Category Archives:Bodybuilding

Jan. 11.

What Goals are Realistic for You?

What Goals are Realistic for You?

To lose 20 pounds in one month, to have more energy, to fit into size 8 jeans by spring; these are most of our goals but are they realistic based on the body’s anatomy and your past history? To better give you some idea of how to set realistic goals I have answered some questions about weight loss, muscle gain and strength!

How fast can I build muscle?

First off, genetics DO play a role in all 3 topics (weight loss, muscle gain and strength.) There are three different body types: mesomorph, endomorph and ectomorph. Mesomorphs and endomorphs build muscle at a faster rate than ectomorphs who are hard gainers.

So on average how fast can the human body gain muscle? A 200 study analysis showed that the average rate of muscle increase was about 0.1-0.2% per day on untrained people. That means if you want to add an inch to your arm size it would take at least 2-4 months! Studies show the first week or two all muscles can do is repair and there are no extra resources to build. Therefore it will take at least 2-3 months of consistently training to see any major changes.

Overall muscle growth varies a lot per person. Some can gain 4-8lbs of lean mass in 3 months (this is the majority of people) but some bodies actually can gain at 2 times that rate!

How fast can I lose fat?

fatloss

The most important factor in fat loss is your metabolic rate. If you are a serial dieter you metabolism may be damaged and somewhat non-responsive. Every time you lose and regain weight it will become harder each time you try to lose fat unless there is some time given for metabolic repair.

If your metabolism is responsive a good base of how fast you can lose is:

Body fat percentage ÷ 20 = % of your current weight you should aim to lose per week.

Another way to calculate is 1.5 pounds of FAT per week, this could equal more on the scale since we are talking just fat not including water weight. Studies have shown that if more than 1.5 pounds of FAT (not scale weight) is lost that there will also be muscle loss.

When it comes to body types mesomorphs and ectomorphs lose fat at the fastest rate with the least amount of output. Endomorphs can lose fat at the same rate but usually require more output.

How fast can I increase strength?

swuat

The first variable in strength increase is how long you have been working out. Have you ever heard that saying “muscle memory?” Well it’s actually more like central nervous system memory. Your brain will always remember movement patterns that are repeatedly done, like riding a bike or back squatting. Therefore be able to perform better and lift more with each squat session.

Second variable is simply what you inherit. There are two types of muscle fibers slow and fast twitch. Fast twitch muscle fibers are used for power and force, the amount of fast and slow twitch fibers you have are actually inherited.

Third variable, who gains strength quicker males or females? Males and females can have equal strength though men will gain strength at a faster rate because majority of the time they will have larger muscles and therefore able to move more weight.

My tip

Write down you overall goal (ex. Loose 20lbs.)

Then evaluate how much muscle or fat you have. Focusing only on scale weight can leave you frustrated and feeling like your body is just broken!

From here make a training plan where you can track MULTIPLE things (ex. How much weight your lifting, how fast you can do an action, circumference measurements,body fat and lastly scale weight.)

*If you are just beginning, a good time frame to have a goal is 6 months, then from there you can further break the goal down.

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Aug. 31.

The Yo-Yo Affect

The Yo-Yo Affect

Weight cycling and Metabolism

diets

The growth of personal trainers in the last 5 years is needed but what are needed more is trainers who seek out knowledge from more qualified experts and whose driving motivation is not money. Media, marketing and money have created a rise in quick fix systems and health coaches who promise the world in “easy” quick fixes; under deliver in nutritional knowledge and leave the client with a slower metabolism after big rebounds in weight.

How many diets have you tried?

How many times have you regained the weight?

What did you learn through these diets about nutrition and your body?

Is it harder to lose the weight today?

I (Jay) have been a trainer for over 14 years and have seen fad diets cycle themselves through main stream media.  Most of these fad diets will deliver “results” but the biggest result of a diet should be attaining your goal by learning your macro boundaries and maintaining your results by implementing the proper exit strategy from the caloric deficit. I myself have attained goals using unrealistic, un-maintainable and un-scientific measures. Over the last four years I have learned more about nutrition and how the body works and completely changed my ways of dieting. Not consuming enough calories, food restricting and over training left me feeling like I had an eating disorder, with a severely damaged metabolism to go along with it. Today, as I get ready for my first show in 4 years I have to go through a process of metabolic adaptation.

How to lose fat

met1

Diet induced thermo genesis- Thermo genesis is heat inside the human body. Diet induced thermo genesis is an increase in heat and energy expenditure brought on by food and water. Diet induced usually is by consuming fewer calories than the maintenance metabolic rate or burning more calories than you consume.

