Gym, Working Out, Weights, Eating… HELP!



I’m John and I know you get many emails but I need to send you this email. I’ve been reading everything you have but I am a bit confused. I do not know where to start, what to eat, what to read, I’m just lost. I’m sure many other people feel the same way. can you recommend something that will guide me from start to end. I do not know what book to read or….I am just frustrated with myself. I do workout but i think I am working out the wrong way. Can you give me some advice?

Thank you
John B.



I can and I will. 1st things first.. you gotta step back. Take a breather and start from Ground Zero.

#1: Sign up for the NoBull Bodybuilding Newsletter

Hate to send you to a website but truth be told, I wrote a very good 19 Steps to Build Muscle guide that will help along with a short course that goes along with it. Hands down, the best and least hyped piece in this nasty industry.

#2: My top 2 recommendations for an overall guide to get you started.

a) My own NoBull Bodybuilding system. I’m biased. Take it with a grain of salt but I get a lot of good feedback on it.

b) Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle. Hands down the resource for everything nutrition. I captured a lot of what’s in this book but I can’t come close to the detail. It’s different and worth it.

After that.. I recommend lot of other stuff from workout programs to mumbo-jumbo scientific stuff. Lotta decent stuff out there but truly without a good foundation, it’s all noise.

You need the basics. A solid foundation. Then you can build from there in any direction you so desire.

I’m keeping this note intentionally short so as not to stray off topic and confuse you even more.

Marc David
“The NoBull Muscle Guy”

Drinking Soda: A New Danger to Kidneys

Photo Credit: Poolie

Over the last 10 years, cases of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) increased in the U.S. by ~30%.  Somewhere around 26 million Americans are afflicted with CKD according to the National Kidney Foundation.

The Kidneys Primary Job:

  • filter blood
  • excrete harmful chemicals

When the Kidneys are Damaged This Affects:

  • to get rid of waste
  • affects blood pressure
  • bone strength can be compromised
  • blood production can be affected

Not as a scare tactic but even low levels of kidney disease contribute to heart failure, arterial disease and strokes.

What are the Risk Factors for Kidneys:

  • diabetes
  • high blood pressure
  • excessive weight gain
  • smoking

The researches at Loyola University in Chicago found a potential new link between soda consumption and kidney disease.  This new study looked at data from over 9000 adults and suggested that women who drink two or more cans of regular soda a day are nearly twice as likely to show early signs of CKD.  This wasn’t true of men or diet soda drinkers.

High Frucotose Corn Syrup the Culprit?

Some resarches believe there is a link.  Others found it to be the phosphorus found in some sodas to be the problem.

Study or not, healthy living is part the education that I want to teach you.  What we’ve learned from all these studies and horror stories about alternative ingredients in food is merely that moderation in all things is best.  This doesn’t mean you can’t ever drink a soda!  But it does mean that if you are truly trying to live a better lifestyle, than having a habit of soda consumption, even diet, is not ideal.

Marc David
“The NoBull Muscle Guy”

Eating at Home Can Make You Fat

Over the past few years, restaurants have taken a beating when it comes to eating healthy.  Fitness Professionals, including myself, preach that eating at home is the best way to go because it can be better for you and maybe cheaper.

Although restaurants have taken the blame for portion distortion, cookbook recipes have done some “supersizing” of their own.

A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine looked at how classic recipes have changed during the past 70 years.    It focused on the Joy of Cooking because of the wealth of data and how the same recipe has changed over the years with new editions.  What they found was…

“Nearly 40% increase in calories per serving for almost every recipe reviewed.”

This was partically because of more calories per serving but larger portion sizes.

“That (calorie increase) is more insidious because that’s the sort of thing the average person wouldn’t notice, wouldn’t even think has happened over the years.” ~ Brian Wansink, studies director.

I could do a break down of every recipe … but I’m not going to.

I’m going with less.  I think you get the point.  If you use a cookbook, just ensure it meets you needs in terms of calories but portion sizes.

Pick up a copy of Muscle Chow today. I give it my highest recommendation, and it’s less than 16 bucks at Amazon.  There’s plenty of healthy recipes in there with the lean bodybuilder in mind.

Marc David
“The NoBull Muscle Guy”

P.S. - No offense to the Joy of Cooking.  My mom owns the 1969 edition and it’s used so much it’s falling apart.  Just be aware of the changes in home cookbooks.  They too can be causes of higher portions and higher calories.  Just raise your awareness to this possibility.

How Supermodels Keep Their Looks

Ever wonder how some supermodels can keep their shape all year?  There’s lots of theories.  From hard work to plastic surgery to fad diets, not eating and crazy herbal supplements.  Maybe it’s a little bit of all of that and then some.  Who knows.  But what I do know is that supermodels don’t drink these shakes.

