My Body Transformation Part 2: Days 1-8

For Part 1 of this series, click here.

After the first 8 days I’ve made a few small adjustments to the original plan, but nothing major.  Overall I’m pleased with the progress and I think I will be happy with the end result.

Day 1

The first day got off to an interesting start – at about 11:45 in the morning, I got a phone call from my wife that she and my two boys had been in a car accident, and that they had totaled out their car.  Fortunately they were all ok with nobody seriously hurt,  but most of my day was spent helping with the aftermath.  My scheduled workout obviously was postponed, but I still managed to stay on-point with supplements and diet.

Chicken with olive oil, basil, parsley, oregano and thyme... it's been a staple in the diet so far.

Day 2

The low-carb stuff hadn’t been bothering me yet, I actually felt pretty energetic as I was still using coffee and high doses of omega-3 fats throughout the day to keep energy levels up.  My leg workout was very productive and each set actually improved on the week prior, with very little muscle soreness the following day.  I also cut out all of the usual carbs postworkout so my shake was just 40g whey protein, 15g glutamine, and 1tbsp Primal Greens (powdered greens, a “superfood”).

That evening I did have a cheat meal of Domino’s pizza, as Christine’s family was in town to do some wedding coordinating for her sister.  The intent was to have 1 cheat meal every 5-7 days, so I just planned to go at least another 5 days until the next cheat.  I also supplemented the cheat with the supplements outlined in this article to keep insulin levels from getting out of control.

 

Day 3

Trained a few clients Saturday morning and then did an upper body workout, and made some progress from the week prior.  I didn’t notice any negative effects from the cheat meal the night before but the extent of my food intake that day was limited to steak, chicken, several sticks of Ostrim, and various nuts and dark veggies.

Day 4

Probably the hardest day so far, since Sunday is usually spent at home with the family so there’s not much of  a schedule, which can make it more challenging to stay on task if I don’t plan ahead.  It wasn’t too bad though, since we just don’t keep any crap foods in the house so there’s no easy access.  Meal frequency was lower than usual at 4 total meals but meal composition was perfect.

Day 5

By this point I was starting to get used to using healthy fats for energy and was feeling great.  I usually need coffee by about 8-9am to make it through the second rush of clients for the morning, but did just fine on water.  And even though the bulk of my workout was 10 sets of front squats, I wasn’t completely trashed by the end.

Really, not completely trashed.

Day 6

Upper body workout, no dietary deviations.  Smooth sailing.

Day 7

Wednesday was an off day from training and was also a scheduled day for a cheat meal.  Had Christine check my suprailiac (love handle) pinch and it was down from a 15.8 to an 11 (this site is impacted by short-term carb intake).

After work Christine, the boys and I went to Whole Foods to stock up on meat and fish, and got turkey burgers, bison burgers, scallops, swordfish, shrimp skewers, mahi mahi, and a few other things I’m probably forgetting.  After that it was straight to Chipotle for my cheat meal – a burrito bowl with rice, black  beans, shredded pork (double meat), corn salsa and lettuce, plus a side of chips and tomato salsa.  Still “clean” – the idea is to still avoid inflammatory/allergic things like gluten and dairy.  It was just high carb.  (Side note – unless you’re at least under 15% for a male or 20% for a female, you don’t get a cheat meal for the first 14 days on this protocol).

Day 8

Got my measurements and progress pictures taken and am pleased with the results. Some notable results include:

Weight – 164.5 to 159.8 (down 4.7lbs)
Lean Body Mass – 138.5 to 138.5 (no change)
Bodyfat % – 15.8 to 13.3 (down 1.5%)

Observations

One thing that I would change if I were to do this over again would be to eliminate all cheat meals for the entire initial 14 day period.  I won’t be having a cheat meal of any kind until day 15.  Why?  Because it impacts fat storage around the sides very quickly – the afternoon before my cheat on Wednesday my side pinch was 11.0mm, and the following day it was up to 12.8mm.  Still down from 15.8mm where it started, but I wasn’t dying for a cheat meal when I had it, and ended up probably taking 1-2 days of progress away.

Look for Part 3 around Saturday or Sunday.

My Body Transformation Part 1: The Setup

The following is a breakdown of a 32-day protocol I am using to drop my bodyfat by about half to get lean for summer. While I hate the work involved in a diet, I also would rather get it over with. I got a little higher than I like to be while I was training for a powerlifting competition (up to 15.9% just prior to the meet), and should finish at around 8-10% by the time I’m finished.

