It has been a while since I’ve posted a Q&A – Ask the Personal Trainer Column so thought I’d do that now (I have been answering the emails directly, not just ignoring them :).
How do you feel about pre-workout drinks like Super Pump 250, Jakked, etc?
In short, temp results and light stimulation with high risk. First off, they all have “Proprietary Blends” that really could contain anything. They’re loaded with nitrates which drastically increase blood pressure (and subsequently cause a nice crash after your workout).
I much prefer non-stimulant based drinks, or if you must use stimulants, use straight caffeine and other ingredients like L-Carnitine, Beta Alanine, Citruline Malate, and Arginine. I’ve written in-depth about my intra-workout recommendations and mega-dosing BCAA.
Boyd: Loved the cardio blog you wrote last week, although it basically let me know that I’ve been approaching my fat loss completely wrong (I’ve always been a steady state, long duration person, but no more!) My question is about frequency: HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH? Too much?
First, if you’ve been active, you weren’t doing it “wrong”, maybe, just not optimally! Enough/Too much is kind of broad – tough to say without knowing how much weight training and how your diet looks. I’m a minimalist: I want to do the least amount that will give me the most progress. Typically, 2-4 sessions per week is optimal, but even that depends on how much you’re doing (sprinting versus HIIT). The body changes during rest and recovery, not during training. Start with 2 sessions per week and add more as you see fit. Remember, more is not always better – give it a chance to work!
Boyd: I’m pretty sure I know where you stand on HCG Diets. I have a co-worker that was absolutely obsessed with it, so happy to be able to lose weight without being hungry and working out (haven’t we heard that all before?). Anyway, she ended up getting pretty sick. What do you think of these medical weight loss clinics and the HCG Diet?
Unfortunately, many people end up getting sick on these scam diets. First and foremost, I have no problem with hormone replacement therapy, but the keys to any fat loss program are: get off of your ass and quit eating garbage (and lots of it). HCG Diets are not hormone replacement therapy: they’re using a hormone to slightly increase metabolism while restricting caloric intake to around 500 calories per day. I don’t have to go deep into one of my long posts to tell you that consuming 500 calories per day is not sustainable. The “getting sick” you mentioned? I’m guessing that’s after she started putting normal calories back into her body and her digestive system was not prepared to “do the work”. There are plenty of horror stories out there.
It comes down to the old “if it sounds to good to be true” addage, and I would hope that a 500 calorie per day diet, coupled with taking a few shots would make people say “Yeah, that’s crazy”. But a few people will get sick, die, and people will be suing screaming “But doctors told us it was safe!!!” Don’t fall prey…
Boyd: I’m a big fan of figure competitions and I’m a very good friend of your client Claire and remember watching her transformations as she got ready for her last show (Boyd’s note: she won first in her height and overall). How many girls do you have competing over the next few months?
Thank you for the message – right now is BUSY time for competitors! As I have mentioned here on the blog, my figure competitors have 10 straight class wins, along with 6 of those winning overalls. The competition schedule I have for clients right now (of course, more ladies come in) is:
-July 20 in Austin
-August 4 in Austin (Dorian Yates)
-August 17, 18 in Dallas (Europa Supershow)
-August 25 in El Paso (Sun City Classic)
-September 15 in San Antonio
-September 29 in San Antonio
-October 13 in Stafford (TX State Championships)
-October 20 in Waco (Central TX Showdown
-November 17, 18 in Atlanta (Chelsea going for her IFBB Pro Card)
I have to tell you: I have a very talented pool of ladies right now, and I’d go as far as saying that the posing practices we have every Saturday morning looks like a line up for a national show!
Thanks for the notes: KEEP THEM COMING!Boyd Myers
Personal Trainer San Antonio, Figure Contest Prep Coach
Owner, San Antonio's Top Personal Training Studio
16613 Huebner Rd (corner of Huebner and Bitters)
Hey San Antonio,
I finally found something that caught my ire. This HCG Diet nonsense is getting ridiculous. Any diet that asks you to sustain 500 calories a day is asinine and I’m going to blow that up in the next day or so.
Don’t get me wrong: I have no problems at all with the term “Medical Weight Loss” as long as what they are doing is actually legit. Hormone Replacement Therapy is necessary in many cases – however, HCG does not fall under the category “Hormone Replacement Therapy”. I’ll elaborate later, but wanted to mention this now.
