Natural Bodybuilding with Marc David]]> Thanks to my buddy “Keifer” the author of Carb Backloading (whom I’ve never actually spoken to in any capacity) he put out this video explaining how to time your day as to enjoy Thanksgiving. Think of this as a carb backloading holiday schedule.
However, you could use this concept to plan any type of event where the food portions might be out of control. It’s simple to follow. I’ll let him explain the concept and if you have questions, feel free to post them in the comment box below.
Does this tip work? Yes it does. And I know this because I tested it out for a full 10 days and on the 11th day when I ate 409g of carbs in about 2 hours, I woke up leaner than before.
Marc David – CPT
“The NoBull Muscle Guy”
Author of NoBull Bodybuilding
PS – Here’s my take on the concept of carb backloading
PPS – Here’s the initial carb backloading meal plan I designed and have since tweaked
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Natural Bodybuilding with Marc David]]> Just the other day, I got off the phone with a friend I’ve know for years. He told me how many times per week he’s doing cardio (spin, zumba, etc) and does some weight training but not much. He’s frustrated that his fat loss seems to have come to a complete halt.
In fact, in the last month, he’s fluctuated about two pounds!
I tried to explain cardio as a tool that he could use to put himself further into a calorie deficit but that his main goal should be to focus on weight training and building muscle. As usual, the advice I willingly gave was met with endless debates about the necessity of cardio. After which he told me he thinks he’s been in a 50% deficit! (that’s 50% below what he needs to maintain his current level of activity).
My advice was simple.. reduce the cardio, start eating more and focus on the weights. Maybe even consider eating at his maintenance level for a bit or even go into a surplus! He wouldn’t hear of it. He was willing to consider less of a deficit but there wasn’t a chance he’s ever think of eating too much more as it might put on fat.
To give you some perspective, he’s a 201 lb male eating about 1600 calories a day.
To give you some perspective, I’m 190 lb male eating about 4000 calories a day and I do one “cardio” session on Sunday for about 30 minutes. It’s nothing more than a warm up for 5 minutes, followed by 6 all out sprints and a cool down. Not much but it keeps me as lean as I need to be right now.
Why do I dislike cardio!
I don’t. Not at all. In fact Tom Venuto of the Burn the Fat Inner Circle says it best.
“Fat Loss is not a function of cardio. It is a function of a calorie deficit.”
Unless you are training for a specific endurance type event, I advise most people to do as little cardio (low intensity steady state) as possible and use it as a tool to put themselves into a calorie deficit (deeper if necessary). For the record, when I mention cardio I’m not talking about daily movement or brisk walking. I’m usually referring to some activity that gets your heat rate into a moderate zone, has you sweating but able to talk. It’s more than hiking but less than a 400 meter relay pace for sure.
Focus on weight training, tighten up your nutrition to meet your goals and use cardio as a tool to put you into or further into an aggressive calorie deficit to burn off fat. Used improperly, it just leads to too much of a calorie deficit which can result in a slowdown or a halt of any fat burning progress.
If you want something fun to do this month, try the holiday challenge! Registration closes on November 21, 2012.
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Natural Bodybuilding with Marc David]]> Do you ever ask yourself the question, “Am I fat?”
Then you dig around for that missing body fat caliper you bought for $10 off bodybuilding.com or search the web for the best body fat calculator? Maybe you pay $70 every few months to get dunked underwater in some hydrostatic body weight van? If this sounds like you keep reading.
What you are about to learn is the most honest, no formulas necessary method to quickly and easily determine if you are fat. You won’t need any complicated formulas, no charts to memorize and it works on males and females alike! Nobody else will tell you this because they all want to look super smart and they think a body fat number means something (it does to some extent but once you see the method below, you’ll know why it doesn’t matter).
This secret formula came to me thru a middle-aged wife who let me in on the secret while we were standing in line for some overpriced coffee. Even I didn’t realize just how simple it is to tell if you are fat or not.
Put away the calipers.
Toss out the electronic body fat scales.
No need for dunking yourself underwater. This method can be done anywhere, at anytime in the privacy of your own home (or in public if you are so bold).
Step 1: Stand Up
This requires you to stand up. It is very inaccurate sitting down or hunched over. (I’m sitting as I type this and I feel pretty fat today). To get the most accurate reading possible you need to be in an upright position. As my grandmother used to say (rest her soul), pretend you are being pulled up by a string. Stand up straight!
Step 2: Look at your stomach
That is all there is to this no caliper necessary, visual body fat test. You can do the test several times a day to see if your results change over the course of a day. There’s no need to know your numbers! This is especially true of hardcore fitness bodybuilders types. Even if they were measured at 11.9%, I can guarantee you that 50% of that population thinks they are fat when in fact they are not.
Please share this because it’s just the easiest method you can use to simply answer the question we all privately ask ourselves.
So the next time your wife or husband asks… “do I look fat?” You can just say…
Stand up.. and turn sideways.
Marc David – CPT
“The NoBull Muscle Guy”
Author of NoBull Bodybuilding
PS – This is a post riddled with humor so take it with a gain of salt (but there’s some truth to it). I’ll be sure to write and update on how to measure your body fat and what those numbers mean regarding your health.
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Natural Bodybuilding with Marc David]]> Nothing can be more frustrating than getting stuck in traffic. All that time seems simply wasted when you could be doing other things, such as hitting the gym. In fact reports indicate that the average American spends at least an hour each day in the car, and this can be a great deal more if traffic has you in a gridlock.
Although traffic jams will never be any less annoying, at least you can now find ways to make better use of this down time. While it may not be quite as effective as the hours you log in at the gym, you can at least get in a bit of a mini-workout right from your car. Not only can this help you retain that muscle you’ve worked so hard to earn but may even help you alleviate some of that stress you are feeling from being stuck in bumper to bumper traffic.
Here are some simple toning solutions to shaping up from the driver’s seat, not to mention to help combat boredom.
#1: Suck In Your Gut With Car Seat Crunches
One method to work on toning your tummy while stuck in traffic is to flatten your stomach as you exhale completely. As you breathe out pull your belly button towards your spine as far as possible until all the air is released. Hold for a 5-10 count and release. You can repeat this 10 times and mix it up with other exercises before repeating.
Another version of this is to release short, hard bursts of air as you exhale clenching your abs with each exhale. Release only slightly as you inhale quickly and repeat for a series of 10-15 breaths. Again you can do another series or two of these mixed in with other car seat exercises depending how long you end up stuck in traffic.
#2: Butt Toning From Your Car Seat
The butt toning exercise from your car seat is simple. Alternate between squeezing the buttocks muscles together and holding for a count up to 10, and then rapidly squeezing and partially releasing for 10 or more reps.
Try this one a few times and you may find yourself doing it whenever and wherever you find yourself seated for a long period of time. This one not only helps with toning, it can help that annoying feeling of your buttocks muscles “falling asleep” when in a seated position for a period of time. In other words it can also help with circulation by helping to get the blood flowing.
#3: Master Those Thighs
Squeeze your thighs together with all of your might and hold like this for a count of 10. For added effectiveness also squeeze the tops of your thigh muscles upward until your feel them tighten at the inner and upper thigh. Again you can also do these in short bursts for a count of 10 or more and work these into the rotation. You can make these more effective by adding resistance and squeezing a ball, rolled up towel or even a folded sweatshirt between your legs.
#4: Shoulders & Upper Back
Lightly grip the steering wheel but relax your arms and shoulders. Drop your shoulders and then pull the shoulder blades towards each other. Hold for about 10 seconds and then repeat as many times as you want.
Here is another similar exercise you can preform in your car:
If you tend to get stuck in traffic or have to log in a lot of travel hours for your job, prepare for this. Keeping a handgrip device in the car is a great way to build up muscle. You can also use it between the area just above your knees and squeeze together to build up thigh muscles. It may take some creativity but more than likely you can even think up you own exercises.
This post was written by Quinten who writes about safety in your car and other related topics on www.carinsurancecalculatoronline.com.
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Natural Bodybuilding with Marc David]]> By Tom Venuto
“Common workout mistakes” has always been a very popular topic in fitness publications. But no matter how many times this subject is re-hashed, you almost always hear about the same half a dozen or so mistakes, including poor form, overtraining, going too heavy, not stretching, not warming up, yadda, yadda yadda. Ironically, you seldom hear about the biggest mistakes of all. I call these humongous bloopers “bonehead mistakes” because once you start to analyze and think about them, it’s really just common sense and it all seems so obvious… except of course to the person doing it… who is often quite oblivious until someone else points it out to them… then the light goes on and it’s like… “Doh!”
Before I begin the countdown, (in no particular order), there’s one more gripe I have about the treatment this subject has been given in the past: Most of the attention has been put on the mistakes, but very little on the solutions. It’s all too easy to point fingers and say, “Don’t do that” and “Shame on you, dummy” but only 1% of your time should be spent on problems. 99% should be spent on solutions. So in that spirit, after I bring each mistake to your attention, I’ll give you a solution-oriented training tip to help you avoid boneheadedness and join the elite group who “kick butt” in the gym at every workout…
Bonehead workout mistake #1: “Winging it”
“Winging it” means having no written goals or plans, no training journal and no way of “keeping score.” It’s when you just show up at the gym day after day and do whatever strikes your fancy, whatever machine happens to be available, or whatever you’ve become habitually accustomed to doing. Winging it is when you don’t know where you are, where you’re going or how you’re going to get there – but you start your journey anyway – no compass, no roadmap. It’s been said that “Action without planning is the biggest cause of failure,” and I believe that statement is 100% accurate.
Kick butt workout tip #1: Develop a strategic plan
Successful people never “wing it,” they always have a plan. Strategic planning is a never ending process and includes: Assessment (where am I now?), goal setting (where do I want to go?), creating a plan or strategy (How will I get where I want to go?), executing the plan (what action steps must I take daily to reach my goal?), and measuring results (how will I know if I’m moving towards my goal and how will I know when I’ve reached it?). Boneheads “wing it.” Butt–kickers have a master plan and goals for every workout.
Bonehead workout mistake #2: Repeating the same workouts… without progressive overload
In one respect, repeating the same workouts is important – it’s called “continuity.” Continuity means that to experience an adaptive response (more muscle, more strength, less fat and all that other good stuff), you must repeat a certain modality or exercise consistently over a long enough period of time to allow the adaptive response to occur and to reap the full benefits (rather than changing exercises at every workout). That type of repetition is good. The bonehead mistake is when you do the same exercises, same reps, same weight, same everything, week after week, without ever challenging yourself to do more than you’ve done before. If your muscles could talk they would say, “Yawn…. Did that, done that, been there… we’re just going to stay exactly the way we are… no need to get bigger or stronger today.”
Kick butt workout tip #2: Strive to beat your previous workouts
Muscle growth and strength increases occur when you place demands on your body above and beyond what it has experienced in the past. Your body responds to this progressive overload by getting stronger in order to handle this type of demand in the future. Your objective at almost every workout is to set goals to beat what you did during the previous one. If you can’t add more weight, it could be as simple as one more rep with the same weight or the same sets/reps/weight in less time. It could also mean one more minute of cardio, one level higher on a stairclimber, or half a percent steeper incline on the treadmill. Continuous and never-ending improvement is the name of the game.
Bonehead workout mistake #3: Starving yourself
A calorie deficit is the only way to lose body fat. However, the caloric deficit must be kept small. When calories are cut too much, or held too low for too long, your body thinks you are starving and sets into motion a series of metabolic and hormonal events, which ultimately result in muscle loss, slow metabolism and plateaus. Your body is like a power plant or furnace and when you don’t feed the fire, your metabolic flame dwindles to a flicker, producing less heat and less energy. That’s why not eating enough is one of the biggest mistakes of all. As Charlie Remington likes to say, “Food is not your problem, food is your solution”
Kick butt workout tip #3: Eat more, burn more
Did it ever occur to you that if you exercise more you can eat more? And that this is a more effective fat loss strategy than eating less and exercising less? To lose body fat, you must create a calorie deficit. A deficit can be created by exercising more, eating less, or ideally, with a combination of both. The best combination of all is a small decrease in calories accompanied by a large increase in activity. Think about it: Decreasing calories slows your metabolism. Increasing calories increases your metabolism. Exercise increases your metabolism. Therefore, eat more, exercise more = double increase in metabolism. Eat less, don’t exercise = double decrease in metabolism. Yes, starving is for boneheads.
Bonehead workout mistake #4: Skipping scheduled workouts
A great body doesn’t happen overnight. Successful body transformation is the cumulative result of dozens or even hundreds of successful workouts. Each workout brings you one small step closer to your goal. Each workout missed takes you one small step backwards. Most people underestimate the cumulative effect of each small step. They figure that “It just doesn’t matter… it’s only one workout.” If you don’t think that one little workout matters, then think about the humble termite; they’re such itty bitty little creatures and they take such itty bitty little bites, yet when enough little bites are taken, an entire building can come crumbling down.
Kick butt workout tip #4: Be disciplined and consistent
Not only do you slip backwards physically when you skip even one scheduled workout, perhaps more devastating is the effect on your mind and character. Every time you successfully complete a scheduled workout, you build your discipline and self esteem. When your self esteem increases, it makes you feel good and that stimulates a positive self-reinforcing cycle of even more discipline, confidence and action. Everything you do helps or hurts. Every workout counts. Treat your word as law. When you say you’re going to work out… WORK OUT!
Bonehead workout mistake #5: Focusing on strengths, favorite exercises and favorite body parts, neglecting weaknesses
Most people have a favorite body part or exercise. But playing favorites in your training can lead to big problems. An unbalanced, asymmetrical physique is one of them, but having a great upper body with toothpick legs is the least of your worries. Strengthening and stretching some muscle groups but not others is a great way to cause poor posture, muscular imbalance, dysfunction, strains, pulls, tears or ruptures.
Kick butt workout tip #5: Train for functional balance and aesthetic balance
Non-boneheads train every muscle group for symmetrical, visually pleasing development. However, “balance” is more than cosmetic. Everyone – athletes, bodybuilders, and recreational exercisers – must also train for functional balance to prevent injury and maintain optimal function and range of movement in every joint and muscle group. Every plane of movement and angle of movement must be trained. Flexors must be balanced with extensors. Front to back movements must be balanced with rotational and side to side movements. Prime movers, antagonists and stabilizers must all be strengthened. Always stretch, strengthen and build to the point of total body balance.
Bonehead workout mistake #6: Using mostly machines and single joint/isolation exercises
So you joined the gym and you hit “the circuit”… you know, that section in the gym with all those fancy, chrome-plated, “technologically advanced” weight stack-pulley, hydraulic or computerized machines all lined up in neat rows… far, far away from the barbells and squat racks (which you never touch), and which is designed to give you an “easy, safe, injury-free, effective full-body workout.” The machines may be easy, but most machines aren’t as safe or effective as they’re cracked up to be.
Kick butt workout tip #6: Use mostly free weights and compound, multi joint exercises
For lower body, squat and lunge variations are tops. For upper body, barbell and dumbbell presses, chin ups and rows are king. These and similar “BIG” exercises stimulate more muscle fiber, stir up more fat burning and muscle building hormones, and have more carry-over to real world and sporting activities than machines. Although weight stack machines are safe with respect to the fact that you cant drop a barbell on your head, they’re ultimately NOT as safe as free weights because they don’t develop the stabilizing muscles and functional strength that protect you from injury. A few machines and isolation exercises mixed in your program is fine, but focusing on compound and free weight exercises gives you far more bang for your buck than any machine ever created.
Bonehead workout mistake #7: No mental preparation
This mistake goes hand in hand with mistake number one (winging it). You see, preparation is more than setting goals, writing out plans, and scheduling workouts. Preparation is also mental, yet most people haven’t the slightest idea just how powerful the mind is or how to harness its power.
Psychologists and “brain scientists” have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that the subconscious mind cannot tell the difference between an experience that is real and one that is imagined. Failure to take advantage of this discovery is a mistake of enormous magnitude.
Kick butt workout tip #7: Use visualization and mental rehearsal daily
Arnold Schwarzenneger, Jack Nicklaus, Andre Agassi and countless other sports legends have written and spoken extensively about their regular use of mental imagery. Those who succeeded, but claimed not to use such techniques as “visualization” were surely using it unconsciously or in a non-formalized manner. I would suggest you consciously and deliberately use this technique in the following manner: Twice a day, once in the morning and once at night, get relaxed, close your eyes and form mental images of yourself having the body you’ve always wanted, completing perfect workouts with motivation and enthusiasm and reaching all your goals. These images will penetrate your subconscious mind and literally program your brain to activate your body for total success.
Bonehead workout mistake #8: Not eating immediately after training
Not eating anything after your workout (or waiting 2-3 hours to eat), because (a) you don’t feel like eating, (b) you don’t have anything to eat with you, (c) you heard that you get leaner if you don’t eat after your workout… is one of the most boneheaded things you can ever do!
Kick butt workout tip #8: Eat protein AND carbs (not just carbs) immediately after your workout
Much research has been done on the topic of post workout nutrition in recent years and the scientific literature is almost unanimous in its findings: At one time carbohydrates were emphasized after a workout. Other people insisted that protein is more important. The truth is, the optimal post workout meal includes quickly digesting protein and carbohydrates and is consumed immediately after training during the period known as the “post-workout window of opportunity.” Although the ideal amount and type of protein and carbs is still debated, the studies have shown that proper post workout nutrition increases protein synthesis, suppresses cortisol, replenishes glycogen, and enhances recovery.
Bonehead workout mistake #9: Comparing yourself to others
Always trying to one-up the next guy is bonehead behavior. Comparing yourself to others is a great way to lower your self esteem and stay perpetually frustrated, unhappy and dissatisfied!
Kick butt workout tip #9: Compare yourself to nobody but yourself
Legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden always advised his players, “Never try to be better than someone else; but never cease trying to be the best you can be. That is under your control. The other isn’t.” So why not focus on competing with yourself? Compare yourself to yourself.
Improve yourself. Work on progress and forward movement. Become better than you used to be. Ultimately, competitive sports are most valuable to the degree you use them to better yourself, not to beat others.
Bonehead workout mistake #10: Making excuses
Many people, when they don’t get the result they want, or when things don’t go the way they expect, insist it’s not their fault. When they don’t lose any body fat, it’s their genetics or “The diet just doesn’t work!” When they fall off the wagon, it’s their friends and family’s fault – “They just don’t support me… they even tempt me with junk food and eat in front of me.” When they miss workouts, it’s their boss’s fault – “I just don’t have time with so much work being piled on me at the office.” No matter what the situation, the boneheads never even consider that the problem is staring right back at them in the mirror – someone or something outside of them is always responsible.
Kick butt workout tip #10: Accept total, 100% responsibility for all your results – good or bad
When you win, you don’t attribute it to luck or give someone else the credit for it. You proudly say, “I created it… I did it… that was me!” However, if you want to take the credit for your wins, you must also take credit for your losses and say, “Yep, I created it… I did it… that was me!” Boneheads want to take credit for their successes but not accept responsibility for their failures. Ultimately, that turns them into nothing but big losers. Winners and successful people became successful because they learned three magic words: I AM RESPONSIBLE. Once you claim responsibility for every result in your life – the good and the bad – the feeling of empowerment and liberation that comes over you is beyond description. For the first time in your life, you realize that YOU are in control. From that moment on – and not a second sooner – you become the creator of circumstance rather than a victim of it.
Well, that’s all ten of em’. Let me wrap up with what is perhaps the biggest mistake of all, and that is: Not learning from your mistakes. Mistakes are okay. The only people who don’t make any are the timid, wimpy people who don’t even attempt anything. If you realize you’ve been making a lot of these mistakes, don’t beat yourself up. As long as you learn from them and stop making them, you’re off the hook! But if you keep repeating these mistakes over and over again, then it’s official: You’re a bonehead!
Tom Venuto is a lifetime natural (which means steroid-free!) bodybuilder with bachelor of science degree in Adult Health/Fitness (Exercise Science) from BLOOMSBURG UNIVERSITY of PENNSYLVANIA.
He’s the creator of The Holy Grail Body Transformation Program
Unlike the current crop of programs hitting the scene for insane amounts of money, this is an 8 week, simple to use, no nonsense body transformation program. You’ll get all the meal plans and workouts you’ll want to obtain maximum results.
The product is solid and Tom is probably the least hyped up, down to Earth individual I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting.
Holy Grail Body Transformation Program
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Natural Bodybuilding with Marc David]]> Muscle Building Tips the Top 6 by guest author and Metabolic Masterpiece author, Scott Tousignant.
Are you struggling to gain muscle? Feel like you are busting your butt with nothing to show for it? I sympathize with your frustrations. As a former hardgainer who thought he had tried everything, I can relate to disappointment that burdens you when the promise of massive muscle gain yields little to no results. I won’t guarantee that you will gain 10, 20, or even 30 pounds of muscle by applying the advice below… but I can guarantee that applying these 6 Muscle Building Tips with consistency will finally break your free from the hardgainer label once and for all, just as it did for me.
A common mistake among bodybuilders is to spend 4-8 weeks focusing on strength training in the 3-5 rep range, then move onto 4-12 weeks of hypertrophy training in the 8-12 rep range. There is no doubt that this can be effective, but if you want to maximize your muscle building potential you need to utilize every rep range within each workout.
When you incorporate both strength training and hypertrophy training within each workout they feed off each other. Strength training hit’s your muscles on a neurological level, which increases your ability to recruit more muscle fibers. It gives your muscles a more dense and “harder” look. Hypertrophy training hits your muscles on more of a metabolic and cellular level, increasing the size of the muscle, which is temporarily visible during and immediately after the workout as a result of the ‘Pump’. The more permanent and long term gain in muscle size is a result of your body adapting to hypertrophy training, increasing the size and numbers of your muscle filaments.
Research has shown that your body adapts to rep ranges faster than it will adapt to exercises, which means that it’s important to vary your rep range more frequently than it is to vary the exercises that you use. Don’t be afraid to mix in some high reps in the 15-25 range either. I know many bodybuilders who experienced rapid growth when they began to mix in some high rep leg presses into their training.
The media and blogosphere have filled the heads of young trainees with a fear of over-training. I’m going to go against the grain and tell you to test those limits. For far too long I heeded that advice with nothing to show for it. As soon as the clock struck 60 minutes I would run like hell out of the gym for fear that my testosterone would rapidly drop and my body would immediately go into a catabolic state and start eating away at my precious muscle.
It wasn’t until I took a stand and tested my limits that I realized that my body required a higher volume of training. More sets and more exercises were necessary to ignite muscle growth and transform my physique. 60-75 minutes should be sufficient time to crush an amazing workout. What I have discovered with myself and with my clients is that the extra 15 minutes is where I bring out the fine details of my physique.
The best method for incorporating a variety of rep ranges and adequate volume to your workout is to include a variety of training protocol into each training session. Straightsets are great for the strength exercises, supersets are great for both strength and hypertrophy, and dropsets are great for tapping into the deep muscle fibers that are often neglected and untouched. Mixing in 8 sets of 8, Pyramids, Trisets, Giantsets, and other training protocol will stimulate your muscles in unique ways, forcing them to adapt and grow.
