Nutritional based articles straight from cutandjacked.com's specialist writers
Testosterone is one of the most important hormones that is responsible for building muscle mass as well as bone strength, sexual functions, mood and other factors in the human body. What matters to body builders and us fitness enthusiasts the most is its muscle building power.
Here are my top 4 tips on boosting t-levels naturally.
You may have heard so much about the importance of performing compound exercises for boosting testosterone levels naturally. Following workout plans designed around the fundamental compound exercises such as the bench press, the squat and the deadlift is the ultimate way to accomplish this. Studies have shown that the more muscles under tension simultaneously, the more testosterone is released by the body. Although not as much as the compound movements, any type of resistance training has shown to help increase levels of natural testosterone in the body.
Few compound exercises to consider: Bench press, deadlift, squat, power cleans, hang cleans, push press, dips.
Example quadriceps workout
Lifting technique: pre-exhaust training
Pre-exhaust training consists of pre fatiguing the given muscle group by performing isolation exercises first (single joint exercises) and finishing up with compound exercises (multi jointed).
A - Great way to shock your body out of its comfort zone.
B - For those athletes who suffer from injuries and do not want to go too heavy on the compound movements - This allows you to achieve muscle fatigue without having to go very heavy on the compound lifts due to pre exhaustion.
Muscle group: Quadriceps
Warm Up: 2 warm up sets of 15 reps
Reps: 15 reps for the isolation exercises & 10 reps for the compound exercise
Rest: 90 seconds
Isolation exercise 1: Leg extensions (toes pointed inwards)
Isolation exercise 2: Leg extensions (toes pointed outwards)
Compound exercise: Barbell front squats
You are already on the right track by adding the compound movements into your training routine. Now, let's take it a step further to boost your t-levels even more by increasing the volume and intensity of your training sessions. Latest studies suggested that higher volume training using repetition ranges around 8-10 rm (repetition max) boosted up T-levels more than when rep ranges of 4-6 rm were used.
However, power training style workouts with lower repetitions are very crucial since they will only help you get stronger for when you train with higher rep ranges during high volume workouts and more weight means more intensity and more natural testosterone production.
Example of a power workout:
Lifting Technique: Traditional straight sets
Muscle Group: Chest
Reps: 4 - 6
Rest: 90 seconds
Exercise 1: Barbell flat bench press
Exercise 2: Dumbbell incline bench press
Exercise 3: Weighted push ups
Allowing your body to recover and get ready for the next workout is essential for maintaining healthy levels of testosterone. There are a few ways to allow your muscles to rest and your body to keep high levels of testosterone:
Come up with a workout regimen: Give a minimum of 48 hours before you train the same muscle groups again. You can train up to 6 times a week, but if you would like to train this many days a week, you want to make sure that you follow a training split where the bigger muscle groups still get adequate rest.
Sleep like a baby for recovery: I recommend for any athlete to get a minimum of 7-8 hours of sleep for maximum recovery
Stretch after your workouts: Make sure to stretch out after each workout and between sets to improve flexibility and help recovery.
Respect your body: If you feel symptoms of insomnia, constant fatigue and especially decreased levels of strength, this is your body's way of telling you that you should get more rest and recover properly, which will help keep up your natural t-levels.
There are lots of factors and different approaches when it comes to nutrition and natural testosterone production, but in this article I want to point out the importance of fats, vitamins and minerals.
Fats: Fats play a big role in the testosterone production in the body. Cutting out fat to very minimum levels could result in lower t-levels, which will hinder your growth and recovery.
Some of the good fat sources to consider:
*Almonds & other nuts
Calcium - A very important ingredient to bone strength, muscle and nerve functions. 1000 mg. Daily is suggested to help boost and maintain higher t-levels. So make sure to include calcium rich foods in your diet such as milk and cheese.
Zinc - This mineral has been proven to help maintain/increase natural t-levels in as little as 4 weeks especially when following an exercise program. So make sure to include zinc supplements such as zma.
Vitamin D - Studies have shown that supplementing with vitamin d could help increase testosterone levels.
