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Self-Confidence Knocks Out Fear

Self-Confidence Knocks Out Fear

 

            Take a moment to guess what your body can achieve…YOU’RE WRONG, because you can do more. The first step is establishing whether or not you believe in yourself. Don’t expect me to spit out bullshit by saying you can do anything if you believe in yourself, because you can’t. Nobody can do everything, but if you’re self-confident, you’ll try more things and will be shocked as to how good you truly are.

Fear is inevitable. You will always be afraid of something. Self-confidence will fight its nemesis for eternity, so you must choose whether to fight for Team Self-Confidence or Team Fear.  

ToughMudder - LeanBerg_ThumbsUpHere’s my attempted Batman metaphor:

I’m a diehard Batman fan (no, not because Heath Ledger died). Being trapped in a dark hole with bats swarming everywhere really frazzled the crapshoot out of young Bruce Wayne. However, after growing up angry and afraid of bats, Bruce Wayne finally grew that pair of balls needed to defeat his fear. In short, he became Batman, embracing the Bat-Suit, Bat-Symbol, and most importantly, the Bat-Cave. Bats scatter throughout the Bat-Cave, but this time, Bruce Wayne owns them, not the other way around. Batman’s confidence outweighs his fears.

I’m not saying you should pick your most-feared animal, make a suit of that animal, and then fight crime. BUT what I am saying is acknowledge your fears in a way where they enhance your confidence, embrace them, and go accomplish what you’ve set out to do.

You’re better off going for your goals than letting fear stop you. If you get your ass kicked like Batman did when Bane broke his back, the worst that can happen is you’ll have to fight harder next time. Trust me…there’s very few feelings of success that can compare to breaking through your fear and coming out more confident.  

 

Here’s where I relate this to my recent Tough Mudder experience:

Last Saturday, I participated in Tough Mudder with five other brave souls for Team Mind Over Mudder. We wore these sick-ass shirts, thanks to Fitness Wear, Inc. Wearing their shirts made me want to workout, so running 12 miles in deep mud, while pushing through 22 brutal obstacles was a blast.

Running, crawling, climbing, carrying, and pushing are fine, BUT I’m scared shitless of heights and electric shock. Knowing that one slip would cause me to fall far to injury makes me nauseous, and the thought of a sudden jolt causing uncontrollable, bodily twitches is discomforting.

However, the LeanBerg self-confidence refuses to grant fear the satisfaction of sending me home defeated. My Mind was Over the Mudder. (I had to link this theme with the team name somehow).

So what if I’m afraid? That didn’t stop me from completing the following obstacles (we nailed all of them but here’s a few of the milestone ones):

ü  EVEREST. We sprinted up a tall, steep, and muddy quarter-pipe. I ran like the Tasmanian Devil. (That’s a GreenbergRippedPicLooney Tunes reference).

 

ü  ELECTRIC EEL. We crawled through ice-cold water and mud, just inches under live, electric wires. I took some shots in the arms. Oh, they twitched, but the pain was minimal. Thank God I didn’t get hit in the head or neck.

 

ü  WALK THE PLANK. We jumped off a 15+ foot cliff into freezing water. Saying, “screw you,” and jumping anyways lead to a glorious feeling of knocking out one of my biggest fears.   

 

ü  ELECTROSHOCK THERAPY. We ran through a field of live wires. We had to keep our eyes open or else we’d trip over the scattered hay bales into deep mud. Regardless, we showed our guts charging through that field, got shocked, thrown back on our behinds, but got back up and crossed the finish line with success.

 

            WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER. Tough Mudder was a success! BigBerg’s fear would have prevented him from even showing up to such a challenge. But that wimpy attitude is different today, thanks to self-confidence.

Whether it’s heights, electricity, bats, or whatever, I know what my fears are, but I’m confident that I can break through them. It’s an awesome feeling when that happens, and I hope you all can enjoy it too.

Don’t let your fears stop you. Control your fears. You got this.

Oh, and by the way, you can find me on Twitter and Instagram @lean_berg. If you follow me, I’ll feel good about myself…plus I’d love to hear about your workouts, progress, advice, critiques, and answer any questions. You can also email me at jordangreenberg32@gmail.com. The world is your oyster.

ToughMudder2

Till next time – LeanBerg

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Chicken Legs

37291489            Chicken legs suck and don’t look good. That’s the moral of this post. Legs make up half of your body and are practically everything’s necessity. If you don’t work them, you’ll look disproportionate with a big upper body and tiny lower body.