 

How the body reacts

Any diet where there is less energy consumed then burned, in turn will cause the metabolic rate to slow down. The body will try to keep homeostasis by forcing the metabolism to adapt to the lower caloric intake in efforts to maintain the same body weight. Over time the metabolism will become more efficient; burning less calories and keeping the body mass the same regardless of the caloric deficit or energy output.  Once the metabolism becomes efficient so does the mitochondria inside the cells. Mitochondria are the power house of cells producing ATP (energy readily used by the body) from glucose.  An efficient metabolism is what you DON’T want.

Hormones also play a role in weight loss. Hormones tell you when you’re hungry, thirsty and full. Studies have shown that when thermo genesis becomes adaptive hormones cause a decrease in satiety and an increase in hunger.  Food also regulates the thyroid and the body’s natural testosterone level, which is important even for women.  Leptin and insulin levels are regulated by food. Insulin has gotten a bad name but is important for fat loss in the active person.  All these can affect the body’s ability to lose weight and cause a faster regain if reverse dieting is not practiced.

The Regain

Do you ever feel like it was the cookie that made you fat?

There is name for the regain after dieting, post –starvation obesity. Diets most time leave you hungry and wanting everything you have restricted yourself from. You indulge in more calories and the body immediately begins to retain any extra calories you feed it.

Your metabolic rate slows down while dieting and your hormones are thrown off…so how do you stop dieting once a goal is hit and not gain all the weight back?  First, the body needs planned re-feeds. Re-feeds are usually scheduled or are thrown in based on the body’s current progress. Re-feeding temporarily increases leptin and bring back up the metabolic rate. Second, the body cannot diet forever! Calories eventually need to be brought back to the maintenance level.

Why stop dieting NOW

The science and experience of those of us who have dealt with metabolic damage is one of the most frustrating experiences. Dieting leaves you feeling prisoner to “it” in order to keep from regaining. No one should feel any one food is the cause of fat gain and no one should feel they need a certain pill or system to lose weight. The freedom is in learning through dieting flexibly.

5 ways to Identify fad diets..

swiss

  1. It focuses on avoiding foods or a macronutrient (example, Adkins ).
  2. It promise a certain weight lose in a specified time.
  3. It requires supplementation.
  4. It has a name:  21 day fix, It Works..etc.
  5. It puts multiple people on the same plan and is adjusted the same way for everyone.

 

Results are in the knowledge, not the pill.

 

Insel, Paul, Don Ross, Kimberley McMahon, and Melissa Bernstein. Nutrition Fourth Edition. 4th ed. London: Jones and Bartlett, 2011. Jones and Bartlett, 2011. Web. 10 Aug. 2015.

Trexler, Eric T., Abbie E. Smith-Ryan, and Layne E. Norton. “Metabolic Adaptation to Weight Loss: Implications for the Athlete.” JISSN. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 27 Feb. 2014. Web. 21 Aug. 2015.

 

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spine
Jul. 28.

Posture Perfect

Posture Perfect

Your posture can say a lot about you. As a first impression posture speaks volumes about your confidence. Your posture also tells of your day to day activities. Your daily repeated habits teach your central nervous system to create these habit pathways therefore causing poor posture. These learned pathways often throw the body out of alignment, causing  pain and/or injury.

How to tell if you are out of alignment?

-          The first sign you may notice is pain. Many times clients are in pain and do not realize the pain is not caused by the muscles at the site of the pain. Pain is often and indicator  of an alignment issue caused by muscle imbalances.

-          If you predominately do everything with your dominate side. Meaning you carry bags on one side, you get out of bed with one leg, you pick up things with the dominate hand etc. these all can cause the muscles to become stronger on one side of the body, pulling the skeletal structure out of alignment.

-          How you sleep is a big one. Do you sleep on one side? Do you sleep in the fetal position? Having the body keep this position for 8 hours every day can be causing you posture issues and your pain.

Muscle Relations

The body can be divided into two groups of muscles that work in pairs around joints to create motion: tonic and phasic.

TONIC- These muscles are the flexor muscles and often the more dominate muscles. They can easily become tight due to over use or under use.

Tonic-and-Phasic-Muscles

PHASIC- These muscles are the extensor muscles. They are antagonists to tonic muscles. They tend to be more flaccid and weaker than tonic muscles.

 

Common Posture Imbalances

-          Upper- cross syndrome

upper 2

Tonic- Stenocleidomastoid, Scalenes, Levator Scapulae, Upper Trapezius, Pectoralis major

Phasic-Neck flexors, Rhomboids, Serratus Anterior, Lower Trapezius

Postural Change- protracted shoulders, winged or abducted scapula, increased cervical lordosis (curve/”sway” in neck), forward head, thoracic spine curvature increase

-          Lower- cross syndrome

 lower-cross-syndrome

Tonic (tight)- Gastroc-soleus, tibialis, posterior hip adductors, hamstrings, rectus femoris, Iliopsoas ,tensor fascia lata, Piriformis, Quadratus Lumborum

Phasic (weak or inactive)- Peroneus Longus, Tibialis, Anterior Vastus Medialis, Lateralis, Gluteus Maximus, Medius, Minimus, Rectus Abdominus

Postural Change- anterior pelvic tilt, increased lumbar lordosis, lateral leg rotation, knee hyperextension

 

         Forward Head

ForwardHdEv

Tonic- sternocleidomastoids, anterior scalenes

Postural Change- The head is forward. A correct posture the middle of the should is directly in line with the middle of the ear.