Recommended supplement for natural testosterone production: grenade at-4
Grenade at-4 has been formulated to support the body's hormonal axis. Improvements in the form of hormonal support would be expected to provide and environment that is conductive to enhanced:
As athletes and fitness enthusiasts, we work very hard in the gym and the key elements above will help elevate your natural testosterone levels which will help you get the most out of your hard work in the gym.
Written by Melih f. Cologlu/acpt
Owner of www.covermodelphysique.com
Eating a gluten-free, clean, fresh, and healthy diet will go a long way in helping you boost your metabolism, lose extra weight, get super lean, and put you on the path to the healthiest you have ever been. Not mentioned walking around lean and shredded 24-7-365...
BUT, it only works if you follow these 7 key strategies:
Quick intro for anyone who is unfamiliar with gluten and the issues it causes a large number of people everyday - The Mayo Clinic’s breakdown goes like this –“A gluten-free diet is a diet that excludes the protein gluten. Gluten is found in grains such as wheat, barley, rye and triticale (a cross between wheat and rye).”
Going gluten free is used to treat “celiac disease, gluten causes inflammation in the small intestines of individuals with celiac disease. So adhering to a nutrition plan that is gluten free helps control the symptoms and issues that come from consuming gluten.
Many of you might not have celiac disease, however many individuals even though they don’t have a clear-cut allergy you might have a high intolerance which mimics the same issues and complications. If you have a high intolerance consuming a moderate to high amount of gluten might be causing you more harm than good with issues such as inflammation, abdominal pain, bloating, and diarrhea all of which are not real sexy or fun to deal with.
DUMP the Word “Diet”… The “D” Word ONLY equates to Short Term Success. Instead of considering this to be a diet, consider it as a life-long change. Make it a Lifestyle Change for Permanent Results. Diets don’t last change your mindset jump on board for a month at least and see how you feel, move and react without all the added gluten in your life. My guess you will look and more importantly feel like a ripped up version of Rambo.
AVOID as many grains as possible. Don’t just replace Gluten-filled baked goods with Gluten-free options. Store-bought gluten-free breads, crackers, muffins, and snacks are usually filled with starchy carbohydrates that will only spike insulin levels and add a nice puffy layer of padding around your middle. Keeping it real sometimes is all you need to do and in this case, keeping it real with lean meats, veggies and fruit as needed will do the trick.
Aim for using either high-protein flours such as coconut flour, almond flour, teff flour, quinoa flour, oat flour, or millet flour if you are going to do any baked goods.
Learn how to read labels. Gluten can be lurking in surprising places. Get a gluten-free cheat sheet and keep it with you so you do not end up getting glutened without knowing it. Educate yourself about what you are sticking in your body, many times products throw in little fillers and additives gluten included without you even knowing causing you to have issues and reactions.
Begin a love affair with the produce aisle (and the entire exterior of your grocery store). This is the easiest way to go gluten-free and become a lean machine. Fruits, vegetables, seafood, meat, and poultry are all naturally gluten free. You have heard it before stay on the perimeter of the grocery store, trust me on this the more basic and close to “real” your food is the better your body will look, feel, and react day in and day out.
Plan your meals out at the beginning of the week. Put together a simple clean-eating Menu Plan and create the shopping list then get everything you need at the beginning of the week so it is all on hand and ready to go. Having an idea of what lies ahead only enables you to avoid any pitfalls during the week, be prepared to be successful in this dietary change.
Ditch the Refined Sugars. Sugar drains and leaches the body of precious vitamins and minerals through the demand its digestion, detoxification and elimination makes upon one's entire system. Sugar eaten every day produces a continuously over-acid condition, and more and more minerals are required from deep in the body in the attempt to rectify the imbalance. Excess sugar eventually affects every organ in the body and is stored in the form of fat in the most inactive areas: the belly, the buttocks, the breasts, and the thighs.
Focus on taking care of your gut…from the inside out. Healing the gut and taking care of your digestion will go a long way in giving you that flat sculpted belly you have been longing for. At the end of the day we all want to be lean, shredded, jacked, sexy, whatever the word is we want it. However, above all else our health is the #1 thing in our life having your digestive system up to pair ensures you are functioning at your best and feeling that way inside and outside the gym walls.