WORKOUT YOUR LEGS TWICE A WEEK…OR IN A 7-DAY SPAN. Like any big risk, leg workouts produce the biggest rewards (that’s my cliché for the day). It’s an amazing feeling after getting through an exhausting leg workout and your upper body lifts will improve at a substantially higher rate too.

My preferred method is making a solo leg day and pairing legs with an upper body muscle within a 7-day span. I’ll usually pair legs with either shoulders or back, but I’ve paired them with chest and arms as well. Another method would be breaking up leg muscles into different routines, such as gluteus with hamstrings and quads with calves.

leg-day-1Ask people with chicken legs why they constantly ignore leg workouts like redheaded stepchildren and they’ll all spew out the same bullshit. For my magic trick today, I shall bullet point some notable excuses, checkmark some of my favorite lifts for legs, and then share somewhere between 1-350 of my leg routines.

Here are some chicken shit excuses:

 

  • “I work my legs enough from cardio.” Cardio is critical to workout success and bikes do provide some resistance, but you better lift weights for legs just as much as you do for upper body. People just make these claims, because working legs is too challenging. Discrimination is wrong, so don’t segregate your legs from the weight room. BOOM.
  • “I don’t need to work my legs, because they’re naturally muscular and strong.” You’re better off producing big legs from badass workouts at the gym, instead of a Burger King fetish. Believe me, I know, and I’ve been there.
  • “Nobody sees your legs, so nobody cares.” This one is not as common, but I’ve heard it. It’s just another thing people say to avoid a challenge.
  • “I have bad knees.” This is overused. I don’t have much experience with this excuse, so just ask Derrick Rose (too soon?). His knees are cleared to play basketball, yet he’s still not using them. He might have some insight on this one.

Here are amazing lifts for legs:

ü  FORM > WEIGHT. Put your pride aside, because lighter weight with proper form produces better results than heavy weight with shit form. Also, aside from my machine section, EVERYTHING IS DONE WITH FREE WEIGHTS. Less assistance creates faster, better, and stronger results.

ü  Bar Back Squats. Bar back squats will nail your quads the most, while also requiring strong gluteus, back, and core. For the best results, squat BELOW 90-DEGREES, while staying on your heals and not hunching your back.

 

ü  Bar Deadlifts. Deadlifts nail your hamstrings, while also working your quads, gluteus, hips, arms, forearms, core, and lower back. The main issue is that deadlifts scream injuries, so you cannot get away with crap form.

ü  Dumbbell Bulgarian Split Squats. This one is a burner. In short, hold two dumbbells, get in a lunge position with one leg back on a bench instead of the ground, and then squat BELOW 90-DEGREES with the other leg, using your core to stabilize and balance. This lift will isolate the hell out of whichever leg is on active duty. Bulgarian split squats may be hell’s version of hell, but it’s one of the best definition producing mechanisms.

ü  Lunge Variations. You all know what lunges are, so do them. I switch up lunge variations every few weeks with bars, dumbbells, walking lunges, standing in place and alternating lunges, forward lunges, backwards lunges, jumping lunges with weights or no weights, and the list goes on.

ü  Machines For Bonus Sets. Machines make for good set-adders, and they’re great to circuit with the bigger, free weight lifts. Some notable machines are leg press, hack squat, leg extensions and leg curls.

ü  Do Weighted Calve Raises Or Something Like That. Enough said there.

…………

You’ll be hearing about leg workouts and my distaste for chicken legs plenty more from me. You cannot go ALL IN without treating your legs the same way you do your upper body. Order yourselves Campus Protein’s awesome FUEL pre-workout before the next time you work legs. It’s a fantastic energy booster and will get you in the zone.

Below are three leg workouts. You absolutely can these. I’ll see y’all next week and please read. I’m putting off a lot of studying for finals to write these, so if I fail law school, it’d at least be nice to know one or two people read.