 

-         Uneven Shoulders

jennifer-back-smaller-with-good-color-tilt-arrows

Tonic- Trapezius on elevated side

Phasic- Serratus anterior on elevated side

Posture Change- When standing in the anatomical position one shoulder appears to be higher than the other. Scapula distance from spine is different on one side.

Causes172943-bad-posture

Posture imbalances are due to either trauma or repetitive behaviors that teach the  central nervous system to react a certain way when controlling or stabilizing posture. Computers, sitting at a desk, video games, cell phones, purses or repetitive movements due to one’s occupation are common causes of posture imbalances.  Sitting at a desk on a computer without proper posture  is one cause we most often see that causes imbalances throughout the entire body.  A quick exercise to help check your posture throughout the day is the Brugger exercise.

 

Brugger exercise

brugger

  • Sit towards the edge of your seat; this will naturally place your lower back into a curve
  • Separate your legs to 45 degrees each side with your feet turned out slightly
  • Your shoulders are relaxed and down with your chin tucked in
  • Fully extend both elbows. Make sure you keep your shoulders down and imagine your shoulder blades are pushing down then together .
  • Turn your thumbs out, palms up and separate your fingers.
  • Hold for 10 seconds repeating a few times a day.

Correction

1. Implement posture exercises such as the Brugger exercise throughout the day.

2. Side sleepers, grab a large pillow to keep your shoulders and hips open throughout the night.

3. Strengthen the phasic muscles and stretch the tonic muscles.

4. Strengthen your core

 

Pain free training starts here.  

Listed

“Another Example of a Postural Evaluation.” Breddyorg. N.p., 21 Feb. 2013. Web. 27 July 2015.

Dalton, Erik. “Strategies to Address Forward Head Posture.” Strategies to Address Forward Head Posture. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 July 2015.

Nagelkirk, Jessica. “Dr. Nagelkirk: 4 Exercises to Improve Your Posture.” Dr. Nagelkirk: 4 Exercises to Improve Your Posture. N.p., 19 July 2013. Web. 27 July 2015.

“Lower Cross Syndrome.” Coast Clinic. N.p., 04 Apr. 2012. Web. 27 July 2015.

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Jun. 29.

Soreness & Effective Training

Soreness & Effective Training

Is DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) a true indicator of an effective workout?

Word on the streets is that there is this boot camp that will make you incredibly sore! They must be good trainers and constructing an effective workout right? …..wrong. Let’s go over some basics of what is actually taking place when these actin and myosin are at work.

doms

What is muscle soreness?

Muscle soreness post exercise should hit a peak around 24-48hours and why DOMS is named delayed onset muscle soreness.  DOMS is not related to lactic acid but is an inflammatory response. In an inflammatory response the body produces metabolic waste which then stimulates nerve endings to communicate to the brain there is pain. The body does as it would with any injury, it sends neutrophils to the site of the muscle damage to begin repair.

 

Who can get DOMS?

Anyone, at any fitness level.  Someone who has just begun an exercise regiment can expect DOMS but should communicate with the fitness professional about the severity of soreness.

 

Does soreness indicate a good workout?

No. Due to media and ignorance (to be frank) people have begun to chase soreness and rate a workout good or bad based on soreness. This is a dumb idea and will lead to injury. One can perform the same exercise frequently and not get DOMS and still make progress in their program. Extreme DOMS can also be an indicator that the individual over did it, which also indicates that their muscles are not yet capable of proper repair at that training intensity. Multiple studies have indicated that DOMS can cause injury due to compromised kinematics, reduced focus and motivation in lifts and hinders ATP (adenosine triphosphate) production.

 

How do I prevent DOMS?

We are all subject to DOMS, especially those fitness enthusiasts. The best treatment is the full treatment. Meaning make sure your training is progressive and smart, listen to your body while training and don’t ignore flexibility and mobility in your program.

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Does DOMS affect hypertrophy?

No study has shown that it does. DOMS is predominately caused by the eccentric contraction therefore some people will contract slower during the release (eccentric), training this way will not increase hypertrophic gains. Training a muscle group more often will lessen the chances of you getting DOMS and still produce hypertrophic gains.

 

Soreness, is part of the process but does not equal the process.