Here are general run-throughs of the big 3 components of any physical transformation protocol – nutrition, training, and supplementation.

Nutrition
Arguably the most important component in dropping bodyfat, I’m following a strict Paleo diet. That means animal protein, nuts, and vegetables. Fruit is allowed on a conventional Paleo diet (more of a lifestyle change than a diet) but I don’t like to use it for fast fat loss unless somebody really, really needs it. Usually, if your bodyfat percentage is over 10%, you don’t. And yes, I did use the magic word – diet. I want to get this over with so I’m not making adjustments, I’m dieting. I am not, however, restricting calories, only food types. Calories are probably between 2,000 and 2,700 a day at a starting bodyweight of 164lbs. I’ll have one cheat meal every 4-5 days depending on how I feel throughout the 32 days, maybe less if I like how things are going.

Training
Training is focused around hypertrophy, or muscle growth. It is possible to add muscle and lose fat at the same time as long as calories aren’t extremely restricted. I’m using moderate reps (6-12), lots of sets, decent rest, and putting focus on maintaining consistent tempo. I’m about halfway through a 6-week block of training at the start, so training won’t change too much for the first 3 weeks, then I’ll make a few modifications the last 10-12 days. All of the workouts are designed by Charles Poliquin.

 

 

 

 

 

A good training program is part of, but not the only, answer.

 

 

 

Supplementation
While you don’t need supplements to get lean, I’m using them. For two reasons: 1) they help, and 2) I’m a wholesaler and don’t have to spend a ton on them. However, everything I listed below are things that 90% of people should be taking year-round, with the exception of the Insulinomics and Fenuplex.

Here is my daily supplement use (all supplements are from the Poliquin line, but there are other good brands you can substitute):

Breakfast
2 Multi Intense (multi-vitamin)
2 Ultra HCl 4.0 (Betaine HCl to aid in digestion)
1/2 tsp Omega 3 Liquid (liquid fish oil)
2 Insulinomics
2 Fenuplex

Both the Insulinomics and the Fenuplex are used to help increase insulin sensitivity and increase fat metabolism. The Fenuplex will get rotated with other similar products every 8 days.

Morning Snack
2 Ultra HCl 4.0
2 Omega 3 6:1 (fish oil capsules high in EPA to keep inflammation low)

Lunch
Same as breakfast

Afternoon Snack
Same as morning

Dinner
Same as breakfast and lunch plus:
4 Uber Mag Px (magnesium to aid in sleep quality)

Evening Snack
Same as morning and afternoon plus:
4 Uber Mag Px

I will post another update later this week – Day 8 is this Friday so I’ll have bodyfat comparisons and progress pics.

Building Mass for Life

I hear questions every day about “getting big,” “swole,” “large,” “jacked” and my answer to them are usually: “So what do you want to do?” And their typical answer is to repeat what they said as if I didn’t fully comprehend. When this happens I know that they are not generally prepared for my next answer: “Getting big is not just about lifting weights and it’s not a quick fix.”

Gaining weight and muscle can not just be something that you only do in the gym; it takes time, effort and dedication in nearly every facet of your life. For example I remember being a skinny guy at 6-foot tall and only 159 pounds! I thought I was doing everything I could in the gym. But I just wasn’t seeing that muscle gain. Now two years later, I’m floating around 200 lbs and I see what it takes to gain muscle mass. This is more than a process. It’s a lifestyle!

With lots of commitment, you can go from this...

 

...to this.

Eating

If you’re serious about gaining muscle mass you’re going to have to eat. And eat! And eat and when you’re tired of eating you’re going to have to eat some more! The days of waking up in the morning and just eating one bowl of your fruity pebbles or skipping breakfast in its entirety isn’t going to cut it anymore. Now I use to hear people say “Don’t eat till your full eat until your tired.” And that sounds like a plan if your goal is too look like a beluga whale and not that athletic body type (body fat anywhere between 8-12%). As any fitness professional will tell you, you must be smart about what you eat, just because you’re going to be eating a lot doesn’t mean you hit “Mickey Ds” and bless the dollar menu as often as you can. You’ll need to make sure you’re eating good quality protein lean beef, chicken, turkey, fish, to name a few. Lets not forget veggies are important as well. I always try to make sure that if someone’s trying to make gains, they’re realistically going to have to consume anywhere between 3-5000 calories a day. I tend to make my calorie intake by eating breakfast, lunch, dinner and a snack between the meals.