Hope this helps some of you guys out there struggling to get lean and drop some extra body fat, it helped me live leaner day to day and I am sure it can do the same for you if you let it. Leave some comments or questions below I would love to hear your thoughts.
Written by Jeremy Scott & Kim Maes creator’s of: www.getleanglutenfree.com
For every fitness transformation story, a progression must exist. And to measure progress, the best way to track is with numbers, right?
Numbers can only tell us so much. Let’s take the scale for example. It’s undeniably the most common way to track weight. But tracking a person’s weight is just one aspect of progress. The scale simply does not tell the whole story; there will always be fluctuations depending on factors such as food and water intake.
Another reason why the number on the scale is unreliable is because it doesn’t factor in body fat. Someone in a fat loss program might be disappointed to see they only lost 5 pounds in a month based on the reading on the scale, but what if they actually gained muscle mass while losing fat at the same time?
Speaking of body fat, why not just keep track of that instead? Well, unless you are getting your body fat tested in an expensive manner with a Bod Pod, DEXA scan, or by hydrostatic weighing, all the other ways of measuring body fat are not as accurate. For instance, handheld devices like the Omron or the Tanita scale in your bathroom measure body fat, but unfortunately the numbers can fluctuate based on your hydration level.
Here are the best alternative ways to track your progress without the use of any tools:
You know you’re heading in the right direction when your clothes don’t fit you anymore.
If you find yourself needing to buy new clothes because the ones you own don’t fit you anymore, does it really matter what the scale says? When the number on the scale doesn’t budge for a few weeks but your shirts start to look like they’re size Extra Small on you, there’s no question that you are making progress. It just means that you lost some fat while gaining muscle mass at the same time.
Taking progress pictures allows us to have a visual record of the physical changes that is happening with our bodies. It’s a great way to see the changes in our physique just by comparing the images that occur over time.
Progress photos are easy to take and don’t require much effort. Take one every 2 weeks first thing in the morning before consuming any food or water.
Progress isn’t just about aesthetics. It should also be measured by your performance in the gym.
When I first started out with my own fitness journey, I was the skinny guy who wanted to put on some muscle. Throughout my transformation, I focused on one thing alone: improving my strength gains. While my friends at the gym obsessed over checking their weight on a daily basis, I wasted no time checking mine and only focused on my workouts. Next thing I know, I put on about 50 pounds of muscle all because I focused my attention on improving strength.
Aim to set personal records every single week. For example, if you can only do 20 bodyweight pushups, go for a record of 21 or more on your next workout. In order to progress you must push yourself past your limits.
The best way to track your strength is by keeping a workout log. Whether you use tools like BodySpace, Fitocracy, Cody, FitnessFast, or just using traditional pen and paper, tracking your workouts is the only way to measure your strength over time.
These are the tangible things that you can see and feel on a regular basis, and for a lot of people are much more fulfilling than anything else. You know you are making progress when…
If you experience any of these things, then there is no doubt that you are getting results from your fitness program.
As you can see it’s not all about numbers. It might be nice to see the numbers on the scale go down, but the satisfaction with that only lasts for so long. Strive for something long term that takes very little effort.
Instead of checking the scale every day in the hopes of seeing the number change, let the clothes, progress pictures, strength gains, and lifestyle changes gauge your results.
Written by: Slyvon Blanco, the author of Von Blanco Fitness vonblancofitness.com
where he writes unordinary tips on training and nutrition in order
to live an extraordinary life.
These bars are a much healthier alternative to any processed granola bar you will find in the grocery store! They can be cut into any size that works well with your plan. This recipe is crunchy but if you were to increase the peanut butter and honey base, it would make them slightly more chewy! Make sure to look for Gluten Free Oats and flour to make these a Gluten Free treat!