Hope everyone has an amazing week – Happy Birthday America!Boyd Myers
Personal Trainer San Antonio, Figure Contest Prep Coach
Owner, San Antonio's Top Personal Training Studio
16613 Huebner Rd (corner of Huebner and Bitters)
I’ve said it over and over: you cannot train if you are injured. If you cannot train, you cannot make physical progress.
If you’ve followed this blog for any amount of time, you’ve heard me comment about getting massages, chiropractic adjustments, active release therapy and a few other types of therapy.
One of the services I’ve recently set up at my studio is through my friend, Chiropractor (and competitive bodybuilder) Dr. Johnny Miller. Dr. Miller uses several different types of therapy with his patients, including myofascial release, active release therapy, and Dr. Miller is one of the only chiropractors in San Antonio that uses the Graston Method for pain relief (click on the link for more information).
Dr. Miller will now be using my personal training studio (16613 Huebner Road) as a satellite clinic, and will be available for adjustments and light therapy a couple of times each week at my studio, starting next Thursday, June 28 between the hours of 4pm and 6:30pm. Slots are limited, so contact me if you are interested in this new service. Whether you’re a hardcore athlete or just someone experiencing mild pain or serious joint, spine, hip, or other pain, Dr. Miller can get you back to full speed quickly.
I’ll be updating my main personal training website over the next few days to include this service and types of care Dr. Miller will be providing.
Check out my Personal Trainer site (and give it a LIKE in the Facebook box at the top of the page: from competition prep consulting, personal training, full lab/bloodwork analysis and now chiropractic services; my studio is the top spot in San Antonio for elite fitness and wellness services!Boyd Myers
Personal Trainer San Antonio, Figure Contest Prep Coach
Owner, San Antonio's Top Personal Training Studio
16613 Huebner Rd (corner of Huebner and Bitters)
Was looking at comments and blog emails and had one from someone who wasn’t completely sold on Fish Oils, so I thought I’d share!
Boyd: I’m usually in step with most of the things you say, but I really am on the fence about fish oils. In a nutshell, why should I take them?
In a nutshell, eh? How’s this? There is plenty of research readily available on PubMed (where government studies are published) that state fish oil can:
-Increase insulin sensitivity
-Decrease post-partem depression
-Improve hormone and blood sugar levels
-Benefit sufferers of Crohn’s Disease, asthmatics, rheumatoid arthritis, prostate cancer
-Improving protein synthesis (increase lean body mass)
I don’t know about you, but I can name a million nutritional supplements that, over the years, have made half of these “claims” without any scientific backing and they’ve been all the rage. But this stuff is actually backed by science.
If those aren’t desirable uses for fish oil, then I’ll definitely not beat you over the head with it (although I should). In short, EVERYONE should be supplementing with at least 6-12g of fish oil per day!
My friend Chris sent me this article on Twitter:
Really? Really… Really???
Okay, I think the good people at the Mayo Clinic are not seeing the forest for the trees.
The amount that someone squirms while sitting is keeping some people leaner than others?
I’d think that they’d look at a couple other factors at first, mainly: HORMONES and OTHER METABOLIC FACTORS.
Of course, it’s easier to break things down to how many calories you eat in a day versus how many you burn (but they really have NO clue how many you burn in a day). Ignoring where calories burned comes from in the body, what activities cause the body to need different nutrient ratios at different times.
Oh yeah, they mentioned “light aerobic activity” being enough to control weight… I’d like to direct them to my post from yesterday.
Sorry readers: it isn’t as easy as squirming in your seat more. The body is quite a bit more complex than that, and now the paradigm is shifting from weight loss to fat loss/body transformation.
If the good doctor would like for me to give him a rundown on how one body can burn more calories than another body, I’d be glad to go over it with him (I just can’t help but think that my tax dollars are somehow funding this bogus study).
JUST saw a commercial for the weight loss drug Alli.
While I’m not going to get into the mentality of the magic pill, I’m going to point a few things out.
The commercial is full of nonsense.
First, the lady states: “I know it’s safe because it is approved by the FDA…”
Cigarettes are approved by the FDA. Alcohol is too. How many weekly deaths do each of those cause?
Oh, they also once approved Phen Phen.
If something is FDA approved, it does not mean it is safe – it simply means that the company who brought the product to the market has the money to pay lobbyists to get the product federal approval.
