Tout dans la vie est une question d'équilibre d'où la nécessité de garder un esprit sain dans un corps sain.


Everything in life is a matter of balance therefore one needs to keep a healthy mind in a healthy body.


E. do REGO

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The keys to nutritious juicing - The Washington Post

By Jennifer LaRue Huget, Wednesday, March 23, 5:42 PM

It seems everyone I know — most recently, my longtime hairdresser, David — is into juicing these days. I’d never considered getting a juicer myself. Who needs another space-hogging appliance? But the more I learn about juicing fruits and vegetables, the more I think it might be a good way to eat (or drink) more of those key foods, especially for those who fall short of the recommended daily intake. Plus, David (who is 50, like me) looks fabulous. If you’re thinking of giving juicing a try, here are some things to keep in mind.
- Juice can be “a very healthy addition to a healthy diet,” says Jolia Allen, online managing editor for Vegetarian Times. Fresh juice delivers a concentrated dose of vitamins (particularly antioxidants such as Vitamin C), minerals and other nutrients without filling you up. Allen notes that a single glass of carrot juice may contain the nutrients of up to 10 whole carrots.
- You can put whole fruits and vegetables in a juicer, letting the machine do the work of removing the inedible parts.
- If you create the right combination of ingredients, fresh juice is by all accounts
simply delicious.
- “Juicing is processing,” says Manuel Villacorta, a spokesman for the American Dietetic Association. “With any whole food, the more you process it, the less nutrients you’re going to get.” Removing pulp gets rid of a lot of fiber, and without skin you miss out on such “micronutrients” as carotenoids and flavonoids that have the potential to reduce the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease.
- Cleaning the machine afterward is almost universally regarded as a pain in the neck.
- Juice supplies a lot of sugar at once and adds more calories per ounce than whole fruit or vegetables.
Think green. Allen suggests going for green vegetables. These taste plenty sweet (toss in a bit of apple if you need it sweeter), she says, and have far less sugar than fruits.
Key nutrients. If you’re looking to boost your intake of certain vitamins and minerals, toss these in your juicer. For Vitamin C: carrots, pineapple, parsley. For calcium: kale, collards. For potassium: oranges, tomatoes, spinach.
Save money. Juicers go through vegetables fast. Allen suggests buying seasonal produce (such as strawberries and spinach) at their peak and freezing them to use during the offseason, when they cost more. Or buy in bulk from a local farm. Better yet: Grow your own.
Chill out. Because friction from the juicer warms up the juice, use frozen produce or toss a couple of ice cubes into the machine to cool things down.
Preserve. If you have a bit left over, add a squeeze of lemon or orange juice to keep your juice from oxidizing (which makes it turn brown) and save it, no longer than overnight, in the fridge.
Your choice of a juicer depends largely on what you intend to juice and how much you want to spend. Here’s a sampling of what’s out there, from low-end to high, including two popular mid-priced models.
Metrokane Mighty OJ. This citrus-only juicer is easy to use and clean. It’s so old-school, I actually own one but never thought of it as a juicer. All-chrome model No. 3506, $50 at
Jack LaLanne’s Power Juicer Express. A “no-drip spout” tilts upward when you’re done, preventing juice from messing up your counter. The recipe book includes more than 100 LaLanne-inspired blends. This is the one my hairdresser uses. $100 at
Juiceman Wide-Mouth Juice Extractor. With a 4-inch tube opening (most others are just 3 inches), this machine can accommodate whole apples and even cuts of pineapple with the rind intact. Model No. JM550S, $100 at
Hurom Slow Juicer. This works by “chewing” the produce instead of chopping and separating juice from solids by centrifugal force. It’s slow-going but can handle tougher items such as nuts and soybeans. Model No. HU-100, $359 at
A main difference between juicing and blending is the thickness of the juice. A blender’s blades mix pulp and juice together, whereas most juicers use centrifugal force to separate juice from solids, producing a thinner liquid. With a juicer, you can use whole fruits and vegetables, including small seeds, skins and rinds. When using a blender, remove peels (though some skins, such as apple and pear, can be left on), rinds and seeds — anything you don’t want to end up in your belly.
Recipes. From “The Everything Juicing Book” by Carole Jacobs, Patrice Johnson and Nicole Cormier (Adams Media, March 2010):
- Popeye’s Secret: 2 kale leaves, 1 beet top and greens, 1 fist of spinach, 1 / 2 cup broccoli florets. All of these vegetables contain Vitamin C, an antioxidant that may help reduce the risk of cancer.
- Salad in a Glass: 1 cup broccoli, 3 butterhead lettuce leaves, 1 carrot, 2 red radishes, 1 green onion. Broccoli is rich in Vitamin K, which helps blood clot normally.
- Garlic Delight: 3 Roma tomatoes, 2 red apples, 1 clove garlic, 1 sprig Italian parsley. Tomatoes and parsley are both good sources of vitamins A, C and K and of potassium, which helps keep blood pressure in check.
Add it to foods such as casseroles, soups and meatloaf.
Eat it just as is; it’s pure fiber.
Chuck it on the compost pile.
Citrus peels. The pungent, bitter oils will overshadow the taste of the juice.
Pits. Remove the hard pits from cherries, peaches and other stone fruits to avoid damaging the blades.
Your fingers. Always use the food pusher to avoid contact with the ultra-sharp blades.
For nutrition news, visit the Checkup blog at , follow @jhuget on Twitter and subscribe to the Lean & Fit newsletter by going to
© 2011 The Washington Post Company

Monday, March 28, 2011

Train Like a Man!

Train Like a Man!

The Fall of T

America is becoming the poster-child for low testosterone levels. Men today are becoming increasingly more feminine, fussing about their eyebrows, spray tanning, and booking mani-pedis.
There are many potential explanations for the drop in testosterone and subsequent increase in American Idol voters. Skeptics will argue that it's simply our aging population that's to blame for our country's collective low T. Yet that fails to explain the feminine leanings of the younger guys. I believe their shockingly low T scores are due in large part to poor lifestyle choices.
Obesity, stress, prescription meds, staying up late, and poor food choices all affect T to varying degrees, but in a weird way, a low T lifestyle is almost glorified.
The 25 year-old guy with the muffin-top waistline due to the stressful job that keeps him up late is essentially what college prepares most "successful" people for. Follow that lifestyle too long and voila – self-induced castration, a gut you can't seem to lose, and an iPod chocked full of Kenny G.
But here's the kicker: castration has infiltrated and infected the one spot you might think immune to low T levels – the gym.