Mix Honey and Peanut butter until well blended. Stir in all of the remaining ingredients and blend well. Press mixture into a prepared 8x11.5" pan and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until barely browned. Cut into bars and store in an airtight container or individually wrapped to grab on the go. I cut my pan into 18 bars, which were the exact same size as the bars I use to buy in the store.
NUTRIENTS: 1 Serving bar:
Dietary Fiber: 3.5g
Recipe by: Amy Jo Horvath
Meat - Lean meats such as turkey, chicken, tuna etc.alternatively, other types that contain more essential fats or muscle building qualities like Salmon or Steak.
Organic Eggs - I choose organic in most cases due to the quality and animal cruelty but it is a more expensive route to take.
Essential Fats - A few different options based on your personal daily nutrient in-take but I usual go for cashews/almonds/peanuts (the butter spreads also an option), Omega 3, Flaxseed and Avocado.
Vegetables - I don't tend to hold back on variety when it comes to vegetables just make sure you meet your daily fiber requirement - Standard choices are usually Broccoli, Asparagus, Spinach, Mushrooms, Watercress, Carrots and Tomatoes.
Carbohydrates - I have a very high carb content in my daily macros so variety again is the key. Brown/White Organic Rice, Yams, Sweet Potato, Butternut Squash, Rice Cakes, Quinoa, Cous Cous & Organic Oats.
Supplements - Reflex BCAA (branch chain amino acids), Peptide Fusion, One Stop Extreme, IntraFusion, NOS Fusion & Nexgen Multi Vitamins! Keep your vitamins topped up.
Water - More important than most people realise...hydration is so important for so many reasons. Just to name a few, cleanses your skin, helps flush the system and most importantly can prevent headaches and boost energy levels.
Fruits - Many fruits contain anti-oxidants, help energy levels and contain loads of other nutritional benefits to create the perfect balance - Bananas and Blueberries are my favourite choice.
Dairy - Improves bone health and may reduce osteoporosis, even more important when still growing to assist bone mass. I tend to opt for Goats/Greek Yogurt and Coconut & Almond Milk.
Anti-Oxidants - Helps optimal health and wellness, just to name a few...Most Berries, Garlic and a variety of nuts.
The idea behind being prepared is to make your lifestyle easier to maintain and to create your own luck...Preparation + Opportunity = Luck.
Tips on training, nutrition and lifestyle and constant updates: -
Essential fatty acids serve crucial functions in growth and development. They are required for the maintenance of every cell in your body. Your body cannot synthesize essential fatty acids, so you depend on the food you eat for the essential fatty acids your body requires. You need to get a balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. A variety of foods can provide the essential fatty acids your body craves. Knowledge is power...Be in control of your body & witness the rewards
Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are fatty acids that humans and other animals must ingest because the body requires them for good health but cannot synthesis them. The term "essential fatty acid" refers to fatty acids required for biological processes but does not include the fats that only act as fuel.
The list below are a variety of options for your essential fats and some contain & increase your omega 3 acids and also omega 6 fatty acids and some enhance your essential fatty acid balance.
Written by Ben Noy
Firstly, you are absolutely right; based on current data, long-term creatine supplementation does not result in adverse health effects. However, the theory behind cycling is that if you keep giving your body a substance, it will eventually get lazy and stop producing it itself. Whilst there's no hard evidence for this, I say it's not worth the risk! Cycles of 12-16 weeks shouldn't be a problem, then take a break.
Vacuums haven't been used much since the 70's. In those days, they were used to engage the deep core muscles called your transverse abs, which simply suck in the stomach.
Vacuums will improve your posture and your core control, and your waist may appear a little smaller. However, remember that shrinking your waistline will not make your abs more visible; you need to drop your body fat to under 10% for them to show through. You'll also need to do superficial ab work for your rectus abdominus and obliques to get some good definition.
Creatine can actually be quite advantageous even if you are dieting, as it can help to keep the intensity of your workout session higher. When you go on a low calorie diet, your gym sessions will need to be reduced in volume and you may find strength starting to lag as a result of the diet. Creatine will help negate some of these negative side effects.