 

Contreras, Bret .., and Brad J. Schoenfeld. “Is Post Exercise Muscle Soreness a Valid Indicator of Muscular Adaptations?” Is Postexercise Muscle Soreness a Valid Indicator of Muscular Adaptations? 35.5 (2013): 16-19. Nsca-scj.com. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, Oct. 2013. Web. 19 June 2015. 

Mercola, Dr. Joseph. “Decreasing Post-Exertion Muscle Soreness: What’s the Best Way?” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 19 June 2013. Web. 23 June 2015.

 

 

 

 

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PERIODIZATION
Feb. 01.

Fundamentals of Training: Periodization

Fundamentals of Training: Periodization

squat

Not all of us are trying to become power lifters but all of us can benefit from an increase in strength. Whether you are an intermediate gym goer, a mother, an athlete or a 70 year old woman the benefits of muscular strength help with every day activities.

How does someone gain strength? Strength is gained by stressors put on the body and adaptations occurs.  Like a baby adapts to the new stress load of their body weight, it does not take long for adaptation to occur and the child start running around the house. The same occurs in a grown individual’s body when lifting weights at the gym. It is quite a bit more advanced than simply adding more and more weight;  that is where periodization training can help you get to the next level.

Periodization is a system of training where training is broken into periods of time, each period has is a specific goal set for strength, power or hypertrophy gains.  When adding stress to the neuromuscular system there are phases the muscle goes through. First the neuromuscular system has an alarm response where energy out put is high as the body recognizes it is being challenged, then there is resistance where the body is adapting to the stimulus and lastly the exhaustion phase where energy is depleted and no adaptation occurs. There are two forms of periodization training linear and non linear. Using these methods of training help avoid the exhaustion phase and use all valuable energy in the adaptation phase until a peak performance or competition.

graph

Linear is where training is broken down into weeks or months (mesocycle) where each period has a specific goal and rep range. This is best for the beginner lifter where training phases are broken down into 4-6 weeks. It is easier to track and can allow slower progressions to avoid injury.

Nonlinear periodization training is for the more advanced lifter and is a daily change in either volume or intensity (intensity=%1RM, Volume=sets x reps.) The most commonly known of this form of training is DUP or daily undulated periodization training because daily the adaptation mechanism is changed.

Which is better?

There is no evidence that one program works better than the other.  Different athletes should consider which program is most beneficial based on when and how often they need to perform optimally.

 

Challenge your abilities!

 

Hoffman, Jay R. “Periodized Training for the Strength/ Power Athlete.” NSCA’s Performance Training Journal 1.9 (n.d.): 8-11. Web. 30 Jan. 2015.

Wathen, Dan, Thomas R. Baechle, and Roger W. Earle. “Periodization.” Famu.edu. N.p., 26 Oct. 2011. Web. 29 Jan. 2015

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Apr. 13.

The Mind Behind the Magic

 The Mind Behind the Magic

Bodybuilding, figure, physique, bikini competitors

132As  a teen I would look at figure competitors in such awe! “That is possible??” I’d say to myself as I surfed online looking at contests and photos of some of the best women in the industry. At about 18 I decided to start pursuing this dream. I competed a few years later at 21 years old then again at 22 and 23 years old. Over the years of competing there is a certain mindset I had to learn to have that not everyone has if they have never gone through this journey of competing. Here are 6 tips to effectively keeping your mind focused on the stage!

1. Envision it from day one! If you do not envision it every week you will be unhappy with the results every week. Find a competitor online who may look similar to your body type and DON’T STOP posing, training and dieting until you are there. Mirror practice from day one. Start to learn the posing and envision yourself on that stage…Winning! The more your body gets acclimated to the movements on stage the easier posing will be and the better your muscles will begin to form in that way.

2. Step by step. Do not worry about what your diet will be like in 2 months or how much cardio you will be doing. Take it day by day because your body may end up and surprise you!

3. In it to Win it but Focus on You! What I mean is when competing you must find a balance because you may not win but to be disappointed it is almost silly. Stepping on stage after months of hard dieting and training to be JUDGED is a huge accomplishment! Train, eat and pose to win but make sure you are on that stage at the end of the day for your own sense of accomplishment, only you know where you have come from!

0504. Have selective hearing. My first year in the industry I was pulled in so many directions because every trainer thought they knew the best way to prep me for a show. Every body is different in this sport and sticking to one trainer and one trainer only is the best way to get results! Many competitors do not diet or do cardio in a healthy manner so I would watch out for that but sticking to one trainer regardless, allows the trainer over that season or over the years to learn your body and what works to you.

5. Learn. Though you may be shredded don’t get stuck in a know it all mentality. There is a lot of knowledge and new studies out there and you will miss it if you think you know it all.

6. Prioritize. Competing used to absolutely rule my life, or the life I didn’t have because I competed. Make sure while coming in to a show you plan ahead so you make time for other priorities in your life.

Bodybuilding is a mind, body and spirit journey. Never give up and never stop learning!

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