At the end of the commercial, the lady states “My husband is a doctor, if it wasn’t safe, he wouldn’t let me use it…”
Really? The same husband that stood by and let you become morbidly obese?
Taking a pill for fat loss is the equivalent of refilling your car with oil every time you drive it because it is leaking – you’re not fixing the root problem (thus, not solving the problem).
Another garbage pill put out by big medicine. Unless they come up with a pill that improves discipline and work ethic, buyer beware.
Lately, I’m seeing more and more gadgets and weight loss solutions popping up. First and foremost, this is a multi-billion dollar industry, so pretty much anyone with a heartbeat can come up with a scam, claim it as a revolutionary breakthrough, make a fortune and vanish into the night. From shoes that “tone the legs”, to shirts that “work you out while you wear them” and things you “sprinkle on your food to make you eat less” – does any of this really make sense whatsoever?
The truth is you are not going to reverse months or years of making unhealthy decisions or being sedate by wearing a certain type of shoe, a special shirt, or sprinkling something on your food. If something says “No need to exercise or change your eating habits”? It is a scam. Shut it off, tune it out.
Unhealthy habits must be replaced by healthy ones. Lack of physical activity has to be replaced by exercise. Just any “diet” won’t work – you need the proper exercise and nutritional strategy for YOU. Discipline and dedication must be improved or enforced!
If you have to ask “does this work” the answer is typically “NO”. If it sounds too good to be true, it is.
Lifestyle changes must be made – do not waste money, time, and/or HEALTH on hype!
Another great weekend is coming to an end. This weekend, I was able to spend some amazing Father/Son time with my 6 year old, Peyton. Yesterday, we spent about an hour working on martial arts. I am actually a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. While TKD isn’t as glorious as some other arts made popular by Mixed Martial Arts, I think it’s an excellent activity to get kids involved in. While my son is not yet the most graceful individual in the world, what little boy doesn’t have fun learning how to kick and punch? Of course, the kicking and punching are just the fun parts. The reinforced discipline and self-esteem improvements that children often receive as a nice side effect of martial arts training is a huge bonus. And, of course, it gives him a chance to burn off a lot of that energy that 6 year old are capable of building up!
Of course, his gnat like attention span quickly transferred from side kicks and back fists to “I want to do like they do on UFC, Daddy”. So, I decided to work on his “ground game” and teach him a few simple chokes arm bars. Here is a video of him making me “tap out” :)
In reality, yesterday’s “Karate Practice” (as Peyton calls it) had nothing to do with kicks, chokes, punches, jumps, rolls, take downs, self defense or anything else. It was all about me not being a personal trainer, but being daddy, and spending quality time with that amazing little boy that is the reason I do absolutely everything I do in this world.
Make time for those kiddos – there’s nothing in the world quite like them!
Thanks to professional fitness model Isabelle Rochon (follow her on Twitter @fitizzy) for suggesting this blog topic. If you’d like to suggest a topic for a future blog, post it in the comments section on the Ask the Personal Trainer Page or shoot me a tweet @boydmyers!)
The key to any body transformation goal is to have the highest metabolic rate possible so that the body is burning more calories during any activity. While many people may understand this in theory, the drastic nature of humans leads us to do things that bring the metabolism to a screeching halt: years of yo-yo or starvation dieting, excessive cardio, minimal weight training, overly rapid fat loss, hard living, drinking, lack of sleep or even rebounding from a long term contest or competition prep. And although change doesn’t happen immediately, the good news is that the metabolism is repairable and can be re-stimulated and optimized.
First, let’s understand what “metabolism” is - by definition, metabolism is the sum total of all the physiological, energy-expending processes that take place in every cell of your body. As mentioned above: for fat loss and body transformation, the goal is to have this rate accelerated, so that no matter our activity (including rest), our bodies are expending more energy (calories).
Often, people will boast about their weight loss accomplishments. When someone tells me they’ve lost a ton of weight in a relatively short amount of time, the first thing that comes to my mind is “at what cost?” – the metabolism is quite adaptive, and rapid fat loss leads to a “shock” in the metabolism. Same response when someone tells me “I don’t eat a lot, maybe one or two meals per day”: this induces what is known as the “starvation” reflex, and before you know it, the body, in defense of being starved to death, starts grasping every calorie it is fed – instead of burning calories at an accelerated rate, the body holds on to everything fearing that it’s next feeding won’t be until after a prolonged period. Also, it is important to understand that fat is a more dense source of calories for the body than muscle or glucose. In an attempt to preserve itself in an emergency situation, the body will metabolize lean body mass for energy, saving the stored fat for the “inevitable emergency situation” that it senses. From a body transformation standpoint, this is obviously undesirable.
