How NOT To Look Like A Strong Weakling

November 15, 2013 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

(Guys that are strong but don’t look it)

aka this quote

”Hold up. Dude… you can lift twice as much as that guy over there. Why is HE bigger than YOU?”

OUCH… painful comment!

Solution: Eat more food… DUDE!

But lets look a little deeper in to this scenario. A scenario where I have been the victim of that painful comment (It affected me so bad, that I even remember the date. 17th February 2005) :O
Now, the reason why anyone would be a victim of this comment would be because of this point..

”Are you just lifting weights or actually stimulating muscle fibers?”

There is a big difference. Like I’ve said before, there’s more to it than just lugging a few weights around. And it often doesn’t take as much weight as people think to get the desired results.

So, let me start with the most important and relative point, so that you can avoid being picked on for being a scrawny looking guy who is in fact, REALLY strong.

#1 Focus on muscle tension

Now, there could be two reasons that could explain why the other guy is bigger than you.

  1. Genetics – That guy might have good muscle building genetics. A mesomorph style body type, where one can lose fat and gain muscle mass quite easily.
  2. He has been focusing on muscle tension. Or what I’ve previously described as shock body exercises.

You see, lifting heavy duty weight might make you look cool in the gym. But in fact, if I saw you lifting a heavy weight week after week, yet with no visible growth. I would have to…

1) Question your technique
2) Question your lifestyle and eating habits

Because there’s no real reason why you should be lifting super duper heavy weights in the gym, unless your goal is to grow muscle mass.

You can move more weight with momentum, sure. But you will not stimulate more muscle growth. For example, Olympic lifters don’t look even half as developed as advanced body builders. This is because the power moves they perform are accomplished by momentum and technique more so than actual muscle strength.

Muscle tension = Growth, not torque.

And in fact, you probably won’t have to lift as heavy as you may think. It’s more about this…

#2 Training insane – (Shock/ Explode muscles)


If you haven’t read my article about training insane, make sure you read it here. I’m confident that it will change your mind set and give you a good kick up the butt.

Any how, following on from my point above. Intensity is what you will want to focus on when you lift weights. Not doing so could be one of the key reasons why you might get the reaction described in the intro, because muscles will only grow when shocked with explosive activity (Have a read of the bugs quick tips)

This is the entire concept of training insane. When you train, you have to GO-AT-IT. Literally.

  • Short
  • Intense
  • Sometimes angry workouts (This music should help)

So quit lugging heavy weights around with technique-less flair. This really is not helping you to grow.

#3 Eat more food 5 times a day to avoid muscle break down


Now, if you are a victim of the ‘I am strong, but don’t look it’ squad, then I’d say at least 80% of the time would be down to an inconsistent diet. If you go through a day without eating for 4 hours or more then you are putting your body into a catabolic state, which is when the muscle tissues you’ve worked so hard to build up, begin to break down.

The best way to avoid this is to eat consistently throughout the entire day. Not just one big fat meal at dinner time (Which is probably most of you).

Think of it this way.

  • When you drive a car and give it a full tank of petrol, it performs great… right? Of course it does.
  • When you drive that same car on an empty tank it performs badly and the engine starts cutting out.. right? Yes, it does. We’ve all been there before.

That’s a no brainer. The killer point here is that when you run a car this way, you are actually destroying it’s shelf life, because doing so will wear the engine away.

The metaphor here =

Car engine/ Your muscles

Not feeding them is one thing, but to cause longer term damage to your muscle building results puts the nail in the coffin here. Muscle mass… NO MORE!

So do yourself a favor and start eating. Because even a crappy lifter will put on mass with the correct diet structure.

If you want a detailed program of…

  • What to eat
  • When to eat
  • How much to eat

Then read this post

#4 Focus on compound exercises

Now this point I left till last, because it’s not entirely important, but still relevant.

If you aren’t growing, it could be because you are placing to strong of a focus on isolation exercises (exercises that work one muscle group). This isn’t a bad thing, but you should only really focus on performing these exercises when you are trying to bring out the best of a certain muscle group.

Your main focus should be on performing compound exercises (exercises that work all 4 limbs) such as the bench press and dead-lift. By doing so you will definitely notice an improvement of the overall growth of all muscle groups around your body.

Killer compound exercises

To conclude

The goal of this website is to help everyone build the ultimate physique. That is…

  • Strength
  • Mass
  • V-shape body
  • Super duper health
  • Happiness
  • And overall 110% uber awesomeness.

Part of which you can find inside the unique bodyweight exercise ebook v3.0

The goal however, is not to help turn you into the next Mr. Olympia.

So if you don’t want to look like a lean weakling, make sure you follow the above. Once you do, you will be a muscle bound machine that people will inspire to be.

See you in the comments.

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The Tyre (Fatty Waist) vs. Mr Insulin vs. Mr ‘I Wanna Be Ripped’

October 7, 2013 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

Now, I’m not sure what part of the world you are from, but if I go by this websites statistics and the relationships that I have with many of you, It’s safe to assume that the majority of you who read this will be from the west side of planet earth. Which means you are now living in the brutal winter months. Brrrrr (The chills).

Hopefully,this hasn’t put you off working out and I hope you are still training insane. After all, this is the season where the true gains are made, in order to get you ready for summer.

However, this is also the season that most of us will go wild with Christmas festivities.

  • Food
  • Drink
  • Alcohol
  • Partying

Although I encourage both (Seeing as it’s the only time of year where we really get to have a break), we still have to keep it under control. As one string of wild nights really can cause havoc on your muscle building results. And yes, you hardgainer/ ectomorph types need to watch out too. Read this post to find out why.

With that being said, I thought it would be a good idea to remind you of what you should look out for when trying to keep that fat off of your waist, whether it’s Christmas or not. Re-introducing you to 3 of your familiar friends.

  • The Tyre (Fatty waist)
  • Mr. Insulin
  • Mr. ‘I wanna be ripped’

AKA

  • Mr victim
  • Mr control
  • Mr ultimate

OK, fat control is the game and Mr. Tyre is the name we will begin with.