Castration in the Gym?

What do squats, deadlifts, bench presses, overhead presses, and dips have in common? Answer: They're all compound exercises that can be loaded to produce extreme amounts of testosterone-building tension.
Sadly, a lot of people answer: "They're all dangerous exercises that yogagirl127 posted on Facebook can hurt you and should be outlawed!"
Dangerous? To whom exactly? And what isn't "dangerous?"
Look, I'm not only a trainer, I'm also a physical therapist, and I respect the importance of proper biomechanics and injury prevention, but those basic exercises are not inherently dangerous.
Everything you do in the gym has some potential for injury, as do most things in life. Reading is bad for the eyes, door handles are caked with germs, and pesticides are sprayed on virtually every stitch of produce at the grocery store.
Are you going to stop reading, opening doors, and eating vegetables? Before we outlaw the overhead press, let's crack down on texting-while-driving and we'll really start making the world a safer place.
Safety in my training is paramount, but so is common sense – which isn't always common in the fitness industry. Over the last 20 years, I've watched bizarre trends in fitness information dictate the actual training that occurs inside the gym.
After the rise of the internet, articles written by any "expert" that could type had you in a full sweat-suit to stay warm during your dynamic warm-up and pre-habbed on the foam roller before you rehabbed with your corrective exercises.
In short, as information became more plentiful, more had to be written about the minutia. Once the minutia was deeply covered, the only thing left was to write about what everyone was doing wrong and the risks involved with just about every exercise.
Fact is, most stuff I see talked about today is about what we supposedly can't or shouldn't do. My goal is to remind us all that life is often better when you take the "t" off your can't.
This information overload leads us first on a quest for something safer, then moves us to something either more time consuming or boring, then moves us to skipping that new thing all together due to a lack of time or interest. Ultimately, we're unable to go back to the old exercise that worked and kept us stimulated because we're now convinced that it's bad for us!
Knowledge is power? No, knowledge is only power when we put action behind it. Today, I believe knowledge is often paralyzing.
Here are a few examples of "castrating" training trends and exercises.

Kettlebells vs. Dumbbells

Kettlebells are a great tool, but since the explosion of the kettlebell cults, dumbbells have taken a backseat in training. Funny, but no one ever takes a picture with a dumbbell, yet I see more shots every day of people carrying a kettlebell like it was his or her first-born.
I have nothing against kettlebells and use them in my training. I just wonder if the KB explosion would've ever happened without the internet? Kettlebell shirts, kettlebell necklaces...
Poor dumbbells, I'll miss them.

Bands vs. Chin-ups

Bad Chinups
Chin-ups are one of the all-time great upper-body exercises (and I include the abdominal area in that too). But they're difficult to perform, which turns people off.
So some genius discovered that a band originally designed for stretching also works great to make chin-ups easier by removing all the testosterone-producing tension. Now you have rooms full of guys doing sissy chin-ups thinking they're Olympic gymnasts.
Dump the bands. Do your chin-ups. And hurry up, because even though they haven't been outlawed yet, I'm sure someone is already working on an article called "Why Chin-Ups Are Bad For You."

Glute-Ham Raise vs. 45-Degree Back Extension

Back extensions are a great exercise, especially when you hold as many plates as you can across your chest.
Too bad some "efficiency expert" discovered that by just having a glute-ham raise bench you didn't need a back extension or a lying leg curl machine because the GHR effectively trains both knee flexion and hip extension. So now, both the back extension and leg curl are falling into exercise obscurity.
Turns out the joke is on them. Glute-ham raises are difficult and about as comfortable as a muay thai kick to the quads, so no one does them. So now, no one does anything, except of course occasionally working the triceps while wiping the dust off the GHR.

Prowler Pushes vs. Suicides

Suicide Sprints
I love the Prowler, but this idea that you need a special piece of equipment for conditioning is bunk.
Unfortunately, we've learned to value exercises either by their novelty or their ability to produce soreness or fatigue. I'm not sure there are many sports or activities that you need to prepare for by either passing out or puking in training, but hey, while we're lowering our testosterone levels, might as well find a way to crush our nervous and immune systems, too.
Want a really new exercise that no one is doing? It's called sprinting.
The biomechanics of sprinting is essential to our basic mobility, but it's also very much a "use it or lose it" skill. If you're 27 and haven't sprinted since high school, you need to get out to the field and start doing it. It's slowly leaving you, every day – and that means you're only racing faster toward the big dirt nap. (Maybe they should call being fat and sedentary a "suicide" instead?)
Notice I said "sprinting" not treadmill running, elliptical training, or texting your friend while you ride the recumbent bike. Each one of those pieces has castrated the thing we all need to make progress: impact. Oddly, biomechanists spend a whole lot of time trying to remove impact from our lives.

Lateral Raises vs. Shoulder Pressing

What's more functional than pushing something heavy overhead? I'm all for the YMCA dance and whatever else we do with ten-pound dumbbells to activate our lower trap, but there's nothing scary about a proper overhead press. It's a fantastic way to challenge significant musculature and load the spine.
Yeah, these can bother you if you have poor mobility, strength, or movement issues, but what wouldn't bother you in that case?

Pushdowns vs. Dips

Dips ruin the shoulders, right? That's why I see countless athletes in my facility with fantastic physiques complaining about shoulder problems from performing dips up to one hundred times per week.
Oh wait, that's right... I don't. And by the way, some of these athletes are girls I call "gymnasties" that often out-chin and out-dip the guys.
Pushdowns are great, but strap a 100-pound dumbbell around your waist and see if you can replicate the tension at the cable station.