There are other signs of metabolic damage. Reached a weight loss plateau? This is another common sign.
The common approach to fixing a slowed metabolism is to just do more and consume less. Unfortunately, this further pushes the metabolism into peril. In many of my past writings, I’ve stated that ‘calories in versus calories out’ is extinct with the dinosaurs. This method pays absolutely no attention to where the body stores nutrients or where it “borrows from” when it needs fuel. It is simply only effective for WEIGHT LOSS. No matter what you believe, in 99.9% of instances, FAT LOSS is the desired result, not necessarily weight loss. Of course, there are instances where weight must be reduced (cardiac health, joint issues, etc) but there are healthier ways to lose weight than to just burn more calories than you consume.
For the metabolism to run optimally, the body has to be in perfect hormonal harmony. When we overeat, the body over-secretes many hormones that would otherwise enhance the metabolism, but due to the overeating period, the body becomes desensitized to the hormones (or ceases to produce the hormone altogether). On the other end of the spectrum, when we under-eat or fast, the body produces less of the hormones we need to keep the metabolism running optimally. Also, during periods of reduced caloric intake (and enhanced physical activity), our body produces many stress hormones, and not of least importance is cortisol – during high levels of stress (physical, emotional or psychological), over secretion of cortisol is a certain way to slam the metabolism to an absolute stop. Want all of these things compounded? Alcohol is the absolute enemy in fat loss and body transformation, as it compounds each and everyone of these issues (over-secretion of catabolic and fat storage hormones, de-sensitivity to anabolic hormones, reduced protein synthesis, unstable blood sugar levels, etc).
So now we understand WHY our metabolism slows down. Let’s examine the many different ways to improve our metabolism and how to repair metabolic damage. It is important to understand that some damage is easily repaired and happens quickly, while other, more severe damage may take more than several weeks to bring back to optimum levels.
Here are a few major points to focus on to increase metabolic rate.
Increase Meal Frequency. This is common sense, but regular feedings remind the body that it doesn’t have to hold on to everything it receives, stabilizes blood sugar, insulin production and energy levels, and reduces the likelihood of binge eating due to controlled hunger. Skipping meals, even occasionally, is a sure-fire way to induce the body’s natural “starvation reflex” (the body’s response to lesser food by stopping the metabolism in it’s tracks).
Food Selection. My motto is simple: eat things that grow from the ground, or eat things that eat things that grow from the ground. And the closer you get to it’s original state, the better you are. Refined and processed foods and created ingredients (hydrogenated oils, HFCS) are hormone killers. These are foreign substances to the body, and they do a number on insulin. Also, think organic. Many foods are pumped full of hormones that also throw the body for a loop.
Cycle Carbohydrate Intake on Different Days. I know a lot of people eat the same amount of food each and every day. This is NOT a nutritional strategy, it is a diet and will offer limited returns in progress. One of the hormones that gets little attention, yet it’s secretion and the body’s sensitivity to it completely dictates the body’s ability burn fat and increase lean body mass is Leptin. You must employ a strategy that optimizes insulin’s benefits (suppresses cortisol, anabolic) and increases sensitivity to Leptin and insulin. This is where carbohydrate cycling comes in. Refeed days are days of higher carbohydrate intake to re-stimulate Leptin production. These are not cheat days, just days of higher intake of quality carbohydates (low GI grains) are optimal for refeeds.
On the other end of the spectrum, zero carb days also serve a purpose. The key is to not overuse these days, as the goal is not ketosis – it is simply to ensure the body stays sensitive to hormones that are increased by carbohydrate intake. Timing refeed and zero carb days, in addition to normal consumption days will keep the metabolism running optimally and unable to adapt and slow.
Nutrient Timing. What you eat during a given day means very little compared to when you eat it. First and foremost, every feeding must be centered around a source of lean protein. For optimal metabolism, carbohydrates must be consumed for both fuel and replenishment, and also to suppress catabolic hormones (after the fasting of sleep and post-training). Macro breakdown for a specific day must be broken down further and focus on carbohydrate timing: carbs must be consumed first thing in the morning, pre and post-training to maximize metabolism. Also, times when carbohydrates aren’t needed for one of these purposes, they must be reduced. I suggest replacing carb sources for healthy fat selections during these feedings.