Intensity isn’t necessarily about training so hard that you feel like puking. It’s about giving each and every rep 100% of your focus and attention. Making each rep count as if it’s the one that will lead to your ultimate goal.
This kind of focused intensity is the difference between mindlessly going through the motions and hoping for success… Or completely embracing the moment, soaking it all in, enjoying the process, and expecting success!
Every rep has a purpose. Pour your heart and soul into every inch of the movement.
Consistently experiencing 8-9 hours of quality sleep everyday can play a key role in your muscle building journey. It provides your body with the opportunity to recover and rebuild, it reduces your stress, and it contributes to greater energy and mental clarity during your workout.
Supplementation is exactly what it’s defined as… a means of supplementing an already stellar nutrition plan. You should never place all of your hopes and dreams of building a lean and muscular physique on supplements alone. But some key supplements do have to potential to enhance your results.
Creatine is one of those supplements that has proven time and time again to improve strength and recovery. It can also make your muscles appear fuller. Consuming 5 grams of creatine once or twice per day is both safe and effective.
Fish oil is another outstanding supplement that carries both health and muscle building benefits. It can aid in recover and improve your strength.
Protein powders are more of a convenience thing… and for some, it’s a way of ensuring that their muscles receive an adequate amount of protein as quickly as possible post workout, so they can begin to recover and rebuild immediately.
So there you have it! The 6 Muscle Building Tips that have taken me from hardgainer status to experiencing Maximum Muscle Stimulation and building an impressive physique.
You could easily take this information and run with it, by designing a workout program on your own. Or you could take a much easier route, eliminating all the guesswork, and follow a strategically designed program that uses the above protocol and has been proven to work over and over again.
That strategically designed program is called Metabolic Masterpiece. Your body seriously won’t have a clue what hit it when you follow this training protocol. This is one of the few and rare programs that will increase your fat burning potential, while increasing your strength, and gaining lean, sexy muscle to shape and sculpt your body. This program has been my body transformation secret for years, until now.
One of the greatest benefits of releasing this program to the public has been seeing people get even better results than I have, when following the Metabolic Masterpiece Body Sculpting Program.
Scott Tousignant is the author of The Metabolic Masterpiece Body Sculpting Program. It is a time tested and proven blueprint for how to get ripped. With the Metabolic Masterpiece Body Sculpting Program you have everything that you need for a successful body transformation at your finger tips. So what are you waiting for? Let’s get sculpting!
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Natural Bodybuilding with Marc David]]> It’s time for some NoBull Q&A…. questions come from Mike. If you have question and you can’t find the answer, check out the FAQ.
My girlfriend is doing Weight Watchers and she says my diet is to restrictive. She likes Weight Watchers because it is based on points, She feels this allows her more freedom of choice. I am trying to create a livable way of eating forever.
Hate to break the news Mike but … She’s right! (sort of)
One nice thing about Weight Watches vs. any type of traditional macro-nutrient bodybuilding type plan is freedom of choice and ease of use. Based on a few factors, you are given an allotment of points per day. You can use those points however you want but as you’d expect, high calorie items are going to cost you dearly. They encourage lots of lower costs items like fruits and vegetables that have fiber to fill you up. It goes along the same lines as a bodybuilding diet.
However, what I’ve witnesses from my friends who are Weight Watchers members is they don’t necessarily eat healthy, they reserve points for binge eating and body composition is rarely if ever discussed. I’m sure this varies by trainer so I’m not making snap judgments against Weight Watches but it’s a drawback in my opinion. It’s all about losing the weight and from personal observations, most of time, it’s a fair amount of muscle that goes along with the overall weight loss.
Eating less than you consume is the basic law of thermodynamics to burn fat but with points, you can skip meals, eat less and save them for margaritas later that night and still come in under your daily calories. That’s a huge difference in thinking in my opinion.
On the other side, a bodybuilding diet does not have to be restrictive. In both cases, points or not points, the goal is to eat less than you burn, hence you hopefully “lose weight.” There’s nothing that says you cannot use a traditional bodybuilding style nutrition plan and add in some high point items.
Truthfully, there’s not much of a difference except there’s no point system in most meal plans you’ll find for what’s classified as restrictive bodybuilding diets. I believe most people who use Weight Watchers give less thought to the actual food consumed vs. the bodybuilding type that even if they could eat that chocolate chip cookie, they think beyond the calories and dive a bit deeper.
In the end, you could follow a Weight Watchers plan, follow a weight exercise plan and ensure your protein needs are being meet and be extremely successful.
If you look at bodybuilding cookbooks like the Anabolic Cookbook, you’ll find that a restrictive bodybuilding diet is merely a limitation of your own cooking abilities.
As with anything there are exceptions. If you were to train for a bodybuilding competition and attempt to achieve an ultra-low percentage of body fat, you would be somewhat restrictive in your eating. And by this I mean, even if your coach were to put you on a very high carbohydrate diet for intense training while dieting down, you’ll want to reserve every precious gram of carbohydrates for fuel for recovery and training. You’d opt to skip that beer or wine so you could consume more food such as a sweet potato where you may get the same amount of carbs but in a different capacity. This is more of an extreme example but as you tweak nutrition beyond just being fit, you will be somewhat restrictive if you want to survive the ordeal.
What do you feel is the key to maintaining your fitness level year round. I have found the biggest obstacle is the weekends, especially during the summer when their are plenty of barbecues and family functions.
The easy answer is making your nutrition and exercise into routines (habits) without being one of those overly obsessive annoying food cops that can’t stop thinking about food and talking about food and telling you what you’re eating is awful.
Some tips for maintaining a fitness level year round (could be a blog post itself):
I’ve seen laundry lists of tips for going to family functions and barbecues but the best I ever saw and one I’ve used on a cutting cycle even at holiday times was to …
Eat Before You Go! Have a meal about an hour before you go so that you essentially snack or have much smaller portions as your hunger has already been satisfied. Not to the point where you are stuffed and can’t touch any more food (no need to be rude) but enough that it becomes a snack vs. a full blown overindulging meal.
I’ll repeat that I’ve seen hundreds of articles and sites on this topic alone and all of them are trying to get to to modify behavior in order to make healthy eating and exercise a routine. When your attitude about food changes, you won’t need to be convinced to not overindulge because it will be against your nature.
In my opinion, all these online behavior modifications are soon forgotten by all but the singularly focused individual.
If you eat a meal before any such event, you eliminate the hunger sensation and that eliminates your desire to eat too much.
I have come to believe that you can’t label foods good or bad, I do enjoy beer, wine, pizza, etc. Finding the balance seems to be the hard part.
Technically you can label some foods as bad. Trans-fats for example is a bad food with no redeeming qualities for your health. But I get your point!
If you know roughly how many calories a day you need, then you don’t have to much worry about elimination of certain foods. You can have 6oz of wine or a single serving of beer and have six pack abs. You can have your cake and eat it too. The problems aren’t good foods vs. bad foods as much as how much of any food you consume.
Rather then eliminate foods, just start to be aware of portion controls and how much of anything you are eating. You’ll soon start to have a bit less wine, one less beer or half the slice of cake. If you make a habit of over eating, you won’t be able to escape the ugly reality of eat more than you burn and you gain weight. That can happen even on the cleanest of diets.
Pizza can be very good if made from scratch and it would rival a “healthy” meal elsewhere loaded with things you don’t know may be on it. Another reason to learn how to cook a little bit at home.
If you haven’t seen it, check out the Bodybuilding Recipes section of this blog.
Simile modifications to traditional recipes can yield excellent results.
Finding the balance is the tough part but when your desire to look and feel different becomes a priority and that is on your mind all the time, you will start to do everything in your power to make it happen.
Personally I love wine! I don’t eliminate it from my diet. But I don’t like drinking a bottle as I don’t like how I feel, or look or workout the next day. That negative mindset when it comes to overindulging, saves me 99% of the time without me even thinking about it. I’ll drink my glass or two and be done. I simply don’t want more. It becomes a bit of an issue when I am looking to get much leaner and be restrictive and eliminate all alcohol from the diet. That’s when it really isn’t a balance and it’s more of a short term forced action. Which for a short time period works but it’s not sustainable in my situation for the long term. Finding that balance is key.
Marc David – CPT
“The NoBull Muscle Guy”
Author of NoBull Bodybuilding
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Natural Bodybuilding with Marc David]]> This is post by NoBull Author, Mike Boyle
We all know how important protein, carbs and healthy fats are to a bodybuilder. Anything that can make our food prep a little easier, I’m all about it. Here’s my top 5 list of kitchen gadgets that I can’t live without.
1. Foreman Grill or Cuisinart Griddler:
This is an absolute most for me. It helps me prepare more servings of more kinds of food in less time I own the Cuisinart Griddler which is very similar to a Foreman Grill. It has 4 different cooking functions, so it can handle whatever your cooking. I do a lot of my cooking on the Griddler. I cook chicken, fish, beef and even grill veggies on it. It has the ability to cook 3-6 large chicken breast on it. You can also change the cooking plates and adjust the floating hinge to use the Griddler as a Contact Grill, a Panini Press, or your choice of an extra-large double Open Grill or Griddle. You can pick up a Foreman Grill for about $50 and the Griddler for around $100. Either one you choose well worth the money in my book.
2. Slow Cooker:
Using a Slow Cooker is a great way to prepare a lot of bodybuilding chicken recipes, when you don’t have a lot of time. I personally cook 6lbs of chicken breast per week this way. It doesn’t get much simpler, throw everything in the pot, turn on and walk away. This cooking method heats food very gently and locks in all the taste and the goodness. It also allows for a better distribution of flavors throughout your food, giving the flavors time to season and blend in with the food. These days you can get a slow cooker from anywhere from $20-$200. No need to go crazy on the most expensive ones, they all do the same thing.
3. Rice Cooker:
Rice Cookers come in a variety of sizes, ranging from quite small, allowing you to prepare just two cups of rice, to quite large, allowing you to prepare 20 cups of rice. A rice cooker cooks each grain of rice to perfection, without being either too firm or too soft, and never sticking. They make cooking rice nice because you no longer have to watch the pot on the stove as the rice cooks. Just because its called a rice cooker doesn’t mean it only cooks rice. Many rice cookers will also steam vegetables and other foods, making it more versatile. If your not a huge rice eater, I would recommend not picking up a rice cooker. They can get quite expensive ranging anywhere from $50 to over $200.
4. Magic Bullet:
This is a great handy compact appliance, that performs multiple task at a affordable price. Anything that makes cooking preparation a little quicker and a little easier is always a bonus. Don’t let the size full you, the Magic Bullet is a very powerful blending machine. Great for mixing, blending, cutting and grinding. I use mine multiple times daily. From making smoothies to grinding up oatmeal to make oat flour. I even use it for mixing my pancake recipes together. Depending on where you buy it, its usually priced around $50-$60.
5. Digital Food Scale:
Whether your trying to gaining muscle or losing fat means being vigilant about what you eat, in quality and quantity. A food scale may be exactly what you need to help you accurately add muscle mass or lose bodyfat. A Digital Food Scale has the ability to be more precise and accurate. You don’t have to go crazy, if you search around you can find a good scale for around $20-$40.
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Natural Bodybuilding with Marc David]]>
Do you ever wonder why some people can lift more weights or seem to last longer during their workouts? It could be several factors but one less obvious is they might be properly hydrated before the workout and you might not.
I’m going to ask a favor of you here and I must warn you, it is a bit personal. The chart you see above is a standard Urine Color Chart to assess hydration status. As you know, drinking water can affect your performance upwards of 2% if you (the athlete) are slightly dehydrated and it can take up to 24 hours to get back to a fully hydrated status.
Take The Simple Test
If you fall into the 1-2-3 color category above, you are well hydrated. 7 or 8 and you should be talking to your doctor, not reading this blog.
You might have heard that consuming water in specific amounts or at certain times is a myth. That thirst is a myth or you don’t need to employ some sipping protocol. If you are the average person, you can let thirst be your guide. But if you are or consider yourself to be a serious athlete, you should drink water to stay hydrated and possibly drink water during your sport to replace lost fluids. The advice that is given to the general population is not valid for athletes looking to improve their condition and optimize performance any more than the RDA applies to individuals who want to build muscle.
Then why do people write articles on how much water should I drink? It helps get a person who’s not used to drinking water frequently to stay hydrated, into the habit of drinking more water so they can easily stay in the hydration categories listed below. Drinking more water than you need is not necessary and at times can be dangerous. But if you are hydrated, regardless of it’s 1/2 your body weight in ounces per day or some other fancy protocol, you are hydrated. Drinking more water won’t do you any good. The guy who drinks 2 gallons a day won’t necessarily outperform the guy who drinks enough to stay properly hydrated for the sport in question and duration.
In other words, beyond being hydrated, drinking MORE water isn’t going to magically make you lift more or burn more fat. Hydration is hydration. However, what that means to each person depending on:
Is where some formulas come into play.
Those formulas have a place and are valid. For example. A 200 lb male who is a bodybuilder should drink about 100 oz of water per day to stay hydrated. Maybe more if he sweats a lot. Maybe even more if he’s training twice a day or it’s very hot outside. He could drink a lot less and be hydrated as well. Thus, formulas are just there to ensure some level of hydration.
Let the Color Be Your Guide
Proper hydration is the key to ensuring quality training sessions. Monitoring your overall body weight along with your urine color (the first urine of the morning) combined with thirst is a simple method of determining your hydration status. You can use the color guides during the day to stay at optimal levels without chugging a gallon of water every 5 minutes.
There are much more scientific methods using the Urine Specific Gravity (USG) that measures excreted waste in the urine using a refractometer. However, this will be just fine for private test.
Assessing Hydration Status:
|Hydration Status||Urine Color|
|Very well hydrated||Hint of yellow|
|Well hydrated||Pale yellow|
|Minimal dehydration||Light yellow|
|Significant dehydration||Dark yellow|
|Very significant dehydration||Dark yellow/orange|
|Extreme dehydration||Dark orange/brown|
|Very extreme dehydration||Green/brown|
Using the color chart above coupled with the descriptions, you should be able to accurately determined your hydration status. Proper hydration is essential to optimal training. If you aren’t sure how much water to drink to get to an adequate level, please refer to the How Much Water Should I Drink to determine a more precise level given your situation.
Here’s to you staying hydrated!
Marc David – CPT
“The NoBull Muscle Guy”
Author of NoBull Bodybuilding
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Natural Bodybuilding with Marc David]]> Healthy Weight Gain Tips Seeker…
This is a guest post by Rachael of Nutraplanet.com
Most people think the way to gain weight fast is through high fat food. While this will help you gain weight, it will bring you fat and not the lean muscle you crave. To build lean muscle weight you have to take a two-step approach. First eat good food then exercise. Before long, you are bound to see the healthy results you are looking for.
NutraPlanet.com offers a wide variety of nutritional bodybuilding supplements and fat burners for those looking to stay in shape and who are training professionally. Buy discount N.O. Xplode pre-gym shakes as well as cheap whey protein products, vitamins, weight loss products, and more online.
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Natural Bodybuilding with Marc David]]>
Marc, I’ve been wondering how often I should switch up my sets and reps? I’ve been following a program now and while my weights are increasing, I’m still doing the same number of sets prescribed along with the same repetitions. During the first six months, the changes (visual) came quickly. Now I’m not seeing that as much. What can I do?
Anybody who looks for this answer on the Internet is bound to get 1000 different views and opinions. Unless the person in question knows you personally and your situation, tossing out:
“You should change up your routine every week.”
“You should change up your routine every 6 weeks.”
Is useless advice. You probably came here looking for a quick calculator or a pretty table where you can cross reference your level of ability and find out what you need to do next. That’s not how champions are made. And all those awesome body transformations you see, are mostly beginners who can pretty much do anything and get fantastic results. See what they do AFTER the transformation.
I can be it’s not some cookie cutter calculator on what to do next. They take it to the next level of personal development and learning.
Anybody who follows a cookie-cutter routine is bound to fall into this trap. And if your “expert” offers you no resources on where to turn to next or have EVER mentioned the term Periodization, you should be confused.
I’ve often tried over the last few years to TEACH people the basics and the fundamentals all the while sending links to resources and books in hopes they would continue the education. You see the problem you face is something we all face.
It’s called Progression and Plateaus.
As a beginner, you can do almost anything (sets, reps, rest periods) and your body responds quickly. These so called beginner gains can last anywhere from 6 to 9 months! After that, the amount of work required to induce change becomes a focal point. Your ability to recovery quickly becomes an issue. You see as a beginner… (and I don’t mean to burst your bubble) …
You aren’t really lifting that heavy. You think you are but it’s not really the weight per se, it’s the amount of work done and the stress to your muscles. As a beginner it doesn’t really take much for your body to quickly start adapting and growing new tissues to support your efforts. When you get to the Intermediate levels and beyond, the amount of work done is significant and your ability to recover from such a bout is called into question. If you do the same workouts over and over for months, you plateau and your progress is held steady as there’s no reason to adapt to further stress.
Adding more weight, reps and sets will ultimately lead to over-training (which is all to often used) and it just means your ability to recover is now compromised and you cannot work out hard enough to bring about changes. As you begin to approach training loads closer to your genetic potential, your ability to recovery is now called into question. Recovery takes longer and thus, different training protocols are used with intermediate beyond than beginners.
While the 3 sets of 10 is valid for beginning lifters, that routine gets old quickly and fails to add enough stress to disrupt the homeostasis required for change. It’s why you see somebody without any training experience suddenly make fantastic changes (depending on how out of shape they were to begin with) but might stay the same for decades.
They were able to train to a point where the body needs to change no more without added stress. And without a qualified coach they simply don’t know what to do except more of the same with a few variations here and there.
All this means is that depending on your current level of fitness, you may need to modify the number of sets, repetitions, possibly rest periods in order to make progress again. This probably means some form of back-training (deloading) so that you undertrain for some period of time before coming back and going at your routine hard again. When you do come back, there’s many variables you can modify.
Resource: How to Increase the Intensity of Any Workout
According to powerlifter Dave Tate, an advanced lifter may adapt to a routine within 1-2 weeks.
Strength coach Ian King says that unless you’re a beginner, you’ll adapt to any training routine within 3-4 weeks. Coach Charles Poliquin says that you’ll adapt within 5-6 workouts.
Training Sets and Repetitions:
|Training Application||Repetition Guidelines||Working Sets|
|Endurance||12 or more||2 to 3|
|Hypertrophy||6 to 12||3 to 6*|
|Strength||6 or fewer||2 to 6|
|Power||1 to 2||3 to 5|
* Bodybuilding sets may vary dramatically depending on program design
When do you change up your program?
Depends on your level of fitness and your training goals. If somebody tells you to switch your entire routine every 6 weeks and go to the next one, they are giving Internet advice. Meaning, at my level, I can switch my routine almost every workout and survive but if I did that to my beginner friends, they’d be continually sore and never develop proper neuromuscular control.
As a beginner, you might stay in foundation routine for months. Or maybe 6 to 9 weeks before moving into a growth phase. After the growth phase, you can move to an absolute strength phase. Then back to a foundation… and repeat. What you are really doing is not staying in any particular phase for too long as you want to stress your body but change it up shortly thereafter to either take advantage of the new muscle (growth to absolute) or to take an active break.. absolute back to foundational.
That’s why taking a bunch of programs that all do different things, tossing a dart at them and picking one is variation but it’s not periodization and it’s not building off the blocks of previous training.
It’s a complicated theory and most people don’t have a plan beyond that training day or that month. (I’ve been there myself). You finish a routine and it’s “Now what?”
This is where a periodized training plan is a must! You can use all of the various intensity techniques in the stages but you cycle thru:
This blog is related to bodybuilding but each sport will have different seasons and different drills and exercises associated with each. Hopefully your coach has a specific plan to address your sport.
If you are just into general fitness, then go to the gym, do your sets of 3 with 10 reps, eat better and you’ll be fine. But if you plan on competing in a contest or you want to increase your bench press, pull-ups or deadlift, that’s where a training plan comes into play. Adding weight forever won’t work forever and you need techniques to get you past sticking point.
By now, you should realize that simply changing up sets and reps will work for some but it’s not a random process. A beginner can stick with a certain number of reps and sets and be fine while the advanced athlete may need to cycle thru the stages on a weekly or semi-weekly basis. It’s not as simple as looking at somebody and telling them, “You’ve been working out for how long? Okay, it’s time to change your sets and reps.”
Stick with me folks, I’ll take this concept further and explain the concept in more detail and give you some example routines so you can get a better understanding.
Marc David – CPT
“The NoBull Muscle Guy”
Author of NoBull Bodybuilding
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Natural Bodybuilding with Marc David]]> This is post by NoBull Author, Mike Boyle
Bodybuilding is a 24 hr a day job, that requires hard work, discipline and dedication. Its also not a cheap job, it requires a lot of money. With food, supplements and a gym membership you could be looking at anywhere from 300-600 dollars a month. Most of us have to learn how to budget our money to fit our lifestyle. I’m going to show you a few ways I have learn to budget my money to fit my own bodybuilding needs.
First you want to sit down and plan out your attack. Decide how much money you can spent on your bodybuilding needs. Once you’ve come up with a budget, you can know see where you can spent your money. You want to break everything down into a categories: Food, Supplements, Gym, Working Clothes, etc.
Food is the most important item you will spent your money on and most like the most expensive. Without the right diet and nutrition you will be on the track to nowhere fast. A lot of times people will spent a ton of money on supplements. With all the supplements out there, there is no supplement more important than food.
Shop in Bulk:
Buying in bulk contributes to your wallet and pocketbooks. By not paying for all that individual packaging, label and advertising, you’re getting more product for you money. We all have access to wholesale club now a days, where you can buy food in bulk at a cheaper price. You can often find the products you want in bulk and purchase the exact amount you want.
The price of bulk quantities of food is generally cheaper overall than buying individual amounts of the same products. One place you can go to buy in bulk is Sam’s Club and Costco. They offer items in larger packages which can help lower the per-unit cost for that item. While buying in bulk has its advantages, it has its disadvantages as well. You have to make wise purchases or you’ll end up wasting money. Make a list before you go, its also helpful to create your upcoming weeks meal plan.
Foods to Buy:
Wholesale clubs offer a great variety of foods in bulk to meet your bodybuilding needs. Whether bulking or during a pre-contest diet, I always eat the same foods just in different quantities. You should be looking for high protein foods and quantity carbs. Here’s a list of some great choices of food to buy in bulk:
A good approach to buying supplements, is keep it simple. Do you need every new hot supplement coming out “NO”. Most people will go blowing their budget on the newest supplements on the market. When it comes to buying supplements, you need to decide what supplements best fit your needs Weight Gain, Fat Loss, etc.
Ive found that shopping online you can save a ton of money on supplements. Shopping online you can price out different brands and products from multiple websites. Its an easy way to compare prices, servings per supplement and price per serving.
In my honest opinion there are only a few essential supplements you should buying when your on a tight budget. Here a list of a few you should be looking for.