Planks vs. Spinal Flexion

In the last few years, bending forward at the waist has been under siege. The firefight is all over the internet, and although I've adopted many anti-rotation, anti-flexion, and anti-everything else exercises to stimulate the core, I admit I still throw in some spinal flexion. Somehow I've still produced pretty solid results.
I will agree that a poorly performed sit-up isn't great for your back or neck, but you know what the absolute worst thing is for your back and neck? Sitting slumped over your desk surfing the internet for the latest plank variation.
Sit-ups aren't the biggest problem – it's sit-ting. Let's figure out how to stop people from doing that before we figure out any more things we shouldn't do.

Step-ups and Split Squats vs. Squats and Deadlifts

Step-ups and split squats are great exercises, but for building muscle they aren't in the same league as squats and deadlifts. Tension wise, they don't even come close. But because they're less "scary" than the big lifts, they're making a single-legged run at it.
Here's the irony: because they're unilateral, they also take twice as long to do, so people find them boring. So after a few weeks, nobody does anything. And then they sit in their chair and tell you to watch your back if you dare to deadlift?

Active Warm-Up vs. Static Stretching

Static stretching has been beaten down so hard it's barely breathing. Dynamic flexibility during an active warm-up is a wonderful thing and something I personally use daily, but static stretching definitely has its place in training.
Just about everybody has dropped static stretching in favor of dynamic movement, but here's the thing: dynamic flexibility during a warm-up is time consuming and sometimes complex, so many trainees simply skip it.
Now people are doing no flexibility training at all, and the result is they no longer have the mobility to squat or deadlift properly. So instead of performing some simple static stretches before performing the dynamic movements, we have immobile guys confined to doing planks on an Airex pad in the squat rack.
Stretch out, then warm-up, and then pick up something heavy!

80/20. Not 20/80.

Getting tension back into your workouts doesn't mean you have to kill yourself or get injured. It means scaling things back so that most of the time you spend in the gym is doing stuff that's actually productive.
The 80-20 rule never fails. If 80% of your time is spent straining under good old-fashioned barbells and dumbbells, with 20% spent doing pre-hab, rehab, and "potentiation work" then you'll probably look more fit and have a handful of calluses.
If that split is more like 20-80, then you likely have a problem that includes veggie hotdogs, waxing, and a dream to someday fit into those damn skinny jeans.

Monday, March 21, 2011

3 Tricks for Faster Fat Loss

You're doing everything right: Banishing junk food, training hard, adding in some cardio – but none of it seems to touch that spare tire around your waist.
Well, don't save up for lipo just yet.
When everything in your regimen says you should have visible abs and yet you don't, try these tricks to get you ready for the shirtless days of summer.

Trick 1: Dial-In Your Pre-Bed Meal

What did you eat before bed last night? What are you going to eat before bed tonight?
It's important, because what you eat in the two hours prior to bedtime has an enormous impact on your physique, especially when it comes to fat loss.

Here's the rule: Eat for what you're about to do.

Sure, some lucky bastards may go to bed and find a pair of scantily clad Playmates frolicking around between the sheets. But most of us mortals aren't about to engage in two hours of NEPA (non-exercise physical activity) when we head toward the bedroom.
For that reason, we don't need to eat a traditional bodybuilding meal at that time. Instead, we need to eat for what we're about to do: not move very much.
More specifically, your carbohydrate needs are dramatically diminished – arguably eliminated – when you're sleeping. Remember, carbs fuel high-intensity exercise like weight-training and sprinting, and there's no such thing as "high-intensity sleeping."
Fat, on the other hand, becomes the primary fuel source as the intensity of exercise goes down. In fact, when you're sleeping you're burning almost exclusively fat for fuel.
Therefore, feeding your body carbs prior to bed dramatically increases the chance that the carbs are stored as opposed to being burned. And if carbs aren't burned, they're either stored as glycogen or as fat.
If you happen to have weight-trained (cardio doesn't count) in the last three or four hours prior to retiring to your chamber, then there's very little chance that the carbs you eat at this time will be converted to fat. That's because glycogen stores are low and will hog all the carbs, leaving none needing to be converted to fat.
However, the majority of us don't train within three or four hours before bed, so we should eliminate carbs in our pre-bed meal. When I say eliminate I don't necessarily mean zero grams. Don't be afraid of low-starch veggies at this time.
As for pre-bed fat intake, I stand by my rule of "have fat when you don't have carbs." However, I do recommend cutting your normal portion of fat in half.
There's evidence that consuming a large amount of fat (a "fat load") suppresses hormone sensitive lipase (HSL), which is needed to break down fat. (1) Although the fat load in this study was more than a savvy trainee would normally consume in one meal (40g), I'd recommend being even more conservative. For the last meal of the day, limit yourself to 10 or 15 grams of fat.

Trick 2: Do Morning, No-Carb Cardio

No, not "fasted" cardio, but rather "no-carb" cardio. There's a big difference.
Let's say you just knocked back a bowl of Fruit Loops and you decide you want to go do some cardio to get leaner. Problem is, that cardio is going to primarily be fueled by your Fruit Loops, not your love handles.
That's because eating carbs blunts fat burning and promotes the body's use of carbs for fuel. Clearly, we don't want to burn carbs for fuel if we're doing cardio to lose fat.

So how do we burn fat for fuel?

Fasting – going without eating for a period of time, like during sleep – shifts the body toward burning fat for fuel. Why? Liver glycogen and blood sugar are lower after fasting, so the body is forced to burn fat for fuel in a fasted state.
Fasted cardio leads to significantly higher levels of the potent fat-burning hormone, norepinephrine, than non-fasted cardio. (2) That's why bodybuilders have been doing fasted cardio for years, with great results.
But this strategy isn't quite perfect.
In addition to burning fat for fuel, the body will also mobilize protein to help with meeting energy demands. And it will get this protein, specifically amino acids (leucine, isoleucine, and valine) from muscle tissue. Your muscles are parting with precious branched-chain amino acids. Not good.
Yep, your body will break down muscle tissue to fuel your treadmill walking, even without your permission. And this occurs more and more as the intensity of exercise goes up. But there's a way around this robbing-Peter-to-pay-Paul conundrum.
Consuming BCAAs prior to doing cardio reduces and even prevents the protein breakdown that would otherwise occur. (3) That means more muscle for you and a faster metabolic rate.
When doing high-intensity interval training (HIIT), research suggests it's probably not beneficial to do it fasted, since the fuel used for it isn't fat anyway. It's carbs. However, consuming BCAAs prior to HIIT is still crucial, maybe even more so. As the intensity of exercise goes up, so does the role BCAAs play in energy production.