–       LeanBerg

Legs Workout A

  • 10 Round Superset!!
    • Bar Back Squats 8-10 reps rounds 1-3, 5-6 reps rounds 4-5, 10-12 reps rounds 6-7, 15-20 reps rounds 8-10
    • Leg Curl Machine 8-15 reps
    • 3 Round Circuit
      • Leg Curls 10-15 reps
      • Standing Dumbbell Calf Raise 10-15 reps
      • Bar Alternating Lunges 10-12 reps each leg (10-24 total reps)
      • 3 Round Abs Circuit
        • Weighted Jackknife Situps 20-30 reps
        • Cable Crunches 20-30 reps
        • Lying Down Leg Lifts While Holding Up Plate 20-30 reps

Leg Workout B

  • 4 Round Superset
    • Deadlifts 10-15 reps
    • Leg Extension Machine 10-15 reps
    • 4 Round Circuit
      • Leg Press Machine 15 reps
      • Frog Situps 30-50 reps
      • Seated Calf Raise Machine 10-15 reps
      • 4 Sets
        • Dumbbell Bulgarian Split Squats 15, 12, 10, 8 reps each leg
        • Run 3 Miles (LOVE CARDIO ON LEG DAYS!)

 

29456555Leg & Shoulders

  • 4 Round Circuit
    • Deadlifts 20, 15, 10, 6 reps
    • Sitting Dumbbell Arnold Press 10-15 reps
    • Standing Dumbbell Side Raise 10-15 reps
    • 4 Round Circuit
      • Dumbbell Squats (resting on your shoulders) Followed With A Shoulder Press 8-12 reps
      • Leg Curl Machine 10-12 reps
      • Bar Upright Row 10-15 reps
      • Abs – 100 Weighed Jackknives Situps As Fast As Possible
      • Abs – 100 Situps on Decline Bench As Fast As Possible
      • Run 3 Miles
Before/After

Before/After

 
 

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The Resolution AFTER New Years…

Well…… I’M BACK!

Hope you’ve missed my witty remarks and sarcasm.

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In light of the New Year, I think it’s appropriate to address some of the most popular New Year’s resolutions and some tips to help keep your fat asses motivated.

New Year’s resolutions are a bit like babies; they’re FUN as hell to make, but extremely difficult to maintain. I read that about 75% of people stick to their goals for at least a week, and less than half (46%) are still on target for about five months. Most just go back to old habits.

 

Which percentage do you want to be?

That’s what I thought!

Don’t worry, you’re in good hands.

So some of the healthiest and most popular New Year’s resolutions are as follows:

1)    TO LOSE WEIGHT: This has to be the most popular new year’s resolution ever. Come January 1st, gyms and health clubs are PACKED! (I HATED/LOVED it.) People are getting their resolutions started and trying to change their lifestyles. In order for you guys to keep yourselves motivated, you need to always think back and reassess your resolution daily, preferably in the morning or before you work out. SELF-MOTIVATE yourself! Take an upper, pre workout, or something that gets you going. Don’t give up. Little things help along the way as well. Take a before picture to look at and KNOW that your after picture will be that much closer. KEEP IT UP

2)    QUIT SMOKING: Probably one of the most difficult and common resolutions. But if you want a healthy lifestyle like me, you’re going to need to quit smoking. First off, it’s disgusting and a HUGE turnoff. It’s also pretty bad for you and your lungs. Try running 3, 2 or even 1 mile with smoker’s lungs. Good luck! There’s so many methods out there to help you quit. Seek out the best one for you and do it! No one ever said it was going to be easy.

3)    SAVE MONEY: Saving money by making healthy lifestyle changes. Walk or ride a bike to work instead of taking a car, cab or subway. Try working out at home instead of joining a gym. Buy limited items from Whole Foods. There’s always ways to save money. Think about what’s important to you and what things you can cut back on and live without.

4)    CUT YOUR STRESS: Yoga is a big reliever of stress and anxiety, but also, try getting at least seven hours of sleep each night. Might be tough, but it’s a must! “Relaxation, sleep, socializing, and taking vacations are all things we tell ourselves we deserve but don’t allow ourselves to have”-The Super Stress Solution. Try some breathing or meditation exercises. It might help.

5)    VOLUNTEER: Try helping out a local soup kitchen or school drive. Anything to help involve yourself in the community and give back a little. It’s a good feeling to volunteer and help people that are less fortunate then you are. It may also be a great stress reliever.

6)    CUT BACK ON ALCOHOL: This is a big one. Not always the most successful one, but pretty popular. This one should be done in moderation. Try decreasing your alcohol intake one drink at a time. Gradually 14180_2171996384163_508584222_ndecline your intake day by day or week by week. It’s a process. Chronic heavy drinking boosts your risk of liver and heart disease, hypertension, stroke, and mental deterioration, and even cancers of the mouth, throat, liver and breasts. Ya, I know. Intense right? Sorry, but it’s the truth. It also goes straight to your belly!