Their are a ton of protein powders out there now, whey being the best. Its a high quality of protein. Protein is the building block of muscle. Protein builds and repairs our muscle fiber allowing them to recover and consequently grow. Protein powders are an easy, quick and convenient way for anyone to get their protein requirements in for the day. You can find a quality protein supplement for under $30′s, like with food the more you buy the bigger discount you get.
A daily multi vitamin/mineral supplement is not only an important for bodybuilders, its important for everyone. Its hard to consume food alone to get all the necessary vitamins and minerals your body need. For your body to run properly you need a wide array of nutrients, this is a great supplement to make sure you get them. Being deficient in one of these vitamins/minerals can decline in your overall body’s performance. By using a multi vitamin/mineral you will provide your body with the nutrients it needs to run at optimum levels. For less then $10 you can get a couple months worth of a one-a-day multi vitamin/mineral.
Creatine is still the most popular supplement on the market. Creatine is the foremost supplement for packing on muscle. The great thing about creatine is over the years it has become very inexpensive. For around $20 you can get around 600 grams of a quality creatine. Creatine is used to supply energy to the muscles. Creatine has been proven to increase strength, performance and muscle size. Creatine is also a cell volumizer, which means it hydrates muscle tissue and promotes nutrient flow.
Choosing the right gym for you, when you’re on a tight budget can be a little tough. Here’s a few tips to help you in selecting the right gym.
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Natural Bodybuilding with Marc David]]>
Do blood thinners such as aspirin and the like affect / effect the muscle building process? I am a 56 year old male that REALLY needs to get into better shape.
Thanks for the great site.
Before I discuss Aspirin or as it’s called, Salicylate, I want to stress that in all cases I NEVER recommend over the counter medications without first obtaining medical approval from a qualified medical professional.
Aspirin works on many levels.
First, it can improve the body’s blood flow. Even as little as 30mg prior to training can thin the blood enough where the muscles are more exposed to greater amounts of nutrient carrying blood. This can speed up recovery between sets and reps.
Second, lactic acid and other waste products that result from heavy training can be flushed away from the muscles with greater speed and efficiency.
Aspirin can reduce the swelling as a result of hard training. Tissue damage caused by swelling is the culprit from prolonged healing times. Really recovery doesn’t happen until the swelling has gone down. Then your body starts to recover.
Third, Aspirin can reduce the pain associated the above tissue damage and swelling. People say that using aspirin can make a difference between an okay workout a really great workout. Using aspirin and some other recovery methods can lead to greater recovery which leads to faster progression.
Research has shown the low doses of aspirin work just as well as larger doses.
This means you should find the lowest possible dose that does the job.
Crushing the aspirin and mixing it with milk before a workout helps protect your stomach lining and improves absorption.
I’ve read that your body can develop a tolerance to aspirin. So if you do use it, only do it during your hardest workouts. Not something you’d take every day with every workout.
Again I must caution you and remind you that I do not recommend any over the counter medications without you first obtaining medical clearance.
Hope this helps. I would consult a doctor about this and not just read about free stuff on the net or take my advice. Go talk to a doctor before you do any such thing.
Marc David – CPT
“The NoBull Muscle Guy”
Author of NoBull Bodybuilding
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Natural Bodybuilding with Marc David]]> At some point in your weight management phase and it doesn’t matter if it’s to lose weight or to gain weight or just to manipulate your body composition, you’re first though it to count calories. Maybe I’m the first person to tell you this or the 10,000 but the truth is, calorie counting does have a use but it’s not going to lead to long term success.
Do you want to be a slave to numbers?
If so, keep counting those calories. Let me know how that works out for you in say, 10 years from now. The REAL secret to success was given to you at birth and over time thru family and society was manipulated. It’s a little talked about principle called Instinctive Eating.
This skilled called Instinctive Eating is something you developed at an early age but for most of us, is forgotten or manipulated. In simple terms:
Instinctive Eating is feeding the body when it’s hungry.
It’s at this time your body is saying.. I AM HUNGRY! Feed me. As you age, you move out of this phase and instinctual eating is replaced by habitual or emotional eating.
Habitual eating is the eat 5-6 meals a day, 3-4 hours apart each and every day. It doesn’t much matter if you are hungry or not, you have the clock, it says to eat, you eat. You eventually lose touch with your internal body cues and more often than not, you aren’t actually hungry, but it’s time to eat and so you eat. This is a classic problem with people looking to gain weight. Chances are they are instinctive eaters anyway, they eat when they are hungry and they stop when they are full. So gaining weight is unnatural. They are told (by myself and many others) to eat, eat a lot, and eat often. Which has the benefit of eventually allowing them to gain weight but without knowing this, they can lose that cue of actual hunger and instinctive eating.
Emotional eating is simply eating because you are:
And these triggers elicit some response to eat. It’s those looking for comfort foods. This makes it really hard to establish a good, healthy relationship with food because it’s an emotional response and has psychological factors involved.
Does this mean calorie counting is useless?
Absolutely not. It serves as a very good helper in the journey back to instinctive eating.
The Real Problem with Counting Calories is that most people learn this out of the gate and then never realize they need to re-learn the principles of instinctive eating. Over time, they quit counting calories and potentially over eat or under eat again as they never established a healthy relationship with food or re-learned the cues of actual hunger. The skinny guys loses weight as he gets bored with stuffing his face and the weight loss seeker goes back to habitual eating or emotional eating not really giving too much though to the process.
Need an example?
People are told they need to eat 5-6 meals per day, every day. Some of those meals might be pre-workout and post-workout “snacks.” But that assumes you are actually training. What happens when you stop intense training and engage in unstructured activity? Maybe you are doing some body weight training and not trying to engage in heavy, continual weight lifting? Maybe you’ve taken a break for a couple of weeks to recover?
Are you still eating like you training? Still getting those 3500 calories for weight gain even though your training is easy to a base line routine? At this point, you are a habitual eater and your instincts are telling you that 3 meals a day might be just fine but you keep plugging away, doing what you’ve always done. You end up getting fatter and feeling a bit sluggish with all this food for an activity you are not doing.
This is precisely where instinctive eating comes into play. It’s why you need nutritional periodization for your training. You shouldn’t be eating the same during the pre-season or competition phase as you do in the off-season or unstructured phases but nobody tells you this. They lay out a meal plan and you stick to it week after week regardless of your activity.
Do you know people who eat 6 times a day and never skip a meal but they don’t even train or aren’t training at the time? I do and I wonder myself, if they are even aware of their behavior patterns when it comes to food.
Any long term success is dependent on YOU learning the basic cues of your body that is called Instinctive Eating. When you train, your nutrition changes to support that effort. When you take breaks or reduce the volume, your eating patterns should change as well. As you go thru training cycles, you go thru nutrition cycles as well. Counting calories is a useful process that can you some great perspective into your current situation and to help modify behavior but it’s not the end game. If you believe you can count calories for the rest of your life and measure food, I wish you the best of luck.
Your real key to success is going to use modern tools to observe your behavior, to modify your nutrition to support your training and to adjust as necessary but the long term goal is to be in-tune with yourself not mindless number crunching and plowing thru food.
This is a pretty simple principle to re-learn but chances are you’ve forgotten it or been so involved in formula calculators that you are a creature of habit. If you have questions, comments or concerns, let me have them in the comment box below.
Until next time,
Marc David – CPT
“The NoBull Muscle Guy”
Author of NoBull Bodybuilding
PS - If you are a number cruncher and love counting calories, there’s no downside. You are continue to do so and be that exception. This post is for those of us who are not math lovers and need to relearn the tools we were given at birth.
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Natural Bodybuilding with Marc David]]>
Let’s face it.. gaining weight is pretty easy when you put the numbers down on paper but it’s the behavior that limits people. If I told you to eat X number of calories per day for your body weight, the math is the simple part. It’s the following behaviors that must change in order for you to make changes. For instance…
When somebody who is under weight is not eating enough but knows they need to eat a certain amount of calories per day to put on healthy weight, it’s not that math that trips them up, it’s the inability to follow thru with a plan. Eating more, shopping more, preparing food is foreign to most. It takes hours to days to form a habit and roughly 21 days to break a habit. Did you know…
It can take 12-18 months for a behavior pattern to form to the point where it’s seamless!
Here’s the most common factors that can affect your ability to gain weight. You make these into daily behaviors and break your current patterns and you are guaranteed to pack on muscle and weight. So let’s begin.
Mistake #1: Not Eating Enough Calories
Just like gaining too much weight by eating too many calories for the energy expended, the same is true for the person who wants to gain weight. They rarely eat enough. It’s most likely because you aren’t eating enough calories to support long term weight gain.
This is really true for skinny guys who are “instinctive” eaters (they eat when hungry only) and do a lot of activity. They stay skinny because in their minds they want this magical weight gain but haven’t formed the habitual eating pattern to get in the required calories.
This is where a weight gainer or a weight gain homemade shake can be helpful. It’s far easier to drink more calories than it is to eat enough clean foods. It can be extremely filling and for somebody who’s new to the process who’s trying to eat only healthy, clean foods, they are so full they find it impossible to continue to eat.
Getting in some liquid calories can ease the process of not consuming enough. While I’m not a huge fan of counting calories, it’s helpful in the stages of weight gain or weight loss to have a number to shoot for on a daily basis. Once you become more of a habitual eater (eating on a schedule as opposed to when you are hungry) the weight will come. Then you can switch back to instinctive type eating when you have put on more weight.
Eating like a 200 lb bodybuilder when you are 130 lbs now is darn near impossible! But over time, you’ll easily be able to eat that much as you grow, put on muscle and your body needs the fuel.
I’m not advocating over eating or putting on excessive weight. But if you are trying to gain weight and you aren’t eating enough to support that effort, the weight will not magically happen.
Mistake #2: Bare Cupboards
If you don’t stock up on high protein foods and other such items, then opening up the cupboards to find them empty will really put a damper on your weight gain efforts. It will be impossible to create healthy but high calorie meals. You’ll find that eating more frequently won’t work if you open up the cupboards and find nothing to eat.
Grocery shopping will become a routine and allow you to have a variety of foods to choose from, make quick meals, create high calorie snacks and get your pre and post workout nutrition quickly and easily.
Looking at dorm rooms, college kids living off campus, you chuckle because all that lame grocery shopping your mom did to keep the house full of food is now on YOUR shoulders and it’s a routine and chore you must bear. If you can’t keep food in the house, go online and have it delivered on a regular basis if possible.
Opening up the fridge, cupboards or pantry and finding nothing to eat puts you right into the daily spiral of not eating enough to support your training. And over time, you’ll end up at square one again. Making this mistake leads to the meal planning problem.
Mistake #3: Meal Planning is Non-Existent
Not enough calories is obvious as to why people don’t gain weight. Not having the food is a given but failing to plan what to eat will limit your choices when it comes to meal time and it makes it more difficult to get in the required calories.
If you are opening up cupboards full of food (good) but have to do this several times a day (bad) it gets real old. Eventually you fall back to old habits that create less stress and are easier for you to cope.
Meal planning doesn’t have to be difficult. You can cycle between a couple of routine plans each day that give you the food you require. Sounds boring? It is! But it’s planned and easy to follow. If you are one of those people who wants a new, fresh, exciting meal every day, then I hope you either love to cook or have a chef. Otherwise, you’ll need to have some type of plan.
What’s for breakfast, snacks, dinner, post workout, bedtime? If you continually have to hunt around for food or try and devise a meal 6 times a day, you’ll go back to grazing not eating. It becomes too much effort and it’s a recipe for failure.
Get a couple of basic, no-brainer, nothing fancy meal plans that hit your targets. Adjust them as necessary and eat to a schedule. When you go to pack you 5-6 meals for the day, you know exactly what to eat, you have it in stock and that’s how you gain weight.
It becomes routine.
Mistake #4: Lack of Food Variety
A huge mistakes is limiting the number of calories you’re eating dramatically and limiting vitamin and mineral intake…nutrients which are necessary for GROWTH!
At some point you will hear that you should increase the variety of your nutrition plan and there’s some very good reason to do so.
Meal plans can be routine and boring (in terms of different foods every day) but you need to include lots of different foods (colors help) to ensure you are getting a well balanced diet and offering up all the nutrients for optimal growth.
Americans eat somewhere along the lines of 50 different foods in their lifetime vs. other societies that eat upwards of 80 various foods!
Take the suggestions for a couple of meal plans per day, and ensure they have enough variety that you are eating a fair amount of foods that provide different minerals and vitamins. You will want as many nutrients as possible and you won’t get that if you stick to the same things every single day without any variety.
Have a couple of plans that offer up enough variety will be easy to follow, easier to shop for but provide the nutrients necessary for growth.
Many of us are creatures of habit. Especially those who don’t know how to cook! And as such (if you grew up eating convenience foods) you leave out certain nutrients because you didn’t know about them or you never learned to cook a variety of foods. If you overeat in one food group, you leave out essential nutrients necessary for full muscular development.
You can easily accomplish this by having different lean proteins, fruits and vegetables (color), whole grains and healthy fats at most meals. Variety is the spice of life and the athlete who has a lot of variety will fair better than the one who does not.
Mistake #5: Infrequent Eating; Skipping Meals
Now most fitness experts will blast you for skipping meals saying it will put you into some catabolic state and muscle will be broken down. It’s a huge sin to skip meals! I’m here to say that’s not really the case. You can eat 3 meals a day and gain muscle and gain weight but the real problem is… most people who are eating 3 meals a day probably aren’t enough enough calories and you may not be controlling your blood sugar levels.
There’s some pretty big debates on if eating six meals a day is necessary but beyond the fact that meal frequency has worked for decades for many bodybuilders, the issue with trying to gain weight is getting enough calories.
For example, let’s say you need 3500 calories or more a day to gain weight. That’s roughly 1166 calories per meal! For most of us, including myself, there’s no way I can eat 1000+ calories in a single sitting of decent food. It’s much easier and realistic to break that up into 6 meals and eat around 583 calories per meal.
Eating frequently and not skipping meals is essentially to avoiding Mistake #1 which is not eating enough calories to support weight gain. So unless you are following the classic bodybuilders and eating 3 1000+ calorie meals of steak, potatoes and such, you are going to need to split those meals up to meet your requirements.
Why do people skip meals? Especially skinny guys and gals? More often than not, they are instinctive eaters and eat when hungry and stop when full. Which is perfect to maintain your current weight but you’ll need to break that habit if you want to change your eating patterns.
Mistake #6: Emotional Eating; Instinctive Eating
There’s 3 types of eating: Emotional, Instinctive and Habitual. Many people eat based on emotions (bored, sad, angry, tired, depressed). Those end up with unwanted weight gain. People who are looking to gain weight usually are very good instinctive eaters. They feel hungry or they lose mental focus and they eat. They stop when full. They have a hard time packing on weight because they aren’t used to forming the habit of habitual eating.
Counting calories in the long term is a not a recipe for success but it does provide awareness and a useful tool to modify behavior. The person who wants to gain weight will become a habitual eating. Eating to a schedule. Once they get to their target weight and it’s easy to maintain, the goal is to become an instinctive eater once again. This time, you’ll eat more and probably more frequently at your new weight than before.
Eating as an athlete should follow the mantra “Eat to Train.” Eating to allow your body to grow and produce muscle is vastly different from eating to curb hunger or out of emotions. Performance Nutrition is an entirely different realm than eating for survival.
Your goal, should you choose to accept it is to become a habitual eater and then learn instinctive eating by listen again to your body’s cues.
If you can avoid these weight gain mistakes, you have a really good chance of gaining the weight you desire. The process is simple but not always easy as it requires behavioral modifications.
Marc David – CPT
“The NoBull Muscle Guy”
Author of NoBull Bodybuilding
PS - Here’s an additional 6 Weight Gain Tips for you to follow.
PPS - Here’s a collection of the Worst Weight Gain advice that I sincerely hope you don’t follow.
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Natural Bodybuilding with Marc David]]> Maybe you use Twitter and maybe you don’t. But because the second most frequently asked question by Twitter newcomers is, “who should I follow?” I’ve decided to put together a list of the bodybuilders and fitness experts I follow on Twitter…and why you should probably follow them, too!
A Very Short List of Influential Bodybuilding and Fitness People on Twitter:
@tomvenuto (Tom Venuto): Author. Passionate about bodybuilding, fitness, personal development, writing, reading, science, psychology and helping you get healthy and LEAN the natural way.
Why I follow him: If you haven’t read his blog, BurntheFatBlog, check it out. He offers excellent tips for bodybuilders and people aspiring to be in better shape.
@biolayne (Dr Layne Norton): Natural Pro Bodybuilder, Pro Powerlifter, nutritional sciences PhD, Muscular Development columnist, and certified geek!
Why I follow him: I love the #outwork philosophy. Layne sets a high standard in the world of natural bodybuilding. He sometimes blogs over at his site.
@charlespoliquin (Charles Poliquin): Recognized as one of the Worlds most successful strength coaches.
Why I follow him: A pioneer in the strength world but he’s designed some fundamental bodybuilding principles. His articles section on his blog is seriously underrated.
@mboyle01 (Mike Boyle): Mike Boyle, is a natural bodybuilder from Pittsburgh, Pa. When not on his quest to become the next IFPA Pro Bodybuilder, he uses his time to come up with creative and unique bodybuilding style meals.
Why I follow him: Mike is the man behind many of the NoBull Receips. I can’t remember how I found him in the Twitterverse but I’m very glad I did. He’s made meal-time enjoyable and his workouts are inspirational.
@cougar_fitness (Stef O’Donnell): A fun blog for you forty-something fit women where you can get motivated, show off your stuff, network & exchange info on nutrition, training, and beauty.
Why I follow her: She’s a body transformation expert herself and offers up some great motivational tips and tricks to keep on track with your goals. She blogs on her Cougar Blog.
@skiplacour (Skip LaCour): La Cour is a six-time national drug-free champion bodybuilder. He has won 15 bodybuilding competitions in his career. At the peak of his competitive bodybuilding reign, he was the most recognized drug-free bodybuilder on the planet.
Why I follow him: Who doesn’t like the Skipper! He was instrumental in my own quest to pack on muscle with his Max-OT style of training. He offers up plenty of motivation and goal setting advice. You can find him on his SkipLacour website.
@christian_finn (Christian Finn): Shows you proven, fast and simple ways to burn fat and build muscle.
Why I follow him: He drops tips and tricks from how much muscle can you really build to what that booze is doing to your muscle gaining efforts. He’s a real expert in the fitness niche. Christian has his own blog.
@drchrismohr (Dr Chris Mohr): Nutrition expert who helps people lose weight permanently.NO diets, NO gimmicks, just pure success strategies tested on 1000′s of people.
Why I follow him: He’s got insightful information on various health topics. His tweets are informative and he’s a columnist for Tom Venuto’s Inner Circle. Dr. Chris Mohr knows nutrition.
@willbrink (Will Brink): Writer, researcher, consultant.
Why I follow him: He’s the expert of the Brink Zone. Will is a serious researcher who’s done countless articles on supplements, weight loss scams and helps you build muscle thru science. He’s a rare breed and worth following. A No B.S. kinda guy.
@johnsifferman (John Sifferman): Backwoods, health-first fitness coach helping rehabilitate “zoo humans” to help them get healthier and more fit for their lifestyle.
Why I follow him: Because bodybuilding should be about healthy living as well. John might not be the classic bodybuilder but he provides some insightful commentary into just keeping active, stretching and all around well being. He’s a good guy and very knowledgeable when it comes to injury prevention and rehab. He’s got his own Physical Living blog.
And, if you’re still not following @marc_david on Twitter, what are you waiting for?
Marc David – CPT
“The NoBull Muscle Guy”
Author of NoBull Bodybuilding
PS - Did I leave somebody out? If so, drop their name in the comments below. I’ll go check them out and get them added to this list. Be sure and tell me why YOU follow them so it’s just not some celebrity love but some real worthwhile information.
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Natural Bodybuilding with Marc David]]> This is a guest post by Linda Cusmano of BodyRush Personal Training
Other than the famous “I don’t have the time” syndrome, motivation is one of our foremost downfalls to getting into shape and keeping with an exercise regimen.
Being in the sport of Fitness, with frequent diet modifications, high training demands and no room for slacking off, I myself find it a challenge to continually maintain such a trying schedule. We all have our days when we feel weak or bored and would take any excuse to skip or put off that days training. Over the past few years I have found that if you are armed with the proper ammunition you can overcome any of these challenging days and complete your work out regardless.
Having a Goal May Not Be Enough!
Having a goal is the main motivation and should be enough to keep you in focus, but even then it is easy to fall short of our own expectations. The temptations of excuses and believing those excuses can be a powerfully dark force! Sometimes accounting to ourselves is not enough.
Keep Your Training Interesting
Vary your training; don’t fall into the boredom rut! Alternate your training with outdoor sports, sports drills, or anything you are not normally doing. Your body needs that stimulation in order to continue responding to your demands. Trying out new home video tapes like the new cardio kickboxing or maybe doing a couple drop-in sessions at some sort of martial arts or spinning class to break from the norm. Adding this type of ‘cycling’ to your training can be done on the fourth week of every month which is similar to the periodization theory allowing for small increments during the next phase of training.
Plan Out Your Workouts in Advance
For starters, the best approach to keep a program is to jot down your workout plan for the week by deciding which muscle groups you will train on which days, and your time and type of cardiovascular exercise. You may even be so organized that you can include the exercises you plan to complete or at least the ones you don’t want to forget. Not only does this keep you on target, but you are somewhat committing to these dates and will have a higher success rate at getting the workout done. You may want to choose exercises that you can do at home as well, using body weight or dumbbells so that in the event your workday is long and you don’t make it out to the gym you can still complete your training. By having it written down if you do happen to miss that work out will make you see that on your program. The missing day standing out as incomplete will be a way you must account to yourself but this deterring you from doing so in the future.
Use a Training Partner or Personal Trainer
Having a training partner or personal trainer can also make you attend as planned because now someone else is counting on you. For those of you that are on your own you may want to become creative about having to account to someone to ensure the exercise is done. Children can be a great asset as they love to get some authority and telling them that they have the power to tell you what to do will be a nagging little reminder that it is time to hit the weights. Kids can be the best reminders!
Those without kids can use alarms in the home, on their watch or computer and some really good friends would make no bones about giving you a reminder phone call. Use your support system any way you can, even when you think that there is no support you can find some, just be creative.
Pre-Pack for Optimal Efficiency
Another great plan of attack is to pre-pack. Ensure you have your training gear and snacks packed the night before and if you drive, store it in your car with a couple days worth of supplies. Pack plastic bags to bring in your return laundry without bringing in your work out bag then possibly forgetting it the next day! I like to keep 3 to 4 small towels, 8 snacks like baggies of nuts or protein bars, my training program clipboard, extra changes of important clothing articles and maybe a magazine for the cardio if I use a stationary unit. I also tend to forget my supplements so I store a couple days worth of that as well. Parking meter change is handy to store if you don’t carry your wallet as I don’t when heading to train. This may seem menial, but there are many individuals (you know who you are) who need this type if planning to ensure they don’t back out of a training session.