“Sergio can I eat my Oreos and milk for a snack? It’s my favorite!” My answer is simple: “NO!” All you’ll be doing is placing empty calories in your body. One of the best snacks for gaining mass is peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and protein shakes with health fats, like flax, safflower or extra virgin olive oil. You should eat two sandwiches a day (and if you are allergic to peanut butter you can always use almond butter) and drink one of your shakes before you go to sleep.

Sleeping

Which leads me to one of the most neglected factors in muscle growth in my opinion: Rest. One of the primary benefits of sleep in terms of muscle growth is recovery time. When you exercise, you are tearing muscle fibers. Your body needs to repair this damage and, in turn, build muscle mass. We build muscle faster and more efficiently when our bodies are allowed to do so.
Another problem with failing to get sufficient rest is stress. When you don’t sleep, your body (and your mind) becomes stressed and this can have negative effects including weight loss, and negative weight gain. Sleep also helps with your digestive system because it metabolizes the foods you eat while you’re at rest. So not only does sleep help your body recover from the rigors of everyday life but it ensures your body will carry out normal metabolism that provides the foundation for building muscle.

Alcohol

“Hey, Sergio, I can still kick back and have a taste of Gentleman Jack in the evening right?” I hate to say it because we all enjoy a little libation from time to time but alcohol when taken too often will undoubtly have a significant NEGATIVE impact on muscle building results. To quote Arnold Schwarz egger said in his book Arnold Goes Crazy (because he’s right and used to be the definition of jack swole): “Why take something the body doesn’t need right now?” And he was talking about soda but it still holds true with alcohol. Now alcohol can and will impede your progress if you use it in excess. Your protein synthesis is negatively affected (Protein synthesis is the process by which amino acids are joined together to form complete protein). By drinking too much this can slow down the process by 20% and what are muscles made of? You got it, Protein! So you see this alone is counter-productive.

Alcohol also decreases testerone and raises estrogen, which means you drop your man hormones and pick up more woman hormones. Testosterone is needed to be free flowing for maximum muscle gains.
Alcohol also depletes the body of vitamins and minerals which keep every process in your body functioning properly and a lot of these processes include muscle growth and maintenance. And lastly it increases fat storage. Per gram of alcohol it is 7 empty calories so how much are we storing if we go out 3 and 4 times a week.

If you’re trying to gain muscle mass make sure you’re doing what you need to do to actually receive proper gains. Don’t party and drink all the time. Use your head. Once in a blue moon is okay I understand. But every day? Absolutely not. Every week? Honestly, not if you’re serious about your progress.

Just remember to be smart and be patient because muscle gain is not a race. It’s a lifestyle.

My 2011 Supplement Protocol

I’ve gotten a few inquiries from some of our clients as to what supplements I actually take myself, since I’m the facility Biosignature practitioner and am responsible for designing protocols for all of our clients.  The following is a breakdown of my daily routine:

Breakfast
2 Multi Intense
3 Ultra HCL 4.0
2 Uber Zinc
1 Methylator Plus 3.0
2 Perfect E 3.0
1 Uber C
1 tsp Omega 3 Liquid

Lunch
2 Multi Intense
3 Ultra HCL 4.0
2 Uber Zinc
2 Perfect E 3.0
1 Uber C
1 tsp Omega 3 Liquid

Pre-Workout (about 45 minutes prior)
3 Java Stim
2 Fast Brain 2.0

During Workout
30 BCAA Excellence 2.0

Post-Workout (mixed in 500ml water/500ml fruit juice)
45g Whey Stronger 2.0
150g Quadricarb
10g Creatine Monohydrate
15g Glutamine
5g Glycine
3 Glucose Disposal Px
2 Uber C
2 Taurine
2 Magnesium Glycinate

Dinner
2 Multi Intense
3 Ultra HCL 4.0
2 Uber Zinc
4 Uber Mag Px
2 Perfect E 3.0
1 Uber C
1 tsp Omega 3 Liquid

2x a week I also take 20 D3 Excellence to bring up blood D3 levels.

All of the above supplements are from the Poliquin line, simply because that is what we carry at AST.

Fighting the Moment

“No one has ever been raped by a donut” – Charles Poliquin

The other night, I was craving berries like crazy.  My mouth was watering and I could not put the thought out of my head.  I looked in the fridge and there were none.  I had two options. #1, I could throw on my boots and coat and head to the store to grab some, or #2, I could find something else to eat and go to bed.  I opted for choice #2.  I grabbed a handful of nuts and dried fruit, brushed my teeth, and went to bed.  When I woke up in the morning, the most amazing thing happened.  I was not dead!