7)    GET MORE SLEEP: This is a huge stress reliever. A typical person needs about seven to eight hours of sleep per night. It’s important to get just that! A rested body is a healthy body.Or…you can try ZMA! Best sleep of my life! And I got CP to even sell it (coming to CP this January)

8)    TRAVEL: Relax and enjoy the rewards of vacation time. Show off that body that you’ve been working on for months! Enjoy your loved ones and let loose. “It makes you feel rejuvenated and replenished.”

So those are some of the most realistic and popular resolutions that I know of. Don’t set a unrealistic goal. You want to set something that you know you can do. Plan ahead and put together a plan that helps you along the way. Have a specific daily goal so that you keep yourself on track!

It’s very important that you stick to your goals so you don’t slack and give up your resolution.

I believe in you! (HA HA)

It’s a new year. 2013 baby! LET’S GO!

64609_4619152834388_1410096648_nPeace. Love. Protein. @CampusProtein

@AndrewBrauny

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2013 in The Brauny Take

 

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BROga: A Downward Facing Blog

Yoga.

Gentlemen, you might think this post isn’t for you… However, I’m here this week to change your preconceived notions about the practice. Let’s call it BROga.

I’ll admit it, the idea used to scare me. My first time was weird and uncomfortable, but the more I practiced, the more secure I felt.

Try new things, guys! Unfamiliar physical activity confuses your body; this is a GOOD thing. Activating different or unused muscles helps your body grow and become stronger.

Your body is an instrument, and you should play with it! (Not like that, you pervs…)

Benefits-of-Hot-Yoga-for-Men[1]

Anyway, moving on.

Before I delve into the whole yoga process and its benefits, I’ll give you first-timers some need-to-know background. Listen up newbies.

  • Yoga is an ancient practice that has existed for centuries. It is not a fad. And although people may practice “religiously” and certain aspects of yoga are meant to be meditative and spiritual, it is NOT a religion.
  • Do not sit in the front row. Let’s face it: you’re going to suck at anything when you are trying it out for the first few times. Don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself, and don’t make yourself a spectacle. Grab a spot near the back or off to the side.
  • Take a breather if you need to. No shame in catching your breath and grabbing some air. Many instructors will instruct you to take rest in “child’s pose.” Consider this your opportunity to puss out while still looking like you kind of know what you’re doing.
  • “Block” if you want to. Grab one or two of the wooden or foam blocks for support. Blocks are not just for “beginners”, but also for those of us who aren’t as flexible as others (No shame in that).
  • Hydrate, especially if you are considering trying hot yoga. It gets extremely hot (over 95 degrees) and very slippery. Have at least a bottle or two of water before your class, and drink profusely afterwards to replace all of the water you lost during the class. It’s very important!
  • Make sure you bring a towel with you. It gets pretty hot and steamy in there, and you’ll want to avoid slipping on a sweaty mat.
  • Wear comfortable clothes. (Less is more!)

I’m very big on “hot” yoga, specifically Bikram Yoga. Classes are often titled “Power Core” or “Sculpt” yoga, which usually offer variations of the Bikram sequence.

First, let’s address what Hot Yoga entails. It’s basically yoga in a sauna. The room is heated to anywhere from 95 to 105 degrees. Bikram is a series of 26 postures, each performed twice. Hot Yoga is excellent for burning calories and losing weight. One can burn up to 600 calories in a single class! Practicing regularly also helps you build up a shit ton of stamina. The hot, steamy environment improves muscle pliability, making you more flexible. For those of you who can’t touch your toes, try hot yoga. You’ll get closer and closer every time, I promise.

Guys, for simplicity’s sake, I’m not even going to get into the Ashtanga sequence. Too many poses. Let’s just master Bikram first. Baby steps to child’s pose.

Thanks.

Power (core) Yoga can be done in a heated or normal environment. I like taking it hot because it not only burns more calories but it loosens up your muscles and joints so you don’t pull anything (take caution, however, because you might feel more flexible than you actually are…don’t push it too far). It feels amazing though. “Core” yoga is Bikram with a little more emphasis on the core muscles (abs). Yoga classes might be titled differently from place to place, but I’m sure they are all beneficial in some way.Eagle-Pose[1]

The next yoga class that I LOVE to take is “sculpt”. Sculpt is yoga-based, but definitely less traditional and may not be offered everywhere. Sculpt basically incorporates yoga with weights. Usually it is not done in a hot room (wouldn’t want to slip and drop your dumbbells). You use lighter weights to help sculpt your body with your poses. It’s a great core and balance workout as well. Try it out. I’m sure every guy will love it. Adds some masculinity to the class.