Monitor Your Progress and See Your Results
Monitor your progress. Most important is to see your efforts being rewarded and this can happen soon after beginning your consistent training program. Make small notes including the dates from the time you begin, keeping track of things like all your weight training, cardio, bodyweight, body measurements and any other accomplishments such as flexibility gains, strength gains, endurance gains. This alone can make you keep up each day. You have a powerful tool with these notes, to compare what works and what does not keeping you driving ahead with gains. I know many who have logged their training and diets for years!
I hope some of these hints I have shared with you will get most of you motivated and moving. Just remember to use creativity because it is too easy to back out of a training session. I have shared a few of my hints in hopes to spark more ideas within yourselves, encouraging you all to succeed with your goals!
Linda is a Pro National Fitness Champion, Amateur Bodybuilder, Kickboxer, Elite trainer and owner of Body Rush Personal Training, actress and a contributing writer and fitness model to many Fitness and Bodybuilding magazines.
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Question: How do I lose belly fat on my lower abs without losing muscle mass?
This is a very common question for both men and women, especially as they approach levels of leanness to where they can see a six pack emerge but now it's that last bit of stubborn bit of body fat. The question then becomes, how do I lose that lower belly fat?
I thought it might be more informative to add my own answer along with 2 other fitness experts in the field. Both Mike (male) and Stephanie (female) answered below. Both of them have achieved phenomenal success in reaching low levels of body fat and have eliminated that lower belly fat without sacrificing muscle mass and undergone no surgery to do so!
You will notice an overlap in our answers. It's not because we hopped on a conference call and got our stories straight. It's because we all went thru the same frustrations and we all ended up with the same conclusions. That's the real reason why we sound somewhat alike in our responses to a very common question.
Answer: NoBull Author, Mike Boyle
"Since no one exercise will help you lose lower belly fat, I recommend HIIT cardio. HIIT cardio will help you burn fat while helping you maintain muscle mass. 2-3 HIIT cardio session per week along with following a high protein, moderate carb, low fat diet should help get rid of that unwanted fat. Lastly dont shy away from training heavy, going heavy on exercises like Squats and Deadlifts are going to help maintain the muscle mass you already have."
Answer: Stefanie O’Donnell of CougarFitness.
"There are three tricks to losing body fat without losing muscle mass. The first is to burn off body fat slowly. When trying to simultaneously get rid of fat, while maintaining or even gaining muscle, the best approach is to zig zag your calories throughout the week. I would recommend a 20-30% deficit (from your maintenance calorie level) for three days in a row, followed by one to two days at 5-10% over your maintenance calories. The second trick is to keep your protein intake high (1.25-1.5 grams per pound of bodyweight) and spread your portions of protein out evenly over five or six meals. Lastly, heavy weight training is a must to spare muscle mass when dieting down. Limit your cardio to after lifting, or later in the day, but make sure to get in 30-45 minutes of cardio 5-6 days a week. Note: body fat will come off last where you put it on first, so you may get lean everywhere else first, but be patient, as belly fat too, will eventually be burned off."
Answer: Marc David of BodybuildingSecretsLive
"As much as I'd like to add, these 2 beat me to it. The belly fat is the last to come off in most cases. Men typically store fat in the abdominal region and even if you get to 10% body fat which is lean, any fat you do have that is visible will probably be around your abs, specifically what appears to be the lower abs. At this point, Zig-Zag nutrition (lower calorie days with maintenance calorie days) helps to keep your body guessing what's next. Weight training is extremely important to ensure no muscle is lost. You don't do this thru higher reps and lighter weight. You keep pushing hard but with reduced calories. Lowering your carbs (not zero carbs) will help to burn more fat. You might have heard of carb cycling? Protein intake should be high to ensure muscle is spared. Cardio is a tool but will be used more frequently during times when you want to shed fat vs. just regular maintenance or for general fitness. However, excessive cardio is not recommended as you don't want to go into too much of a deficit or hinder your ability to recover. Stubborn belly fat is the last to go and there's really no secret. It's where it gets REALLY hard to lose that bit of fat and it separates us from them (the really dedicated)."
Marc David – CPT
“The NoBull Muscle Guy”
Author of NoBull Bodybuilding
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Natural Bodybuilding with Marc David]]> This is a guest post by Hossein Noshirvani of Motionsoft.
Women have a tendency to put the needs of others before their own. They volunteer for the little league carpool, help the neighbor across the street set up for a yard sale, stay late at work to help a co-worker finish a big presentation, prepare dinner for eight to entertain their husband’s clients…the list goes on and on. So while women are busy taking care of others, they lose sight of their own needs, including their fitness and personal wellness. It may be nearly impossible to get some women from ignoring the needs of others; however, it is important to start making your wellness a top priority in order to live a healthy life. Include these activities into your daily routine to improve your health.
Reduce your stress
Face it, you can’t do it everything all of the time. You have to be willing to say no when life gets overwhelming. Prioritize your current activities and responsibilities and be okay with cutting back on some of your commitments.
You must introduce physical activity into your daily routine in order to promote a healthy lifestyle. Joining a gym will give you access to top of the line equipment, professional staff, and group fitness classes that will keep you motivated and engaged in a healthy routine. Most fitness facilities offer daycare services that will allow you to work out without having to find a babysitter.
Cut back on the sugars
Your diet is your source of energy. It what fuels you throughout your busy day. If you are not feeding your body the proper nutrients, you will operate on an empty tank. Be sure to avoid refined sugars such as sodas and candy and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables along with protein and whole grains.
Get your sleep
You cannot function without a good night’s sleep. Most women require seven to eight hours of sleep a night in order to be properly rested the next day. Your energy levels will increase, and your productivity levels will improve.
Make your day count for something
Living a life of purpose keeps you happy and healthy. Discover what you are passionate about and follow it. Don’t clutter your daily routine with unnecessary stress and activities that aren’t important to you.
Hossein Noshirvani has in-depth knowledge and keen insight into the fitness industry as vice president for Motionsoft. Motionsoft creates health club billing software to help gyms improve their business.
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Natural Bodybuilding with Marc David]]> This guest post is from a section of the ISSA Training Guide.
Have you ever wondered why taking a multi-vitamin is said to be an “insurance policy?” Or maybe you’ve heard that you don’t need a multi-vitamin IF your nutrition is very good.
You know what I’m talking about right?
“You can get all the vitamins and minerals you need from good, whole foods. You don’t need a multi-vitamin if you eat right.”
Could that be true?
Here’s 24 reasons that even IF your nutrition is right on the bulls-eye, you might consider taking a multi-vitamin and mineral supplement as that added “insurance policy.”
1. Poor digestion.
Even when food intake is adequate, inefficient digestion can limit your body’s uptake of vitamins. Some common causes of inefficient digestion are not chewing well enough and eating too fast. Both of these result in larger than normal food particle size, too large to allow complete action of digestive enzymes. Many people with dentures are unable to chew as efficiently as those with a full set of original teeth.
2. Hot coffee, tea, and spices.
Habitual drinking of liquids that are too hot and consuming an excess of irritants such as coffee, tea, pickles and spices can cause inflammation of the digestive linings, resulting in a drop in secretion of digestive fluids and poorer extraction of vitamins and minerals from food.
Drinking too much alcohol can damage the liver and pancreas, which are vital to digestion and metabolism. It can also damage the lining of the intestinal tract and adversely affect the absorption of nutrients, leading to sub-clinical malnutrition. Regular use of alcohol increases the body’s need for B-group vitamins, particularly
thiamine, niacin, pyridoxine, folic acid, vitamins B12, A and C as well as the minerals zinc, magnesium and calcium. Alcohol affects availability, absorption and metabolism of nutrients.
Smoking is also an irritant to the digestive tract and increases the metabolic requirements of Vitamin C, all else being equal, by at least 30 mg per cigarette over and above the requirements of a nonsmoker. Vitamin C, which is normally present in such foods as cabbage, onions, oranges and grapefruit, oxidizes rapidly once these fruits are cut, juiced, cooked or stored in direct light or near heat. Vitamin C is important to the immune function.
Overuse of laxatives can result in poor absorption of vitamins and minerals from food, by hastening the intestinal transit time. Paraffin and other mineral oils increase losses of fat-soluble vitamins A, E and K. Other laxatives used to excessively can cause large losses of minerals such as potassium, sodium and magnesium.
6. Fad diets.
Discarding whole groups of foods can cause a serious lack in vitamin intake. Popular low-fat diets, if taken to an extreme, can be deficient in vitamins A, D and E. Vegetarian diets, which exclude meat and other animal sources, must be very skillfully planned to avoid Vitamin B12 deficiency, which may lead to anemia.
Lengthy cooking or reheating meat and vegetables oxidizes and destroys heat-susceptible vitamins such as the B-group, C and E. Boiling vegetables removes water-soluble vitamins, such as B-group, C and many minerals. Light steaming is preferable. Some vitamins, such
as vitamin B6, can be destroyed by microwave irradiation.
8. Food processing.
Freezing food containing Vitamin E can significantly reduce its levels once defrosted. Foods containing Vitamin E exposed to heat and air can turn rancid. Many common sources of Vitamin E, such as bread and oils are highly processed, so that the Vitamin E content is
significantly reduced or missing, which increases storage life but can lower nutrient levels. Vitamin E is an antioxidant, which defensively inhibits oxidative damage to all tissues. Other vitamin losses from food processing include vitamins B1 and C.
A diet dependent on highly refined carbohydrates, such as sugar, white flour and white rice, place greater demand on additional sources of B-group vitamins to process these carbohydrates. An unbalanced diet contributes to such conditions as irritability, lethargy and sleep disorders.
Some antibiotics, although valuable in fighting infection, also fight off friendly bacteria in the gut, which normally allows B-group vitamins to be absorbed through the intestinal walls. Such deficiencies can result in a variety of nervous conditions, and therefore it may be advisable to supplement with B-group vitamins when on a
lengthy course of antibiotics.
11. Food allergies.
The omission of whole food groups from the diet, as in the case of individuals allergic to gluten or lactose, can mean the loss of significant dietary sources of nutrients such as thiamine, riboflavin or calcium.
12. Crop nutrient losses.
Some agricultural soils are deficient in trace elements. Decades of intensive agriculture can overwork and deplete soils, unless all the soil nutrients, including trace elements, are regularly replaced. Food crops can be depleted of nutrients due to poor soil management.
13. Accidents and illness.
Burns lead to a loss of protein and essential trace nutrients. Surgery increases the need for zinc, Vitamin E and other nutrients involved in the cellular repair mechanism. The repair of broken bones will be retarded by an inadequate supply of calcium and Vitamin
C and conversely enhanced by a full dietary supply. The challenge of infection places high demand on the nutritional resources of zinc, magnesium and vitamins B5, and B6.
Chemical, physical and emotional stress can increase the body’s requirements for vitamins B2, B5, B6 and C. Air pollution increases the requirements for Vitamin E.
Research has demonstrated that up to 60% of women suffering from symptoms of premenstrual tension, such as headaches, irritability, bloating breast tenderness, lethargy and depression can benefit from supplementation
with Vitamin B6.
16. The Teen years.
Rapid growth spurts that occur in the teenage years, particularly in girls, place high demands on nutritional resources to underwrite the accelerated physical, biochemical and emotional development in this age group.
Pregnancy creates higher than average demands for nutrients to ensure healthy growth of the baby and comfortable confinement for the mother. The nutrients that should be increased during pregnancy are the B-group, especially B1, B2, B3, B6, folic acid and B12, A, D, E, and the minerals calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc and phosphorous. Professional assessment of nutrient requirements during pregnancy is recommended.
18. Oral contraceptives.
Oral contraceptives can decrease absorption of folic acid and increase the need for Vitamin B6 and possibly Vitamin C, zinc and riboflavin.
19. Light eating.
Some people eat very sparingly, even without weight reduction goals. U.S. Dietary surveys have shown that an average woman maintains her weight on 800 calories per day, at which level her diet is likely to be low in thiamine, calcium and iron.
The aged generally have a low intake of vitamins and minerals, particularly iron, calcium and zinc. Folic acid deficiency is often found, in conjunction with Vitamin C deficiency. Fiber intake is often low as well. Riboflavin (B2) and pyridoxine (B6) deficiencies have also been observed. Possible causes include impaired sense of taste and smell, reduced secretion of digestive enzymes, chronic disease and possibly physical impairment.
21. Lack of sunlight.
Invalids, shift workers and people with minimal exposure to sunlight can suffer from insufficient amounts of Vitamin D, which is required for calcium metabolism and without which rickets and osteoporosis (bone thinning) have been observed. Ultraviolet light is the stimulus to Vitamin D formation via the skin. Often the sun is blocked by cloud, fog, smog, smoke, ordinary window glass, curtains and clothing. The maximum recommended daily supplemental intake of Vitamin D is 400 i.u.
Wide fluctuations in individual nutrient requirements from the official recommended average vitamin and mineral intakes are common, particularly for those in high physical demand vocations, such as athletics and manual labor, taking into account bodyweight and physical type. Protein intake influences the need for Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B1 and is linked to caloric intake.
23. Low body reserves.
Although the body is able to store reserves of certain vitamins such as A and E, Canadian autopsy data has shown that up to 30% of the population has reserves of Vitamin A so low as to be judged “at risk.” Vitamin A is important to healthy skin and mucous membranes (including the sinus and lungs) and eyesight.
Athletes consume much food and experience considerable stress. These factors affect their needs for B-group vitamins, Vitamin C, and iron in particular. Australian Olympic athletes and A-grade football players, for example, have shown wide-ranging vitamin deficiencies.
25. Traveling to Other Countries
Not for a week but if you are seriously considering a longer world wide tour or longer stays in various countries, the options you have here in the United States may not be what you find elsewhere. This could be a setup for some type of vitamin deficiency. Check this article out by worldwide traveler, Rob
Should I take vitamins for traveling?
Source: Hatfield, Frederick C. PhD, ISSA (2004). Fitness The Complete Guide (8.1.5 ed.). Pages 538-541
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Natural Bodybuilding with Marc David]]>
Is Coconut Oil all it’s cracked up to be? If you’ve done any reading up on this, you’d think you’ve found some super hidden method to longevity, ultimate leanness, skin preservation and hair protector and it’s been in your grocery store forever!
At some point when you started to get really involved in fitness, you’ve heard that saturated fats are bad but you should know the importance of fats in your diet overall is a good thing. A very low fat diet is not really a good thing. That’s so 1970′s! Especially for those of us wanting to build muscle or men wanting to improve testosterone.
Maybe you’ve heard to keep your overall fat intake high around 30% (healthy fat) and as low as 15%. For men, having fat intake higher is said to improve testosterone. But when experts say “healthy fat” they mostly mean monounsatured (e.g. olive, canola and peanut oils or from avacados and nuts) and polyunsatured (e.g. soybean, corn, sunflower) rarely if EVER do the tell you to increase your saturated fat intake and nobody should be telling you to increase your trans-fats!
Here’s the ever famous research when anybody links to tropical oils as being the secret cure. Tropical oils are the Pacific Island populations as wine, cheese and high fats foods are to the French.
Did you know that multiple studies on Pacific Island populations who get 30-60 percent of their total caloric intake from fully saturated coconut oil have all shown nearly non-existent rates of cardiovascular disease? (1)
Coconut Oil is made up of 90% saturated fats but are considered to be Medium Chain Triglycerides or MCTs. Some researchers feel that because of its structure, the saturated fat found in coconut oil is not as damaging as other saturated fats, like those found in animal products.(2)
Some research suggests that MCTs, like those produced from coconut oil are more rapidly absorbed than other fats. They can be used as energy faster than glucose (sugar) and have twice as many calories. Meaning, it could be a very good fat for energy, intense workouts and later recovery.
MCTs are absorbed so quickly. Because of this, they rarely get stored as fat and they can be used for energy so they help spare protein. In fact, MCTs might even act as carriers for amino acids and help your ability assimilate protein.
Additional Proposed Benefits of Coconut Oil:
This is quite a list of benefits at this point and you MIGHT be tempted to rush out, buy some coconut oil and start cooking with it or using it on salads or put it into your protein shakes.
“…we like it as a replacement for less healthy, processed saturated and trans fats. We’re not suggesting you buy tubs of coconut oil and eat it by the spoonful. It’s not about “adding” coconut oil to a junky diet. It’s about replacing. That’s the key.” ~Christopher Mohr, PhD, RD, CSSD of Mohr Results
“Just because a food is high in saturated fat doesn’t necessarily mean it increases blood cholesterol or contributes to heart disease. The effect of saturated fat varies from person to person, depending on genetics, weight, other dietary and lifestyle factors, and even gender (saturated fat tends to increase LDL, the “bad” cholesterol, more in men). In addition, tropical oils contain other substances that can affect the risk of heart disease—and how the oils are processed may matter, too. What’s key is your overall diet. Adding tropical oils in the context of a healthy diet is unlikely to affect blood cholesterol significantly.” ~ Berkeley Wellness Letter; October 2010 (8)
Most experts recommend you use unprocessed, extra virgin coconut oil (otherwise it becomes processed, hydrogenated and then the health benefits are void). Remember that you don’t want trans-fats in any amounts. So get the unprocessed type.
Even with this small laundry list of possible benefits, the overall recommendation to keep saturated fats to 10% of total fats (7) although that is debated among current fitness professionals and is the subject of some hot debate!
Bottom Line: It’s a Healthy Saturated Fat and You Should Keep it in Check
Marc David – CPT
“The NoBull Muscle Guy”
Author of NoBull Bodybuilding
(1) Kaunitz H, Dayrit CS. Coconut oil consumption and coronary heart disease. Philippine Journal of Internal Medicine, 1992;30:165-171
(2) Amarasiri WA, Dissanayake AS. Coconut fats.Ceylon Med J. 2006 Jun;51(2):47-51.
(3) Assuno ML, Ferreira HS, dos Santos AF, Cabral CR Jr, Florancio TM. Effects of dietary coconut oil on the biochemical and anthropometric profiles of women presenting abdominal obesity.Lipids. 2009 Jul;44(7):593-601. Epub 2009 May 13.
(4) Agero AL, Verallo-Rowell VM.A randomized double-blind controlled trial comparing extra virgin coconut oil with mineral oil as a moisturizer for mild to moderate xerosis.Dermatitis. 2004 Sep;15(3):109-116.
(5) Rele AS, Mohile RB. Effect of mineral oil, sunflower oil, and coconut oil on prevention of hair damage. J Cosmet Sci. 2003 Mar-Apr;54(2):175-192.
(6) Sankaranarayanan K, Mondkar JA, Chauhan MM, Mascarenhas BM, Mainkar AR, Salvi RY. Oil massage in neonates: an open randomized controlled study of coconut versus mineral oil.Indian Pediatr. 2005 Sep;42(9):877-884.
(7) In 2003, the World Health Organization (WHO) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) expert consultation report concluded that “intake of saturated fatty acids is directly related to cardiovascular risk. The traditional target is to restrict the intake of saturated fatty acids to less than 10% of daily energy intake and less than 7% for high-risk groups.
(8) ”Back to the Tropics” University of California, Berkeley Wellness Letter. October 2010; Volume 27; Issue 1. www.WellnessLetter.com
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Natural Bodybuilding with Marc David]]> Let’s take a step back and briefly talk about a subject that isn’t necessary quantifiable. In other words, it exists but you can’t touch it.
The ultimate key to motivation is:
Without that burning desire to succeed, most things will elude you. Desire comes from an interest that can grow into passion.
If you have a passion for something, you’ll do whatever it takes to be successful. Without it, you’ll only be partly committed and only partly successful.
Take a look at any major sports star or entertainer, the passion they have for their sport is obvious. It is what drives them to succeed and motivates them to give 100%. Without it, they would just be average.
To be successful in the pursuit of fitness, it needs to become a passion. So if you don’t have a strong interest in becoming fit, I suggest you find other activities you do enjoy. Getting fit isn’t something anybody does well as a passing interest.
But do realize that you need to know more about fitness in general before you can develop a real enthusiasm for it. In my case, as I kept learning more and more about training, nutrition and supplements, my interest really started to grow.
You don’t need to be obsessive about working out. You can be very successful just doing 45 minutes a session, 3 times a week. You don’t need to live in the gym or spend every second thinking about working out.
Beyond my own experience, when I think of people who have made fitness a passion, one name comes to mind.
Let me introduce you to Scott Tousignant! He’s one of the most passionate bodybuilders I know. He’s the author of Metabolic Masterpiece and uses his passion for fitness to excel at this goal. Recently he made it a goal to give himself a six pack for his birthday. Using nothing but the fundamentals and his desire to make it happen, it’s pretty clear Scott delivered on his promise.
Marc David – CPT
“The NoBull Muscle Guy”
Author of NoBull Bodybuilding
PS - A wise man once said, “Do not lose faith in your ability to make intuitive decisions. Is it luck or skill, who knows? At the end of the day, does it really matter?”
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Natural Bodybuilding with Marc David]]>
If you survived the first holiday, Thanksgiving, congratulations! But with December in full swing and New Year’s on the horizon, the temptations have begun. On average, a person gains 1 lb between Thanksgiving and New Year’s (much less than the original reports of 7-10 lbs during this time). That’s great news!
The bad news? That 1 lb or more gain isn’t lost for the most part during the rest of the year. In a decade, that’s 10 lbs and that ends up being a big deal as you get older.
Holly Hull, the lead researcher on the Oklahoma study, says Thanksgiving marks the beginning of a “high risk” time for the overweight. “I think the number of people who only overeat at the Thanksgiving meal is slim to none,” said Dr. Hull. “The holiday season doesn’t represent one day of overeating. You have this period that extends through the new year where there’s more alcohol, more snacks, more finger foods and appetizers that are energy dense.”
I’ve compiled a list of Holiday Survival Guides with plenty of advice, tips and tricks to get anybody thru this sometimes difficult time. If you are wondering how you will stick to your plan, these guides offer up some easy to use and quick to implement safeguards to keep you focused. While everybody else gains this season, you could get fitter while everybody around you gets fatter.
1. Strategies to Cope with Holiday Eating
There’s a great read over at SparkPeople called Busting the Top 5 Excuses to Overindulge During the Holidays it’s a really nice list of things that most everybody will experience at some point from now until New Year’s and what you can do to cope. Take a look at the following excuses and if any of them sound familiar, you’ll have strategies to cope.
2. Holiday Survival with Jennifer Nicole Lee
Not as much strategies as healthy traditional holiday meals. Fitness model, Jennifer Nicole Lee or JNL, dishes out some delicious treats and snacks. It’s possible to make that pumpkin pie taste good and not break your calorie bank. If you are going to a party or family gathering and need to bring food, here’s some ideas for a Healthy Thanksgiving to Fit Christmas
At the end of JNL’s article, there’s 10 additional tips for staying sane during this typically very busy period when people lose focus and fall off the wagon.
3. Survive the Holidays – Runner’s World Style
Even Runner’s World has some very good tips to stay on track for the holidays. What really hit home was the opening line of the 3 page article.
“Conventional wisdom has it that most of us gain about five pounds during the six-week holiday period. In reality, according to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine, the average person gains only one pound over the holidays–but never loses it.”