Now, if there is one part of the body that everyone seems to struggle with, regardless of sex or body type, it will be the tyre aka that annoying layer of fat that sits around your waist and lower gut. Now, we all know about the rule…

  • 30% gym
  • 70% diet

Right?

Well, that is mostly true. What this means is that you could be working your ass off in the gym, training insane and the like. But all of it will be pointless unless you have a controlled diet. Controlled meaning, eating the right foods at the right time.

Now, they say that carbs are the enemy when it comes to building that ‘ripped‘ physique. And that you should avoid them at all costs (Because carbs in it’s basic form is just sugar).

Which of course is not true.

We need carbs to re-fuel  and replenish our muscles. The key is to eating the right type of carbs at the right time of day. e.g fast digesting carbs right after your works to replenish your muscles from the nutrients it would lose from an intense workout.

Two types of carbs

Simple – Fast digesting – Explodes into your blood stream (literally… like fireworks)

Complex – Slow digesting – Moves into your blood stream like a mini earthquake that eternally erupts

Now, when people say carbs are bad, what they really should be saying is that simple carbs are bad. These are the type of carbs that will promote Mr. tyre around your waist.

Why… how, how… why?

Because these are the type of carbs that  like to pick a fight with Mr. Insulin who is responsible for controlling the blood sugar levels in your body.

Mr. Tyre vs Mr. Insulin


Earlier I mentioned that simple carbs digest like an explosion into your body. This increases Mr. Insulin’s work load into overdrive, and what happens when you spread yourself to thin with extra tasks? You begin to fail, and that failure is the result of Mr. tyre… extra fat around your waist.

Now, I don’t want to bore you with some biology lesson. Instead, let me give you a real life example of this scenario. One that I know all of you will be familiar with.

The event


This battle is kind of like a large queue to an event such as a concert, football match or even a night club. You have

  1. The boss and his men (Mr. Insulin)
  2. The guards (Muscle receptors)
  3. The people queuing up (The carbs – complex *good* or simple *bad*)

All it takes is for a few bad people to kick up a fuss (simple carbs) for a big fight break out. The boss and his men (Mr insulin) loses control and begins throwing all the bad people into one corner (In this case, into your muscles. Which is actually good). However, what we really want to do is keep the Boss under control and tame his temper. Then we have a good smooth process for the rest of the night. So they begin to only let good people in (complex carbs).

If too many people coming rushing in too fast, The Boss and his men then need to up their game and give the thumbs up to the guards to open up the doors wider (This is where Mr. Insulin spikes and where muscle receptors open up the doors for the carbs to be let in to the muscles more quickly).

Now, if we go back to where the Boss (Mr insulin) throws everyone into a corner. This would usually cause even more of a fight, more people trying to get in, causing even more havoc. The Boss say enough is enough and tells the guards to let no one else in, sending everyone else elsewhere.

(It is at this point where your muscle receptors say enough is enough. These insulin levels are spiking far too often. At which point they begin to shut the doors, letting no more sugar into your muscles. Where do the rest of the excess carbs go? They get stored as fat)

But even worse is that those guards won’t even consider letting those people back in. They beat them up and threw them out, almost for good. And the club stays empty for a while. They will just go for a different crowd. They still have to bring the money in after all.

(So Mr. Insulin switches off the fat burn, stores fat, and leaves nothing behind. That is no more carbs. Once that happens you are even worse off than before you ate, because your blood sugar levels would have dropped even lower. Which means you are still hungry. The body needs to then go somewhere else for energy. It can’t go to the stored fat, because Mr. Insulin has switched that off for the time being. So it goes for the next best thing. The protein in your muscles. But the part you really need to be careful about is the fact that too many high sugar rushes will cause your muscle receptors to stop letting sugar in entirely. Which is not good, and can lead to diabetes).

And that is why there needs to be some control in terms of managing insulin levels.

And this is also why you need carbs in your system. To prevent your body from going into a catabolic state (Muscle break down). But the right type of carbs at the right time.

Simple carbs

Such as dextrose, post workout. You will cause an insulin spike yes. However, you will be filling up empty muscles, because you would have used up all of the carb storage that was in your muscles in your workout. Which is the only time of day when it’s a win, win to spike insulin levels high. 

Complex carbs

Such as pasta, rice, potatoes, and oatmeal. Because they spike moderately throughout the day.

The Mr. Insulin vs Fat storage fight is also the same reason why it’s impossible to build muscle putting on fat. Because you will never be able to maintain perfect insulin levels. Fat will always be stored. How long that fat get’s stored for depends on the level of the insulin spike.It’s all about balance.

So if you want to keep fat at bay, then ease off the candy bars (Unless you’re going for a quick run) and stack your system full of complex carbs. That way you can keep your system running, Mr. Insulin happy, which in turn prevents you from putting on unnecessary fat and burning that precious lean muscle mass.

Enter Mr. ‘I wanna be ripped’

(70% diet)

Enter training insane

(30% gym)

Tips

The best way to make this practice a reality is by creating habits.

  • Get rid of all the simple carbs in your house. Buy them and consume them only when you need them. Don’t bring them home.
  • Cook pasta, rice and potato meals, but leave some left overs that you can carry and pre-heat with you the next day while at work. That way your hunger strikes can be fed on the go with complex carbs.
  • Add creatine to your post workout shake. It will latch on to the carbs you consume at this time, making for an even more effective absorption of creatine into your muscles (Which of course is energy).
  • And last but not least. If you want a complete DONE-FOR-YOU no B.S guide on how you should be structuring your diet for maximum gains, then you need to look no further, as I have created a guide that does just that with The Guide to Necessary Supplementation

Any how, that’s how you win the fight between The Tyre (Fatty Waist) vs. Mr Insulin vs. Mr ‘I Wanna Ripped’.

Now get to work already.

Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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Nutrition First, Supplementation After…

December 27, 2011 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

It’s a new week folks. It’s getting colder, darker and Christmas is right around the corner. And… I’ve always got some presents on the way to give to you all. Will you get them early? Well, you’re just going to have to wait and see.

Any how, today marks the release of the first ebook, of a series of ebooks. All of which focus on a specific aspect of the fitness lifestyle.

