1:

Take your current body weight in pounds (lbs) and multiply by 11.

Example: 194 lbs x 11 = 2134 calories

This is what I need to just keep what I have, without moving. But remember, you do move. So you have to then calculate your metabolic factors into this… so off to step 2…

Step 2:

Figure out your metabolic factor according to the table below.

But first, some definitions to help you determine where you might fit in:

Slow Metabolism: You basically look at food and you seem to put on pounds. You can gain weight by eating salads but it’s difficult to lose the weight.

Moderator Metabolism: You can gain weight if you try. You can lose weight if you try. You really don’t have trouble losing weight depending on what you want to do.

Fast Metabolism: You are the skinny guy or gal who can eat *ANYTHING* and it makes no difference. Gaining weight is difficult. Losing weight can happen overnight. Just by watching T.V. you seem to shed pounds.

Metabolic %

Under 30 years old

Slow Metabolism- 30%

Moderate Metabolism- 40%

Fast Metabolism- 50%

30-40 years old

Slow Metabolism- 25%

Moderate Metabolism- 35%

Fast Metabolism- 45%

Over 40 years old

Slow Metabolism- 20%

Moderate Metabolism- 30%

Fast Metabolism- 40%

Example: 2134 calories x 35% = 746.90

I took my calories needed above just to sit here and not move and multipled it by my metabolic factor and I find that I need an additional 746.90 calories because of my specific metabolism.

Step 3:

Put it together.

2134 + 746.90 = 2880.90 calories

I need 2,880.90 calories to maintain my current weight with my current activities.

Note: You can also adjust your metabolic factor if you do something that might take you to the next level. If you are a moderator metabolism person but you do distance running, it might make more sense to put your self in the fast category since you burn a lot more calories.

Step 4:

Now change the above with about 500 calories every day to reach your goals!

Lose Weight: I would take 2880.90 – 500 = 2380.90

Maintain Weight: I would just leave it at 2880.90 and continue what I was doing in my activities

Gain Weight: I would take 2880.90 + 500 = 3380.90

Note: 500 calories a day is just a general term everybody uses to say that adding this amount is within safe limits. Eat too much, and you end up storing fat. Cut too many calories and your body just goes into starvation mode and ends up retaining more fat. 500 is a safe, recommended guideline.

Step 5:

You must track what you are eating so you’ll know if you’ve made your goal for the day. And tracking food does not have to be complicated with weights and scales.

It’s a shame that so many people just start training and never figure out what they need to eat daily to reach their goals.

Marc’s Recommendation: www.fitday.com

You can keep doing the math over and over as you reach a goal. If you are bulking, your requirements will change as you progress. And when you lose weight they will as well. You might want to lose weight, reach a target weight and then maintain. So you will do this formula again when you have hit the weight you want.

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Why Thousands of Bodybuilder, (Sick And Tired of Hype, Info Overload, And Confusion), Swear By My ‘19 Secrets To Build 5 Lbs Of Muscle In 28 Days Or Less’ eBook…” For your complimentary copy, visit NoBull Bodybuilding

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Bad Gym Behavior: Decoded

Thursday, October 11th, 2007

Gym Behavior

Can you imagine for a moment after a grueling set of squats, stumbling over to the leg curl machine looking face down into a pool of sweat from the previous user? Yuck!

Just picture lying face down on a machine, breathing in the smell of sweat, your chin touching the leather and getting wet from somebody’s bodily secretion! Think I’m joking? I don’t jest about things this disgusting.

Don’t make these gym blunders when you can easily avoid them and make the experience for the next person as best as possible. It won’t take but 2 seconds of your time when you are finished to ensure the gym is the House of Pain, the shrine or the temple it is to many others.
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