In today’s world, we make eating food about more than just nourishing the body.  We crave food, whether for emotional reasons, social settings, or hormonal reasons – we want what we want.  I use to give in as well, and to be honest, sometimes I still do.  What I have learned over time though is that it all boils down to one simple thing, fighting the moment.  Say you are at a holiday party and there are brownies, cookies, and cakes in an assortment in front of you.  You could take one . . . or, you could grab the fruit bowl next to the desserts and enjoy that instead.  Grab the fruit, because I guarantee you that you will still be alive when you leave the party, and probably feeling better and in control because you were able to stand up to the food craving and fight the moment.  Plus, once the junk food is out of site and your stomach is no longer grumbling, the moment has passed and you have dominated it.

Here is the battle I see in a lot of people.  You have the desire to eat better, to feel better, lose weight, or put on lean mass.  You go full throttle ahead and determine that you are going to eat healthier.  You go out with friends who are drinking and enjoying the greasy buffalo wings with ranch dressing.  “Well, I have eaten good the rest of the day, I can have some wings.  It isn’t much”.  Then, in the morning, you are running out the door for work and have no time to eat.  By the time you get to the office, you are so hungry that you reach for the donut in the break room.  You justify it by telling yourself that you will eat better for the rest of the day.  You have an apple with some nuts for a morning snack, chicken salad for lunch, and the day is looking great.  Then, you meet up with a friend for afternoon coffee and because the friend is grabbing a piece of coffee cake, you do too.  Are you beginning to see the trend?  Even with good intentions, before you know it, you are right back to where you were before.  Eating what you crave, and not what is best for your body or your goals.

Last night, I picked up my boys from daycare and then we ran some errands.  They ate some Poliquin Primal Bars while we went from place to place.  Before I realized, it was late and getting close to their bedtime, and they were hungry.  I gave them an Isopure smoothie to share while we finished our way home and then reheated some fish for them for dinner.  On the way home, I passed Wendy’s, Burger King, Dominos, Little Ceasars, Subway, McDonalds, and who knows how many other “options”.  Sure it was tempting to stop off, but it was fighting those series of moment’s that got us home, without any fast food.

If you don’t make the decision to fight the moment, then you are going to forever be in the vicious circle of wanting your body to be a certain way and never reaching it.  It is your decision – just know that you can fight the moment.  You are in control.  Do not let a moment of weakness take you away from your goal.  It is just one moment in the large scheme of things.  One moment.

A Visit to the Compound

Originally published here: http://articles.elitefts.com/articles/training-articles/a-visit-to-the-compound/

image

I recently got the opportunity to visit Elite Fitness Systems in London, Ohio for the first (and hopefully not the last) Learn to Train seminar, with all proceeds going to the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Even though I’ve followed the company and have been a customer for several years, this was my first opportunity to visit their on-site training area (nicknamed Area S4, or The Compound) and meet their sponsored athletes and the owner of EFS, Dave Tate.

The first item on the itinerary for the seminar was technical instruction of the 3 power lifts – squat, bench, and deadlift. After Dave took us all through some technical points on one of his lifters (Ted Toalston, who looks a lot bigger in person than in their videos), he asked the group, “so who thinks their squat sucks?” I had my hand in the air before Dave could even turn around, and was lucky (unlucky?) enough to be torn to shreds by Dave, as well as Todd Brock, a friend of Dave’s and a great powerlifter himself.

While I don’t have the most impressive squat in the world, I always thought it was rather technically sound, especially since I am pretty good at hammering the technical aspects into my training clients. However, it seemed like this was one of those cases of “even trainers need trainers,” because I clearly wasn’t practicing what I had been preaching.

The first thing Dave and Todd noticed was my grip – specifically, that I was completely incapable of fully gripping the bar with my left hand, no matter how hard I tried. I’m not sure if it’s something to be proud of or terrified by that it was actually something neither had seen before, and didn’t quite know how to fix. The answer seemed to be widening my grip out substantially and it seemed to take care of it.

Dave and Todd then spent the next 30 or so minutes making tons and tons of adjustments to my technique. Never in my life has it been so painful to squat an empty barbell before, but by the time they got done with me I had a list of things to fix and a smile on my face.

Then we all broke out into stations and received additional one-on-one coaching from some of the EFS-sponsored lifters. I think everybody got a little overzealous with the squat, because the group was originally allotted 30 minutes to practice, but ended up going for about 2 hours. Although, since I saw several personal records broken among even just the small subset of lifters at my station, I don’t think anybody particularly cared that it ran long.