The Guide To Necessary supplementation

I won’t bore you with any more text blurb. Watch the video instead. British accent and all 🙂

+

119 Page Cookbook

100’s of recipes to take advantage of

Note: $9.99 for the next 72 hours ONLY!

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Sleep vs 5 Workouts Per Week

February 14, 2011 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

Before I begin my rant, I just want to get one thing clear.

Bodybuilding is not complicated!


  • Train to stimulate muscle growth
  • Eat the right foods at the right time to feed that muscle growth
  • Supplement when necessary
  • Sleep

You do the above and you will achieve. Simple!

But the mistake that many people make (Especially new lifters) is that they become addicted to the 1 hour muscle pump. Which is, that period where your muscles inflate briefly during the period that you workout. What then happens, is that thought then becomes fixated in their minds, that they have to train more to maintain that ‘look’. It’s not a completely silly way of thinking either, because it’s like, what you see is what you get. And looking fantastic for that brief moment in time does feel nice. But it’s a flawed way of thinking that needs to be corrected. Because as most of you may know. The real growth happens in your sleep, and most of you don’t get enough of that as it is.

Now, if you are a mature muscle mass lean machine, you’ve probably trained your body over the years to handle 5 workouts per week. But for those who…

  • Are still working to get shred with bulk results.
  • Hold down a separate professional career

5 workouts per week will often prove to be too much.

Think about it….

A young professional or higher education student will work say 10-12 hours per day. Add 2 hours of travel back and fourth. Add workout time (2 hours with travel). Add evening leisure time (3-4 hours). And you are left with only 4-5 hours to sleep.

You need at least 8-10 hours of rest if you intend on following a good program such as the upcoming shred with bulk program, if you are serious about seeing some serious results. Especially within the first 4 weeks.

You can get the full scoop on the upcoming Stay-fit Bug strength progression program that’s coming in a few weeks below.

The Stay-Fit Bug 31 Day Shred with Bulk program

You can eat well and train well, but skip that one crucial part of the cycle (sleep) and you will indeed break a very necessary link in the chain in order to build necessary gains. If you feel you have been doing everything right, but sometimes feel you are unusually deflated (Most will feel it in there arms first… this post does a good job of explaining that) it’s probably because you have been depriving your body of the necessary rest that it needs.

How much rest do you need?

Well, first things first. If you train insane the ‘In The Zone’ way, as described in the upcoming shred with bulk program (Enter your details above to learn more) then getting enough sleep will be an after thought. Because the way the program teaches you to train will indeed put you to sleep.

But the amount of sleep you should aim for is about 8 hours, to be realistic in this day and age. Which of course is something that we all struggle with. Some people may need even less. But if you find that your gains are lacking compared to the amount of dedication you are putting towards your nutrition and workouts, then sleep is the link in that chain that you need to fix. Yes, I know you may like those late nights. Sitting up on Facebook, PS3 or whatever. Just save 2 hours out of those few hours of leisure time that you have to get some proper rest. You’ll make your mirror very happy.

5 day workouts vs 3 day workouts


Like I said earlier. 5 workouts per week will often prove too much for a gym goer with a separate career. Yes, it’s fine for those pro bodybuilders who do nothing but lift all the time, or for those who have built stacks of mature muscle over the years. But for Mr. I have a career, Mr. I have a Family, or Mr. ”I have a damn life”. 5 workouts per week will prove to be too much. Your body simply will not get enough rest between the days in order to develop some real muscle growth.

A break down for your perspective.

168 hours in a week

  • You work 50-60 hours of those (Young professional or busy Further education student – Masters degree)
  • Travel 10 hours back and fourth
  • Workout 10 hours of those (Assuming 5 day workouts)
  • You need 56 hours of sleep per week
  • Leisure time 20 hours per week (On week days)
  • Weekend of doing nothing or leisure time of 24 hours

That is your entire week ‘overly’ maxed out. And this is without leaving room for actual ‘life’. Because as most of us know. Most weeks aren’t stream lined and perfect like that. You have things like…

  • Spending time with your partner/love interest
  • Seeing a friend on the odd day
  • Evenings out with colleagues
  • And other things

Training 5 days a week for someone with life demands other than bodybuilding is not a lifestyle. You become a prisoner to the gym, when you really don’t have to. Seriously, cut back. Change 5 days a week to 3 days a week.

”Most of what you achieve from going ‘to’ the gym, will be a direct result of  what you do ‘outside’ of the gym”



Let that quote sink in. Because it’s the truth in all its simple glory.

Have ‘Jack all’ days. Focus on the other links in the bodybuilding chain other than working out. Live the lifestyle! Once you do, you’ll start getting quotes such as this…

‘Dude, what you been doing. You been juicing haven’t you?’

That is a compliment in all its glory right there. And your response will be something like…

”Dude, I haven’t even been training’

‘Yea… right dude, I really do believe you’ (I’ve experienced this first hand. It was a glorious day to say the least :))

Once that happens, you are succeeding with the formula of obtaining more sleep, a balanced bodybuilding chain, a balanced lifestyle. And a happier fit bugger.

”Less is more”


Be consistent



The only other thing you need to focus on is consistency. Which is in fact, arguably, the most important aspect of this lifestyle. Because if you don’t stick to it, you won’t grow and progress. And even worse, you won’t develop any mature muscle mass. Which is of course muscle mass that sticks. Which allows you to decide if you want to train more or less, without there being much effect on your gains.

So when it comes to getting your optimum hours of sleep per night, whether its 6, 8 or even 10 hours. Stick to it. Try not to miss 1 -2 hours of sleep every other night. That’s 30-60 hours of rest that your body would have missed out on. And you can bet a mighty dollar that the hours missed will have an affect on your shred with bulk results.

Training tired is the same as training drunk



Lack of sleep… worse than training drunk?

I didn’t realize this in my earlier years of training. When I got my first car, I would do crazy things like, drive in a tired state of mind (And body). All I can tell you about that now, is DON’T DO IT! You will crash and die. And for a while I argued that driving tired is actually worse than being drunk, or driving drunk (Which of course is illegal. Again… don’t do it). And it wasn’t until later on that I found out that being awake for 24 hours or more has the same physical affects as being over the legal driving alcohol limit. But again, from experience, I’d say driving tired is worse.