Here’s a sample of meal breakdowns for a day:
Breakfast, Pre and Post-workout:
Carbohydrates + protein
Meals that do not fall into these three categories:
Essential Fats + protein
Vegetables are welcomed at any point, but focus on green and white veggies for their antioxidant fiber levels. Veggies are not good sources of carbs for catabolic hormone suppression and energy – focus on veggies for fiber, not as carb sources.
Ensure a complete nutrient profile. Definitely one of the most overlooked aspects of nutrition. It is important to understand that different individual bodies metabolize different nutrients (minerals, vitamins, aminos) at different rates. If you’re deficient in one mineral or one amino acid, your metabolism cannot work optimally. In Layman’s Terms: the body is robbing Peter to pay Paul, and the nutrients in the body cannot be used for their intended purposes.
Train With Weights. A lot of individuals, especially women, think that weight training equates to weight gain and that cardio is the way to go for fat loss. This is obviously bogus. Weight training stimulates an increase in lean body mass, which is the basis for an increased resting metabolic rate.
Forego “Slow-Go” For Intensity. As I mention often here on the blog, intense cardio has a much better “afterburn” effect than slower cardio. Thinking in terms of “leanness”, compare a marathon runner or distance cyclist (skinny fat) to an Olympic sprinter (lean, defined). Of course, these are extreme cases, but a lesson is to be learned from this example. High intensity training may focus on glucose during the session, but quickly switches to fat burning post-training. Slower cardio, however, is the opposite: you burn a little fat during, but the body quickly switches to glucose and amino acids post-slow cardio.
Sleep. People make more excuses about not sleeping than they do about not training. Lack of sleep increases fat storage and secretion of metabolism slowing hormones. In fact, a 3 hour sleep deficit (which is quite easy to accumulate), has the same metabolic effect of overeating by up to 600 calories per day.
Focus on Recovery. Overtraining is real. It is also known as “cumulative microtrauma”. It has nothing to do with being sore. If you’re always doing intervals and loads of cardio? You’re on the fast track to overtraining. Timed rest is important, and taking time off before you feel like you need it is key. Every 10-12 weeks, it is important to take a few days off or lower the intensity greatly for a week or two. Working out everyday? This is not a badge of honor or something to be proud of- it’s a way to accumulate the hormones that destroy the metabolism. Training is the stimulus for change. The body actually changes at rest, not during training.
Stop Drinking. When I discuss alcohol with clients, I am quick to let them know that caloric intake from drinking is very secondary to the hormonal effect that alcohol has on the metabolism. Simply put, it doesn’t take much alcohol to shut your metabolism down, and stop all fat burning and muscle building progress for up to 72 hours.
Have Blood Work Done. Thyroid issues, low testosterone, high estrogen, insulin sensitivity: these things are very real. However, doing many of the things that I have listed already will correct many or these conditions (the lowered metabolism is typically due to having rates outside of optimal levels). Of course, with age, stress and hard living, some of these hormones can be completely damaged and may require doctor administered assistance in the form of hormones.
When someone tells me they have hit a plateau or that they’re having trouble getting their fat loss started, these are the things I focus on to help get them moving in the right direction. There are other minor issues, but in most cases, focusing on the aforementioned will not only repair your metabolism, but will also ensure that it is running at optimum levels. It is also important to understand that as your body composition changes, you must re-adjust intake based on your new body composition.
Hey San Antonio,
Received a question that I am asked fairly often about neck pain while training. Keep the questions coming – no matter how in-depth or far-fetched they may seem.
Hey Boyd: have been reading the blog since it was on your original site (Personal Trainer in San Antonio – Boyd Myers) and have followed you to your current home here :). Love the content! My question may seem a bit odd, but when I’m lifting heavy, I often get a lot of pain in the “muscles” in my neck (whether I’m squatting, curling, dead lifting, bench pressing, etc). The pain seems further intensified during ab work. I’ve mentioned this to several doctors and they all have varying answers that do not seem to make sense. Do you have any ideas what may be causing this?
This is MUCH more common than you may think, and it’s actually a simple fix. In short, relax your neck during training (don’t laugh). When most of us physically exert, we have a tendency to kind of “bite down” very hard and flex our necks. There are a few issues with this – first, it over-develops the muscles in the front of the neck, causing them to actually pull the neck forward, actually straightening the neck (the neck should be curved, of course). Also, you’re probably doing a ton of damage to your molars – I’ve seen people actually crack teeth during weight training. I don’t need to go into a long, drawn out explanation about why you don’t need to do this!