Now that I’ve told you about some of my favorite yoga classes to take, let’s go over some of the benefits that yoga has to offer us men.

  • First off, yoga works the entire body. It activates every muscle, joint and organ. Yoga poses are designed to help oxygenate the blood, which creates more energy when you finish the exercise as opposed to depleting the body of it. You work every system.
  • Next, yoga has its benefits in the bedroom as well (read my previous blog, “Sex and the Gym” (for reference). For example, Eagle pose is a posture that sends blood and oxygen to the sexual organs. Chicks dig good balance. There are dozens of poses that would come in handy when you’re trying to impress a female.
  • No man is too big or too small to participate in yoga. Yoga will push your personal boundaries by increasing your flexibility, endurance, and muscle tone. I promise you it will only help.
  • Soreness? What’s that? Yoga significantly decreases muscle soreness. When muscles fatigues, they build up with lactic acid, creating soreness. Yoga stretches and releases this tension. Runners especially feel this particular benefit of yoga.
  • Distracted? Try yoga. Yoga is known to train your focus. With its mixture of mediation and breathing exercises, yoga targets the brain and helps relax the body and the mind.
  • Yoga, especially hot yoga, flushes your system. The high heat in a hot yoga class helps your body shed toxins and helps enhance your immune system. It creates an “artificial fever” in the body, releasing unwanted substances through sweat.
  • Last but certainly not least, yoga balances the mind. It brings one into a sense of mental clarity and focus. Yoga takes you into a different world where you feel more grounded and self-aware. This awareness helps you feel at ease and allows you to cope with the stressors of everyday life.

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There’s really nothing more I can say to convince you that yoga…excuse me, BROga…is worth trying. Just one warning, once you fall in love with hot yoga, DON’T ABUSE IT. Too much exposure to high heat is not good for the body. Limit your newfound obsession to once or twice a week.

And if for no other reason, yoga is a great place to meet chicks… or at the very least, stare at them in spandex 😉

Until next time…

Peace. Love. Protein. @CP

@AndrewBrauny

 
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Posted by on December 11, 2012 in The Brauny Take

 

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SEX and the GYM

So I have a pretty good feeling that this is going to be my most popular blog thus far. This week, I’m going to channel my inner Sue Johanson (a renowned sex therapist… for those of you who didn’t know) and write about everybody’s favorite subject…

From much experience and expertise in the subject (wink) I’m going to educate you prudes about some great workouts and diets to improve and spice up your sex life, whether you’re lacking in that area or you’d just like to incorporate some new techniques.

Listen up, because I’ve received some pretty positive feedback.

…Unless you’ve been faking it.

Rude.

But back to the topic at hand…SEX

Sex should be fun for both parties involved.

Gentlemen… if you’re out of shape in this area, please, for your own sake and the sake of your partner(s), please pick up the slack.

Work out and eat right to improve your stamina. I’m about to drop some serious knowledge, so listen up, boys and girls.

The most desirable attribute women seek in their partner is “confidence”. As a gym rat, you already know that improving your physique will help you feel better about yourself, in turn allowing you to exude a sense of self-assuredness that women find wildly attractive.

A generally big guy might turn a few heads, but there’s so much more to having a sexy physique than just the “show” muscles. A sculpted upper back, for example, is an awfully sexy feature (I’ve been told this, so it must be true.)

My token “Better Sex Workout Plan” mainly focuses on the glutes and hamstrings, body parts that help keep your balance and provide a foundation for the rest of your physique. This plan runs on a 3-day circuit that has been compiled from Men’s Health and Fitness forums. Its been proven to work. Each workout should be done per week with a day of rest in between. It should take about 50-60 minutes to complete.

Let’s get started.

Day 1:

  • Bench Press: 4 sets of 6-8 reps. Start light and work your way up to your max. Try to max out at 1-3 reps. You will notice an increase in strength over time.
  • Inclined Dumbbell Press: 3 sets of 10-12 reps. Set a bench to a 25-35 degree angle and lie back with dumbbells over your chest. Increase weight by 5-10 lbs each set.
  • Dumbbell Overhead Press: 3 sets of 8-10 reps. From a standing position, squeeze your core and press weights from over your shoulders to over your head. Increase weight per set.
  • Skull Crushers: 3 sets of 10-12 reps. Lie on a bench using a weighted bar or EZ-curl bar. Increase weight each set or use your max weight for all sets.
  • Ab Wheel Rollout (my personal favorite): 4 sets of 10-12 reps. ENGAGE YOUR CORE!
  • Conditioning: Run or sprint on treadmill with incline. Walk back down and rest for a minute or two between sets. Run for 40-50 yards and rest. Repeat 6-8 times.