That then means, in regards to your training, that training while you are tired is the same or worse as training as if you were drunk. Obviously something you would never do… right? 😐

Of course not.

Therefore emphasizing the importance of getting enough sleep. Besides, lifting and dropping a 30kg dumbbell on your toe (Or on someone elses) is not a good look.

Don’t workout too late in the day



Working out too late in the evening may also be a factor in keeping you awake. Efficient sleep is directly connected to body temperature. Build up heat, you’ll stay awake. Get cold and you’ll go out for the count. Intense workouts will raise your body temperature high, therefore it’s a good idea to keep your workout periods up until the early evening hours only.

Conclusion

Don’t put sleep on the back burner just because you are ‘busy’. Set goals and structure into your life and getting enough sleep will become an after thought. Besides, what’s the point of being ripped and sexy only to look like a dead zombie half the time 😐

Get those hours in.

See you in the comments.

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4 Ways To Cure Deadlift Pain

January 31, 2011 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

Lets get one thing straight…

The deadlift is arguably the king of all back exercises.

Actually ill rephrase…

The deadlift IS the undisputed king of all back exercises!



However, it is not uncommon to hear about the deadlift being trash talked about, due to the lower back pain it has known to cause individuals. This may have happened to you too, even when you swear blind that you have been following correct form and technique for weeks on end.

Could it be that you don’t have the optimum physique to perform deadlifts at max capacity/ intensity?

Possibly.

Could it be that you have actually started to sacrifice good technique as you’ve increased the weight, without realizing it?

It could be that too.

There are indeed other reasons why you could be taking an injury beating from performing the deadlift. But the main focus point of the deadlift is that you are supposed to feel the pain in your upper back, and not your lower back. And the last thing you want to be doing is sacrificing your health just to grow big. Seriously… it’s not worth it.

However…

I’m not here to talk about quitting exercises. Especially the ones that will get you those super gains. I’m here to show you what you can do to prevent, cure and substitute those exercises with. And in this case, the deadlift.

#1 Deload week (Go light)



This is what you’ll probably need to do, if you happen to be one of those whose lower back pain has ‘suddenly ‘ appeared out of nowhere. This is because you’ve probably been going ‘at it’ for 6 weeks or more.

Note: A 12 week program is usually best in most cases. It’s always good to take a breather after that period. Say a week or two, before getting back into the swing of things.

You can get the full scoop on the upcoming Stay-fit Bug strength progression program that’s coming in a few weeks below.



If that is the case, then it’s time to deload. Take a week off and then work in again lightly over the next week or two at about 60% intensity (higher volume).

#2 Perform an alternative exercise



Deadlift on a Hammer Strength shrug machine

This machine is actually designed for performing the shrug exercise. But you can use it as a machine to perform deadlifts on.

The benefits?

  1. You can concentrate on what you need to do and be more upright as it helps you take out the dangerous lower part of the deadlifting movement whilst still getting a good range of motion.
  2. You can load on the uber heavy weights without getting scared. Which is understandable when performing deadlifts with a free weight barbell.

#3 Strengthen your lower back



With stiff leg deadlifts

This exercise is geared towards working your hamstrings, glutes and lower back. And unlike normal deadlifts, you should indeed feel tension lower down your back and not your upper back. If you do suffer from pain from performing ordinary deadlifts, then this is an exercise that you should include as a core part of your program.

Why?

1) Isolation
2) Less explosive than ordinary deadlifts

Focus on this (While performing correctly) early on in your progression and you should indeed find that it helps quite a bit. But please.. do it right, otherwise you’ll just be back at square one. Pain central!

#4 Focus on good form



Last but not least (And probably should have been first). Focus on good form.

It’s a well known rule that you should be starting out with light weights. That’s with any exercise. But one reason you could be feeling pain in your lower back is due to performing the exercise with incorrect form… over a period of time. Don’t be a dumb meat head and shrug off pain, thinking your ego is all bad and that your body can ‘take it’. Taking pain for the sake of looking cool is the dumbest thing ever. Don’t do it.

Get someone to watch you perform the exercise to see if you are doing it right. Especially once you start lifting heavier weights. Or better yet, record yourself and make sure you tick all the boxes below.

Preparing for the Deadlift.

  1. Position the bar first, 2-4 inches away from your shins before attempting to lift. Don’t walk with the bar. Do so and something like this could happen.
  2. Hold the bar at Shoulder-width
  3. Point your toes outwards and curl them upwards. (Stability)
  4. On the way up, make a big chest & lift it up, and pull your shoulders backwards. Do this and your back will never ’round out’ on the way up.
  5. Look forward throughout the entire lift. It’s not just a psychological thing either. It really will prevent you from arching your back.
  6. Grip the bar with your fingers and not your palms. Start my allowing the bar to just sit in your fingers. Roll the bar in, close your hands and lift. Doing so will help prevent the formation of big calluses.
  7. Keep your arms locked and straight through the entire lift. Bend them and risk tearing a bicep.
  8. Lift with your hips and not your lower back. This is the critical part of the movement which will determine if you feel pain and cry, or continue to lift big and grow. The upper back is the target and where you should feel all of the tension.
  9. Keep the bar close to your shins on the way up. Move your hips first before bending your knees and you won’t risk scraping them.
  10. Squeeze you glutes. Bring your hips forward by pushing from the heels & squeezing your glutes . This too will help prevent lower back pain as it stops you from pulling with your lower back.

There’ll be a more detailed video version of this upon the launch of the new program, so make sure you enter your email address below to get the full scoop.

To conclude

After all is said and done, the deadlift is still the champion back exercise. If pain has struck you, or if you have been afraid of even performing the exercise because of all the trash talk you hear about the exercise, then follow the above. And of course, keep an eye out for the upcoming program.

 

See you in the comments

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10 Reasons Why This Is The Best Post Workout Food Source Ever!

January 24, 2011 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

Ok… very soon you’ll be introduced to the concept of ‘In The Zone’ nutrition. I wont reveal all of the specifics just yet. But the short version is to stack your guts and deliberately spike your insulin levels around the times that you workout.

Now, if we fast forward to the post workout meal, you’ll know that its important to refuel your body full of nutrients. Nutrients that you would have used up during your workout.