It’s worth reading the How to Stay Fit and Trim from Thanksgiving to New Year’s if you want to keep a decade of holidays from adding up over the years. Do the math. 1 lb a year, over a decade, magically you are 10 lbs heavier!
4. Holiday Survival Guide by Fat Loss Expert – Tom Venuto
Even a fat loss guru like Venuto has temptations. How does Tom do it? At this point, he’s got such strong beliefs that there really isn’t any temptation if it goes against your core beliefs. However, that wasn’t always the case. He’s battled thru holidays when an extra piece of pie or other delicious dessert is most tempting. But he’s put together a very nice list called How to Stay on Your Diet and Shape Over the Holidays
You will find 10 of Tom’s BEST tips for staying in shape over the holidays. Although I personally think Tom and I might differ on #10. Alcohol in moderation. What’s moderate to some is excessive to others.
One to print out and tack on the fridge.. right now!
5. Strength Training Guide to Surviving the Holidays
By now, you might be saying to yourself, I’ve seen a lot of the same tips and themes. That’s true. Every year these holiday guides come out and every year the same 10 tips are shuffle around.
However, Sumi does point out some very interesting tips I’ve not seen before that will be very motivation to the most tempted person.
Fitness Model: Sumi Singh’s Tips and Tricks
From eating before the party to signing up for a 10k.. Sumi has some unique and refreshing tips that can help not just motivate you during the holidays and avoid some of the temptations but seriously get you into better shape.
6. Holiday Advice from the Fat Burning Machine – Michael Mahony
Coined “The Fat Burning Machine,” Mike Mahony has put together a simple but fundamental tip list! One tip he does gives, makes absolute perfect sense. In fact, his tip was recently used by the last winner of the most ripped female in a body transformation contest. Here’s One Holiday Tip You May Not Have Considered
Because I’m a moderator and contributor to a weight loss support community called Burn the Fat Inner Circle, I literally read the journal of last year’s winner. Mike’s tip was used this Thanksgiving in a very strategic manner. I have no doubt that thinking strategically about one day like this leads to success.
If you have a calendar, you can plan to use tip #5.
7. 10 Ways to Restart Your “Diet” After a Break
While this list from Diet.com looks more like how to get back on track after a setback, in reality, the tips and advice can easily be put to good use to keep from falling into a rut during the holiday season.
If you feel like things are getting a bit out of control, here are 10 Easy Ways to Hit the Reset Button.
Point number 5 is something you can and should do year round. One way to avoid temptation is not to have it available.
8. Holiday Weight Management by Charles Poliquin
Even premier strength coach, Charles Poliquin has a very nice list of Ten Simple Ways to Beat Holiday Weight Gain. His list is fundamental to avoiding the pounds during this season along with some tips and tricks you can use to keep yourself on track. Charles isn’t your average fitness guy. He’s the creator of the 21 Poliquin Principles amoung many other famous and foundational fitness principles. When Charles’ speaks, people listen.
Bonus: Top 10 Stay Fit During the Holidays Tactics
Hugo A. Rivera is an internationally-known best-selling fitness author of over 10 books on bodybuilding, weight loss and fitness. Hugo discloses his Top 10 Personal Strategies for surviving the Holiday’s with minimum fat gain, if any.
Tip: Take all the tips from these lists and quickly write or type them out. You will see many of them overlap, with a few fresh ideas. In matter of minutes, you’ll have your own bulletproof list for avoiding holiday weight gain.
Scott and Angie Tousignant of Metabolic Masterpiece have put together a “short” 8 minute video that just nails the basics and gives you options to stay on track and NOT beat yourself up over a few mistakes.
Do you have any tips that aren’t in these guides? What have you done that works to avoid the constant bombardment of sweets and excuses to overindulge?
Holiday Weight Gain Slight, But May Last a Lifetime
The Effect of the Thanksgiving Holiday on Weight Gain
Holiday Weight Gain: Fact or Fiction?
6 Simple Ways to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain
Marc David – CPT
“The NoBull Muscle Guy”
Author of NoBull Bodybuilding
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Natural Bodybuilding with Marc David]]> How to Make this Healthy Breakfast:
* 1 cup of regular oats (not the quick kind)
* 1 scoop of whey protein powder
* 1 tbs Udos 3-6-9 oil
* 1 cup of 1% milk
* regular banana
Just mix it all up. I don’t cook the oats as I like to eat them raw. This mixes very well and tastes great. It’s fast, cheap and offers up some significant energy benefits and will keep you filled up for hours. Adjust the portions as necessary for your specific calorie needs or modify the ingredients to your preferences.
Here’s the estimated nutritional details for the healthy breakfast idea:
Note: Remember to adjust the portions as necessary for your specific calorie needs.
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Natural Bodybuilding with Marc David]]>
Ever wonder how many reps you should do to build muscle? You’ve probably heard that 5×5 is superior. Or the 8-12 rep range is optimal. The Max-OT system by AST is geared for the 4-6 range for optimal muscle and strength gains.
It’s confusing and frankly, I have had luck and success with every range. But it’s worth further discussion.
This new article is probably going to really irritate some of the strength coaches who told that you should ONLY lift weights in the 5 rep range…
But then again, the author doesn’t seem to care about THEM…
Being a body-builder, Tom Venuto (the author), claims that if you want to gain the MAXIMUM amount of muscle, then he has the true answer to how many reps you should really be doing:
Read: How Many Reps Should You Do to Build Maximum Muscle?
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Natural Bodybuilding with Marc David]]>
It’s 2011. Your old excuses for not getting in shape won’t work. As Dr. Evil (Austin Powers) said, ZIP IT! I don’t want to hear them anymore! Read em’, then haul your excuseless butt to the gym!
1. I have no time.
According to a story in a recent issue of Men’s Health magazine, Barack Obama works out for 45 minutes a day, 6 days a week. Obama doesn’t just play basketball either. Our new president stays fit to lead with cardio and weight lifting. He also says he wishes he could train 90 minutes a day. Have you ever seen what the daily schedule of a U.S. president looks like? If the busiest man in the world can train every day for 45 minutes a day, then what’s your excuse? ZIP IT! You ain’t got one!
2. It’s too expensive.
Getting in shape certainly is expensive… if you keep wasting hundreds of dollars, month after month on worthless “miracle” weight loss pills, internal cleansing gimmicks and “magic” potions that all claim to make you slim. Deceptive advertising and slick marketing for bogus diet aids is more rampant than ever. 2010 was the year of thewu-long tea scam, the acai berry scam, and, of course, the ubiquitous “cleansing” and “detox” gimmicks . Unless you put on your critical thinking cap and learn to investigate before you invest, then you’ll get scammed by 2011’s flavor of the year as well. Your quest for those elusive “6-pack” abs will not only continue to be expensive, you’ll go broke. Walking, jogging, calisthenics and body weight exercises are FREE. If you want to know what’s really expensive, tally up the cost of legitimate expenses like natural food, gym memberships, fitness education, dumbbells and so on, and compare that to your doctor’s bill when you’re sick.
3. No one will support me.
Experts on social influence say your income will be approximately equal to the average of your 5 closest friends. Not only do I think that’s pretty darn accurate, I also believe that your health is your greatest wealth, and your physical condition will be about equal to the average of your 5 closest friends. It’s a real challenge to stay positive, focused and active when you’re surrounded by critical people and negative influences. However, in 2011, lack of support is no longer a valid excuse. Online social networking is exploding (check out Twitter and Facebook ) and more IN PERSON friendships and associations are being made from an internet connection than ever before. Training buddies can be found online. Connect with them. Mentors and coaches are easily found online. Hire them. Support forums have been around for years. Use them. No support from your current friends? Stop whining, start reaching out and go make new ones. In 2011, support partners and new friends are just a click away.
4. I can’t lose weight because of my genetics.
The marvels of modern medical and biological research are astonishing. Our top scientists have mapped the human genome! In the past few years, numerous genes linked to obesity have been discovered. However, the obesity epidemic we’re facing today has only developed over the past 50 years and genetic mutations that lead to serious obesity are extremely rare. Genetic predisposition only means that you have a tendency. It’s when the genetics meet lifestyle and environment that the genes express themselves. If you have a family history of heart disease, is it smart to smoke, eat junk, be a stressed-out, type-A maniac and a couch potato? Well of course not, and it’s the same with obesity. If you have a tendency predisposing you towards obesity, you’d better be the person doing the MOST exercise, not the least. You’d better be the person paying the MOST attention to your nutrition. You’d better be the person with the healthiest lifestyle. But unfortunately, it’s usually the opposite. Most people throw up their arms in frustration saying, “what’s the use, I was dealt a bad hand.” Sorry. That won’t fly in 2011. The latest research says genetics are a factor, but a tendency is not a destiny!
5. I don’t know how.
The lamest excuse of them all in 2011 is “I don’t know how.” NO ONE KNOWS HOW TO DO ANYTHING UNTIL AFTER THEY HAVE ACTUALLY DONE IT! Ponder that for a while. You don’t need to know how at first. To get started, you only need to know WHAT… what is the goal? Setting well-formed goals is the master skill of success. Not wishy-washy resolutions that have no resolve behind them, but real goals. In writing. With emotional ooompf! As you continue to affirm, visualize and focus on your goal with clarity, belief, and expectation, your new goal or intention will be received by your subconscious. Once a goal is accepted into your subconscious mind, your brain, being a goal-seeking mechanism, will turn on your attention filters to seek out all the information you will ever need to reach your goal. It will also turn on an infallible navigation system to guide you to your goal like a torpedo to its target. As your brain guides your attention, your direction and your behavior, you will discover that today, in 2011, there is more good information, coaching and instruction available than ever before. And when you’ve activated that “success radar” in your brain by setting goals effectively, it’s not as hard to find honest, accurate and helpful HOW-TO advice as you might think. In fact, you found this webpage, so you’re doing pretty good right now, aren’t you?
No more excuses. In 2011, remember my Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle Creed: You can either make excuses or get results, but you can’t do both!
About the Author: Tom Venuto is a fat loss expert, lifetime natural (steroid-free) bodybuilder, independent nutrition researcher, freelance writer, and author of Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle and founder of Burn the Fat Inner Circle. Follow him on Twitter.
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Natural Bodybuilding with Marc David]]>
You may have heard that Spot Reduction is a myth. That spot reduction is not possible and anybody claiming it to be such is incorrect.
This question came from an observant reader who asks…
Why is EVERYBODY saying that spot-reduction is a myth? One of the other blogs I read from another fitness expert says that spot reduction is possible!
He said “Current research is now finding that when you work a specific muscle, the intramuscular fat and the fat in that general area is where the body derives fuel for that exercise.
In other words, if you work your abdomen – you’re working those muscles in the area – the body turns to your belly fat for the most help in long-term fuel for that exercise.”
His exact words are that “if you do ab exercises (sit-ups, etc.), your body will use abdominal fat as fuel (glycogen) for that exercise, thereby burning it.”
In other words, the shedding of fat is not uniform all over your body!
To what extent is this true?
Thanks, and I look forward to your replies and analysis,
Your fitness expert above is correct. Spot reduction at the very basic level has been proven to be true in a single study done in 2007. But before you run off and try the routine listed above you need to know a few more things.
After reading the comments on the news story above, it appears the only study I found was the same one referred to in the story.
One study does not make something a fact. 2007 isn’t exactly current either. 4 years after the single study, no other studies have been done to further the findings. My guess?
Not because it wasn’t proven to be true in theory but for the actual real-world usage of such a scenario.
Another expert and author in the field, Lyle McDonald at Bodyrecomposition.com, took this same study in 2007 and wrote about it in detail in 2009. ( McDonald is the author of The Ketogenic Diet, The Rapid Fat Loss Handbook, The Guide to Flexible Dieting and several other nutritional books.)
Lyle said, “Yes, there appears to be an effect whereby working a given muscle impacts on local fat cell metabolism but the effect is completely and utterly irrelevant in quantatitive terms. The amount of fat mobilized due to increased hormones or blood flow is simply insignificant to anything in the real world.”
The amount of fat mobilized due to increased hormones or blood flow is simply insignificant to anything in the real world.
Additionally, the news story mentions picking different abdominal exercises and recommends “perform and reach muscular failure.”
Another ab expert, David Grisaffi, C.H.E.K., CFT, PN, and author of the book Firm and Flatten Your Abs… said in regards to training your abdomainals and core to failure…
“One of the biggest problems with training the core and abs to failure is that the more fatigued you become, the more your form begins to break down. When your form breaks down, that is when injuries are most likely to occur. This is true for any exercise, but it may be truer for abs and core than any other type of exercise due to the susceptibility of the lower back.
Research by Dr. Laurence Morehouse of University of California at Los Angles found that when doing abdominal exercises, especially sit-ups, you over-work your hip flexor muscles – the psoas and the iliacus. When the exercises are performed quickly (form breaks) or all the way to failure (form breaks), the hip flexor’s pull on the lower back is increased.
When performing your core exercises, always be conscious about form, especially as you begin to get tired toward the end of a set. You should terminate your set at or before the point where you notice that your form breaks in the slightest, and that is usually a couple of repetitions before reaching muscular failure.”
So let me summarize and review ….
Spot reduction based upon a single 2007, peer reviewed, published article appears to be valid. However, based upon the results of the study in question, the benefits are not significant to real-world usage.
Furthermore, based upon David Grisaffi’s recommendation of abdominal training, do not train your abdominals or core to muscular failure. Stop short and keep your form intact.
I stronly enourage you to read the references listed and come to your own conclusions.
author of NoBull Bodybuilding
Do This – Burn Fat. How to Spot Reduce Belly Fat (Is It Possible?). From http://dothisburnfat.com/blog/spot-reducing-belly-fat/
Stallknecht B et. al. Are blood flow and lipolysis in subcutaneous adipose tissue influenced by contractions in adjacent muscles in humans? Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2007 Feb;292(2):E394-9. From http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16985258
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Natural Bodybuilding with Marc David]]>
“Don’t let anybody tell you what your ultimate potential is. You just don’t know. You’ve got to go ahead and test yourself, and put yourself in the gym day in and day out.” ~ Hugo Rivera
It is a bodybuilding myth that only genetically gifted people can developed muscular physiques.
In fact, anecdotal evidence shows that most “average” people who follow the fundamentals of nutrition and training can beat genetic perceptions.
That means that even if you’re no genetically gifted than most people, you still have the potential to develop an amazing muscular physique.
So why are so few people highly successful?
Because they develop bad habits which limit or destroy consistent progress in the gym. If you are willing to work at it, you can identify these bad habits and work on eliminating them. For all you know. Just one of these bad habits could be the single thing holding you back on a decade’s work of progress.
Here are eight of the very worst bad habits that could be holding you back every day in your quest for a better body:
1. Simultaneously Creating and Evaluating
Think of this phrase I read over at Copyblogger.com… “You can’t drive a car in first gear and reverse at the same time.” Similarly, you shouldn’t try to follow a program and tweak it as you go along. You run the risk of stripping your mental gears and becoming overly frustrated.
How many times have you followed a program then to look at your notes and realized you didn’t really follow it. You used it a guide but you made it up as you went along?
Creating a Program:
Evaluating a Program:
Almost any program will work for anybody, most of the time. But not all programs will work optimally for a given person in a certain situation. This is where evaluation comes into play.
Most people create too soon and too often, and therefore evaluate less. All too often I catch people telling me some routine did not work for them. When I take a look at the program and ask them if they followed it, often times they will admit to changing it up as they didn’t feel it would work anyway. Maybe the combination of Squats and Deadlifts in the same workout conflicted with what they’ve been told. Or they just dislike doing an exercise and substitute it for one they feel more comfortable. First… follow the program, evaluate it based on your body’s response and then create based on your experiences.
2. The Guru Syndrome
Every fitness expert, including myself, is going to tell you the secret to success. And they’ll tell you everybody else except a few of their “friends” is leading you astray. It’s common in any field full of experts. It’s what we do.
Tip: You should trust but verify.
If you have questions, ask them! If they cannot provide answers, ask them who can or jump on this wonderful Internet and do a little old school, 6th grade homework type research. But rarely should you take somebody’s word for it especially if you aren’t sure.
Did you know that some of the most successful people in bodybuilding did what others told them would never work? I’m sure you’ve heard the name Vince Gironda. If not, the man was ahead of his time and most of the experts told him he was wrong.
He helped several bodybuilders become champions.
Every path to success is based on predictable fundamentals but slightly different.
3. Fear of Failure
“Failure is an event, never a person.” – William D. Brown
Failure is a necessary step to success. The worst part is, if you actively try and avoid any type of failure in your nutrition or training, you’ll also avoid success.
Want to increase your chances of success? Make more mistakes! Forget about how you look at the gym or if you are too skinny to workout. Maybe you aren’t a master of the Squat technique. Your diet isn’t perfect … yet. By making the mistakes, correcting them over time, you will increase your chances of success.
Those few really great workouts you will experience more than compensate for all the dumb mistakes you make to get there.
4. Fear of Uncertainty
Are you somebody who likes things to make sense? If so, join the crowd.
Regrettably, bodybuilding is not cut and dry. It is part science and part individual experimentation. There are some concepts we’ve yet to understand like precisely how muscle is built.
World Bodybuilding Champion, Carlos DeJesus once told me a story about a particular bodybuilder he witnessed. The guy came to the gym and would train his arms with lots of sets and repetitions. He used moderate weight and never went to too heavy or too light. When he would finish his workout he had a serious pump. His arms were very well shaped, developed and cut. According to Carlos, the guy had big arms for his frame. It worked for him.
Why? I don’t know.
What I do know is that great progress emerges from a swirl of disorder. Building muscle is at best, Organized Chaos. You should be comfortable with some mess and confusion but stick to the organized fundamentals. If possible, become comfortable with things that work even when you don’t understand why.
If your method truly works for you based on your experience, you’ve got to be able to ignore the comments about what you are doing, cannot possibly work optimally or at all.
A close friend once told me that “you don’t need to know how electricity works to turn on a light.”
5. Lack of confidence
In my 20 years of bodybuilding, some level of uncertainty complements every workout. Self-doubt in small amounts is healthy.
To truly succeed, you’ve got to have confidence in your abilities to dig deep and give serious effort to your goals. Many times I’ve wondered if I will be able to do the exercise with the weights and repetitions I’ve outlined for the workout.
I won’t lie and say there’s no self-doubt. But I’m confident in my abilities to push myself and I know my body well enough to know when something is just a challenge opposed to just dangerous.
Much of this comes from experience, but confidence also comes from familiarity with the exercise, the setup and how your body works. As a beginner this is a grey area but with a few years of training, you’ll know what you’re capable of and where your limitations lie.
Understand that some concepts seem crazy at first, that you may fail in the attempts the first time out but that failure is just part of learning and ultimately what you thought impossible will be easy. When you grasp those concepts, you are well on your way to becoming more confident and adaptive in your pursuit of your goals.
Instead of dividing the concepts of building muscle (or burning fat) into the possible and impossible, split it into what you’ve tried and what you haven’t tried. There are a million pathways to success.
6. Opposition from Other People
Once you start to learn about fitness in general and your options expand, your ability to see what’s possible will grow. Sadly, most people around you will not. Don’t be surprised when they hint at you in various ways to conform, be happy with who you are and accept your situation.
I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve had with close family members who tell me every time they see me…”Why are you still working out like that? You are big enough. Those guys look so silly. You don’t really want to look like them do you?”
Ignore them. The path to every victory is paved with predictions of failure. Once you make significant changes and you will make significant changes, all the naysayers will stop the noise and see you for what you are — a force to be reckoned with.
This is another place in life where you may make new friends and potentially distance yourself from others.
7. Being Overwhelmed by Information
In my younger years, I had a stack of bodybuilding magazines in my room and at least 4 different bodybuilding books. The information was there for sure but I had a condition at the time called “paralysis by analysis.”
This is when you spend so much time thinking about a problem and stuffing your brain with so much information that you lose the ability to act. Think about this…
If information is to the brain what food is to the body, then just as you can overeat, you can overthink.
Every successful person I’ve ever met has the ability to know when to stop collecting information and start taking action. Many subscribe to the “ready – fire – aim” philosophy. Acting on a good plan today is better than waiting for a perfect plan tomorrow.
8. Being Trapped by False Limits
Ask a scientist for a training program and you’ll get a solution based on case studies and the optimal process in response to exercise. Ask a bodybuilder for a training program and you’ll get one that involves personal experience. Ask a world champion natural bodybuilder for a training program and you’ll get one that worked for world class athletes.
Our reality is based on the perceptions of our experience. The limitations we place on ourselves in everyday situations are self-imposed. This is especially true when it comes to making serious progress at the gym. They are false limits. When you force yourself to step outside your comfort zone and look past what you know and feel, that’s when you are open to taking a step past your current abilities.
Be open to anything. Step outside your comfort zone. What seems impossible today may seem surprisingly doable tomorrow. Ever heard that building muscle and burning fat at the same time is impossible?
Did you recognize some of these problems in yourself? No worries. Knowing what’s holding you back is the first step toward breaking thru a sticking point.
How about you? What mental, training or nutrition habit has been hardest on your progress? Let me know in the comments how you’ve handled it.
“The NoBull Muscle Guy”
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Natural Bodybuilding with Marc David]]>
I’ll admit that I’m NOT the most “politically correct” member at my local gym.
No, I don’t spit in the water fountain or hang out in the doorway of the ladies’ yoga class drooling. I don’t sweat all over the bench and leave behind a puddle of toxic waste for the next member to swim in. I bathe regularly, use deodorant, brush my teeth before heading to the gym and don’t reek of stale beer while I’m on the treadmill.
But when it comes to waiting in line for a piece of equipment…I’m a barracuda!
In fact, I HATE to wait for people to get off of “MY” equipment.
So when you’re on a “schedule” you don’t want to have to be held up by the other knuckleheads who probably don’t have ANY plan, right?
Well, you wanna know how do I claim ownership of my workout zone without urinating around the equipment to “mark” my territory?
Here are 5 ways (with a few “not-so-politically-correct” strategies) that I manage my time and space on the gym floor…
Ok, this first one is a simple one…
Workout When The Gym ISN’T So Busy!
I know, I know….DUUUUUUHH, right?
Hey, you know I had to throw that in there, right?
Obvious yes, but if you’re especially challenged at your gym, then perhaps you should re-examine your schedule and see if you’re able to go at lunch when things are a little quieter.
Throw On Your Headphones And Crank Up The Music!
This works great for managing your time in the gym since you won’t get lured into those long “between set” discourses on the meaning of life with “that guy” who seems to flap his gums with everyone in earshot of him.
But the other advantage of wearing your headphones is that people are less likely to interrupt you and ask if they can “work in” with you.
(If someone DOES ask…let them! I’m teaching you how to do the best you can to “own” the equipment, but don’t be a COMPLETE jerk!).
Which brings us to…
If someone is using a piece of equipment you also want to use…
Ask If You Can “Work In”!
Most guys aren’t “Alpha’s” in the gym so when you simply ask “Do you mind if I work in with you?”, saying “No” makes THEM the jerk.
And let’s face it, not many people care to be thought of as the “jerk of the gym”.
You’ll get compliance 99.9% of the time and they’ll likely even cut their own sets short and move on to another exercise.