Day 2:

  • Deadlift: 3 sets of 5-7 reps
  • One-arm Dumbbell Row: 3 sets of 10 reps. Increase weight with each set.
  • Face Pull (another personal favorite): 2 sets of 15 reps. Attach a rope handle to the top pulley on a cable machine. Pull the rope toward your face and squeeze your upper back. Hold for one second and release.
  • Lat Pull-down: 4 sets of 8-10 reps. Increase weight with each set.
  • Barbell Curl: 3 sets of 12 reps. Increase weight with each set.
  • Conditioning: Burpees. 5 sets for 20-40 seconds. (If you don’t know what these are, look them up. This is basic stuff…)

Day 3:

  • Squats: 4 sets of 8 reps.
  • Hip Thrust: 3 sets of 10 reps. Sit on the floor with a bench in front of you or a ball.Put your legs on the bench/ball and thrust your hips up (to a reverse-plank position) and hold for a few seconds. Squeeze your glutes until your body forms a straight line. FEEL THE BURN!
  • Dumbbell Step-up: 2 sets of 15 reps. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and place one foot on a bench so your thigh is parallel to floor. Step up but leave one leg hanging off. Switch.
  • Cable Pull-Through (love this): 3 sets of 8 reps. Attach a rope handle to the low pulley or cable machine and straddle it. Face away and bend forward. Pull the handle through your legs and thrust your hips forward (you can also use a kettle bell weight).
  • Hanging Leg Raise: 4 sets of 10-12 reps (or until you literally can’t do anymore.)
  • Conditioning: Jump rope for 20-30 seconds. Rest for 1 minute. Repeat for 8-10 minutes.

ENJOY!

Moving on, I’ll go over some foods proven to help you perform better in the sack.

EAT YOUR GREENS. Spinach and other dark green veggies are imperative to your sexual performance. Spinach is a great source of magnesium, which helps dilate blood vessels. (Get it? More efficient blood-flow to where it counts = greater arousal for both men and women.) Try also broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, and Bok Choy.

Unsweetened tea is a great antioxidant and promotes blood flow to areas all over the body for increased sexual power as well as brainpower. Antioxidants are proven to enhance memory, mood, and focus. So ladies, serve your man a glass of your finest tea before hanky time to ensure he’ll be ready to go!

Fruits such as peaches, grapefruit, and oranges are packed with vitamin C. According to research at the University of Texas Medical Branch, “vitamin C improves sperm count and sperm motilit

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y.” (If you’re looking to have “really effective” sex, try incorporating some of these items into your diet. Most of us will probably shy away for obvious reasons…)

Several studies have found that the antioxidants in red wine may trigger the production of nitric oxide in the blood. The presence of nitric oxide allows relaxation of arterial walls, and you guessed it… increased blood flow to the genitals! I recommend limiting yourself to a glass or two; you don’t want to go and reverse the effects, if you catch my drift.

Protein, as I mention in nearly every post, is of the utmost importance. It boosts your metabolism and helps build muscle. I recommend lean meats, fish, and beans. BUT OF COURSE POWDER IS ACCEPTED

Oatmeal and whole grains boost testosterone production in the bloodstream. Testosterone is a steroid hormone that plays a significant role in sex drive and orgasm strength in both men and women. Some whole grains contain L-arginine, “which is an amino acid that enhances the effect of nitric oxide on the relaxation of blood vessel walls.”

Dark chocolate contains a compound called phenyl ethylamine that releases the same endorphins triggered by sex, According to research published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, consuming foods containing this compound may ultimately increase the feelings of attraction between two people.

Lastly I’ll mention strawberries. Research suggests, “The color red is psychologically associated with sex and love. Strawberries also include B vitamins that help prevent birth defects and vitamin C, which is a potential libido booster.” TIP: Try dipping them in dark chocolate… what’s sexier than that?542044_3208478767290_252219459_n

Have fun with these tips, stay safe, and of course… make me proud.

Until next time,

Peace. Love. Protein @CP

@AndrewBrauny

Sources: Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, AndrewBrauny.

 
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Posted by on December 4, 2012 in The Brauny Take

 

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Thanksgiving Fat to a December 6-pack.