First, before any set, consciously concentrate on not flexing the neck and not biting down. That’ll alleviate a lot of it. Of course, this is another thing to think about, and most novice exercisers are already overwhelmed by form, breathing and proper posture.
As a power lifter, I’m very prone to do this, as many of my lifts are all out, maximum exertion. I actually wear a mouthpiece while training near maximum (the one to three rep maximum range). For most people, just focusing on keeping their head and neck relaxed will do the trick.
With ab work, it’s a bit difference. You’re either flexing too hard or letting the head bounce around like a basketball. One way to alleviate this pain is to simply tuck the chin against the chest during ab work. Another thing I sometimes have clients do is to push their tongue into the roof of their mouth. Sounds crazy, but doing this will absolutely put a stop to the biting down and flexing of the neck.
Try these things and see if it doesn’t reduce the pain!
Hey San Antonio,
Had a few questions from ladies asking about supplement recommendations. Something many personal trainers do not understand is the different requirements that males and females have. Deficiencies in different minerals/nutrients cause quite contrasting issues for males and females – something that may not have an effect on a male can make a female not feel like getting out of bed. Also, since many females goals are seemingly different than most guys, trainers and nutritionists hesitate on certain recommendations.
Let me point out two things that are important to understand: first off, there’s no magic pill. These recommendations are made under the assumption that you are following my nutritional guidelines and making healthy choices and exercising intensely a few times per week. Also, don’t judge your needs based on the RDA. The RDA is based on what is needed to survive. If you are training and eating right, your demands are much different then someone who lives their life on a couch doing nothing.
If you’re a female looking to lose weight, add definition, recover better, rest deeper and live healthier, here are my supplement recommendations for you.
1. Branched Chain Amino Acids. Most people view this as a “get huge” supplement but that is not the case. It’s a “spare lean body mass, keep the metabolism high, force the body to turn to fat for energy, recovery” supplement. And a female adding 10-20grams of BCAAs per day will notice a marked difference in every one of those things listed in bold.
2. Probiotics. We are not what we eat, we are what we absorb, and probiotics promote the growth of the healthy bacteria in the intestines and digestive track. Digestive health is key to overall health, and probiotics are essential for optimal digestive health.
3. Iron. Many females aren’t fond of high iron foods, and iron deficiencies run high in many females. In fact, iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency. The most common side effect of too little iron is anemia.
4. Zinc. Essential for recovery, metabolic and muscle health.
5. Fish Oil. Kind of a miracle supplement for overall health, improving insulin sensitivity (and buffering insulin from higher carbohydrate feedings), eliminating free radicals, overall heart health, reducing inflammation, suppress fat storing hormones (cortisol) and many other functions. I typically recommend a supplemental amount between 6-12g per day for most females.
6. Vitamin D. Osteoporosis and arthritis affects females at a much higher rate than it does males, and Vitamin D increases the body’s ability to absorb and store calcium, improving bone strength.
7. Pre-workout drinks. Most people shy away from recommending these to females but I’m not one of them. If something gives you a little jolt, improves performance and increases focus and intensity, it is beneficial. Of course, watch out for high sugar drinks and pay attention to dosage. You should not feel nauseous and jittery. Drink just enough to give you a pep. I like Redline by VPX and NoxiPro by CTD Labs (always start with a little bit, less than recommended by the manufacturer!)
8. Protein Blend. Notice I said blend. I am not an advocate of whey protein by itself – I prefer using a blend (casien, wpi, wpc, egg, etc) for the broader spectrum of amino acids and longer sustainment of delivery to the muscles. One popular brand of protein for females is Lean Dessert by BSN, as they have many amazing flavors (cinnamon roll, banana nut, caramel turtle, vanilla milkshake, etc). A blend such as Syntha 6 is also pleasing to the palate for many females and will do the trick, although it is more commonly marketed toward men. No, it will not make you put on insane amounts of muscle, lady. I’ve covered that hundreds of times here, and it just does NOT happen that way!!!
The body is only as strong as it’s weakest link, and if you are deficient in any nutrient, mineral, vitamin or amino acid, your body will not operate optimally.