“Mark” Your Territory!
Although my Golden Retriever, Wrigley, has the right idea when I walk him around the block…I’m NOT talking about whipping it out and urinating around the gym equipment you want to use.
But there IS a way you can claim some real estate…
This is especially helpful if you’re using supersets in your training like I emphasize in my “Advanced Mass Building” program where you need to flip back and forth between 2 pieces of equipment.
Simply grab two of the gym’s floor towels (the ones you use to wipe down the equipment) and throw one over each machine or station you want to use just prior to your sets.
So for example, if I’m supersetting chest and back, I may go and throw a towel over the straight bar on the flat bench and then go and wrap another towel around the pulldown bar at a different location.
And I’m talking, I make it OBVIOUS!
I literally put the towel where someone would know that that equipment is being used…not just toss it on the ground next to the equipment.
Then at the end of each set on each piece of equipment, I put the towel back where it can be seen that I’m still using it.
Same thing goes for your other floor “equipment”. If you’re carrying a water bottle and a training notebook, keep one at one station and the other at another one to send a clear signal that the equipment is taken.
Know why you see “no loitering” signs around businesses such as convenient stores?
Because it annoys people.
When you’re in a time crunch and someone looks as if they’ve set up temporary residence at a piece of equipment, “hang out” close by them – where it’s obvious that you are waiting for THEIR equipment – and occasionally look at your watch.
Now the secret to this is NOT to glare at them as if you expect them to just pick up and go.
No…what you want to do is kind of look around the gym as if it’s no big deal, but when they look at you, just flash a friendly smile at them.
They’ll usually respond with “Oh, are you waiting for this equipment?”
This is where you can come back with “Yeah, are you almost done?” (Again…keep the friendly tone!).
The typical reaction I see?
They will shortcut their rest period and quickly knock out one more set and leave or let you work in with them during their rest periods.
Well, like I said, I never claimed to be the “nice guy” at the gym, but hey…it’s an (iron) jungle out there and you’re either a lamb or a lion.
If you’ve ever watched “Wild Kingdom”, you know that the lions are the ones who are licking their chops as they gnaw on their leg of lamb.
Have a great workout!
About the Author: Jeff Anderson is author of Advanced Mass Building and Optimum Anabolics. Follow him on Twitter.
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Natural Bodybuilding with Marc David]]>
So if there was just ONE bodypart that you really wanted to improve…one bodypart that ALWAYS ends up first in your training routine…what would it be?
I think chances are pretty good that it’s your CHEST!
I mean, having that thick gladiator-like chest just screams power and strength.
So if you’re in a chest training rut…gains on bench press have come to a screeching halt…or maybe you’re just plain bored with your chest training right now…
Nick Nilsson (a.k.a. the “Mad Scientist” of exercise) has just come out with a new book called “The Best Chest Exercises You’ve Never Heard Of.”
I think the name says it all
Sample Exercise #1…
Low Pulley Push-Ups
Push-ups are obviously a classic exercise – when you think bodyweight training, it’s usually one of the first exercises you think of.
But, of course, he’s got a new twist on the regular push-up that will just TRASH your pecs…much better than regular push-ups even though the exercise is pretty much exactly the same!
So here’s the deal…you’ll be using the cable-crossover setup (you can also hitch a couple of training bands to objects about 10 feet apart – that works great, too).
You’re going to be doing push-ups with the two pulleys pulling your arms apart – this outwards tension puts extra tension on the pecs because even though your hands are planted on the ground, your pecs have to fire to keep the cables from pulling your hands out from under you!
This means you’re pushing up AND you’re fighting outwards pull. Double trouble…
So set about 20 to 40 lbs or so on the cross-over stacks and attach the single handles. You can add more if you need it once you figure out how this works.
Sample Exercise #2…
One Arm Braced Dumbbell Bench Press
The one-arm dumbbell bench press is a great exercise for developing balance as well as increasing neural drive to one side of the body, similar to like when doing a one-arm dumbbell row.
Here’s the thing, though…when doing a 1 arm dumbbell press with just one dumbbell, you have to make the movement more of a straight up and down type movement in order to keep your balance, which bring the triceps and shoulders into play a whole lot more, taking the emphasis off the pec.
So why brace your non-working arm? Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of doing a one-arm bench press movement?
Not at all!
You still get the balance and neural drive benefits but it allows you to use more weight, get more reps and use a movement with a wider arc, more in tune with what the pecs need.
Here’s the setup…a ball (or bench), a dumbbell (Using a 105 lb dumbbell in the video below) and a power rack. The safety rails are set a few feet off the ground. You can mess around to figure out where the best spot is for those for you.
This demo shows the exercise being done in the power rack, which allows you to brace your non-working hand under a safety rail so that you can counterbalance the weight of the dumbbell.
You can use pretty much ANY solid object or bar to brace your non-working hand, though. You can load up a Smith machine bar with some weight and set to the proper height…you can use the handle of a bench press machine…even a railing! Use your imagination here and don’t think for a second that if you don’t have a rack, you can’t do this exercise…the key is just having something to brace your non-working hand under.
Sample Exercise #3…
Lying Side Dumbbell Flyes
If you’re training with just free weight, it can be tough to find an exercise that really targets the inner pecs to get that pec cleavage thing going. This one is all about hitting that peak contraction position that really targets the inner pec area.
THIS exercise gets around the problem of having no cable equipment to hit that inner chest area by using just a dumbbell and a bench…it’s all about how you position your body.
And that’s pretty easy, too. You just lie on your side on the bench with your shoulder off the end, holding the dumbbell in one hand. You should be far enough up on the bench that your arm is hanging off the end, i.e. the end of the bench is a few inches from your armpit. You’ll see this best in the video below.
Nick Nilsson, also known as the “Mad Scientist of Exercise,” has been training and innovating unique and powerful new exercises and training techniques for more than 18 years. He’s published 9 books on weight training, including his most recent – “The Best Chest Exercises You’ve Never Heard Of”
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Natural Bodybuilding with Marc David]]> Today I will ask you, the readers, to create the content for this site. Many of you are experts yourself having been through this before. I’ve never tried this concept on this blog and if it works, it will be something I’ll do often. If not, can’t blame me for not giving it a shot.
Many of us would like to gain weight — some of us just 10 pounds, and others more than 50. But it’s not easy. We put ourselves through nutrition nightmares, we fail in our daily eating, we continue to stay the same weight, and we feel frustrated and confused about it. Worse yet, if you are desperate to gain weight you are told by many how lucky you are to be so skinny without even trying. For an ectomorph who’s trying to pack on muscle, this is just a backhanded compliment.
But you can gain weight. It can be done. Some of you have even done it. I’ve done it myself after 20 years of natural bodybuilding.
So here’s your question for today:
What’s your best weight gain tip?
Put your two cents in! Let us know in the comments.
Natural Bodybuilding with Marc David]]> https://bodybuildingsecretslive.com/fitness-tips/ask-the-readers-best-weight-gain-tip/feed/ 5 Today I will ask you, the readers, to create the content for this site. Many of you are experts yourself having been through this before. I've never tried this concept on this blog and if it works, it will be something I'll do often. If not, Today I will ask you, the readers, to create the content for this site. Many of you are experts yourself having been through this before. I've never tried this concept on this blog and if it works, it will be something I'll do often. If not, can't blame me for not giving it a shot. Many of us would like to gain weight — some of us just 10 pounds, and others more than 50. But it’s not easy. We put ourselves through nutrition nightmares, we fail in our daily eating, we continue to stay the same weight, and we feel frustrated and confused about it. Worse yet, if you are desperate to gain weight you are told by many how lucky you are to be so skinny without even trying. For an ectomorph who's trying to pack on muscle, this is just a backhanded compliment. But you can gain weight. It can be done. Some of you have even done it. I've done it myself after 20 years of natural bodybuilding. So here’s your question for today: What’s your best weight gain tip? Put your two cents in! Let us know in the comments. Marc David clean 2:54
Natural Bodybuilding with Marc David]]>
Imagine, for a moment that it’s 6 months from today …
You are frustrated, confused and almost ready to quit the gym. Everybody is ramping up for the slew of holiday fitness challenges. You feel compelled to make some kind of change in your fitness routine as you feel nothing works. You’ve tried everything. You glance around and see 12 or more “fitness pimp” workout plans. Those guys.. you want to throw a stone at them. You’ve spent more money trying to reach your goals through workout plans and dietary supplements that you want to contemplate. But let’s suppose…
There’s a tool you can use today that you probably are not using to the full potential that would make all those plans work for you. That would end your frustration. That won’t cost you a single dime. Is there such a tool?
It is called a workout journal.
As I glanced around my gym today, crowded as usual, I have to tell you. I was the ONLY person who had a neatly printed out workout journal. Everybody else had straps, iPods, cell phones and the 1 gallon water jugs. There were bags skewed around as usual. Yet in a gym full of 50 or more people, not ONE had a workout journal to track their current and past progress.
Nobody. None. Zero. Zilch. Need I say more?
How can you expect to make solid fundamental progress if you have NO CLUE as to what you did last week. Let alone the workout you are about to begin. Frankly …
If you do not have or use one, it should not come as a surprise as to why you are struggling and frustrated that today is much like the last six months. Seriously. In order to make forward progress, the workout you do today has to be in some measurable way harder than the workout you did in the past. The only way you can know that is to be diligent in tracking what you did before. Then trying to beat that in some way. That tracking method is a workout journal!
If you do not have one or use one, get one. But do not take my word for it.
Sean Nalewanjy talks about the #1 muscle building tool …
Could this be true?
Take The Challenge:
* next time you are in the gym, take a look around. See who is using any type of workout journal method.
* post your observations in the comments box below.
Most people I know seem to think this is common sense like using a seat belt. But when confronted with the cold hard truth, almost nobody has this simple tool at their disposal when they need it most. In the gym, as a reference tool while doing a workout.
So the next time you are frustrated with your progress, rather than slap down yet another $69 dollars on the fitness program of the month plus monthly membership fees (it is the rage now) … go over to Target, Walgreens, Rite-Aid, etc and buy a composition notebook. I guarantee if you are not using this tool and you start to use it faithfully, there is no way you cannot make progress.
Even if you just did push-ups at home and used this concept, you would notice development in your chest. Relying on your memory or writing your workout down later is NOT the answer and is not the same. This is something you will want to have in the gym. You can later transcribe it to another type of tracking tool if you wish.
Workout Journal’s I Like:
Now if you use a workout journal, I applaud you. But you are making progress right? If not, a change up in routine is probably all you need to stimulate new growth. If you are like most of the typical gym-goers (no offense), you do not have one or you do not use one faithfully and that is a serious problem.
“The NoBull Muscle Guy”
P.S. – I used to keep workout journals for years. You do need to do that. You only need to keep one to track your current progress. Unless you like being able to see many year’s worth of progress, just keep one that records what you have done over the past 4 months. It will be long enough to see progress or lack thereof and will allow you to make calculated adjustments for future workouts.
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Natural Bodybuilding with Marc David]]>
When it comes to packing on muscle quickly, the fastest way to do that involves being in a slight calorie surplus. But many people take this to mean, “Just eat” and eat lots and don’t worry about it.
If You’ve Been Told:
* eat everything you can to gain weight
* eat, eat and eat some more
* eating anything is faster than eating clean
* just eat damn it!
* don’t worry about getting fat on a bulk, it’s normal
Then you NEED to read the rest of this article. You’ve been told some bad advice by people who probably don’t realize that gaining all that extra fat just won’t go away. What’s that? You can’t just burn it off later? Or take these common examples…
Sadly, the skinny guy or gal, is still skinny but has a nice layer of stomach fat. Not exactly the bulking they were hoping for when they were told to eat everything under the sun. Or the average guy, starts lifting heavy and couldn’t be bothered with nutrition. He/She just knows to EAT and eat lots and notices their strength going up but they are a bit fatter. But don’t care. That’s what it’s about. They think “I’ll cut later and burn all this fat off later.”
In previous attempts, I’ve talked about the concept of Dirty Bulking and the term Lazy Bodybuilding evolved.
Let me explain…
If you want to put on the most muscle possible, you would engage in what’s called a ‘bulking’ diet. That is where you eat 10-15% over your maintenance level calories. The rate of muscle growth can be quite rapid at this level of caloric intake, but the rate of fat gain can often be as high as the rate of muscle gain (a 1:1 ratio).
So why would you ever want to gain fat along with the muscle? You don’t but it’s inevitable. Your goal is to minimize any fat gains by eating over your maintenance but only by a small amount. Not pig out or have an excuse to eat everything. You will gain the maximum amount of muscle possible only if you stay in a caloric surplus. People who want to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time have to alternate periods of caloric surplus with periods of caloric deficit and therefore will gain muscle much more slowly. Or they live a low-carb, higher protein diet to build muscle and lose fat. Which works but again, is difficult to maintain and not the method used for maximum muscle growth.
Fat is part of the game and you just bulk up. Eventually you notice you are getting more fat. But that’s just par for the course right?
Let me tell you right now, that is a very costly mistake. I’ve made mention that putting on fat is unavoidable, but you’ll want t:
* keep a lid on it
* monitor it and
* back if off if things get out of control
I’ve seen and watched too many people go from 10% body fat to nearly 21% and CONVINCED themselves it’s just normal for a bodybuilder to plump up during the off-season. That being fatter is normal and they’ll just cut up and get rid of it later.
What they don’t realize is the following as pointed out by Lyle McDonald, author of The Stubborn Fat Solution. Lyle has a degree in exercise physiology from the University of California in Los Angeles, graduating in 1993. He’s dedicated nearly 20 years of his life to studying human physiology and the art, science, and practice of human performance, muscle gain, fat loss, and body recomposition. He’s qualified to offer up the #1 reason why gaining excessive fat as an athlete is something you want to avoid.
Consider what Lyle says about body fat on Pages 8-9 of The Stubborn Fat Solution.
“There’s an old (and incorrect) idea that adult humans don’t make new fat cells. That is, and I’ll discuss this more in a bit, you get born wit a certain number of fat cells and you may develop more at puberty or during pregnancy but that’s it; your body doesn’t make new fat cells. Everything in that sentence is true except the last statement; even non-pregnant adults can make new fat cells.
Usually this happens when the fat cells you have reach a certain size; that is, they are as full as they can physically be. When this occurs, the actual stretching of the fat cell stimulates the release of factors, such as Angiotensin II, prostacylin and others, which ‘tell’ the body to make new fat cells.
Unfortunately, getting rid of fat cells is nearly (but not completely) impossible.
If there is a single reason for athletes not to get too fat in the first place, this is probably it: if your fat cells get too big, your body will make new ones. And it’s nearly impossible to get rid of the new ones. If you are a lean athlete looking to gain weight (and realizing you must gain some body fat to do it effectively), you should keep a lid on that fat gain. You don’t want to stimulate your body to make new fat cells.”
Your Key Take Away Point:
Your body can and will make new fat cells at any age. It’s nearly impossible to get rid of them (short of liposuction: gives credence to that practice in some ways). You can shrink them but the goal is, not to make them in the first place. So you bulkers and gainers, monitor your progress! Adding 10% body fat is NOT the goal!
“The NoBull Muscle Guy”
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Natural Bodybuilding with Marc David]]>
Imagine how nice it would be to know how long it might take to be “swimsuit” ready. You’d know when to start getting cut for the summer and roughly how long it might take.
How many people ask…
By using some information in your body composition, it’s easy to tell how long does it take to lose weight and get to your ideal body fat percentage.
Just a few steps can take you from a body fat percentage to the number of weeks it’s going to take you to reach your goals.
You might know how to burn the fat, but do you know how long will it take me to lose weight? Let’s find out right now.
Keep in mind that your body is made up of lean body mass and fat. If you know you are 40% body fat, the conclusion would be the other 60% is lean body mass (muscle and bone).
If you know the correct description of weight loss then you’ll know it’s the reduction of body fat while maintaining or gaining muscle mass.
Let’s use a short term and realistic goal of a 5% reduction in body fat for these examples. A few simple calculations and we can translate this goal into pounds and how long it’s going to take to achieve your goal.
Calculate How Much Does Your Fat Weight:
(Example Client is male, 220 pounds, 40% body fat)
Step 1: Determine the Fat Weight
Body Weight x Body Fat Percentage (220 x 40% = 88)
In our example, this person is carrying 88 pounds of fat.
Step 2: Determine the Lean Body Mass
Body Weight – Fat Weight (220 – 88 = 132)
132 pounds are from lean body mass in our example.
Now here comes the fun part finding your ideal weight with that 5% reduction in overall body fat.
Calculate Your Goal Weight:
Step 1: Your Goal Weight
Lean Body Mass / (1.00 minus Body Fat Percentage Goal)
In our example, the person carries 132 pounds of lean body mass. The body fat percentage goal is 35% (5% body fat reduction).
132 / (1.00 – .35) = 132 / .65 = 203 pounds
Do you see it? 203 pounds is the goal weight for a person who’s 220 pounds at 40% body fat that wants to reduce their body fat by 5%.
Calculate How Long It Will Take to Burn the Fat:
Step 1: Current Weight – Goal Weight
That means 220 pounds – 203 pounds = 17 pounds body fat reduction.
Based on the accepted standard of one pound per week, this person is looking at about 17 weeks to go from 220 pounds at 40% body fat to 203 pounds at 35% body fat while maintaining their 132 pounds of lean body mass.
Remember, you want to burn the fat, but keep the muscle.
And now you know, it’s going to take 17 weeks to see the expected results. 5% is a short term, safe goal and at one pound a week, you’ll have a very high rate of muscle retention.
Not only do you know how to burn the fat thru nutrition and exercise, but unlike most people, you can find out how long it will take to see the results you want.
Be Fit, Stay Strong!
Marc David – CPT
PS - I sincerely hope this answered your question regarding how long will it take me to lose weight.
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Natural Bodybuilding with Marc David]]>
It’s long been a myth that if you didn’t get sore from your last workout, then you didn’t work hard enough and you probably didn’t improve. But it’s just a myth. Soreness is not an indicator of a successful workout.
Muscle soreness that occurs directly after a workout is known as acute muscle soreness. Muscle soreness that appears 12 to 48 hours after exercise is known as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) or post exercise muscle soreness (PEMS).
Acute muscle soreness or inflammation can last up to an hour after exercise and can be caused by a reduction in normal blood flow to the muscle and a build up of metabolic byproducts like hydrogen ions or lactic acid.
The physiological mechanisms that cause DOMS or PEMS are not completely understood but the leading hypotheses are: (1) the Connective Tissue Damage Hypothesis, (2) Skeletal Muscle Damage Hypothesis, and (3) The Spasm Hypothesis.
Connective Tissue Damage Hypothesis.
In a 1997 study, Brown, Child, Day and Donnelly reaffirmed an early study done by Abraham suggesting that DOMS or PEMS is due to a disruption in the connective tissue of the muscle and tendinous attachments.
Skeletal Muscle Damage Hypothesis.
In a 1986 study, Clarkson et al found that serum creatine kinase concentration was elevated with concentric, eccentric and isometric contractions, with greater perceived muscle soreness associated with the eccentric contraction. In a 2000 article entitled “Effects of Plyometric Exercise on Muscle Soreness and Plasma Creatine Kinase Levels and its Comparison with Eccentric and Concentric Exercise” (The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: Vol. 14, No. 1, pp. 68–74), the authors found Clarkson’s study not only proved to be true but also concluded that plyometric activities had incurred perceived muscle soreness than concentric contractions.
In a 1980 study, Devries proposed that DOMS or PEMS is due to a restriction in blood supply, generally due to factors in the blood vessels, with resultant damage or dysfunction of tissue called ischemia. As you continued to workout, further ischemia would result in more damage and “soreness.” This theory was further proven by work done in 2000 by Barlas, Walsh, Baxter, and Allen.
Sources: ISSA Complete Guide to Fitness: Edition 8.1.5, Unit 15, pp. 415
DOMS or PEMS seems to be a side-effect of muscle tearing and repairing that occurs after a workout. It’s an unfortunate side-effect as well because you are very sore and it takes 2 or more days for the soreness to go away. Soreness should not be a goal of training. Many people experience soreness when they do a particular exercise with a moderate to heavy weight and get a good, deep stretch. Not every person experiences muscle soreness. In fact, many do not yet they continue to make fantastic progress.
Forget soreness as an indicator or progress and use the most underutilized piece of equipment in the gym to tell you EXACTLY where you are, where you’ve been and if you are making forward movement.
What’s the piece of equipment?
A training journal!
Your goal should be to improve on your last efforts. Getting a little bit better with each step and each workout. If you track your progress in some type of journal, it’s easy to see if you are improving. It’s even more beneficial to track some of your body measurements (fat loss, weight gain, size on arms and legs).
Use your journal to track your progress and your perception of how you feel. When you are done with a workout, you should feel better. Not so fatigued you can’t drive home. And not puking or so nauseous that it’s difficult to impossible to eat post-nutrition foods. You want to push yourself and get better but blasting yourself to the point of fatigue and overtraining where you are tired 2 days later or getting so sore it takes 7 days to walk again, is not good training. It will affect your recovery and that ultimately affects your next workout like a domino effect.
Soreness is not an indicator of a good workout. That myth has been around forever. Getting tired is easy. Getting better is not. I’ve never seen any proven scientific results that says soreness is a must in order to get better or stronger or bigger.
“The NoBull Muscle Guy”
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Natural Bodybuilding with Marc David]]>
Beginners usually do not need such advanced concepts simply because as a beginner, pretty much anything will work as it’s new to your body. You don’t need to bump up the intensity because the workout itself is usually hard enough. But for those who have worked out for quite some time, doing a simple routine doesn’t cut it. And for those who are entering a competition and may be on low card, sub-maintenance calories and doing cardio twice a day, adding more and more weight is easier said then done. Where’s the energy?
That’s where some advanced concepts come into play.
These are ways in which you can use the same routines, but thru some clever manipulation, you need not add any weight to make it the most intense routine you’ve ever experienced. This is especially a good toolset to use when you’ve worked out for many years and find it hard to make gains or you have a prior injury that makes it difficult to lift heavy weights. Working out heavier and heavier each time, trying to break your personal best can lead to injury and stagnation.
Using some of these advanced training concepts, you can take a simple bicep curl or bench press and maximize the intensity of the exercise without adding a single pound:
1. Repetition Speeds – Rather then 1 second up and 1 second down, there’s a little know fact that you can take advantage of to double the effectiveness of any exercise. That secret is slowly lowering the weight on the negative part of the movement. By utilizing this alone, you will have increased the effectiveness of any single exercise by 100%. Not only will you be working on the upward movement but you will work the muscle on the downward rather then most people who just let gravity take over. Vary your repetition speeds for an increase in intensity.
2. Tempo Variations – Have you ever seen any programs listed as 4032? That just means 4 seconds on the down motion; 0 seconds at the bottom of the movement; 3 seconds up; 2 second hold at the top. You can do all types of tempo variations to just feel the muscle working and increase the intensity. For example, how about a set of machine bench presses where it’s 8032? 8 seconds down? Not super-slow but very controlled. And with a nice 2 second squeeze at the top. You can take any exercise where you’ve done the same weight and instantly make it much harder and more intense. Without adjusting the weight in the slightest!