From there we moved on to the bench press, with Dave giving a relatively short, maybe 15-minute breakdown of the performance and leaving the rest up to the coaches who were handling each station.  I think everybody was pretty gassed out from a few hours of squatting and we wrapped things up in about 30-40 minutes.

Last in the technical part of the seminar was the deadlift.  Again, Dave did some quick review and left the coaches to make the bigger corrections.  Although, I did hear Dave give one of the most logical, yet interesting, ways to get males to set up right for the sumo deadlift, which was, simply, “try to drop your nuts onto the bar.”  The best part was seeing all of the metaphorical light bulbs going off over a good twenty heads after he said it.

Since we were running late from a long squatting session, lunch was already there, so Dave told us to alternate between lifting and eating.  Again, we broke out into groups, and Todd Brock was the coach working my station.  Having helped coach my squat with Dave at the beginning of the seminar, he took one look at my deadlift and said, “well, at least we know you’re good for something!”  Which is good, because the deadlift is the one lift I feel pretty comfortable with so it was nice to have a little affirmation.

After we wrapped up the last of the technical part of the seminar, we moved into program design.  While a lot was covered, I think one of the best takeaways for the day was the concept of making sure your programs fulfill 3 requirements – 1. Is it sufficient?, 2. Is it necessary?, and 3. Is it safe?  The idea is that if you have to answer no to any of those things, the program is flawed.  An example given was somebody who makes 3 attempts at a max weight and misses every one – were those last 2 attempts really necessary for the program to work, or was it just motivated by ego?

Finally, maybe about 40% of the group stuck around for the business discussion, where Dave shared the timeline of Elite Fitness Systems and covered a lot of the mistakes that he made in developing and growing the company.  The thing that really impresses me is that Dave is so incredibly open about where he’s gone wrong and doesn’t sugarcoat anything.  I posed a question during the Q&A about a problem I had been having with one of my coaches not catching on fast enough, and after some back and forth he pretty much said (I can’t recall the exact wording) “you’re the one who’s fucking up by not making it clear enough what you want.”  I know some people wouldn’t be as straight-up in their response, and I appreciated the no-BS answer.

I can absolutely guarantee that if Dave ever holds another one of these seminars, I will be going again and taking my entire staff.  Those of us who got to attend this year are definitely a lucky bunch.  Thanks again to Dave, Todd Brock, Jason Pegg, Ted Toalston,  Steve Diel, and everybody from EFS who helped out.  With any luck I hope to see you all next time!

Simple Glute Activation Movements

The glutes get a lot of attention for their aesthetics (or lack thereof), and there are a plethora of training programs and articles designed to help you “work your booty.” But what happens when you have no idea how it’s supposed to feel when you use your glutes? Oftentimes, we’ll have potential clients come in to our center with the goal of developing their butt, but when they perform standard glute-building movements like squats, lunges and bridges, all they have to show for it is a pumped lower back and sore hamstrings, while the glutes remain underwhelmingly neglected. Why? Because your brain doesn’t know how to make those muscles fire. And if they don’t fire properly, then all of the hip-thrusting in the world won’t fix your posterior.

So how do you fix it? There are a subset of glute movements that are commonly referred to as “activation” movements, which means the whole purpose is to teach you what it’s supposed to feel like to use your glutes, as well as triggering your body to “turn on” (AKA activate) your butt muscles.

 

Here’s a simple glute program that includes both strength, hypertrophy (muscle growth), and activation movements. Give it a shot and let us know how it works for you!

Sample Glute-Training Workout

1. Activation – Band abduction – 2-3 sets of 10 reps with a 10-second hold in the open position

2. Strength – Sumo-stance barbell deadlift – 4-5 sets of 3-5 reps

3. Hypertrophy – Split jumps – 2-3 sets of 20 jumps (10 per side)

superset with

Stability ball glute bridge – 2-3 sets of 20 reps

Eat Like a Caveman, Look Like a Beast

You could learn something from this guy... just not how to dress.

Plenty has been written about the merits of the Paleolithic, or Caveman Diet, as it pertains to fat loss, but it holds tremendous application for making gains in lean body mass as well.  Here are 5 of the most important aspects of Paleo eating in your quest for more strength and size:

1. Protein, protein, protein. One of the basic tenents of the Paleo diet is “if you can kill it or pick it, you can eat it.”  In essence, that means that about 50% of your food choices are protein-based foods.  Make sure you’re getting substantial portions of animal protein at each meal, rotating through a variety of sources such as chicken, turkey, salmon, beef, bison, venison, buffalo, ostrich, eggs and shellfish.