Trick 3: Eat to Replenish Your Muscles, Not Your Liver

But it's not enough to just eat carbs and hope they'll make it to your muscles. You need to know they're going to your muscles. Ditch the wish-upon-a-star strategy and implement a scientific protocol of carb consumption.
Let's review some carb science. There are three types of monosaccharides of interest to us humans: glucose, fructose, and galactose. The latter comes from the breakdown of the disaccharide lactose, found in dairy products. I highly doubt a significant portion of your carbs come from lactose.
Regardless, it will be broken down into one part glucose and one part galactose. Subsequently, the galactose will soon be converted to your body's favorite monosaccharide – glucose.
Glucose is the body's preferred carb currency. Once in the body – whether ingested directly or from the breakdown of more complex carbs – glucose is used for energy, stored as glycogen, or converted to fat.
In The Insulin Advantage we discussed the importance of not overeating carbs so that the excess can't be converted to fat. We only want to eat enough carbs to supply our immediate energy needs and to replenish glycogen, specifically muscle glycogen.
The cool, physique-friendly thing about glucose is that it preferentially replenishes muscle glycogen as opposed to liver glycogen. It seems the skeletal muscles worked out some sort of deal with the body so that it gets first dibs on extra glucose before the liver gets a chance to lay its mitts on the fuel. That's great for us, because we desperately want our carbs to go to our muscles, not to our liver!

Enter fructose. This diabolical bastard evidently worked out a similar deal with the devil. Er, I mean the liver.
When we ingest fructose, it's quickly absorbed and shuttled off to the liver. It'll then be stored as liver glycogen and will be slowly broken down as needed by the blood.
The problem? Storing carbs in our liver does our muscles no good! The other problem is that once the liver is full of glycogen (and it only holds about 100 grams) it will convert any incoming fructose to triglycerides. That sucks. It sucks from an appearance standpoint and from a health standpoint.
What does that mean for us? It means that we certainly don't need to be too liberal with our fructose intake!
It also means that your pre-workout carbs should be glucose-containing carbs, NOT fructose-containing. Because, essentially, whatever carbs you eat from fructose are not going to your muscles, which so desperately want and need them post-workout. So, keep an eye on fructose, but also monitor your sucrose intake. Sucrose, which is table sugar, is a disaccharide made of one fructose molecule and one glucose molecule. In other words, sucrose is half fructose.
Soda is definitely not a good choice for post-workout carbs, but there's a much less obvious carb source we need to keep an eye on: fruit. For example, of the roughly 25 grams of carbs in an apple, about 15 grams are from fructose.
The point isn't to avoid fruit altogether. In fact, I typically recommend most people eat one or two servings a day because it's packed with a plethora of micronutrients. Rather, the point is to avoid having a couple pieces of fruit and thinking all 50 grams of carbs are going to your starving muscles. They're not.
A far better approach is to have no more than one piece of fruit at a time, even in the post-workout "window of opportunity." And if you're going to have fruit post-workout, consider making it a banana, which has more glucose, yet about half the fructose of an apple.

Basics Come Before Strategies

These three fat-loss strategies aren't going to get you lean if you superimpose them on otherwise piss-poor nutrition and training programs.
However, I can tell you from experience that if you try to get lean without using these tricks, your abs are going to stay hidden for a much longer time.


1. Effects of an oral and intravenous fat load on adipose tissue and forearm lipid metabolism. Evans K, Clark ML, Frayn KN.
2. Effect of moderate incremental exercise, performed in fed and fasted state on cardio-respiratory variables and leptin and ghrelin concentrations in young healthy men. J.A. Zoladz, S.J. Konturek, K. Duda, J. Majerczak, Z. Sliwowski, M. Grandys, W. Bielanski
3. Effect of branched-chain amino acid supplementation on the exercise-induced change in aromatic amino acid concentration in human muscle.


8-Week Basic Strength Plan

T NATION | 8-Week Basic Strength Plan

8-Week Basic Strength Plan

Sometimes, the answer is simply that you need to get stronger.
Being stronger in the basic barbell lifts makes everything else you do in the gym easier. It makes it easier to get bigger, build endurance, and perform conditioning work. It's even easier to cut up when you're stronger as you can handle a higher load and perform more work in the gym.
Unfortunately, this simple fact – that strength is paramount – has been forgotten in many modern-day programs. Instead, misguided trainees chase a pump or a burn, or do endless high-rep circuits to the point of projectile vomiting. While there's nothing wrong with some ass-whupping hard work or getting your swole on, these are all of secondary importance to increasing the load.
Just visit any commercial gym to see for yourself. Lots of people lifting, but how many are constantly trying to push more weight? And how many are making noticeable progress?
That's the purpose of this program – to make you noticeably stronger than you are today in 8 weeks. In turn this will make whatever your long-term goal is (build muscle, lose fat, perform better) easier to accomplish. It really is a no-brainer, provided you do your part.
What I need from you is a simple commitment. You're required to train hard with weights, three days a week for 90 minutes each day. That's it. If that's too big of a commitment for you, then you might want to head off to another site. Craigslist has a fitness forum. Feel free to get your wisdom there in between the ads for concert tickets and escort services.

The routine is as follows:

A Monday, Wednesday, Friday setup works great with this routine but it's flexible, so pick three days that fit into your schedule. If you just have to be in the gym more frequently, then you can add in some off-day core work, conditioning, foam rolling, stretching, etc., but you should always be fresh and ready for the main lifting day when it comes. If you're not, reduce the outside work.
Every week is laid out for you. The exercises are presented in the order that they're to be performed. Only work sets are listed. Warm-up as much as required; a few sets before the first work set of the first exercise is usually sufficient.
Do what's listed here, no more, no less. If you fail on a main lift on the first week of the program it means you've no idea what your 1RM is and you way overestimated it. Only in weeks 3 & 4 and 7 & 8 should you have any chance of failing, and if you set up things properly from the get go you shouldn't fail in a main lift for the entire two months.
However, that doesn't mean you won't work hard, it just means you won't fail. There's a difference. Blasting out reps to failure is a helpful way to test strength, not necessarily develop it. The plan here is to reign in the ball busting sets for 8 weeks in exchange for intelligent progressive loading.
But don't worry, you'll get a chance to bust ass at week 9, when you show off all the new strength you developed. How much strength? It's common for an intermediate level lifter to put 10-25 lbs. on their bench and 20-50 lbs. on their squat and deadlift with a routine like this. Think those plates on the bar won't be noticeable in the mirror? Think again.