In light of Thanksgiving, I am going to explain how you can shed that overstuffed belly in order to look your best for December vacation, that’s if you choose to go on a much needed beach vaca (It’s what I’ll be doing… These abs need some sun).

In order to shed that turkey weight, you fatty, you’re going to want to get back into the gym as soon as possible. Start nice and slow and get back into the grind of things. I know its tough because it’s the winter and therefore little motivation to workout and look good. I get it… It’s a drag to venture to the gym in the cold. I hate it as well, but I do it because I want to keep in shape and look good for when beach season eventually comes around. I use that as my motivation. Take a pre-workout with a shit ton of caffeine if you have to. I don’t care how you motivate yourself, just do it!

You need to workout for 35-50 minutes in order to lose weight, according to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) research. Any exercise that gets your heart pounding will burn calories and aid in accomplishing your goal. Choose between walking, running, dancing, or cycling and commit to it. Keep track of your time and goals and stick to your schedule!

Next, you want to incorporate strength training into your workout routine. Choose something basic that targets different muscle groups each day. I like to work isolated muscle groups each day. It gives me more time to focus on each muscle group individually and enhances my goal results. Consistent strength training increases muscle mass, which in turn increases your metabolism… that, my friends, is a “scientific fact!”

You definitely want to GET RID of all the holiday junk food you have stashed in your house and substitute it for more nutritious food choices. Focus on low-fat, low-sodium foods. The majority of your diet should be fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and complex carbohydrates. AVOID high-fat, high-sugar, pre-packaged or processed items. Cutting down to smaller portions of your current diet is another easy way to make a change. It’s suggested that you should eat 5-7 smaller meals a day, rather then 3-4 big meals. This pattern is proven to increase your metabolism. Just be careful what you put in that mouth of yours. Follow my diet plan and you’ll be beach-ready in no time!

The last step is to cut out ALL of that high-calorie beverage shit. HUGE weight gainers are all of those celebratory beverages and holiday cocktails that are all usually extremely high in calories and sugar (eggnog, dessert wines, etc.) These drinks add up calorically and show up almost immediately as fat around your mid section, so there’s no hiding it. I will notice if you’ve been cheating, so don’t even try.

You have my permission to cheat a bit from time to time, but don’t insult me by abusing the privilege.

Additionally, these high-calorie, high-sugar drinks add little to no nutritional value to your diet. Replace all of this crap with WATER. Staying properly hydrated helps to decrease bloating and provides aid for your weight loss goals.

BUT… if you MUST drink, try some of these low-calorie, low-sugar options.

White/Red Wine: about 70 calories per serving with less than 1 gram of carbs and no fat.

Pabst Extra Light Low Alcohol:  67 calories per 12-oz serving (“Best low-calorie beer”)

Miller Genuine Draft 64: Just 64 calories per 12-oz serving (“One of the lowest calorie beers available”)

Bourbon: 64 calories per 1-oz serving. Recognize that you are adding a ton of calories if you add a mixer. Instead, use diet soda, tonic water, or another low-calorie mixer (that is, if you’re a wimp and can’t drink it straight).

If none of the aforementioned options appeal to you (listen up ladies and girly-men), you can also choose from the wide variety of beverages offered by SkinnyGirl:

White wine: 100 calories per 1 serving

Margarita: 38 calories per 1.5 fl oz

Sangria: 132 calories per 1 serving

Vodka: 75 calories per 1.5 fl oz

White Cranberry Cosmo: 34 calories per 1 serving

White Peach Margarita: 37 calories per 1 serving

Anyway, enjoy the holidays and remember to cut down your portions and stay away from those sugary drinks!

Have fun!

Peace. Love. Protein @CP

@AndrewBrauny

 
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Posted by on November 27, 2012 in The Brauny Take

 

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Brauny’s Take 6: CHEF Braun

Are you a healthy eater?

Do you cook yourself meals everyday?

Well if you do both of these, like me, then I permit you to continue reading. If not, you’re a terrible person and you don’t deserve to read any further.

I’m kidding…

This week I’m going to talk about easy and healthy recipes to make for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Every day, I cook two meals for myself: the same breakfast and various dinners. Both meals are healthy and extremely easy to compose.