You can read more here

If you have been following, you will also know that it’s important to refuel your body with the RIGHT sources of carbs and proteins… especially within 30-45 mins after working out.

There are many food sources you can choose from (Many of which you will learn about in the coming weeks).

But if there is one food source that does it all and has gained the crown to be labeled the ‘best’, it would be…

Whole milk




Why whole milk?

Let’s look at the specifics…

#1 Whole milk is highly anabolic

Anabolic…?

This is just a word used for the process of building muscle. And whole milk is very good for that (More on this below).

#2 Whole milk is highly soluble



Milk is 87% water, which means it’s largely a liquid food source. Which also means it’s a easily digested food source. Which is exactly what you want to be consuming 30-45 minutes post workout. As you want to get the right nutrients into your muscles as quick as possible.

#3 Whole milk is convenient



We all want to make the process of building muscle an easy one as well as a pleasurable one. Milk is packaged in bottle form, which means you can…

  • Take it with you on your travels
  • Buy it from the store and take it with you into the gym
  • Drink it as you please
  • No preparation time (Great for you talentless cooks out there ;))

#4 Whole milk is cheap



Where I’m from (UK) 568ml of milk (2 cups) costs about 45 pence/ 72 cents.

That is 72 cents per workout.

4 workouts a week x 4 weeks = 16 workouts x 72 cents

= $11.72


That is pocket change!

Your ultimate post workout nutrition source costs next to nothing. Follow a good program (Coming very soon) and you’ll look like a million dollars… at the cost of nothing!!!

Hail to whole milk…

#5 Whole milk contains a good balance of protein



Now, unless you have been living under a rock, you would be well aware of the popularity of whey protein for post workout nutrition. The reason being is that whey protein is a fast digesting protein, which makes it right for post workout nutrition in order to refuel your muscles. (You can learn more about the different types of protein/supplements in The guide to necessary supplementation ebook).

However, I do not represent any supplement companies, and I won’t force every supplement in existence down your throat. So I’ll introduce you to a case of did you know.

Did you know that whole milk consists of 80% casein 20% whey?

Well now you do. With that being the case. One swift gulp (say 250-500ml) of milk post workout will give you the best of both worlds.

1) Fast digesting protein into your muscles
2) Slow digesting protein into your muscles

This means that you can keep on guzzling milk even up until bed time, which of course means muscle repair activity even while you sleep!

Did you know that whole milk contains a strong dose of BCAA’s? (The main 3 chain BCAA’s – There are 21 in total).

Branch chain amino acids are what proteins in your body are made up of (They are like long strips).

I talk about these in ‘The guide to necessary supplementation too‘. But drinking whole milk actually means you won’t have to spend any extra money on supplementation. Whole milk is already very affordable as mentioned above. You’ve now saved yourself a stack load of cash!

#6 Whole milk contains a good balance of carbs


That’s right, whole milk is high in carbs too. Carbs are what you need along side protein after you workout. Yes, you will be spiking your insulin levels through the roof, but don’t worry. This is the one time of day that you are allowed to do so. Your muscle receptors will greet the flow of food into your muscles with open arms (Read this post for more on that).

Oh, and another thing. Earlier I talked about eating the right type of carbs post workout. Meaning you need to be consuming simple/ fast digesting carbs. Also known as lactose. Which is largely found in products such as… milk (Whole milk wins again). And again… this will indeed spike your insulin levels. But it’s ok. This is the one time of the day you are allowed to do so.

Cant drink milk because you are lactose intolerent?

If you’re lactose intolerant you can consume lactase pills instead. They’re just as good as taking lactaid milk, but they cost a lot less.

#7 Whole milk contains a good balance of fat



Earlier I mentioned that whole milk is highly anabolic. This is partly due to the increased levels of saturated fats contained within it.Yes, you may have understood that saturated fats are ‘bad fats’ (Which I actually state in the guide to necessary supplementation ebook). But in the scenario of post work out nutrition, they happened to be the right fats. Because they are known for sending testosterone levels through the roof. Which is of course what we all want when it comes to building muscle.

The increased fat content in whole milk is also very beneficial post workout too, because of ‘fats’ slow digesting nature.

#8 Whole milk tastes better



We all know that Stay-Fit Bug is all about living the lifestyle while us ‘meat heads’ pump our way to muscle bound oblivion. And one important part of that lifestyle is to make sure that we aren’t just eating food… bust tasting it too!

With that said, whole milk makes another winning entry for reasons why it makes for the best post workout food source.

More fat > more tasty >  digests slower> Therefore…keeps hunger at bay

#9 Milk is better than Water



Milk is about 87% water. Proper hydration improves muscle recovery and can increase strength by preventing fatigue & stalling. However, milk contains electrolytes and minerals such as potassium and sodium which improve re-hydration by retaining the fluids you consume post workout. Read killer foods for fitness for my favorite post workout milk… shake.

#10 Whole milk (Contains fast & slow digesting protein?)



That’s right. And if you have been reading The guide to necessary supplementation, you might think this article is contradicting itself a bit. Because you would have learned that whey protein is good for refueling right after a workout, and that casein is good for well… all other times of the day. Mainly before bed time though.

Now, even though I gave you the ultimate post workout cocktail in that ebook, you would have also noticed it has a mix of both whey and casein. This is because a mix of both slow and fast digesting proteins ‘together’ actually work better post workout, when your goal is look like this…

Don’t worry, you’ll be just fine once I introduce you to ‘In the zone’ nutrition. Either way, whole milk contains both, and wins again.

 

Last words

Whole milk isn’t the be all and end all of post workout nutrition. But it is hands down the best food source for refueling your body/muscles post workout. Myself, along with a few others are still testing the new workout/nutrition program, so expect to see something very different than just guzzling on bucket loads of milk daily in order to build that ripped body, with the bulk. Sign up below for the full scoop.

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

Note

Since publishing this article, there has been some confusion. Whole milk is indeed great as a post workout meal. But when it comes to the post workout meal, we are usually talking about 2 meals.