Chest and Back

Weeks 1-4

ExerciseWeek 1Week 2Week 3Week 4
Bench press5 sets of 8 @ 60% 1 set of 3 @ 75%4 sets of 8 @ 65% 1 set of 3 @ 80%3 sets of 8 @ 70% 1 set of 3 @ 85%2 sets of 8 @ 75% 1 set of 3 @ 90%
Incline press5 sets of 84 sets of 83 sets of 82 sets of 8
3-Board press5 sets of 54 sets of 53 sets of 52 sets of 5
Pull-ups32 reps Minimum 4 sets32 reps Minimum 3 sets32 reps Minimum 2 sets32 reps Minimum 2 sets
45-degree bent over row3 sets of 83 sets of 83 sets of 83 sets of 8
Dead-stop DB row3 sets of 123 sets of 123 sets of 103 sets of 10

Weeks 5-8

ExerciseWeek 5Week 6Week 7Week 8
Bench press5 sets of 5 @ 65% 1 set of 1 @ 80%4 sets of 5 @ 70% 1 set of 1 @ 85%3 sets of 5 @ 75% 1 set of 1 @ 90%2 sets of 5 @ 80% 1 set of 1 @ 95%
Incline press5 sets of 54 sets of 53 sets of 52 sets of 5
3-Board press5 sets of 34 sets of 33 sets of 32 sets of 3
Pull-ups40 reps Minimum 4 sets40 reps Minimum 3 sets40 reps Minimum 2 sets40 reps Minimum 2 sets
45-degree bent over row3 sets of 83 sets of 83 sets of 83 sets of 8
Dead-stop DB row3 sets of 83 sets of 83 sets of 63 sets of 6

Legs and Lower Back

Weeks 1-4

ExerciseWeek 1Week 2Week 3Week 4
Squat5 sets of 8 @ 60% 1 set of 3 @ 75%4 sets of 8 @ 65% 1 set of 3 @ 80%3 sets of 8 @ 70% 1 set of 3 @ 85%2 sets of 8 @ 75% 1 set of 3 @ 90%
Deadlift3 sets of 8 @ 65%2 sets of 8 @ 65% 1 set of 8 @ 70%1 set of 8 @ 65% 1 set of 8 @ 75%1 set of 8 @ 70% 1 set of 8 @ 80%
Leg press1 set of 12, 1 set of 10, 1 set of 81 set of 12, 1 set of 10, 1 set of 81 set of 12, 1 set of 10, 1 set of 81 set of 12, 1 set of 10, 1 set of 8
Front squat5 sets of 84 sets of 83 sets of 82 sets of 8
Glute ham raise10 reps12 reps14 reps16 reps

Weeks 5-8

ExerciseWeek 5Week 6Week 7Week 8
Squat5 sets of 5 @ 65% 1 set of 1 @ 80%4 sets of 5 @ 70% 1 set of 1 @ 85%3 sets of 5 @ 75% 1 set of 1 @ 90%2 sets of 5 @ 80% 1 set of 1 @ 95%
Deadlift3 sets of 5 @ 75%2 sets of 5 @ 75% 1 set of 5 @ 80%1 set of 5 @ 75% 1 set of 8 @ 85%1 set of 5 @ 80% 1 set of 5 @ 90%
Leg press1 set of 12, 1 set of 10, 1 set of 81 set of 12, 1 set of 10, 1 set of 81 set of 12, 1 set of 10, 1 set of 81 set of 12, 1 set of 10, 1 set of 8
Front squat5 sets of 54 sets of 53 sets of 52 sets of 5
Glute ham raise18 reps20 reps22 reps24 reps

Shoulders and Arms

Weeks 1-4

ExerciseWeek 1Week 2Week 3Week 4
Military press5 sets of 84 sets of 83 sets of 82 sets of 8
Power lateral raise2 sets of 123 sets of 124 sets of 125 sets of 12
Power rear deltoid raise2 sets of 123 sets of 124 sets of 125 sets of 12
Close grip bench5 sets of 84 sets of 83 sets of 82 sets of 8
Pullover skullcrushers1 set of 12, 1 set of 10, 1 set of 81 set of 12, 1 set of 10, 1 set of 81 set of 12, 1 set of 10, 1 set of 81 set of 12, 1 set of 10, 1 set of 8
V-grip triceps pushdowns3 sets of 123 sets of 123 sets of 123 sets of 12
EZ biceps curls1 set of 10, 1 set of 8, 1 set of 61 set of 10, 1 set of 8, 1 set of 61 set of 10, 1 set of 8, 1 set of 61 set of 10, 1 set of 8, 1 set of 6
Tim's curls3 sets of 83 sets of 83 sets of 83 sets of 8

Weeks 5-8

ExerciseWeek 5Week 6Week 7Week 8
Military press5 sets of 54 sets of 53 sets of 52 sets of 5
Power lateral raise2 sets of 83 sets of 84 sets of 85 sets of 8
Power rear deltoid raise2 sets of 83 sets of 84 sets of 85 sets of 8
Close grip bench5 sets of 54 sets of 53 sets of 52 sets of 5
Pullover skullcrushers1 set of 12, 1 set of 10, 1 set of 81 set of 12, 1 set of 10, 1 set of 81 set of 12, 1 set of 10, 1 set of 81 set of 12, 1 set of 10, 1 set of 8
V-grip triceps pushdowns3 sets of 123 sets of 123 sets of 123 sets of 12
EZ biceps curls1 set of 10, 1 set of 8, 1 set of 61 set of 10, 1 set of 8, 1 set of 61 set of 10, 1 set of 8, 1 set of 61 set of 10, 1 set of 8, 1 set of 6
Tim's curls3 sets of 83 sets of 83 sets of 83 sets of 8