Do note though that creatine generally needs to be taken with carbs, to get into the muscle cells more effectively. Without the carbs, creatine will take longer to be absorbed and may not be absorbed to the full extent. In this case, taking the creating straight with water (or protein) in conjunction with a meal (to reduce stomach upset) is the protocol to follow. Typically you want to load with 20g for a 5-day period, then drop to a normal dose of 10g per day.
Generally speaking, maintenance is much easier than the journey to get the numbers down. However, this all depends on how lean you want to stay! If you have a body fat under 10% then you can get away with a whole cheat day every week, and still maintain your physique as long as you eat clean the rest of the week. If you are preparing for a contest where it's generally expected that your body fat will be down as low as 3-5%, then it is unrealistic to think you can maintain this long term.
Personally, from what I've seen with my clients, the time of day you have your carbs is completely irrelevant, as long as you are getting your overall consumption for that day right. What is more important is that you are not mixing a heavy carb meal with a meal that is high in fat as well. As a general rule, mix protein with fat and protein with carbs, but never all three together. One caveat - never EVER have carbs for breakfast!
Lets make this simple. You can't diet down and put on muscle at the same time; these goals are contradictory in their very nature. See Part One of this article, the question asked by Jake Goldsmith www.cutandjacked.com/Your-Questions-Answered-By-An-Expert for a more detailed understanding.
Vascularity is not something you get from a few food choices. You need to eat clean, get lean and vascularity will show when you have the 'pump' that gets the blood flowing through your veins. Increasing body temperature and sugary foods can increase this; that's why's you sometimes see body builders eating handfuls of sweets before they go on stage. Note that this is an immediate effect, and not something that will work over many hours or days.
Impossible to say, since it’s so specific to your training goals and body shape. Research your protein shake carefully, and check the protein/ carb ratio; a shake designed for gaining mass will have totally different ratios to one put together for someone dieting down. If you pick the right shake then there's probably no need to supplement with additional food choices.
The purpose of high volume training is to get the maximum production of growth hormone possible for that particular session. However, there is a limit to the volume at which this takes place; anything over this may be classed as cardio training, not weight training. Stay with a rep range of under 15 for each exercise, and remember that you are looking to continually overload the muscle.
Yes it does. Buying good quality protein powder is equivalent to buying a high quality piece of steak. You get what you pay for. Higher priced protein generally allows for better absorption into your body and has less fillers. Protein shake manufacturers are unregulated so the cheaper brands can get away with nasty concoctions of unwanted sweeteners and additives that you shouldn't get with the better brands.
Are you critically ill?! Seriously, these are fundamental movement patterns; movements you should be using every day of your life to sit, stand, bend over... you get the idea. No injury, if dealt with properly should prevent the progression back to these movements, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Work with a professional who knows what they are doing. Avoid isolation exercises such as the leg extension because the sheer force going through you knee here is not something you will want to experience.
Splitting your routine into two will be far more beneficial if you can find the time. Why? You'll get twice the amount of growth hormone produced, you'll feel fresher for session number two meaning you'll be working at a better intensity and you'll maintain muscle mass. Go straight from weights to cardio and you'll run the risk of going into a catabolic state; one of muscle breakdown, not muscle building.
If you were to put the weights and cardio session together, a shake in between the two would be more beneficial than at the end. However, you want the amino acids in your shake to be available to your muscles for building and its likely that they may just go straight to fuelling your cardio session, which is not want you want.
He will have both. However, deconditioned clients have generally been sedentary for a long time, and will have experienced a shift towards slow twitch fibres as some fibre types can change over time.
Sort of. I know guys who do no cardio at all and stay lean all year round because they have a lot of mass and good genetics. If you are looking to compete then you absolutely cannot lose every ounce of fat you need to lose without the cardio, but a good base of weight training alone is essential before you add in the cardio. Preservation of lean mass is the number one priority.
There are so many different ways of carb loading, depending on what it’s for. An example would be a period of around 24-36 hours, meals every two hours with a small amount of protein and carbohydrate at each meal, dropping the fats right down. Mostly this should be done on visuals, looking at your body and adjusting depending on how you are reacting. Some people can get away with pizza’s whilst carb loading, but you need to try different things out and find out what works best for you.