First meal of the day: breakfast. Every single morning I prepare egg whites and a piece of whole wheat or rye toast with almond butter and jelly on it. (TIP: Rye is actually preferable because there are no traces of white flour in the dough.) I follow with Greek yogurt and granola, sometimes a protein shake to top it all off. It’s a very filling breakfast and effectively sets up my metabolism for the rest of the day. When I’m in a rush, I have a bowl of puffins with a banana and Greek yogurt. It’s still very good and filling, but not my number 1 choice. Breakfast should be eaten within two hours of waking up in the morning. I usually eat breakfast between 7:30 and 8:30AM during the week, which turns into noon or 1PM on the weekends (let’s be realistic here.)

Some easy and healthy snacks for in-between meals include protein bars, shakes, fresh fruit, and my absolute favorite: hummus with pita chips or celery. Celery is great because it is comprised of nearly 98% water, but serves as a pretty filling snack. Most of these items can be taken with you as you start your day, whether you’re on your way to work or to do whatever else you unemployed losers do with yourselves.

Now on to lunch. Lunch is pretty much the same every day for me. It consists of either of the following things: A salad topped with grilled chicken, or a whole wheat/rye sandwich with tuna or chicken. Depends on the day, how I’m feeling, and what I’m in the mood for. I usually eat lunch between 11:30AM and 12:30PM. Because I eat breakfast so early, I get hungry for lunch on the earlier side. Lunch shouldn’t be that big because it’s sandwiched (pun intended!) in-between two small snacks. Keep it light and fresh. Simpler is better when it comes to lunch, but make sure there is some sort of PROTEIN present. Did you not hear me…I Love PROTEIN. Protein is important to keep you going until your next meal.

Dinner time! Dinner is my favorite meal because it’s when I get to go CRAZY! I usually eat dinner right after I work out, so I am super hungry. I love to experiment. I usually stop by Whole Foods on my way home from the gym to pick out a few key ingredients and get really creative.

Now I usually don’t release my dinner recipes to the public, but I’ll share three of my favorites here. Be thankful!

The first is an all-time favorite. It’s grilled salmon—with a sweet and spicy twist.

½ teaspoon of brown sugar

½ teaspoon of chili powder (or use cayenne pepper for even healthier choice)

a pinch of kosher salt and black pepper

Combine spices in a small bowl

Rub mixture over a 4-6 ounce salmon filet. Grill for 6-8 minutes, flipping halfway through. This is a very filling dinner, but feel free to add a few sides. I usually include sautéed veggies and some quinoa for the perfect finish. This dish is only 184 calories but it has 23 grams of protein, 6 grams of carbs, and only 1.1 grams of saturated fat (7g fat). It’s a very healthy meal for after a workout. Try it! Tell me what you think.

The next recipe is another classic: Balsamic Grilled Chicken, inspired by the balsamic steak from of my favorite restaurant, Acqua al 2 in Florence.

Start with at least 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts.

Use 1 tablespoon of olive or canola oil,

½ teaspoon of salt,

¼ teaspoon of black pepper

For the balsamic sauce:

3 tablespoons of chopped basil

1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon of chopped shallots

1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon of honey

¼ teaspoon of salt

¼ teaspoon of black pepper

4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil or canola oil

Turn on the grill or stove top before preparing the chicken, allowing adequate time for the surface to become hot. To prepare the chicken, pound it lightly. Grill the chicken for a total of 12 minutes, flipping at the halfway point. To prepare the sauce, combine all the listed ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk in the oil to mix them all, and then drip the sauce over the cooked chicken. This is a great meal that doesn’t require more than 20-25 minutes to compose. It’s packed with 40 grams of protein, 348 total calories, only 3 grams of saturated fat (19 g fat) and only 2.8 grams of carbs. This meal is also great over a salad or over quinoa or brown rice. Play around with it a little. It’s fun to be creative in the kitchen. ENJOY!

The next recipe is extremely easy. I make it all the time when I’m not in the mood to devote 25 minutes to making a meal. It’s very simple. All you will need is eggplant, portabella caps, and teriyaki sauce. Slice the eggplant into a few thin slices and marinate them in a bag filled with the teriyaki sauce and a pinch of salt and pepper. Do the same with the mushroom caps, then throw everything on the grill for 8-10 minutes. You can make a nice eggplant-portobello burger with a slice of rye or whole wheat bread. Throw some lettuce, tomatoes and onions on there to complete the burger complexion and add some sides to the mix as well. May I suggest some quinoa or veggies? It’s a quick, easy dinner that’s full of nutrients. I promise you’ll LOVE IT!

That’s all for this week.

Enjoy your meals!

Peace. Love. Protein. @CP

~@AndrewBrauny

 
2 Comments

Posted by on November 20, 2012 in The Brauny Take

 

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