1) 30 minutes right after a workout

2) 2-3 hours after a workout

The idea is to get the nutrients into your muscles as fast as possible after you workout, because they would have been radically depleted from intense activity from your workout. Hence why I state that this is the only time of day where it’s ok to spike your insulin levels. Now, whole milk is great because of it’s saturated fat content… leading to increased testosterone levels, which is of course great for muscle building. However, saturated fat increase does indeed mean slower digestion. Which means our food sources pass through a lot ‘slower’ than usual (Remember the hose vs tap concept). Therefore this means that whole milk will make for a better meal no.2 post workout nutritional boost. Which of course is where all the benefits listed above come into effect. So, whole milk is great for meal 2 yes, but not meal no 1.

Meal 1 options include…

  1. Semi-skimmed milk (Or chocolate. As mentioned in killer foods for fitness, which I mentioned back in 2009). Semi-skimmed milk is in fact what I take right after the workout at this moment in time. I drink 568ml right after the workouts that are currently being tested. Nutritional values are as follows (Protein 3.6g/Carbs 4.8 grams/Fat 1.8 grams). Fat is under 2 grams per 100ml serving.
  2. Hydrolyzed whey protein

A cocktail taken from the guide to necessary supplementation ebook

• Platinum Hydrowhey + iced coffee + Glycomaize + Glutamine Powder.

1. Fast-acting proteins (Whey protein)
2. Free form amino acids (Amino acids only – Glutamine) – Build/Repair muscle faster
3. Quickly digested carbohydrates (Starch – Glycomaize) Replenish muscle

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4 of The Best Ways To Treat ‘Big’ Calluses

January 10, 2011 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

It’s been a while since I’ve talked on this topic, but it is something that has caught my attention recently, especially as I too am one of the guinea pigs testing out the the workout program. Which means I’ve been lifting weights more than usual, which means an increase of the chances for me to develop calluses.

Now, you’ll notice that I placed an emphasis on the word ‘big’ in the title. The reason for this is that big calluses is what will cause you pain and grief. They’ll bleed and make your hands look like you have been playing around with razor blade sharp… ‘balls’. 😐

Once this happens you will indeed be turned off from wanting to lift the bar. Which of course means no muscles to rip and build, no progress, super catabolism and a loss of muscles mass. This you don’t want (obviously).

So how can we avoid developing big calluses? (Small calluses aren’t a bad thing btw. It’s better to have some kind of callus formation rather than none. Because the bar will chop away at your baby soft hands and hurt. So grow some man hands already :))


#1 Be friends with Mr.Chalk


And I’m not talking about chalk for the use on the blackboard either.

Now, just like you see in the picture above, our fellow olympians don’t just use chalk because it looks like a cool thing to do. No. They use it for the same reasons that you will be using it. The first reason…

Chalk smooths out the grooves

If you look closely at the palms of your hands, you’ll see that they have grooves along the surface. Placing your hands in chalk will help fill the gaps in the grooves, giving your hands the feel of a smooth surface.

Prevent the sweat

If there is one thing that annoys me more than anything else while lifting is not being able to grip the bar, due to execessive sweat. It’s like being stuck in a traffic jam behind the wheel of a Ferrari. You know your car can move, but there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it. You know you have the strength to lift big, but your sweaty hands just won’t hold out.

ANNOYING!!!

And that’s where Mr.Chalk comes in to save the day. Because he will indeed help prevent sweating in your hands, which in turn will increase your grip strength, especially when performing pulling exercises such as the deadlift, pull ups and cleans.

Note #1

Don’t use gym gloves

Unless you want to keep lifting baby weights all your life.

This is because in order to become proficient at lifting the heavier weights as you progress, you will need to place an emphasis on some callus formation. That really is the only way you are going to survive the big weights later on in the program when performing exercises such as the deadlift.

But Shaun, isn’t the point of this article  to help prevent the formation of calluses?

Yes… but again, take notice of the word ‘big’. That is what you don’t want. However, what you do want is the beginning stages of callus development, and then to keep it that way and under control!

Note#2

Now, since we are living in the year 2011, you will probably notice a strong disappearance or lack of chalk in your local gym. Especially mainstream ones (Haaail to the old school hardcore gym).

The main reason for this is that chalk is messy, and gym owners don’t want to have to clean up extra mess. Especially when you have people such as those described in this article.

The solution?


Metolius Eco Ball


This is basically a coloured chalk ball. It is more expensive than generic chalk, but if you want to get away with using chalk without being caught in those mainstream gyms, then this is the stuff to use. Key benefits?

  • Increases grip
  • Reduced chalk dust present
  • Less messy (No white chalk stains everywhere)
  • However, may dry your hands out

(I would have mentioned liquid chalk as an alternative. However, recent tests of using the stuff has indeed been disappointing. Avoid).

#2 Buy a pumice stone


Now, I already know that you will walk away from this page, fresh advice and gym ready. And a few weeks from now, you’ll start to get some callus formation and there will be one day where it starts to go out of control. One way to prevent this is to use a pumice stone. I’ve actually used these for years, long before I even touched a weight plate. Just be warned… use it properly, otherwise you may do the opposite and wreck your skin. Don’t know what a pumice stone is? Click here.

Alternatives

  • Nail file
  • Foot file

(We all know your girlfriend has one of those ;))

#3 Hire Edward Scissor Hands



Well, not really… he’ll probably take your whole hand off, along with the calluses.

But if your calluses are really bad, just cut them away with scissors… gently! Just use basic tissue paper to wrap your hands while you lift for the next few weeks after doing so.

Other prevention methods

  • Weightlifting gloves
  • Weight lifters’ wrist straps
  • Inner-tube rubber wrapped around the barbell (Most mainstream gyms will have this)
  • Weight lifting hooks

I’ll probably be experimenting with this again soon, and put it on video towards the launch of the program, seeing as my hands are almost callus free at present. But until then, follow the above and you will indeed prevent the formation of ‘big’ calluses and avoid the screaming gym owner by not using loose powdered chalk.

Leave your thoughts in the comments.

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Muscle Building… It’s a Lifestyle

January 3, 2011 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

It’s a new year folks, which means yet another year of building muscle.

Have you made any new years resolutions?