Note - I don’t recommend starting with pizzas, have a simple formula you can tweak before you start experimenting!
Questions Answered by Becs Cronshaw FST1 iTS BCT
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• 1 cup Certified Gluten Free Oats
• 1 cup Quinoa Flakes
• 2/3 cup Almond Flour
• 2 Scoops Vanilla Protein Powder
• 1/4 cup Ground Chia Seeds
• 2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
• 3/4 tsp Sea Salt, fine
• ½ Cup Pumpkin Seeds
• 1/4 cup Dark Chocolate pieces – Optional
• 2 eggs, beaten
• 1 egg white, beaten
• 1/2 cup Cold-Pressed Unrefined Coconut Oil
• 1/3 cup Honey
• 1 Tbsp Vanilla
Makes 24 medium-sized bars.
These pancakes are so simple to throw together and are jam-packed with protein. All of the ingredients get tossed in your food processor or blender. These are not only gluten-free, but also grain-free, and taste amazing. Tip: Make extras and freeze them for easy breakfasts all week long.
• 1 ripe Banana
• 3 Eggs
• 2 Egg Whites
• 1 cup Almond Milk, unsweetened
• 1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
• 2 ¼ cup blanched Almond Flour
• 1 Scoop Vanilla Protein Powder
• 2 tsp Baking Soda
• ¼ tsp Salt
• 1 Tbsp Coconut Oil for cooking
Makes about 20 - 24 pancakes.
ANSWER: Yes take them on off days as they will still boost your metabolism. They’ve also been shown to curb your appetite especially when you first start your cycle. Be aware that take the longer you take them the less effective they become so a reduction on off days may prolong their effectiveness. Beware if you are using them to allow yourself to eat sloppily, because when you come off them you won’t have developed the discipline to keep at your goal weight.
ANSWER: The medial communities are split over whether this is real or not. For anyone who’s suddenly found their strength and size gains stop for no apparent reason, it’s very real. You just can’t explain why you are so physically and mentally exhausted all of a sudden, even though you’re training to the max. Our adrenal glands influence all of the major physiological processes in our body. If they are not allowed to recover from heavy bouts in the gym, you are using stimuli like fat burners or pre-workout & you are
not dealing with stress at home or work, you will suffer AF & problems with your lifting will follow soon after. Train smart; going heavy or hard every day is not the way to go. Ensure that you have a de-load week every third or fourth week. Cut one set per exercise from that weeks training and keep the previous weeks weights. Use the extra time you have this week to get an hour or so more sleep. The next week you should find you strength gains are far greater and you can keep progressing.
ANSWER: To put on mass while cutting fat is not possible, and you are always going to loose some conditioning when you put on size. That’s why it’s usually advised that you bulk from your leanest point. Dependent on how well you keep to your bulking plan, you can limit the fall out to an increase in body fat of less than 5%.
IF is a calorie restriction technique, and is definitely not a suitable option. How can you increase mass without the building blocks to do so? Calories need to be increased gradually to around 800-1000 calories over your personal maintenance level. Your maintenance level is the amount of calories you usually consume without putting on weight. Dependent on your somotype (genetic body shape) you’ll need to have different ratio of macronutrients (fat, protein vs carb) so seek out a Precision Nutrition Coach or Biosignature Practitioner to work these out for you.
ANSWER: Fish oils need to be consumed in the morning with a purely protein breakfast to shift your body from a catabolic state into an anabolic one (carbs should follow 30 minutes afterwards). Do not take them after a workout as you need nutrients to be absorbed quickly into the muscles, and the fat will simply show down the process. The timing for multivitamins is generally in the morning, but if you are taking specific vitamins such as Zinc, these are best consumed at different times throughout the day.
ANSWER: I’ve trained a lot of big guys and cardio has to be twinned with weight training. I would recommend the walking to help you develop cardiovascular fitness (not running as this will destroy your knees), don’t be fooled by those idiots on Biggest Loser! Use machine weights until your have developed the appropriate coordination and muscular recruitment patterns. Don’t be impatient, as a loss of 1-2lbs per weeks should mean you are losing fat and not lean mass. Generally those who lose weight purely from cardio, do so too quickly end up looking like deflated balloons when they remove their shirt. Add in the weights as well and it’ll shape everything up nicely.