3. Tension Manipulation – If you think about it, some exercises like the dumbbell side lateral raise, when the weights are truly at your side (bottom of the movement) the tension is totally off the shoulder muscles. By using tension manipulation you can stop short of this occurring. Take the leg press for example. Rather then do a full rep where you might lock out and pause at the top, how about a slow 4 seconds down, 0 seconds at the bottom, 3 seconds up, and only go ¾ of the way to the lockout, no pause and repeat. This is called “continuous tension” and it will not only increase the intensity of any exercise but it’s slow, controlled and the tension is never off the working muscle.
4. Stretch Exercises – With some exercises, there is a perfect opportunity to get a deep stretch with a weight load on the muscle. The calf press is a good example. How many people have you witnesses doing calf raises quickly using momentum? Several? Next time, take a 2 second pause at the bottom and feel the stretch before doing the next rep.
5. Contraction Exercises – Again, the calf raises can be slightly altered to make it feel like somebody has put a flame torch to the back of your legs. At the top of the movement, rather the lower the weight, hold the fully contracted position for 5 seconds and squeeze! This can be done with a set of Smith Machine squats too. At the top of the movement, squeeze like you are holding a flexed pose for 2+ seconds. It’s one more way of taking the same old exercise and making it different.
6. Super-Sets – Ever heard that with super-sets you can get more done in less time? It’s true. Rather then do a second of barbell bench presses, followed by a 3 minute rest, and then another. How about doing a set of barbell bench presses, immediately followed by a set of cable flyes? You can get more work done in the same time period. The more work you can do in a shorter time frame is a method of making the whole workout more intense.
7. Rest Periods – Take the example above but this time, after the cable flyes, you only rest 30 seconds and repeat. Not only have you done a super-set, but you’ve just shortened the rest period. The intensity bar is sure to show a spike now. By lowering the rest periods, you can effectively make the workout more intense, without adding more weight. Combine this with super-setting and you can do an amazing number of sets in 60 minutes. At one point, I was able to do 48 sets for my legs in 60 minutes! That is insane.
8. Split the Splits – This only applies to individuals that might have a lifestyle where this is possible in a given day. Take for example leg training. It’s very difficult to train the quads, the hamstrings and calves in a single session for the advanced athlete. But if you are able to train quads in the AM and hams and calves in the PM, then you have just obtained an optimal workout. Both are short and intense. Both allow for fully recovery. And focus can be given to particular body parts. The most common type of split of splits is on a leg day where the front of the legs are training at one time and the back of the legs trained at another. Not only is this advanced but it really requires that you have a time period when you can do this. Possibly a weekend if you are disciplined enough to take up an entire Saturday or Sunday.
9. Ascending/Descending Sets – Nothing more then increasing or decreasing the weight in a given set but do not let this technique fool you. It’s a wicked way to just blast a body part. Descending sets are commonly referred to as “drop sets.” For example, if you were doing dumbbell curls, you could start with a weight and do 10 reps, the move down in weight for another 8 reps, and move again and again. Ascending is just the reverse. There’s no set number of moves downward up upward you can do but the maximum that is efficient is no more then 4 either way. For an interesting twist on this move, use a combination of both. Start with a given weight, use the ascending technique and then immediately use the descending technique. This makes for a giant set using both principles. And is very difficult.
By using these nine simple steps individually or in combination, you are ensured to take yourself to the next level of intensity.
“The NoBull Muscle Guy”
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Natural Bodybuilding with Marc David]]>
After purchasing an Iron Gym for a family member, I found the Nutrition Guide listed on page 9 of the very thin instruction manual that came with the product.
I laughed out loud at the bullet points! They were so simple. A few rules and some tips and now you were going to pack on dense thick muscle like never before.
After reading books over 250 pages on the subject and having written my own NoBull Bodybuilding System, it was silly to think somebody would benefit from tips so simple. Then it hit me…
Those Stupid Bullet Points are the Nutrition Pillars of ALL of These Programs!
Thus… I’ll post them here in their unedited format and you can see that the #1 reason why people cannot gain healthy weight, build muscle is truly related to some of these tips. Now I don’t agree with all of them but hear me out and take a look.
Surprisingly enough.. this simple list that most of professionals would scoff at is similar information that any client would receive. Now there’s some exceptions. I could easily debate a few bullet points. I would elaborate. Next thing you’d have is 250 pages to read but in all honesty…
If I had followed these to the letter when I was younger, I wouldn’t have made so many mistakes. I would obviously need to learn about calories and such but nutrition is such a big part of building muscle fast.
Nutrition is Numero Uno (or #1)
You can have a horrible training program but if your nutrition is impeccable, you will look better than some who have fantastic training programs and can’t get the nutrition part down. If you have awful nutrition but a fantastic program, you cannot support the growth or the recovery with a poor nutrition plan. And you can live a fine life with good nutrition and minimal exercise.
Before we start a huge debate, my point isn’t to say all books over 10 bullet points stink! In fact, that’s not the case at all. I only want to point out that with all the confusing information out there, if you can stick to the basics when it comes to nutrition and build upon it, you will be successful.
Why am I doing this?
Because there’s a fine line that separates those who know and those that don’t. It’s my wish to help those who are confused as I was to get some fundamentals down and then learn on their own. I only wish when I was younger somebody had at least told me the above that I could have written on a note card. I wasn’t ready to read 250 pages or figure out calories and worry about macro-nutrient ratios.
But I would have responded to some short bullet points and then expanded upon those as I learned.
What You Can Learn From the Iron Gym
If you are already following the above give or take, most likely you are on the right path. If you are not, you might be missing out on a critical nutrition pillar that can have you building muscle fast. Maybe you are not eating enough? Maybe you can’t stay away from processed and refined foods? Maybe you drink later at night?
These simple bullet points seem stupid I know and I don’t agree with them all but generally speaking, they are quite sound and would benefit most. Then you can learn at your own pace and adjust as necessary.
You start by following the basics and that’s how you build muscle fast.
“The NoBull Muscle Guy”
Author of the The NoBull Bodybuilding Program
Natural Bodybuilding with Marc David]]> https://bodybuildingsecretslive.com/fitness-tips/build-muscle-fast/feed/ 1 build muscle fast After purchasing an Iron Gym for a family member, I found the Nutrition Guide listed on page 9 of the very thin instruction manual that came with the product. I laughed out loud at the bullet points! They were so simple. After purchasing an Iron Gym for a family member, I found the Nutrition Guide listed on page 9 of the very thin instruction manual that came with the product. I laughed out loud at the bullet points! They were so simple. A few rules and some tips and now you were going to pack on dense thick muscle like never before. After reading books over 250 pages on the subject and having written my own NoBull Bodybuilding System, it was silly to think somebody would benefit from tips so simple. Then it hit me... Those Stupid Bullet Points are the Nutrition Pillars of ALL of These Programs! Thus... I'll post them here in their unedited format and you can see that the #1 reason why people cannot gain healthy weight, build muscle is truly related to some of these tips. Now I don't agree with all of them but hear me out and take a look. Eating Recommendations: Eat at least six times a day Make each meal count. If you eat anything, consider it a meal Eliminate any and all refined sugars and sweets Reduce caffeine intake and increase water intake (should be half your body weight in ounces.) No Alcohol! All heavy starches to be consumed by 1pm or 3rd meal of the day. For example: bread, paste and rice. 1 serving of protein should be consumed with every meal. For example: (4-6 ounce piece is considered 1 serving). Limit dairy intake to 1st or 2nd meal All fruits should be consumed before 1pm. No fruit juice! Multi-vitamin everyday Maximum amount of time between meals: 3 hours Protein always first choice then carbohydrates to be added Limit sugary condiments such as salad dressings Meal replacement bars and shakes to be used if sugar free Surprisingly enough.. this simple list that most of professionals would scoff at is similar information that any client would receive. Now there's some exceptions. I could easily debate a few bullet points. I would elaborate. Next thing you'd have is 250 pages to read but in all honesty... If I had followed these to the letter when I was younger, I wouldn't have made so many mistakes. I would obviously need to learn about calories and such but nutrition is such a big part of building muscle fast. Nutrition is Numero Uno (or #1) You can have a horrible training program but if your nutrition is impeccable, you will look better than some who have fantastic training programs and can't get the nutrition part down. If you have awful nutrition but a fantastic program, you cannot support the growth or the recovery with a poor nutrition plan. And you can live a fine life with good nutrition and minimal exercise. Before we start a huge debate, my point isn't to say all books over 10 bullet points stink! In fact, that's not the case at all. I only want to point out that with all the confusing information out there, if you can stick to the basics when it comes to nutrition and build upon it, you will be successful. Why am I doing this? Because there's a fine line that separates those who know and those that don't. It's my wish to help those who are confused as I was to get some fundamentals down and then learn on their own. I only wish when I was younger somebody had at least told me the above that I could have written on a note card. I wasn't ready to read 250 pages or figure out calories and worry about macro-nutrient ratios. But I would have responded to some short bullet points and then expanded upon those as I learned. What You Can Learn From the Iron Gym If you are already following the above give or take, most likely you are on the right path. If you are not, you might be missing out on a critical nutrition pillar that can have you building muscle fast. Maybe you are not eating enough? Maybe you can't stay away from processed and refined foods? Maybe you drink later at night? These simple bullet points seem stupid I know and I don't agree with them all but generally speaking, they are quite sound and would benefit most. Marc David clean
Natural Bodybuilding with Marc David]]> On a day sort of like this on out here in California, eighteen years ago, I started working out in my bedroom with a Sears plastic weight set and no clue of what I needed to do. Passion drove me and the hunger to build muscle, become stronger and change my body serve as the fuel for massive change in the future. A senior in high school without a clue except that I desired a different body image and I desperately wanted to change.
At the time, my mind overflowed with ambitious dreams of the future.
There are techniques that can make your quest easier and your journey more compelling. While this list is in no way comprehensive, these 10 strategies are used quite a bit because they work.
Frankly… it’s the foundation of my own fitness program. In order to see results, you’ve got to give your program time to work and it needs to be applied over a period of weeks. Since bodies don’t change overnight, most don’t, repetition is key and if you can keep repeating something over and over even as simple as going to the gym, ultimately you’ll be better off today than you were yesterday.
Most fitness experts won’t tell you this but even if it’s the WRONG thing to do (e.g. 60 minutes of low intensity cardio for some) it’s still better than doing nothing or being frustrated and staying home. Go to the gym, repeat the steps over and over and learn along the way. Then adjust. As you repeat the process, it becomes routine. Ingrained in your daily life and that is exact point when missing a workout feels strange. Because you’ve repeated it so many times it’s part of your life. Repetition.
During the months of October 2008 – December 2008, I lost my reasons why. Reasons why I went to the gym. I’m already healthy, I eat right and I workout. For those 3 months, I was focused on the Stock Market, my portfolio that was taking a beating and it’s when I learned something about trading options and changing my perspective on investing.
But my reasons why for going to the gym were back-burnered. I didn’t go much. My workouts were ho-hum and sub-par. I felt like the reason of the mindless crowd that shows up. Looks around and then tries to figure out what to do. Does some stuff and leaves unsatisfied. Reminded me of the college days when I had no time either!
The strategy itself does make sense if you think about it. We don’t like to be told things or asked to take action without a reasonable explanation. You need to give yourself a reason why. It will help you stay focused and enable repetition to become common place.
Dave Draper once said…
If there’s a secret, it’s consistency. Don’t quote me on this, but I believe bad exercise, badly executed consistently is far better than no exercise at all.
Exercise applied consistently over a period of years will lead to results. Even the guys in my gym that do the worst form, the sloppiest stuff and are all over the board at still 100x in better shape than those who do nothing and figure it’s not worth their time. These guys and gals are at least consistent in their efforts. Over time, they can learn and change. But it’s the repetition of going to the gym and making an appearance and then applying sound principles consistently over time that makes a person’s physique change.
Some people need personal trainers. Others need a training partner. And with Web 2.0 stuff becoming more and more mainstream to the point of Twitter updates on your cell phone mid-set, you can do something Adam Waters has said before.
There is a need for positive pressure to make accountability work.
My friend Mike Mahony wrote a 2 part post about Social Networking 101. He’s using it to provide accountability for himself in his muscle building goals and current fat loss endeavors. Instead of paying for a trainer in this case, he’s getting support from friends and making himself more accountable for his daily efforts by posting his results, his thoughts and his discoveries along the way.
Maybe you can use Social Media in some way to connect with like-minded people today that have similar goals? The power of the group is more than enough fuel when you don’t seem to have the energy yourself.
Other ways to expand your social support courtesy of The Body Fat Solution pages 211 – 215 :
When somebody has the machine you want or the squat cage has a line longer than opening night of a hit movie, you need to have an arsenal of other exercises you can do. No matter the gym I step into, I’ve got a Plan A and a Plan B. If a station is taken or somebody steals my thunder during a super-set, I can switch it up quickly. Don’t worry…
You won’t have to learn every exercise in the book but it helps to have options. Sticking to a single plan for the rest of your life is not the way to go. Try new programs. See what works. Toss out what doesn’t. Learn new exercises. The more you have at your disposal, the faster you can keep challenging your body to grow.
Having an open mind will propel you to your goals so fast your head will spin. And in the event things don’t go your way, you’ll have options. I’ve know 2 people in my journey so far that literally left the gym when the only squat bar was in use. They had no other options to stimulate leg growth! Don’t be like that.
One such resource is Nick Nilsson and his Powerful Training Secrets. I have no idea how Nick comes up with all these exercises. It”s an amazing resource of exercises, mainstream and not for every body part.
Once you’ve got some reasons why at any point in your quest, it’s equally important to address any objections you might have to starting a new program, a new gym or anything else.
If you start to think “yeah but…”
You’ll stray off the path. Figure out any issues up front and tackle them head-on. Here’s an example.
You purchase a new fat burning or muscle building program. You print it out and immediately pick it apart. “Yeah but squats and deadlifts on the same day? I read that’s not good.”
For starters, you’ve put yourself in a negative mindset and it’s doubtful the program will work for you. Before you start something, address those objections up front and get over it. If you can’t, then find another alternative. I’ve seen too many people download, print or purchase a program only to tweak the living heck out of it before Day 1 and in less than 2 weeks, they have determined the program isn’t any good.
They failed to address their personal objections up front Day 1.
15 years ago, all you had for fitness information came from the mainstream publications of professional bodybuilders. Doing those routines would eliminate the average person. Not a lot existed at the time to get quality information out to the masses for the natural bodybuilder.
There’s so much information out there that over time, you are just as confused as you were before you had any.
The trick is to learn from quality sources and filter out the noise. If you listen to everybody and believe the hype, you’ll end up in the same position today as yesterday. Unable to move. Unable to make a decision. And more confused than ever before with the slew of information coming at you.
I’ve often said that unless your job is a personal trainer, a freelance writer or you have a passion for learning this stuff, there’s simply no point in learning all the minor details if whatever you are doing is working for you today.
In fact, some of the most brilliant minds in nutrition today don’t have the bodies to prove it. The reverse is true, some of the most gifted natural bodybuilders that work hard day in and day out and follow the basics, couldn’t tell you too much about Cortisol or how fat is stored. They don’t care, they just know how to burn it.
It does not take a degree in exercise physiology or a Masters in Nutrition to get this right. Learn what you need to know for your own personal goals and then apply those fundamentals consistently, over time with hard work and dedication. That’s how the job gets done.
Carlos DeJesus said…
The experiment of one is essentially the Discovery of self.
Learning is awesome. Knowing fact from fiction is important. Following the fundamentals is the ultimate key to success. But the end result is you and you alone. What works for you and whatever gets you the results you desire.
I’ve read too many articles that tell me don’t use this machine. I’ve written articles myself that tell you to avoid 2 exercises if you value your lower back and shoulders. There’s plenty of research to support Brand X supplement.
Quick Action Plan:
You can read more about The Experiment of One over at Carlos DeJesus site.
A bit skinny? A bit overweight? Don’t avoid those issues if they bother you. Deal with them directly and learn how to solve them. I spent eighteen years dealing with the Skinny Guy issue but with repetition, consistency, being bugged by the problem and trying to solve it. I made plenty of mistakes along the way. But I got there and if I gave up years ago, I’d still have my personal issue that bothered me and I’d not be anywhere close to my goal.
It’s okay to miss a gym day. As I type out this blog skipping breakfast while being burned on a trade I place earlier today, once again I’m reminded that it’s okay to make mistakes. So what if I skipped breakfast just today? Big deal. I’ll live. I won’t lose 10 lbs of muscle and I will still have a kick butt gym day.
Now if I did that every single day, we’d have a problem.
Too many people beat themselves up for the smallest things. They will ruin an entire 12 hour day because they missed 45 minutes of the gym. I literally worked half-asses for 3 months while I focused on something else, I ate like the normal person and didn’t drink enough water.
I didn’t get much weaker. I didn’t lose much mass. And my entire body didn’t gain 12+ body fat. I’m not bragging about my lack of reasons why or my consistency in the gym. I only wish to prove that it’s okay to stumble a bit in your journey forward. If you beat yourself up over the minor mistakes, you end up being so negative you quit going altogether and that is a mistake you should dwell on!
Allow yourself to make some mistakes. Fitness is the quest of a lifetime. Give yourself room to breathe so you can focus on the important stuff and keep making the small steps forward.
If this resonates with you, feel free to drop me a comment below or add in a techinque I missed that has made all the difference in your life.
“The NoBull Muscle Guy”
Author of The NoBull Bodybuilding Program
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Natural Bodybuilding with Marc David]]> Question: I recently decided to start to train to for a Triathlon for 2011-2012 and in addition I would like to begin a cutting regiment to tone my body. Can you share any tips or training regiments that can help me to reach my goal?
Thanks so much,
See the podcast link below.
Natural Bodybuilding with Marc David]]> https://bodybuildingsecretslive.com/fitness-tips/training-for-a-triathlon/feed/ 0 Natural Bodybuilding Diet Question: I recently decided to start to train to for a Triathlon for 2011-2012 and in addition I would like to begin a cutting regiment to tone my body. Can you share any tips or training regiments that can help me to reach my goal? Thanks so much, Question: I recently decided to start to train to for a Triathlon for 2011-2012 and in addition I would like to begin a cutting regiment to tone my body. Can you share any tips or training regiments that can help me to reach my goal? Thanks so much, Michael Gruen Answer: See the podcast link below. Marc David clean
Natural Bodybuilding with Marc David]]> Most people I know are freaked out by the latest rounds of economic news. Our current situation has been labeled as the next Great Depression, the lame-stream media gets more hyped up by the second, and it seems that on any street corner, you’ll unavoidable hear a conversion between two or more people who are frozen with fear like Chicken Little in the Sky is Falling.
There is no denying that the economic crisis creates real world problems both financially and mentally for a massive number of people. So what’s my role?
I’ve put myself forward as a fitness authority, so how am I going to live up to that challenge? I eat a lot of food myself, especially when I am trying to gain weight. Food isn’t cheap! And it’s getting more expensive by the month.
Here’s just three ways cut your grocery bill and still eat high-quality, fat-burning foods.
1. Take a List and Follow It
Never shop without a list. Dieticians estimate that 40 percent of supermarket purchases are made on impulse. According to best selling food author and NYU professor Marion Nestle, 70 percent of shoppers bring lists into the supermarket, but only about 10 percent stick to them. Developing a standard list of foods to replenish weekly will save you money by avoiding purchasing an excess of food that might spoil and go to waste. It will also help you avoid impulse purchases of foods you didn’t need. By the way, planning your shopping can also help you avoid unnecessary trips to the store, which saves you time as well as gas money!
2. Don’t Write Off The High End Stores
I love my local Safeway and Costco. They have bulk items and their deals are super. However, Whole Foods (Whole PayCheck as I often call it), sometimes has deals on particular items that are even cheaper than the discounts at the bigger chain stores. Don’t loyally stick to a single store and ignore the potential savings that might be happening at other stores in your area.
3. Free Grocery Store Coupon Sites
These are some of the most popular coupon sites I’ve found. Unlike other frustrating sites that ask for an e-mail address and then spam you to death, these websites give you printable coupons with great deals, without all the excessive email. Suggestion: use a secondary email address to keep your main email safe, just in case.
Enter your zip code and find printable coupons for your area.
Offering food coupons for online and brick & mortar shopping.
• SmartSource Savings Network (www.coupons.smartsource.com)
Comprised of leading grocery and retail chains, newspapers, lifestyle websites, interactive companies and others bringing online savings to you. Printable coupons available.
• Upons (www.upons.com)
Offering free grocery coupons, special promotions and product samples. Local coupons available.
• CouponSaver (www.couponsaver.org)
Coupon codes and promotional codes for all types of items.
At the end of the day, the question of whether or not you can afford to eat healthy. What matters is that you have an opportunity to eat healthy and save some money. Just grabbing what seems like a good deal or healthy foods is not going to work anymore. It never really did. Spending just a few minutes planning and taking a list will immediately garnish you some fantastic cost savings.
If you liked this, you’ll love the 10 page, 2 part series that I wrote exclusively for the Burn the Fat Inner Circle
Apparently you can have an entire month to test drive Tom Venuto’s Burn The Fat Inner Circle website for only $1.00…
“The NoBull Muscle Guy”
P.S. - Tip 4 that nobody talks about is simply to eat less. Most people (not monitoring calories for a goal) simply consume too much. It is easier to save money by eating less. This tip really depends on your current situation. A bodybuilding preparing for a contest is probably consuming far less than optimal.
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Natural Bodybuilding with Marc David]]> We all know the “rules” of bodybuilding. Hard work (intensity), applied consistently over a period of time
will yield significant results.
But some of the best and most impressive bodybuilders have traits that might surprise you. Here’s how having faith, angry and focused (in the right ways) can create breakthrough success on your own body.
1. Don’t Over Analyze
While listening to another episode of the Skip LaCour podcast, Skip said something that struck home and it’s something I’ve been thinking and noticing for the longest time in my own industry.
The level of knowledge and attention to detail rarely matches the physique.
If it’s your job to know this stuff, by all means learn and if you just thrive on facts and interesting fitness information, by all means, go for it. Learning is fun but my point is…
Don’t get so caught up in the stuff that doesn’t matter that you forget the basics.
Some of the smartest people I know in this field don’t even look like they train!
Don’t sweat the small stuff. Just train like a madman (or woman), workout hard and do just enough to stimulate growth. If your program is working for you, forget the validation. Just keep doing it!
2. Don’t Know Everything
A lot of times, I think beginners have the BEST advantage. Their minds are open. They are willing to listen and try new things. After some time, reading and training, they start to lose that beginners edge that makes their minds open and ready to absorb like a sponge. Not knowing everything and keeping an open mind will allow you to move through the journey and not worry about some ultimate destination.
Building muscle and burning fat is not a singular destination that once you reach, that’s all she wrote. It’s a series of journeys back and forth using different concepts and times of year to keep making progress. By allowing yourself not to know it all, you actually become smarter and more able to understand concepts and reason better.