I’d say yes, you probably have. However, in terms of building muscle… heck, in terms of living your life as a whole… while building muscle, most of those resolutions should be defined by short term and long term goals and NOT just some new years eve happy moment mantra. Those happy moment mantras are meaningless, and just like a guy who is crap in bed, won’t last very long.

But Shaun, I like to take each day as it comes. Live everyday like it’s my last?

Yes, so do I. Spontaneity has been a true hard coded rule of how I have lived my life for the past 12 years. That may be how you have been living yours too. If so, good! Don’t stop. All you do is just set short term and long term goals along side that way of living. That way, you can ensure that you are always growing as a person, and when you look back, years from now, you can cherish those moments, reflect and be proud that you achieved what you achieved ‘at the time’. I say ‘at the time’ because the world is constantly changing. Time does not stand still. One look in the mirror 30 years from now will be hard proof of that (Although it is a good idea to preserve youth with fitness :). This post and this post may help with that too).

Humans are also lazy, which means that any action taken that doesn’t have a goal and an end date fixed to it probably won’t ever get completed. Heck, no end date will probably burn you out, because motivation is driven by inspiration, and in most cases, that motivation won’t last very long. So having a goal and having the motivation to complete it when you say will, will both work hand in hand.

But let me give you some examples before I blabble on any further.

Possible short term goal

Obtain my IFBB pro card

I call this a short term goal because it can be achieved within the space of a year for most people. It requires a hardcore focus on training and good dieting to get your body in shape where you either…

1) Qualify to attend a bodybuilding competition (Which is a great way to start, if catching the fit bug has taken you down this route)

2) Obtain your pro card directly via your weight class

However, this is a means to an end (or a beginning, depending on how you look at it). And once you achieve it, you will scale back on the intensity a little and get back to some normality.

  1. Goal
  2. Do what’s required within a certain time frame
  3. Work towards a desired end date
  4. Achieved!

Possible long term goal

Open a new local bootcamp business and build it to a certain level

This might be a new goal for many in 2011, especially if you’ve caught a nasty dose of the fit bug. If so, starting up any new venture may take some time until it starts to develop it’s own set of legs to drive itself forward. Which means you are going to have to set quite a few short term goals along side those ultimate long term goals (e.g, build a 200K a year business). It probably won’t be all whistles and bells throughout that journey, but structuring your goals like that will allow you to at least enjoy it to some degree.

Now, those are just examples. Everyone who reads this will all have different career paths. And the point is this…

If you want to enjoy your life, along side a life of fitness, then you need to treat it as a lifestyle.


Whatever you do inside and outside of fitness will affect how you live your life as a whole. Heck, in many cases living the lifestyle may cause you to change career paths altogether. Look what happened to my recent interviewee Christina Adler. Who is now dubbed ‘attorney turned figure nut’ and who will most likely drive herself forward to a full time career in fitness.

That’s right… the lifestyle will impact not just your body, but your mind too, because they work together. Having a great looking body will improve self esteem, amongst other things (You can read what they are here). Once that happens your confidence will go through the roof, and that will in turn create a mindset where you believe that anything you want can be achieved, if you put your mind to it.

This is actually a very powerful thing.

A process that allows individuals to improve their lives for the better. And with so many avenues to go down to make a living out of the lifestyle, the next question to put to yourself would be, ‘why not’?

Remember what I said a few days ago…

If you have a goal to do something or become the person you are meant to be, then do it. Do it now. Time is precious and you can’t buy it back once it’s gone.


With that being said, make sure to keep any eye out for the upcoming program that I’ll shine upon your world within the next 4-5 weeks. Which has a core ‘lifestyle’ theme to it. I’m still testing the waters with it (I too am a guinea pig at present :)), but I’m certain it will cure a quite a few of the dilemmas that you face TODAY on your on your journey to build that near perfect physique… supreme muscle mass, with the supreme cuts. New readers can sign up below this post to stay updated on that.

Nevertheless, muscle building should be treated as a lifestyle. And let’s make 2011 an exciting lifestyle at that!!!

Leave your thoughts in the comments.

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Put Your Stay-Fit Bug to Work: Become a CPT Online

December 27, 2010 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

This is a guest post by Tamara Wysell

If you have a particular zest for health, exercise, and physical fitness, then becoming a certified personal trainer is the best career path for you! Many people who love to work out and have a passion for helping people in an active environment can put their stay-fit bug to work by enrolling in a certified personal trainer (CPT) school online. You can obtain your CPT certification much quicker than you think, utilizing any of a number of online personal training schools and turn your fever for exercise into a very successful career.


Put simply, a personal trainer helps people exercise by enhancing their workout and maximizing the results for their clients. It should not be confused with an athletic trainer (AT), which requires a bachelor’s degree in a specific athletic training health professions field. Most personal trainers work through gyms and health clubs, and many train privately, going directly to their client’s place of residence to train them. A personal trainer is expected to demonstrate prowess with many exercises and help clients improve their exercise technique. Due to the one-on-one contact that a personal trainer has with clients, he/she must be able to provide support and motivation in an effective, encouraging fashion; a great personal trainer will get as excited about their client’s success and results as the client(s) is. In addition, physical trainers must be well versed in nutritional sciences so they can recommend the proper diet for their clients to achieve their physical fitness goals.

One of the fastest growing fields for personal trainers to work in is corporate fitness training, where large companies pay a personal trainer to service their employees in an attempt to keep their workforce healthier and at peak physical condition. It is also becoming popular for certified personal trainers to run their own private studios, affording them the ability to personalize all aspects of their training regimens with their own equipment and tools. A private studio is also generally the best way for a certified personal trainer to maximize their earnings, as they do not have to pay stipends to any other source for using their facilities and/or equipment.

A personal trainer can obtain certification from any of a number of sources. Most certifying organizations require students to have a GED or high school diploma, obtain certification in CPR and AED (automated external defibrillator), and pass a series of exams testing their knowledge in the human body and techniques that maximize exercise. The rigor and difficulty of these requirements vary by organization, as some focus on narrower specialties such as muscle building, and others train for a broad variety of specialties. Organizations that offer certification for personal training include the ACE (American Council on Exercise), the NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine), and the ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine). No matter whom you choose to get certification from, your career as a personal trainer will bring you satisfaction, fulfillment, and will allow you to put some money in your pocket doing the things that you love.