Ladies, taking supplements doesn’t mean you’re going to turn into a bodybuilder, but the right supplementation combined with the proper nutritional program and training regimen will make you lean, toned and sexy!
Hey San Antonio,
Here I sit, days from breaking a personal best record that just a few months ago I never thought was humanly possible for me: a one rep bench press of 600lbs (at a bodyweight under 240lbs).
My focus of training has not been simply bench press centered. I give equal attention to full body and overall strength development. In a word, my training sessions have been absolutely brutal. If your goals are more fat loss and body transformation, don’t stop reading – a great night’s sleep is everything and will improve your progress drastically. Hey, just because I want to be the best bench presser on the planet doesn’t mean I am going to do so all fat – being lean is still a top priority to me as well!
A few things that I regularly preach here on the Personal Trainer in San Antonio blog: 1) there are no magic pills and 2) recovery is as important, if not more so, than training and nutrition. Those two things considered, when I’m not training, I am focusing on recovery. Every bite of food and every activity is focused on helping my body be ready to train optimally during my next workout session. I view my body as a Ferrari, you wouldn’t pull up to Valero and put the cheapest gas into a Ferrari, so I’m not putting a bunch of trash into my body!
In the past, I’ve talked a lot of supplements that naturally enhance sleep, but I’ve never come across any as Noxitropin by CTD Labs. It is marketed as a “revolutionary sleep aid that supports fat metabolism and HGH levels.” How? Simply, when we get into deep sleep, that is the part of the sleep cycle where growth hormone is produced. Higher growth hormone levels drastically increase fat metabolism. Tip: NEVER discount stress and lack of sleep when talking about burning fat – it isn’t always diet and training – cortisol (stress hormone) plays a drastic role in fat metabolization. Much of my fat burning strategy is based on the natural manipulation (via training, recovery and nutrition) of several hormones, including cortisol, hgh (through improved sleep), insulin, testosterone, Leptin, etc. Improved sleep is where it all starts.
I often train clients until very late in the evening, and sometimes, I find difficulty in winding down. I’m not big on meds: even sick, I rarely take anything that induces sleep (Tylenol PM, NyQuil, etc), so sometimes, it’s hard for me to relax. Dosage is simple: it’s a rather tasty drink that is consumed roughly 30 minutes before bed. Noxitropin has several natural ingredients that not only improve relaxation (GABA, Tyrosine, macuna pruries extract), but also further induce the deep sleep cycles (4-amino-3phenylbutric acid) , help you stay in a deeper sleep longer, while increasing gh production (arginine).
I’m a natural skeptic and I view 99.9% of supplements out there as garbage, but I was absolutely hooked on Noxitropin after the first use, as I woke up feeling completely refreshed and ready to take on my day. I only woke up once in the night (to use the restroom) and was able to quickly get back to sleep, sleeping until my alarm went off to get ready for work at 5:15am. I immediately awoke, feeling as if I had slept perfectly – for someone who is not a great sleeper (hey, I’m honest about it), it’s hard to explain. I just felt like I would think someone should feel after a goodnight sleep!
If you’re training with serious intensity and yet, feel as if you aren’t getting everything you should out of your sleep at night, I would not hesitate to suggest Noxitropin.
Hard work and discipline are what will put me over the 600lb threshold in the bench press in the coming days, but a great night’s rest certainly will not hurt my endeavor.
Don’t forget that Personal Trainer Gift Certificates are available for the holidays, so give the gift of body transformation and fat loss this holiday season. All packages include complete nutritional guidance, 24/7 access to your trainer to ask any question you may have during your program and complete directions on what to do when you’re not in the gym. We have gift certificates for any of our fitness program packages, so for more information, feel free to email me at email@example.com or give me a call at 210.391.1454.
Hey San Antonio,
THIS is tragic:
High School Student Dies Lifting Weights
I cannot reiterate enough how important safety is when performing ANY kind of training. The saying “An ounce of prevent of prevention is worth a pound of cure”? Nothing could be more true.
Weightlifting, in itself, is NOT dangerous as long as precautions are taken. Sometimes, we cannot help but lift alone when a spotter is not available. However, some lifts are simply better performed with a spotter (read: bench press).
Typically, most accidents in the gym don’t end as tragic as the story above. But regardless, when the body goes up against steel or a machine, typically, the joints, muscle, or bone are going to lose. It only takes a slight angle or lost leverage to seriously injure one’s self.