Ordered by Calories:

5.  Baskin-Robbins Berry Pomegranate Banana Fruit Blast Smoothie (large)

  • 1,020 calories
  • 1.5 grams of fat
  • 232 grams of sugar

You gotta wonder if they put Pomegranate in there for a later marketing ploy to say it’s healthy because of the anti-oxidant properties.  Just my guess.

4.  Cosi Gigante Double OHI Arctic

  • 1,033 calories
  • 35 grams of fat
  • 177 grams of carbs (I’d guess mostly simple sugars)

3.  Jama Juice Peanut Butter Moo’d Power Smoothie

  • 1,170 calories
  • 30 grams of fat
  • 169 grams of sugar

2.  Baskin-Robbins York Peppermint Pattie Shake (large)

  • 2,210 calories
  • 103 grams of fat (57 saturated)
  • 281 grams of sugar

1.  Baskin-Robbins Heath Shake (large)

  • 2,310 calories
  • 108 grams of fat (64 saturated)
  • 266 grams of sugar

Source: Muscle & Fitness, March 2009; p.54

Should companies be allowed to produce such utter crap?  I understand the freedom of choice but ONLY if the person choosing has a clear understanding.

My point is… if you told somebody you were going to get one of these shakes, they might know it’s “bad” for you but what they may not know is just how bad or that 75% of your daily calories are being consumed in a liquid form.  You might know it’s not good for you but many people don’t know the degrees of bad.

It would be unfair to leave you without a good shake solution so here’s just one of my favorites that I think tastes really good, nice chocolate flavor and icy.

So here’s my alternative to any of the above options…

Chocolate Almond Mocha Blast


  • 1/2 cup fat-free milk
  • 1 level tablespoon instant coffee
  • 10 unsalted almonds
  • 1 tablespoon lecithin granules
  • 2 packets (2 grams) stevia or other sugar alternative
  • 1 cup crushed ice or 6-8 ice cubes
  • 2 level scoops chocolate whey protein powder (or your favorite flavor)

How to Make It:

Step 1: Put everything except the ice and protein powder into a blender.  Blend on high until fully mixed.

Step 2: With the blender on medium, add the ice and protein powder.  Blend on high until fully mixed.

Makes 1 Serving….

Nutritional Facts for the Chocolate Almond Mocha Blast

Per serving: 393 calories, 47 g protein, 24 g carbohydrates, 10 g total fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 2 g fiber, 55 mg sodium

If you want other alternatives to the above and some really good bodybuilding meals, weight gain shakes and healthy meals that are super easy to make… I would recommend you take a look at this book.

Men’s Health Total Fitness Guide 2008 Muscle Chow

Before I found Muscle Chow, I kinda went from website recipe to website recipe. Or to overly complicated cookbooks that were not for bodybuilders trying to get lean or build muscle. Greg Avedon nailed it with this and wrote to the married guy or single guy who can’t cook but wants to cook something in order to build muscle. It was so incredibly simple to follow. I am not a cook or chef by any means. My biggest accomplishment was grilled chicken and burgers. This is so stinking simple to use. It doesn’t have a ton of ingredients and you’ll find that many of the recipes use the same foundations. Meaning, less big trips to the store. Many of them are only 4 steps. They taste great and are low in fat and sodium. Perfect for that lean look. Nutrition is 80% bodybuilding as Vince Gironda once said. Armed with this, I cannot go wrong. Awesome book. Changed my life in the kitchen.  Check out Muscle Chow.

To Your Health,

Marc David
“The NoBull Muscle Guy”

Supplement Users Commited Regardless of Economy

According to a new survey conducted by Ipsos-Public Affairs for the Council for Responsible Nutrition, a full 51 percent of supplement users indicated that the economy will likely not change their supplement-purchasing habits.

Survey results also showed that of the 51 percent who don’t plan on cutting back their supplement routine, 13 percent of dietary supplement consumers went further to say that supplements are “an essential part of my wellness regimen, and I cannot do without them.”

“It’s encouraging to see that, despite the current economic climate, such a large percentage of adults are continuing to invest in their health by including dietary supplements as a part of their wellness regimen,” said Judy Blatman, senior vice president, communications, CRN. “Engaging in preventative health measures today, such as incorporating supplements into a healthy lifestyle, may help avoid potential healthcare costs down the road.”

What Other Supplement Users Will Do:

  • 30% said while they will continue to use, purchase price will become a more important factor.
  • 13% said if the downturn continues, they will continue to purchase but less in the future.
  • 6% said supplement usage is a luxury and can do without them in economic hardships.

Question: What Will YOU Do?

Training for a Triathlon While Cutting

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


See the podcast link below.

So, what do you think?

Three Ways to Cut Your Grocery in an Economic Crisis

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 (
Comprised of leading grocery and retail chains, newspapers, lifestyle websites, interactive companies and others bringing online savings to you. Printable coupons available.
•    Upons (
Offering free grocery coupons, special promotions and product samples. Local coupons available.

•    CouponSaver (
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…

Marc David
“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.

So, what do you think?