The Exercises

Bench press. You know this one. Touch the chest and press back up. If you're a powerlifter, you can pause all reps on weeks 5-8 to build strength at the bottom.
Incline bench press. Touch your upper chest, just below the clavicle. These are straight sets (no change in weight each set). Each week try to add 5-10 lbs. Training weights for incline pressing are usually about 80% of bench press loads so use that as a gauge.
3-Board press. Briefly pause the bar on the boards. Straight sets, increasing the weight about 5% each week. (So start light.)
45-degree bent over row. Ascending sets (weight increases each set), about 10% increase each set. Each week the weight should go up 5-10 lbs. per set so it might look like this:
It's important to start light so you can make continual progress. Straps are okay, so is a little leg kick. I prefer a supinated grip here but overhand is acceptable.
See the video below for a demonstration of form:
Dead-stop DB row. This is similar to a standard one-arm DB row except for each rep the weight is paused on the floor for one full second. This eliminates momentum and provides a nice stretch for the lats. Go a little lighter than normal as the pause increases the difficulty. These are straight sets; do the same weight for two weeks in a row. When the program calls to drop the reps simply increase the weight by 5-10 lbs.
Leg press. These are ascending sets; increase by about 10% each set. Every week go up 5-10 lbs. per set – most males can handle a 10-pound increase per week for the full 8 weeks if they push themselves.
Front squat. Straight sets, each week increase the weight by about 5%. Front squat strength can vary – if this exercise is new to you don't be afraid to start light. Ultimately, most lifters front squat about 75% of their back squat but don't rush into that weight until you're ready.
Glute ham raise. The number given is the total reps to perform; take as many sets as necessary to get there. These are the "knees on the pad" version to hit the hamstrings more. As your strength increases, try to use less total sets to get the number of reps prescribed.
Military press. This is done standing with a barbell, although if necessary you can substitute the seated dumbbell military press if your shoulders doth protest too much. Perform straight sets, increase the weight each week by 5-10 lbs. Most lifters can military press about 60-70% of their bench press as a rough guideline.
Power raises. Bend your elbows to 90 degrees and maintain that angle throughout the exercises. These are easier than strict lateral or rear delt raises, so go 5-15 lbs. heavier than normal. Perform straight sets, and use the same weight for each month – increase the volume by adding one set a week to build adaptation.
See the video below for a demonstration:
Close-grip bench press. Take a grip that's 10-14" wide from index finger to index finger. (Two fingers on the grip and two fingers on the smooth also works well.) Perform straight sets, increase the weight each week by about 5-15 lbs. Most lifters usually close grip 80-90% of their bench press as a rough guideline.
Pullover skullcrushers. I love these. Combine a pullover motion with a traditional triceps skullcrusher to increase the recruitment of the long head. Use an EZ bar and increase the weight each set by about 10%. Be sure to start light, and go up by 2.5-5 lbs. per set each week. These are easier than regular skull crushers once you master the form.
See the video below for a demonstration:
V-grip triceps pushdowns. Perform straight sets and go up in weight as you feel you can.
EZ biceps curls. Perform ascending sets and increase the weight by about 10% each set. Shoot for an increase of about 2.5-5 lbs. per set each week. A little swing is okay but in the final position your back should not be excessively arched.
Tim's curls. Perform straight sets and go up 5 lbs. every other week. This is a compound set using dumbbells. Start with a set of supinated curls (perform the twist by at least the halfway point), and then after 30 seconds rest, do a hammer curl for the same number of reps. Rest 90 seconds and repeat for a total of three sets each. The goal is to do the same weight on the hammer curls as the supinated curls, but you can use 5-10 lbs. less if you have to.

Stronger = Better

There are infinite ways to make a program more complicated, but when it comes to getting results, complicated does not equal better. If what you see in the mirror isn't matching the effort you're investing, I suggest taking a step back and focusing on the basics. Getting stronger in the old school barbell lifts is never, ever a step backwards. Start this program now and you're 8 weeks away from real progress.
What's stopping you?


The Perfect Body Fat Percentage

The Perfect Body Fat Percentage

Game Plan

Train with weights, eat well, recover, rinse and repeat. The how-to of building muscle is no great mystery. The questions arise in the nitty-gritty: How do I train? How do I eat?
When it comes to bodybuilding nutrition, the question is often this: How lean do I need to stay to optimize muscle gains?
There are a lot of factors involved. No two individuals are alike, and no two bodybuilding programs should be either. Let's explore those factors, then come up with a game plan so you can implement your own strategy for bodybuilding success.

Factor #1: Hormones

We all have different metabolisms and hormonal profiles, and by extension, different dietary needs. When talking about bodybuilding, these differences play a major role in how fast we gain muscle and also how much fat we might gain in the process.
A genetic ectomorph (think Screech from Saved by the Bell) will obviously have very different dietary needs and responses compared to a genetic endomorph (think Fat Albert). If Fat Albert tries to stay as lean as Screech does while gaining, he's going to be spinning his wheels for a long, long time.
Hormones like testosterone, estrogen, cortisol, thyroid, and insulin all play very important (and interdependent) roles in the process of physique manipulation. Looking at each one individually, we have the following:
HormoneToo MuchToo Little
TestosteroneRarely an issue Increase in body fat, decrease in muscle mass
EstrogenIncrease in body fatJoint issues, health issues, slower muscle gain
CortisolSlower metabolism, decrease in muscle mass, increase in body fatRarely an issue
ThyroidDifficulty gaining weight, muscle weakness, fatigueSlower metabolism, fatigue, increase in body fat
InsulinInsulin resistance, increase in body fat , increase in blood pressureType-I diabetes
Relative to diet and body fat, we have the following (for males):
Also remember that hormones are delicately interlinked. Change one and you change quite a few others. If something is out of whack, it can create a hormonal cascade resulting in a myriad of issues, which can make results hard to come by. It can also be hard to pinpoint the root of the problem because of the ripple-effect nature of hormones.