I cannot reiterate the importance of learning proper spotting, mechanics, posture, and how to keep one’s self healthy and free of injury. Remember, no matter how strong your intentions are, it does no good if you are unable to train.
Always be aware and use your sense of judgement. Unfortunately, there are many stories like the one above, and other tales of serious injury that could’ve easily been avoided.
Train safe and stay healthy. Pushing it is crucial, but understanding limitations is just as important.
While I typically prefer discussing advanced training and nutrition and the optimal ways to drastically change the body and lose fat in the shortest amount of time, there’s a trend in this country that I simply cannot ignore.
In today’s society, there are a lot of threats. Terrorists. Countries spending uncontrollably while in deficit. Pollution. Drug cartels. The list goes on and on.
Let me add another one to the list: obesity. As it stands, as Americans, we are currently the fattest society that has ever been on the planet. Just two years ago, 17% of men and 21% of women were considered obese. Today? 33% of men are now obese and 27% of women are the same – that’s a huge increase in just a handful of months. By 2050, 9 out of 10 adults will be obese, and more than 65% will be considered morbidly obese.
These numbers go on and on: Obesity based surgeries have increased 40% over the last 18 months, the number of teens that have Type 2 Diabetes is rapidly increasing, along with the other obesity based conditions across every demographic. Don’t be fooled: even if you aren’t obese doesn’t mean you’re immune to Type 2 Diabetes: the low quality and amount of highly processed food that is readily available to us in today’s society almost guarantees that you’ll induce the condition unless you specifically try to avoid it.
The benefits to following a solid exercise and nutrition program serve a much greater purpose than to help you look great: it is required to keep you alive. While medicine has made advancement toward keeping people alive longer, is longer really better? I simply do not want to live longer, I want to live better.
As a parent, I feel that there is nothing I wouldn’t do to keep my child healthy and happy. Ironically, so many parents feel the same way, yet do not do enough to keep their children physically fit and do not keep themselves healthy and fit to ensure a longer, healthier life that they can enjoy as their children grow into adults. While most people would never intentionally hurt their children, but allowing them to live a sedentary lifestyle and not educate them on how to make healthier food choices, you are greatly increasing your child’s likelihood of inducing Type 2 Diabetes, numerous cancers and heart conditions: is that what “I’d do anything for my family” means? I didn’t think so.
While it may seem hopeless, the fact of the matter is that it comes down to personal responsibility. You determine whether or not you are going to be obese. Simply put, you can make changes to your lifestyle, your health and your body, or you can make excuses and become another one of these statistics. As a society, our paradigm as shifted: 20 years ago, someone who was obese actually stuck out in a crowd. Now, it’s the exception to be lean and healthy. That isn’t just this personal trainer’s observation – the statistics absolutely support this.
However, following this crowd is deadly. I know there comfort in numbers, but do not be fooled into believing that because it is so prevalent that it is somehow safe.
I’ve had the opportunity to work with a great deal of diabetics and the burden that the condition forces isn’t to be taken likely. I’m proud to say that while working with me, they all reported improvements in the condition, but it’s still a disease that one would much rather avoid, and one that a diabetic client told me that she wouldn’t wish on the “worst person in the world”. From the situations I have seen with numerous individuals, I agree with her. But the earlier one manages it, the better the condition is maintained.
Do not become a statistic – the decision belongs to YOU – no excuses!
Hey San Antonio,
99.999% of the people that I work with have absolutely no desire to ever step on stage for a bodybuilding show or fitness contest. I train many people with many different goals: lose fat, gain muscle, become more defined, become a better runner, get stronger, more muscular endurance, increase flexibility, become healthier – these are but a few of the things that people obtain my personal training services for. I’m damn good at what I do – I believe with all of my heart that I’m the best on the planet at helping people drastically change their bodies.
Whatever the reason you choose for working out, the bottom line is to make sure that each and every workout makes you a better YOU. Are you becoming stronger? Are you taking steps to become leaner? Are you improving your discipline? Are you staying consistent? These things completely transfer to other aspects of life – I regularly have clients tell me how changing their bodies was the first step toward changing their entire lives.
While working out should be about intensity and progression, it should ultimately be about making yourself better. We all have shortcomings, whether they are physical or psychological – no one is perfect. But the quest for perfection is so much more about the journey than the destination. Making improvements that transfer to your day to day life is a small part of what body transformation is all about.
You are the only thing that can hold YOU back!