All to often I meet somebody who’s not even close to their potential, they are 40 lbs or more off their stated goals and yet, they know more than anybody else. They know more than many of the experts put together.
What they don’t understand is they’ve learn some good things and some bad and aren’t able to ditch the bad stuff and keep learning because once you’ve told yourself you know it all. Your mind shuts off to new or different information that could otherwise help you.
You don’t have to be a beginner physically for that long but if you can keep the beginners mindset, you’ll be smarter than most.
3. Get Mad Once and While
Vent! Get angry and use that anger to direct it towards actively doing something about it. Better yet, use that pent up angst to workout harder in the gym and take it out on the weights. Working out is a super stress reliever. Stress is a killer, literally.
It’s okay to get mad and use that frustration to push yourself. Being frustrated or angry becuase something isn’t happening in your physique is okay.
4. Stop Trying to Discount and Debunk Every Theory
It’s fine to have some clarity and certainty in what you are doing. Spending excessive amounts of time debating and debunking every training theory or new program is mostly a quest for validation that whatever you are doing is the right thing to do. It becomes self-justification.
Some of the most successful bodybuilders I know don’t know everything about nutrition or how muscle grows. They just follow the basics and make significant progress. They don’t spend hours trying to prove their theories (unless they have a theory). They just do it.
I’m not really worried if deadlifts should be done on a back day or a leg day or if there is a slightly better way to squat if I don’t go to parallel. I’ve seen message forum threads about protein deprivation go on for over 10 pages from people (who I don’t know their credentials) attempt to prove it cannot work.
5. Break the Unbreakable Rules
Give yourself some wiggle room. Let’s put it this way, if you skip 1 workout in a 7 day week, you just missed 14%! That same workout in a year is only .2%. Which is so minor, you’ve never know about it and it does not matter.
Skip a week and you’ve missed 100% of your potential progress. That same week is roughly 0.3% in 6 years.
Put things into perspective. Consistency is the backbone of progress. It’s what will make your physique change over years and have your family and friends asking for your super secret plan. What “illegals” you took to get huge or what diet you followed to lose the baby fat.
Give yourself some room to make mistakes. You miss a meal? Big deal. You didn’t drink your allotted water for the day? So what. You missed legs? Oh no how will you survive! Don’t make a habit of breaking the rules (that’s called inconsistency) but missing some stuff here and there is not a deal breaker.
6. Take a Leap of Faith
Sometimes it is just good to follow a new program or nutritional idea to the letter. Instead of worrying if it will work or the reasons why it can’t work, just follow it. Don’t ask questions initially. Later you can take the results and introduce your own perceptions and feelings. Instead of saying that a certain rep range cannot build muscle, just try it. Take a leap of faith and see if the concept turns into real world results.
While everybody is different there are fundamentals and principles that work for everybody all of the time. Debating, over analyzing eventually leads to paralysis.
Once you have reach the point where you can no longer try anything new because it goes against what you know to be true, that’s when you will cease to make progress.
When I start a new training program that I think will work based on what I’ve read, I look for some certainty and validation but I follow it to the letter. I don’t ask questions. I don’t e-mail the author and argue why it cannot work. I try it and if it works, I keep it for later use. If not, I toss it out. I’ve saved countless hours and headaches not wasting my time trying to prove somebody wrong when in the end, all it would truly be is validation that whatever I’m doing at the time is the right thing to do.
To be honest, nobody know exactly how muscle is built. All we know is that the right amount of stimulation, not too much and not too little, is how it grows through weight training.
7. Forget Genetics and Focus on You
I can’t tell you how many e-mails and phone consultations I’ve done when the 2nd question is about genetics and the potential to succeed. Whenever that question comes up, I know right away the person is doomed if they can’t change their line of thinking.
“Genetics do not matter to the natural bodybuilder. But your genetics will only take you so far in competition.” - Hugo A. Rivera, CFT, SPN, BSCE
If you are and plan on being a natural bodybuilder, then this question truly deserves no answer.
If you plan on stepping on stage, then genetics can be a factor (among other things) but if you let that slip into your mind and it brings about negative thoughts, that is far more damaging than having the perfect wrist size or bone structure.
Some of the males and females I personally know who stepped on stage and did fantastic were not the most genetically gifted people. They felt they didn’t have the bone structure for true bodybuilding but it didn’t’ matter to them. They didn’t live within limits and they never worried about genetics.
Some of the most genetically gifted people I know (they look at a weight and grow muscle) never put forth any effort into bodybuilding and many people who you would never look at them twice have far surpassed their genetic rivals.
It’s an unknown factor that nobody can answer.
8. Don’t Pay Too Much Attention to the Latest Training/Nutrition Flavor of the Month
Now I love to give advice here at BodybuildingSecretsLive, and I personally benefited hugely from several fitness experts advice before I ever started writing here.
It’s great to absorb how-to articles that speak to you, and to try new programs. But at the end of the day, the thing that makes your physique great is you. Don’t get so caught up in minor details or some new hyped of program that you forget what makes your body change (hard work, consistency, time). The basis.
The most “perfect” training program in the world would be deathly dull. Great workouts are quirky, weird, and challenging–just like interesting people are.
Learn the fundamental rules, get advice, then be passionate about your goals and see what happens. If you get a wild hair, go ahead and try it. You might love it, your body might hate it. The great thing about a bodybuilding is, there’s always another workout tomorrow.
“The NoBull Muscle Guy”
Natural Bodybuilding with Marc David]]> https://bodybuildingsecretslive.com/fitness-tips/8-little-known-traits-of-successful-bodybuilders/feed/ 0 Bodybuilding,Motivational Quotes We all know the “rules” of bodybuilding. Hard work (intensity), applied consistently over a period of time - will yield significant results. - But some of the best and most impressive bodybuilders have traits that might surprise you. We all know the “rules” of bodybuilding. Hard work (intensity), applied consistently over a period of time will yield significant results. But some of the best and most impressive bodybuilders have traits that might surprise you. Here’s how ... Marc David clean
Natural Bodybuilding with Marc David]]>
Does Alcohol Affect Muscle Growth?: Does drinking an alcohol beverage once a week ( in moderation, like 6 to 7 drinks of 7% per drink of alcohol contents ) affect building muscle or muscle we have? - John C.
As a group, bodybuilder are more health conscious of the foods we put into our bodies than the Average Jane or Joe. I picked up the following line from Arnold Schwarzenegger in regards to soda pop but it applies to anything that doesn’t directly provide nutritional value or support for the individual.
“Why take something the body doesn’t need right now?” – From Arnie Goes Crazy
This question comes to me more often than “can I build muscle and burn fat at the same time.” It’s a valid question and one that requires a bit more than what advice I keep hearing…
While it’s true that alcohol has many negative effects on muscle building and the worthless calories from each drink can add up, especially on a fat loss quest where you’re always hungry and every calorie counts, you can still indulge. If you’ve ever asked yourself, “Will 1 night of consuming alcohol negatively affect my ability to gain muscle?,” this article is for you.
But first, let’s take a look at generally what alcohol does to the body in relation to the bodybuilder who’s trying to build as much muscle as humanly possible.
Many of us associate the effects of alcohol on the body with the heart, lungs, liver, brain, memory, etc. Furthermore, if asked about effects of drinking alcohol in terms of our fitness goals, most people will let you know about the infamous beer belly.
You know what I’m talking about right?
Drink too much and you end up storing too many calories as fat.
Many people will choose low calorie alcohol drinks or low carb alcoholic beverages in an attempt to avoid the fat storage issue. They feel that by making this choice the only bad effects of alcohol – increased fat storage – will be minimized.
But what you didn’t know is that only about 5% of the calories from alcohol are stored as fat! 
Then it hit me as it should hit you right about now…
The effects of alcohol on the body are far more damaging than can be predicted by the number of empty calories in some alcoholic beverage.
The truth is…
1- Alcohol really affects the amount of fat your body can and will burn for energy!
In a study done by the American Journal of Clinical Research  they concluded that just a mere 24g of alcohol consumption showed whole-body lipid oxidation ( the rate at which your body burns fat) decreased by a whopping 73%!
When alcohol goes thru the liver, the by-product is called Acetate. It would appear that acetate puts the proverbial brakes on fat burning.
Your body can use many types of fuel. Protein, carbohydrates and fat. In many cases, the fuel used is dictated by it’s availability.
Your body tends to use whatever you feed it for fuel right? As your acetate levels increase, your body burns more acetate as fuel.
What this means is…
Fat burning takes a back seat!
What it all boils down to is this…
a) You consume a couple of alcoholic drinks or more. b) Your liver metabolizes that into acetate. c) Your body uses the acetate for fat as fuel.
2- Increase in appetite
In another American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study, there was evidence to suggest that consumption of alcohol lead to an increase in appetite over that of any other carbohydrate type drink. 
Researchers over in the Research Department of Human Nutrition and Center for Advanced Food Studies in Denmark  concluded that consumption of alcoholic beverages, and wine in particular, may enhance total energy intake at a meal relative to a soft drink, when served with no restriction.
3- Decrease in Testosterone and an Increase in Cortisol
A study of 8 healthy male volunteers observed that after drinking alcohol, the effects of a significant decrease in testosterone and an increase in cortisol (a muscle destroying hormone) lasted up to 24 hours! 
The only real question to ask yourself is this…
If you are serious about building muscle and burning fat, you want all the free testosterone levels you can get and you want to reduce cortisol in any way you can. That means go lite on the drinking because it does affect your hormones.
Is that the effects were even worse if you exercise before drinking.  This means that if you are going out and will be drinking more than a small amount of alcohol, you might as well skip the gym.
Not shocking is a study done by the Department of Radiology, Sahlgrenska Hospital, Goteborg, Sweden  that determined increased waist to hip ratio of alcoholics may include not only changes in adipose tissue, but also in muscle tissue distribution.
In layman’s terms.. that means more fat around the waist and less overall muscle mass.
4- Decrease in vitamin and mineral absorption
When you consume large quantities of alcohol, your liver is busy converting the alcohol to acetate and any vitamins and minerals that it might process are taken up by the detoxification process.
Alcohol interferes with the metabolism of most vitamins, and with the absorption of many nutrients. Alcohol stimulates both urinary calcium and magnesium excretion. 
This just means that you’ll get less of a benefit from the “healthy” meal you may be consuming.
Food in the stomach will compete with ethanol for absorption into the blood stream. It is well known that alcohol competes and influences the processing of nutrients in the body. 
5- Decrease in protein synthesis of type II fibers
This means the actual building of muscle is slowed down by 20%+ or more. This included a 35% decrease in muscle insulin-like growth factor-I (GF-I). 
A common side effect of alcohol is dehydration. Alcohol is a diuretic. Drinks containing 4% alcohol tend to delay the recovery process. 
Considering how important water is to muscle building and general health, it’s clear that dehydration can put a damper on your progress. After alcohol consumption the first thing you might want to do is drink coffee. But that’s a diuretic as well. How to avoid dehydration? Drink more water.
Alcohol consumption, especially at the times when you would normally sleep, can have effects on the quality of sleep. Clearly high quality sleep is extremely important to the rebuilding and growth process of muscle. Without proper rest and recovery, your gains will be affected.
Alcohol consumption can induce sleep disorders by disrupting the sequence and duration of sleep states and by altering total sleep time as well as the time required to fall asleep. 
8- The next day
A rather obvious conclusion but if you plan on drinking on a Friday night in excess then the leg workout you thought of doing on Saturday morning won’t be top notch. It takes a bit to recover, your body to detoxify and for you mentally to be prepared to workout.
Not to mention you need energy for the workout ahead.
Sure you can hit the weights but my point is…
It’s not going to be the best workout you’ve ever experienced.
At this point you might be totally discouraged to ever drink any alcohol again. But there’s some good news.
In the November 2004 issue of the International Journal of Obesity  they did a study on the effects of moderate consumption of white wine on weight loss.
Each group consumed 1500 calories. 150 calories came from white wine in one group and 150 calories from grape juice in another.
An energy-restricted diet is effective in overweight and obese subjects used to drinking moderate amounts of alcohol. A diet with 10% of energy derived from white wine is as effective as an isocaloric diet with 10% of energy derived from grape juice.
It’s simple: Moderation is the key! (with first place being abstinence as you already know). 1-2 drinks per day for the general public, is considered moderation.
As a bodybuilder looking for the best possible muscle gains, maybe 1 drink per day or even 1 drink per week would fit into your goals. However, 6-7 drinks would be detrimental to your muscle building efforts. You’re better off having 1 drink a night for 7 days than 7 drinks in one sitting. Again, moderation.
My friend Tom Venuto of Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle, has an excellent method for those who DO wish to drink 6-7 beverages in a night. He’s got a neat little plan outlined in his nutrition section that details what to do if you know you’ll be out for a night of drinking.
The effects of alcohol on your body when it comes to building muscle and burning fat are quite clear. It is a lot more than just some extra calories stored as fat. If you consume too much, it can derail your goals a lot longer after your head has hit the pillow and you’ve gone to sleep.
1. Heikkonen, E., Ylikahri, R., Roine, R., Valimaki, M., Harkonen, M., & Salaspuro, M. (1996). The combined effect of alcohol and physical exercise on serum testosterone, luteinizing hormone, and cortisol in males. Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research, 20, 711-716
2. Kvist, H., Hallgren, P., Jonsson, L., Pettersson, P., Sjoberg, C., Sjostrom, L., & Bjorntorp, P. (1993). Distribution of adipose tissue and muscle mass in alcoholic men. Metabolism, 42, 569-573
3. Raben A, Agerholm-Larsen L, Flint A, Holst JJ, Astrup A. (2003). Meals with similar energy densities but rich in protein, fat, carbohydrate, or alcohol have different effects on energy expenditure and substrate metabolism but not on appetite and energy intake. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 77, 91-100
4. Siler, S.Q., Neese, R.A., & Hellerstein, M.K. (1999). De novo lipogenesis, lipid kinetics, and whole-body lipid balances in humans after acute alcohol consumption. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 70, 928-936
5. Tremblay, A., & St-Pierre, S. (1996). The hyperphagic effect of a high-fat diet and alcohol intake persists after control for energy density. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 63, 479-482
6. Valimaki, M.J., Harkonen, M., Eriksson, C.J., & Ylikahri, R.H. (1984). Sex hormones and adrenocortical steroids in men acutely intoxicated with ethanol. Alcohol, 1, 89-93
7. Flechtner-Mors, M., Biesalski, H.K., Jenkinson, C.P., Adler, G., & Ditschuneit, H.H. (2004). Effects of moderate consumption of white wine on weight loss in overweight and obese subjects. International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders, 28, 1420-1426
8. Buemann, B., Toubro, S., & Astrup, A. (2002). The effect of wine or beer versus a carbonated soft drink, served at a meal, on ad libitum energy intake. International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders, 26, 1367-1372
9. Lang CH, Frost RA, Kumar V, Wu D, Vary TC. (2000). Inhibition of muscle protein synthesis by alcohol is associated with modulation of eIF2B and eIF4E, 3, 322-31
10. Alcohol Alert, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, No. 41 July. 1988
11. Shirreffs, Susan M., and Ronald J Maughan. 91997). Restoration of fluid balance after exercise-induced dehydration: effects of alcohol consumption, Journal of Applied Physiology, Vol. 83, No. 4, pp. 1152-1158
12. “Alcohol, chemistry and you,” Kennesaw State University, chemcases.com, Aug. 2002
13. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Report to Congress, 1990
14. “Why alcohol calories are more important than you think,” Christian Finn, TheFactsAboutFitness.com
Photo of the martini by Kyle May Used under a Creative Commons license
Be Fit, Stay Strong!
Marc David – CPT
Does alcohol affect muscle growth should not be a mystery anymore.
Natural Bodybuilding with Marc David]]> https://bodybuildingsecretslive.com/fitness-tips/effects-of-alcohol-on-muscle/feed/ 29 Alcohol,alcohol affect building muscle,alcohol and muscles,alcohol bodybuilding,alocholic beverage,consuming alcohol,drink,drinking,drinking alcohol,effects of alcohol on muscle Does Alcohol Affect Muscle Growth?: Does drinking an alcohol beverage once a week ( in moderation, like 6 to 7 drinks of 7% per drink of alcohol contents ) affect building muscle or muscle we have? - John C. - My Answer: - As a group, Does Alcohol Affect Muscle Growth?: Does drinking an alcohol beverage once a week ( in moderation, like 6 to 7 drinks of 7% per drink of alcohol contents ) affect building muscle or muscle we have? - John C. My Answer: As a group, bodybuilder are... Marc David clean
Natural Bodybuilding with Marc David]]> Working out while sick (exercising with a cold or worse) depends on a few factors.
I was wondering if moderate exercise (cardio, weightlifting or both) should be halted during a common cold or if you should “sweat it out” as some say.
Common sense tells me that the body should fully recover before engaging in physical activity but is a light day or a less intense cardio day okay?
On one hand you don’t want to break progress by waiting too long between workouts, yet on the other hand, you don’t want to remain sick because the body will have to allocate nutrition in building muscle tissue as opposed to building an immune response.
Thanks for answering,
Good news! The exercise when sick question belongs in the Urban Myths category.
You can workout while sick but only under certain conditions. Let me elaborate on exercising when sick.
You Should Not Exercise If:
* You have a fever
* You feel nauseous
* You are highly contagious and in a public gym sneezing all over the place
You Can Workout If:
* You just have a mild cold (upper respiratory illness)
Many people that I know of, including myself at one time are guilty of working out while sick. And not just everyday common cold (sniffles and sneezing) sick but flu-like sickness.
Not only was it irresponsible of me to bring my funk into the gym but Karma was paid back when my body couldn’t recover and I ended up prolonging my illness an extra week or so.
You see, working out while sick with a mild cold is not a big deal. In fact, if you engage in light cardio, you’ll feel better. It will help to open up your nasal passages and let you breathe easier. Recovery will not be hampered because it’s a mild cold and you are doing a light workout. Just to keep moving really. Nothing intense at all.
What I don’t recommend is that you exercise with weights unless it’s following the same principles.
Light. Keep that in mind. You are not there to get stronger, more fit or build muscle. You are there to feel better, to keep moving and get the added benefits that working out will help you do.
When I’ve done a light cardio workout a couple of days after the worst of the cold is over, I feel a lot better.
Seems to me that working out with weights does not give you that cardiovascular benefit. I’ve never felt that great when I have a cold and hit the iron. I’ve always felt better when I just do light cardio for about 20 minutes or so. Nothing intense mind you. Strictly warm-up to pace levels.
The research has shown that doing cardio when you have a cold has the greatest benefits. Working out with weights has not had the same effect.
Let’s face it…
Being sick is no fun! But if you over do it, you will just prolong your illness. So keep that in mind when I say light. You are there to feel better not improve or break a personal record.
Next time you are sick, go do some light cardio. Heck, even just walking around the block will feel pretty good.
Your recovery will not be compromised as long as you go light.
I urge you to take care of yourself first but after that, see if some light cardio helps you feel even better and recover faster. Being active can aid in recovery.
Based on the two studies below, people who assessed their own symptoms and only had a upper respiratory infection, didn’t prolong or make the symptoms worse. Working out with a simple cold won’t make it worse or make the symptoms worse. However, it does annoy your fellow members (sniffing, sneezing) and depending, could spread the cold.
While it might be fine physically to hit the weights, just be conscious of others.
Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise May 1997; 29(5):604-9
Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise November 1998;30(11):1578-83
Hope you feel better! This is the type of question where I think it best to consult your doctor and not take the standard men’s health magazine advice.
Marc David – CPT
PS - I personally don’t like working out while sick if I have anything more than a very mild upper respiratory infection but I’d be interested in hearing your opinions too.
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Natural Bodybuilding with Marc David]]> This is a guest post by Nick Nilsson is Vice President of BetterU, Inc., an online exercise, fitness, and personal training company.
When should I consume my protein?
1. Immediately After A Workout
If you only take protein once per day, this is the absolute best time to take it. Immediately after you finish your workout, your body needs raw materials to rebuild and recover with. If you don’t supply the raw materials through eating, your body will break down muscle from elsewhere in your body in order to rebuild the damaged areas. This is very counterproductive as you can well imagine. By taking in some protein (20 to 30 grams or so) within minutes after exercise, you provide your body with the raw materials it needs to recover without breaking down it’s own muscle tissue.
2. An Hour After A Workout
About an hour following a workout, your body has settled down from the excitement and is ready to really start rebuilding. The protein that you took in immediately following the workout has been metabolized and your body is looking for more. Another protein shake at this time is a good way to help speed recovery. Try to take in another 20 to 30 grams about an hour after working out.
3. First Thing In The Morning
Immediately upon waking, or as soon after that as you can manage, take a scoop of protein powder. Your body has just been through an (approximately) 8 hour fast and is hungry for nutrients. Feed your body! Protein powder is more quickly assimilated than solid food and gets into your muscles faster. This protein shot gives your metabolism a boost, which can help with fat loss. Be sure to follow it with a good breakfast, of course.
4. Last Thing At Night
Prepare your body for the long overnight fast by giving it a little something to work with. A good combination for this purpose is to mix a scoop of whey protein in with a small glass of milk. Whey is what’s known as a “fast” protein, meaning that it’s digested quickly, while milk protein (casein) is what’s known as a “slow” protein, meaning it’s digested relatively slowly. At night, you want your protein to be metabolized slowly so that your body gets a more even supply over the course of the night. By mixing “fast” and “slow” proteins, you get the benefits of the higher-quality whey with the slower digestion time of the milk.
5. In-between Meals
A quick protein shake can be a great snack in between meals. It helps keep your body supplied with protein all day long. This is especially useful if you tend to have long periods of time in-between meals. It could mean the difference between losing muscle and building or keeping muscle!
6. With Meals
Taking a protein supplement with meals is a handy way to increase the protein content of a meal. This is perfect for when you make a meal that is somewhat low in protein.
7. In The Middle Of The Night
This is a trick that bodybuilders sometimes use in order to keep their muscles supplied with protein throughout the night. Keep a pre-mixed protein shake right beside your bed. Although some trainers have been known to set alarms to wake up to drink it, I prefer to have it there waiting just in case I wake up, but I don’t try to wake up on purpose. If I don’t wake up, it’s right there ready for me to drink first thing in the morning! This strategy is more targeted for muscle growth rather than fat loss.
WARNING! Never drink a protein supplement immediately before working out! Some people do this thinking that it will give them an energy boost or give them a head-start for post-workout recovery. Basically, all it does is sit in their stomach and bloat them up. Valuable blood that should be going to working muscles gets sent to the digestive system to try and digest it. The same warning goes for taking protein during a workout. Don’t do it!
By following these protein-intake recommendations, you will increase the effectiveness of your supplementation. Even if you choose to take advantage of only one or two of these timing techniques, you will certainly see an improvement in your recovery ability.
Nick Nilsson is Vice President of BetterU, Inc., an online exercise, fitness, and personal training company. Check out his latest eBook “The Best Exercises You’ve Never Heard Of” at http://www.thebestexercises.com or visit http://www.fitstep.com
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