Factor #2: Psychology

You also have to factor in the mental (and social) aspects of weight gain. If you're not comfortable eating 6,000 calories a day, your life may be tough. You need to keep things enjoyable if you plan on playing this game long term.

Factor #3: Health Considerations

Being overweight increases blood pressure, blood sugar, and blood lipids (cholesterol and triglycerides). These issues can lead to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and kidney issues, among other serious concerns. They also create hormonal imbalances, which can slow muscle gain.
This is a lose/lose situation. You look out of shape, your health is suffering, and you're impeding your bodybuilding goals!
Remember, bodybuilding is more of a marathon than a sprint. The guys with the most longevity in the sport do the best. Ronnie Coleman won his last Olympia at 41 years of age. Three of the seven weight class winners at last year's Nationals were over 40 years old.
Disregard your health by getting too fat and your body may be too wrecked to run the hypertrophy marathon.

Factor #4: Strength and Leverages

Generally speaking, the bigger you are, the stronger you are. Increased body weight not only helps with strength from a muscular standpoint, but also a mechanical standpoint.
Your leverages for most lifts are optimized when you're bigger, and having a bigger midsection helps with lifts like the squat (for stabilization) and also bench press (by reducing the range of motion).
One lift that usually suffers during weight gain is the deadlift. For most guys, leverages for that lift get worse. Having a smaller midsection helps get into position better on the deadlift, so more leg drive can be used and it's easier to get "behind the bar."
So we know that you usually get stronger as you get bigger – and getting stronger is a great way to add muscle – but at what point do the returns start to diminish?
Obviously, if you're disrupting your hormonal axis, the extra ten pounds you're gaining on your bench and squat aren't going to mean a whole lot, especially once it comes time to diet off the pudge and see what's hiding underneath.
If you're constantly chasing bigger numbers on the bar and scale, without considering the mirror and your health, your gains will be very short-lived. Loose skin isn't too cool either.

Putting It All Together

While excess fat can certainly interfere with optimal muscle gains, I'm not a proponent of staying in contest condition year round either. If you're afraid to lose your six-pack and put on some extra weight, you'll be treading water for a long time.
A balance between the two is best. Add enough weight to allow for consistent, realistic muscle and strength gains without disrupting your health and endocrine system in the process.
But remember, there's no one-size-fits-all strategy. Much depends on your natural body type.

Endomorphs: A Guide for the Big Boys

Trying to stay too lean will sabotage your gains. Trying to put on too much weight too quickly will also backfire. Fat will accumulate at an astonishing rate.
Endomorphs need to look for a weight gain of about half to one pound a week to make sure that the majority of the weight they gain is quality. Because of water and glycogen fluctuations, this won't always cause a linear rate of gain, but try to keep the general trend at a pound or less per week.
Larger individuals (over 250 pounds) can aim for a slightly larger rate of gain, in the neighborhood of one to one and a half pounds per week.
A great method is to use a gaining period – averaging about a pound a week – until you reach the upper level of body fat for your body type, then diet down (intelligently!) for a period of time until you get to the lower end of the range. So gain up to 15%, then diet back down to 10%, then repeat.

Ectomorphs: The Skinny-Guy Guide

If you're an ectomorph, take a more aggressive approach. Not only are more calories typically required for growth because of your faster metabolism, you also burn off fat very quickly, so putting on a little fluff every now and then isn't a major concern.
Ectomorphs should shoot for faster gains than endomorphs – maybe one to two pounds a week or more depending on the situation. Truth is, their fast metabolisms usually make this difficult to do unless they'rereally packing in the calories.
Like endomorphs, a weekly gain of half to one pound is usually what they see. It's rare to see ectomorphic weight trainers get much over 12% body fat, so their goal should be to use a gaining period until they reach about 12% body fat – averaging about a pound gain per week – then slowly dieting down back down to 8-10%.

Mesomorphs: We Hate You. No Guide For You!

Mesomorphs are the guys that can just look at a barbell and grow. And they stay reasonably lean regardless of their diets. If you're reading this article, you're probably not one of those guys.

Set Point Considerations

The human body has a lot of internal thermostat-type processes that help it maintain homeostasis. It tries to keep some semblance of "normal" in terms of bodily processes, and it can be quite difficult to change that set point.
Ever notice how after dieting your body tries to fall back to the weight you started at? That's your set point. It's what your body is used to, and it wants to get back to that state.
One way to help re-set your set point is to maintain the new weight for a longer period of time in an attempt to get your body to recognize the new weight as its new set point.
Resetting your set point can take months. So rather than getting your weight up to a certain point and then immediately dieting back down, hold that new weight for six months or longer. It will help you hold on to more of that new muscle when you do eventually diet down.
This doesn't mean get fat and stay fat! It means put on muscle, keep your body fat under control, then hold that new weight for a while before slowly leaning out.

Competition Ready

For those who compete regularly in a physique sport like bodybuilding, it's even more important to stay in shape during the off-season. It takes too much time to lose excess weight just before show time, and you also risk losing muscle in the process.
All too often I see guys go 50-plus pounds over their competition weight, thinking that they've made a ton of progress (hey, they look huge in a sweatshirt). Then they come back the next year and compete at the same weight they did before.
The bullshit stops when the sweatshirt comes off. If you're competing on a regular basis – at least once a year – it's imperative to control your body fat if you intend to improve by next year and move up the competitive ladder.

Assessing Progress

Use mirrors to determine your progress. Sure, body fat is important. But honestly, having it measured regularly can be inconvenient and expensive. So instead of going by specific numbers, I prefer checking the mirror and taking photographs to assess progress.
Your lower back and midsection usually don't lie. They'll tell you if you're putting on too much fat. Once your love handles get to the point where they're hanging over your waistband, you've gone too far.
Some "extra fluff" is okay back there, and a lot of what accumulates over the course of a day is water, but you should never get to the point where you can pinch more than an inch.
As for the midsection, you should always be able to see at least an outline of your abdominals (no great detail, just a general outline) and also have visible serratus.

Supplement to Optimize Hormones

Keeping yourself somewhat lean helps optimize your hormone levels, but you can gain an extra edge with the addition of a few key supplements:
Curcumin and Alpha Male optimize testosterone levels.
FA3 and Flameout are hormonal building blocks.
Rez-V works as an anti-estrogen and pro-testosterone.
Receptormax optimizes insulin sensitivity and androgen receptors.