ANSWER: For the guys - shoot for around 10g 45 minutes before your session, and another 10g during. Women - half this should suffice. Anyone on a calorie-restricted diet can benefit from interspersing his or her meals with similar dosages of BCAA’s an additional 3 -4 times per day.
ANSWER: If you’ve just hammered your legs they need to recover - rest is the most underrated tool when it comes to muscle growth. If you’ve trained your legs hard enough, you should struggle to walk, let alone run!
ANSWER: A key benefit of BCAA’s is that it helps prevent muscle loss when away from the gym, so sipping a mixture in your water bottle throughout the day is highly beneficial. In fact I recommend that my clients take daily doses when away on holiday to limit muscle wastage as well.
ANSWER: All your body cares about is if it is getting the right fuel to sustain or accelerate what you are asking it to do.
What you do just before bed depends on whether you’ve hit your macros for the day; if you are short on calories then have the shake or meal. There are two main benefits of a shake; the speed of consumption (there’s nothing to prevent quick uptake of nutrients). and convenience. Other than that, unless you are struggling to consume the quantity of food you need, whole food is always better than a shake.
ANSWER: If one trap is larger than the other this may be a result of its overactivity. I’d recommend seeing a good sports masseuse to calm down the signals it’s receiving when training. This may in itself reduce some of its mass. If the difference is still obvious when performing unilateral shoulder exercises add an extra two sets on the side that’s lacking. This shall add the symmetry you’ve lost.
ANSWER: Half squats or sissy squats as I like to call them will work your VMO (the tear drop quad muscle the most). On their own I think they look stupid but performing a half squat followed by a full squat can nicely shape your legs. Full squats performed correctly will hit both quads and hamstrings hard but most people struggle with the technique and when it gets hard they cheat by folding forward, taking the emphasis off the quads. Front squats are the winners (hamstring to calf depth) as they have been shown to hammer both quads and hammies, plus you can’t cheat without dropping the bar. It’s important to note that if your front squat isn’t 85% of your back squat, then your form on your back squat is falling short.
ANSWER: Crossfit philosophy is to allow you to achieve overall fitness, it’s not a specialized program for weight loss or muscle gain. Weight-loss and muscle gain maybe an outcome of their workouts but not the goal. Crossfit is thrashing yourself without a nutrition plan, and you can’t out-train bad nutrition. Due to the lack of a periodized program, you may end up a little more cut, but definitely not jacked.
ANSWER: Whoa! There is no such thing as a normal macronutrient split, that’s why you don’t see ripped people subscribing to the latest celebrity diet. If you are serious about getting cut, you need to be serious about your diet and invest in a proper bespoke plan. Whether we like it or not, we are all dictated by our genetics. Some of us do better with carbs, others without, high fat, low fat blah, blah, blah. Getting this wrong will have drastic effect on your body shape. Save up.
ANSWER: Groundbreaking. When you weigh your food, you know what’s going into your body and you get immediate feedback based on how you react / look. You can then tweak this if you are unhappy with the result, or if you are changing your phase of training. If you are looking to get sub 10% then you need to be weighting out your food. How do you know what to change if you are not measuring it? Sub 10% the smallest of changes matter. You have to measure.
ANSWER: I’ve never heard of this happening; generally this happens when two different muscles sit on top or overlap each other, as with your quads. The only way to separate out muscles is to see a good sport masseuse. Poor tissue quality and tight fascia can effect muscle size and development. Tissue quality should never be overlooked if you are training a muscle. Make sure you haven’t fallen into the trap of training your abs more than 3 times a week, it’s a fallacy that they don’t need as much time to recover as other muscle groups.
Also, remember for most people, lower abs only show through at your very leanest point, so it all depends if you have dieted down far enough.
Answers by Fitnesss Expert Salman Kassam Pn1 iTS BCT
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