2. Boost your Omega-3’s. Omega-3 fatty acids turn on the body’s lipolytic (fat-burning) genes, and turn off the lipogenic (fat-storing) ones.  To boot, EPA is a known anti-inflammatory, while DHA aids in brain function, which can lead to increased focus and concentration during intense training sessions.  On top of including food sources that are rich in Omega-3’s such as almonds, walnuts, pistachios, cashews, avocado, and coldwater fish such as salmon, research shows that consuming up to 1 gram of fish oil per percentage point of bodyfat can increase fat-burning and insulin sensitivity, creating an environment more suited toward making gains in lean muscle mass.

3.  Eat Paleo carbs and avoid Neo carbs. Paleo carbs fit the other side of the “if you can kill it or pick it” adage.  These carb sources are minimally (or not at all) processed and tend to be digested and assimilated much more easily than Neo (man-made) carbs such as donuts, pasta, breads, etc.  Ask yourself, “did a caveman have access to this?”  If the answer is yes, then you can eat it.  Sweet potatoes? Yes.  Berries? Yep.  Onions, radishes, asparagus?  Yes, yes, double-yes.  Bagels?  Absolutely not.  Don’t worry about the people who tell you you can’t eat fruit before bed, because those same people have no problem shoveling a bunch of processed garbage with ingredients you can neither spell nor pronounce into their mouths on a regular basis.

4.  Address deficiencies. Modern man has to cope with several major vitamin and mineral deficiencies that prehistoric man didn’t have to worry about – namely zinc, magnesium, and vitamin D.  These 3 deficiencies impact 100% of the people that I’ve ever tested, and play a major role in your success in becoming bigger, stronger and faster.

-Magnesium. Soil used to be replete with all of the minerals we needed, but since the advent of modern agriculture, a combination of over-farming, poor crop rotation, and genetic modification leaves a lot of our crops, and in turn, us, with inadequate amounts of magnesium.  Magnesium lowers cortisol (stress) production at the end of the day and allows you to sleep.  When you sleep, you produce growth hormone.  No sleep = no growth.  To give you an idea of an average deficiency, optimal magesium levels in red blood cells are between 4.8 and 6.2.  The “norms” in a lab test are 1.9 to 2.4, so even if you fall in the normal levels, remember that, to quote strength coach Charles Poliquin, “those are Homer Simpson norms.”

Do you really think it's good to be compared to this guy?

-Zinc. Zinc is another mineral that suffers from modern agriculture, except its responsibility is helping with the conversion of testosterone into its usable form.  Low levels of zinc can lead to aromatization, which is the conversion of testosterone into estrogen.  I shouldn’t have to explain how that’s not good.  Shoot for the high end of the lab norms in a blood test.

-Vitamin D. Cavemen spent all day outside, and therefore absorbed an extremely large amount of vitamin D from sunshine, probably to the tune of the equivalent of 10,000-50,000IU a day.  However, for most people the closest they get to sunlight is what slips through the blinds in the window next to their cubicle.  Low vitamin D levels have been traced to everything from depression (good luck training when you want to jump off a building), to insulin resistance (poor insulin management leads to fat gain), to higher risk of skin cancer (you can’t train if you’re dead).  Supplement with 5-10,000IU a day and monitor with blood work until your levels are 80-100nG/ml.  It may take a while – the average person who lives north of the equator has blood levels of about 14-20nG/ml.

5. Graze, don’t gorge. Large, infrequent meals play havoc with your body and result in anything from poor digestion and upset stomach to insulin resistance and fat gain.  Your body is evolved to eat casually throughout the day, not in one or two big portions.  Shoot for eating every 2 1/2-3 hours.

It may take some getting used to because it’s not trendy enough and because it doesn’t call for any flashy supplements like Ultra-Mega-Super-Beefcake 3000, but this is how your body is made to work.  So save yourself the stress of trying to fight it and just let it do what it’s evolved to do.

The Military Press – Part 1

This week we’re doing a pair of videos on one of the most important yet most underused lifts we can think of – the military press.  Part 1 deals with the basics of performing the lift, and part 2 will go over some of the more common mistakes people make and how to fix them.

 

Remember to include a thourough warmup of the shoulder girdle – one of the reasons people get injured so frequently is a lack of shoulder mobility and by trying to go too heavy too fast.

 

Look for Part 2 of this series later this week.