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3 Steps To Building Bigger Arms (Hardgainers)

December 15, 2010 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

Bigger arms, bigger arms, bigger arms!


Tall (6ft plus)?

Arms that hang down to your knees?

Or just plain out right struggling to build arms?


If any of those pain points apply to you, then you will no doubt be constantly screaming out. ”Bigger arms, bigger arms, bigger arms”. Because it really can be a struggle for people like you (And in this case, people like me too). And in my case, I can build shoulders, traps, wings and chest muscles with frightening ease. But when it comes around to building arms, I just want to cry 🙁 . It’s not as drastic as suffering from chicken leg syndrome, with an abnormally top heavy body.

But I’d say it’s not far off…. having a bulky upper body with little twig-let arms poking out of the side of it.

I say erghhh!!


If you have suffered from this scenario like I have done, then the 3 steps below should help you fix the problem by helping you build at least 1/2 of an inch on your arms.

#1 Maintain Your Current Physique


A basic strength/size routine (With less volume/ frequency)

Now, we’ll get into step #2 (The arm workout) in just a moment. But before we do, we are going to structure your weekly workout for the rest of your body. For most of you, you probably perform a 3 day split routine. Say…

  • Monday
  • Wednesday
  • Friday

So let’s stick with that. However, for the 3 steps to building bigger arms guide we will indeed perform a basic strength/size routine (With less volume. frequency).

So your current workout may look something like this….

Monday/ Wednesday/ Friday

5-7 exercises each day

  1. Bench press                                                 3 sets            6 to 10 reps
  2. Chin ups                                                       3 sets            8 to 12 reps
  3. Standing/ Seated calf raises                     2 sets           12 to 20 reps
  4. Squats                                                           3 sets             8 to 12 reps
  5. Dumbbell press (Standing/ Seated)       2 sets             8 to 12reps
  6. Tricep extension (Or similar exercise)   3 sets            6 to 15 reps (Depending on goal)
  7. Barbell curls (Or similar exercise)          3 sets            6 to 15 reps (Depending on goal)

Note: I personally wouldn’t recommend this kind of workout, if the goal is to increase muscle mass. The 3 Done and Out approach is better for that.

Now remember, the goal here is to focus on building bigger arms, which means focusing on them more than usual. Which also means cutting back on your current workouts, which may look like the one above. The new workout will look like this…

Monday and Friday ONLY

  1. Bench press                                                 3 sets            6 to 10 reps
  2. Chin ups                                                       3 sets            8 to 12 reps
  3. Standing/ Seated calf raises                     2 sets           12 to 20 reps
  4. Squats                                                           3 sets             8 to 12 reps
  5. Dumbbell press (Standing/ Seated)       2 sets             8 to 12reps

The main reason for cutting back is so that you can stick to the consistency rule and maintain the gains on the rest of your body. And which is of course the no.1 rule for achieving great muscle building results.

That’s step one out of the way. But here’s a few rules to follow while performing the step #1 workout.

  • Progressive failure is the key. Don’t train ’till failure.
  • Feel free to increase the weight if things become a little easy.
  • Stick to 90 second rest periods between sets

#2 Arm Isolation Workout


Now that we have cut back on the volume and frequency of your standard 3 day split workout. It’s now time to focus on the 3 day workout routine for your arms (Which will be performed during the same week as your lowered volume/frequency workout from step #1)

Some rules

#1 Muscle building goal structure

Strength/Power   1 – 5 reps
Hypertrophy (size) & some strength 6 – 12 reps
Local endurance/ little size  12-20 reps

#2 The good form rule

If the weight you lift turns out to be too heavy, decrease the weight. Focus on steady progression and load up the weights again as your strength increases.

#3 Longer rest periods

90 second rest periods are fine for your 8-12 rep sets. But not for your 1-5 rep sets. These need to be longer so that you can regain your strength for the next set.

And so we don’t forget…

The goal is to build bigger arms

The workout

Monday

  • Super set workout (Perform an exercise straight after completing the previous one – 45-60 second time gap)

Seating dumbbell tricep extension

5 sets/ 12 – 15 reps

Standing dumbbell curls

5 sets/ 12 – 15 reps

Mondays notes

  • Always 12 reps and above! Can’t finish a set? Just decrease the weight.
  • Perform this workout after your step #1 workout

Wednesday

  • Heavy and hard

Lying EZ bar Tricep Extension

5 sets/ 6-8 reps (Increase the weight each week)

Standing barbell curls

5 sets/ 5 – 8 reps (Increase the weight each week)

Wednesdays notes

  • Perform this workout after your step #1 workout
  • Longer rest periods between sets

Friday

Barbell curls

3 sets/ 8 – 12 reps

Tricep extension

3 sets/ 8 – 12 reps

Fridays notes

  • Perform this workout before your step #1 workout

#3 Growth = Steady Progression


We all know the core rule is…

  • 70% Diet
  • 30% Gym

Just don’t make the mistake of trying to bulk too quickly. Doing so may actually go against you in the long run, as described in this post.

Besides, the body can only assimilate so much food at once (70% diet), so don’t go over board by stacking your guts 24 hours around the clock. Just keep feeding your protein intake every 3 hours or so.

Progression is the key here. It is a much safer approach, allows you to enjoy the journey and is much more rewarding. After all, it is a lifestyle. A lifestyle that you’ll learn more about and enjoy, in the upcoming program I’m working on (Which will also contain the full version of how to build bigger arms).

Enter your email address below for future updates regarding this.

The Stay-Fit Bug Fitness Program For Hardgainers

A program that I’m confident will improve your bodybuilding lifestyle for the better in 2011 and beyond.

And remember to stack up on your EFA’s (Essential Fatty Acids). You won’t be able to bulk effectively without them.

You can learn more about that in the Guide to Necessary Supplementation ebook below.


I can’t determine how much your arms will grow from following the above (Genetics and other factors). But if you follow ‘everything’ that’s available to you on this page, then you will indeed grow some size on those guns. The only thing left for you to do now is to go and get those guns blazing.

Train insane!

Leave your thoughts in the comments.

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