Stress Control and Sleep

It's easier said than done, but reducing stress in your life can help immensely in your quest for muscle. High stress increases cortisol, which limits muscle gain and promotes fat gain. So get plenty of sleep and don't sweat the small stuff.

The Bottom Line

There's no magic number in terms of an optimal body fat percentage for gaining muscle. But, using the guidelines outlined in this article, you can come up with your own best method for achieving optimal hypertrophy while staying sane and healthy in the process.

Friday, March 18, 2011

How to Get Ripped with Food: A 7-Day Plan

You’ll never get ripped without changing your diet. It’s as simple as that. So what changes should you make? This is where you’ll get a million different answers. It seems that every week a new book, article, or diet comes out claiming there’s a better way to lose fat. But you know it’s the same ol’ B.S.
I can sum it up for you right now. The key to losing fat super fast and finally get the lean body you want hinges on vegetables.
Yuck. Vegetables. Who likes them, anyway? Not me. If I never had another one again it’d be too soon.
But vegetables are loaded with all the stuff you probably don’t get enough of such as vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytonutrients while being low in the stuff you probably are getting too much of: calories. Whenever a client needs to lose fat like yesterday, I put him/her on a diet that consists mainly of veggies. It not only works for them, it also always works for me.
And let me tell ya, it works fast!
However, like I mentioned, most people don’t like vegetables. So the question is: How bad do you want to lose fat? If you’re sick of feeling like your fat loss is going nowhere, it’s time to get focused and just do the vegetable thing. The good news is that you can eat any vegetables from the following list in any amount. Just eat until you’re full four times a day. After day 1, the diet will slightly shift toward protein sources.
Trust me when I say that this is one of the fastest, healthiest ways to boost fat burning to the max. It’s not easy, but it works incredibly well.
Vegetables to choose from: artichoke, asparagus, beets, bok choy, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, green beans, kale, mushrooms, okra, onions, peppers, spinach, squash, tomato. These can be eaten raw, steamed, or in a big salad drizzled with a little olive oil and/or balsamic vinegar.
DAY 1: At 8am, noon, 4pm, and 8pm eat as much of any vegetable as you want, in any combination. You don’t have to eat at those exact times, but spread out the four meals as evenly as possible. Drink 100 ounces of water.
DAYS 2-4: Eat vegetables at the same four times each day but add in 20 ounces of protein from fish, chicken, lean beef, turkey, eggs or seafood at 8am and 4pm meals. Drink 100 ounces of water.
DAYS 5-7: At 8am, noon, 4pm, and 8pm eat vegetables in any combination and quantity and have 20 ounces of protein from fish, chicken, lean beef, eggs, turkey or seafood. Drink 100 ounces of water.
What about supplements? For one week I recommend you avoid any of them, even after lifting weights. This should not be a week where you’re looking to achieve a new one-rep max in your lifts. Think of this as a detox program for your body and organs with the side-effect being rapid fat loss.
On the morning of day 1 take your weight and waist measurement (around your navel) and repeat those measurements on the morning of Day 8 – the day you return to your normal schedule.
I’m challenging you to do it for one week. Don’t worry about anything else. Just do this and post your results on this blog. Heck, take before/after pics and I might use them for a future blog.
Fast fat loss doesn’t have to be complicated. Give this 7-day plan a try and you’ll see how effective a simple plan can be to finally bring those cuts out of hiding.
Stay focused,


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Des médicaments contre l’hypertension et le diabète font prendre du poids

16 mars 2011 – Un type de médicament couramment prescrit aux personnes souffrant d’hypertension, de diabète et de troubles cardiovasculaires, les bêta-bloquants, entraîne un gain de poids à long terme, confirment 4 études australiennes.
Dans chacune des études, menées par la même équipe de chercheurs, on a comparé le gain de poids chez des patients traités aux bêta-bloquants et des témoins qui ne l’étaient pas. En tout, les études ont porté sur 11 468 sujets souffrant d’hypertension artérielle ou de diabète.
Les résultats indiquent que, comparés aux groupes témoins, ceux qui prenaient des bêta-bloquants affichaient systématiquement un poids supérieur. La différence entre les 2 groupes variait de 5 kg à 20 kg, selon les études, et était toujours significative sur le plan statistique.

Pourquoi les bêta-bloquants font-ils grossir?

Dans l’une des études, menée auprès de 30 sujets, les auteurs ont mesuré la thermogenèse2 (chaleur physiologique) consécutive à un repas et le niveau d’activité physique des sujets, qu’ils soient ou non traités aux bêta-bloquants. Les résultats indiquent que, chez les sujets traités, la thermogenèse était réduite de moitié par rapport à celle que l’on pouvait observer chez les autres. Par ailleurs, le niveau d’activité physique des sujets traités était inférieur de 30 % comparé à celui des sujets non traités.
Les chercheurs en concluent que les bêta-bloquants tendent à réduire la thermogenèse, ce qui cause une accumulation plus importante de corps gras dans les tissus, de même qu’une oxydation accrue des matières grasses dans l’organisme. Une thermogenèse réduite et une oxydation accrue des matières grasses engendrent davantage de fatigabilité à l’effort, ce qui expliquerait que les sujets traités aux bêta-bloquants tendent à faire moins d’exercice.
Selon les chercheurs, les patients qui doivent prendre des bêta-bloquants à long terme devraient redoubler de vigilance quant à leur poids en surveillant de près leur alimentation et en faisant davantage d’exercice. Il est possible aussi de demander à son médecin d’employer un autre type de médicament, ou l’un des bêta-bloquants de la toute dernière génération, qui seraient moins antithermogéniques que les anciens.
Pierre Lefrançois – PasseportSanté.net
1. Lee P, Kengne AP, Greenfield JR et al. Metabolic sequelae of β-blocker therapy: weighing in on the obesity epidemic?Int J Obes (Lond). 2011 Feb 8.
2. Thermogenèse : chaleur physiologique qui permet notamment de brûler les calories et les graisses.