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Chest Day Rest Day

“Lie down on this bench and push that bar upwards.” That’s a chest day for y’all, and those are actually great instructions for most chest workouts.  

 (Be a bodybuilder, not a weightlifter video)

While necessary for a strong physique, people often overuse chest days, leading to a disproportionate body. If your chest is stronger than your back, Disney fanatics will worship you as The Hunchback of Notre Dame (too mean?).

 

Chest workouts are easy with their lack of conditioning prerequisites, since it’s not hard to push something while you’re lying or sitting down. Whether done with free weights or by a machine, flat, incline, and decline bench presses require that resting support. The same goes with pectoral fly exercises. A lot of people perform standing cable fly variations, but that’s shitty if it’s the one I have to refer to as “the standing chest exercise.” 

 

People seem to measure each other’s strength by how much a person benches. That’s completely false. Even though I’m Jewish, I hope for next Christmas that Santa will shut those people up. Most fat people can bench more than me, because they’re fat and heavy. Simply put, fat people bench a lot, because they’re fat and heavy. Their bodyweight/bench ratio sucks, though.

 

Bench pressing is a narrow lift, hitting mostly chest, while indirectly working shoulders and triceps. Full body lifts, such as deadlifts, squats, and STANDING rows, demand more physicality by also requiring your back, quadriceps, hamstrings, shoulders, arms, traps, and core.

 

This is all because Chest Day is a Rest Day. I’m living proof of that. Overloading chest workouts is a fantastic idea for lazy people like BigBerg.  A couch potato can bench press while being a couch potato. Rest on a couch or a bench…it’s still resting!  

 

GreenbergRippedPicBut when done right, chest days can enhance your physical abilities. So allow me the honor of sharing just a few of my dos and don’ts for chest workouts, followed by two different chest-working routines.

 

Chest Days Should Not Be Your Focus

 

There’s a time and place for chest days. Registering for chest workouts should be done for the same reasons why college students register for blow off classes: they’re easy credits to earn and help ease the steam as you exercise your mind in the difficult classes.

 

Chest day is a blow off day and should be utilized to recover from the more difficult days, while earning some extra, easier workout credits at the same time. My favorite time to work chest is the day before longs runs, such as my 17-miler last Sunday (7:36 minute per mile average, baby). This allowed me to still workout the day before running, while also resting most of my body. You can do the same thing with arm workouts, but you know that already.

 

To toughen up chest workouts, take advantage of fatiguing that upper body by circuiting the hell out of your chest lifts, coupled with pushup variations. I prefer 8-15 rep-ranges for my chest workouts. If that’s a no-go due to your hard-on for heavy lifting, make rep pyramids, such as 15, 10, 6, 6, 10, 15.  

 

The 90-Degree Form IS More Bullshit Than Actual Bull Shit

 

Today, you’re going to end that “bring the bar 90-degres down” crap. Why the hell would you do anything halfway? Half-ass form will lead to half-ass results, and you will not be satisfied. It’s like driving to Potbelly to purchase a chicken sandwich for lunch, stopping midway, saying, “fuck it,” and then driving home without that lunch. 

 

So take those presses down to your chest every single time, unless there’s some injury or medical reason (that’s my disclaimer). This may require dropping the weight, but do it right and you’ll be seeing those gains in no time. Plus, you’ll look better!

 

Bouncing The Weight On Your Chest Is Bad News Bears

 

Bars and dumbbells are not bouncy balls, so a lifter shouldn’t bounce it on his chest to gain momentum per each press. The hardest part of benching is pressing the weight from your chest to halfway up, and that unnecessary momentum disallows maximizing your strength. Rather, you want the kind of momentum that gets your ass in the gym nearly every day, not the cheating kind that bakes shit reps faster than an Easy Bake Oven. BOOM.  

 

Proper form increases difficulty and forces you to use lighter weight, but the results are better. So instead, touch the bar to your chest and pause for a second. By preventing yourself from bouncing the weight, your chest muscles will finally have the chance to press without assistance. Give your chest the opportunity it deserves, and it won’t let you down.

 

Pressing Like A Speed Demon Is Pointless

 

Applicable to any lift for any muscle, slow reps produce more pleasing results. I’m not going to cite stuff or bullshit you, because I don’t have data. But what I do have is knowledge from trial and error. Fast reps go in the error section, while slow reps go in the success section. Slow reps burn more, there’s more contraction, and muscles will build at substantially higher rate.

 

So when you’re pressing, count no less than 3-seconds down and then 3-seconds up. And for each pectoral fly, when you bring the weights in, hold it there for no less than 3-seconds. Soreness will be a bitch, but after a full recovery you’ll be stronger the next round of chest.  Don’t count this way every time, as you should mix it up every few weeks, but this count serves as a good base.

 

……….

 

Moral of the story: Chest Days make for good Rest Days. They’re useful, but not useful enough to become a priority. Don’t let your chest workouts mess you up. Do it right, nail your back, legs, and shoulders, focus on those full body lifts, and you’ll walk strong with a better posture than any chest day junkie.

 

Below are two sample chest workouts, one a solo chest day and the other paired with back. Expect some sort of leg workout rave next week. Until then, thanks for reading and go hit the gym. And man, I really don’t want to study for these fuckin’ law school finals.

 

Use your flaws in a positive way to exceed your potential – LeanBerg.

 

 

Chest and Back

  • 6 Round Circuit
    • Dumbbell Flat Bench Press while doing a Leg Lift with each Press 20, 15, 12, 10, 8, 6 reps
    • Standing Bar Rows with Overhand Grip 20, 15, 12, 10, 8, 6 reps
    • Lat Pulldown Machine 10-15 reps
  • 4 Round Circuit
    • Bar Incline Bench Press 15, 12, 10, 8 reps
    • Standing Dumbbell Rows with Underhand Grip 10-15 reps
    • Dumbbell Flies on Flat Bench 20, 15, 12, 10 reps
  • 4 Round Superset
    • Reverse Fly Machine 12-15 reps
    • Standing Cable Flies with Underhand Grip 12-20 reps
  • 3 Sets
    • Chinups till Failure (do as many as you can, then rest a minute)
  • Run 3 Miles (LOVE CARDIO BABY)

 

Chest Day Rest Day

  • 6 Round Superset
    • Dumbbell Incline Bench Press 12-20 reps rounds 1-3, then 6-10 reps rounds 4-6
    • Dumbbell Flies on Decline Bench 15-20 reps rounds 1-3, then 8-12 reps rounds 4-6
  • 4 Round Circuit:
    • Bar Flat Bench Press 10-15 reps
    • Abs – Weighted Lying Down Legs Lifts with HANDS TO SIDES, not under your ass (hold dumbbell between ankles) 20-30 reps
    • Pec Fly Machine 15, 10, 10, 15 reps
    • Abs – Frog Situps 30-50 reps
    • Diamond Pushups till Failure
  • As Fast As You Can (hit total number of reps as fast as possible, only resting when you absolutely must, and make sure to touch your chest to the floor each time)
    • Decline Pushups with Feet on Ball 100 reps

 

Before/After

Before/After

 

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Brauny’s “Female” Take

This week’s take is going to be a little bit different. One of my best friends, Alyssa, works at a gym in Chicago and is around fitness 24/7. She is as much a fitness addict as I am, so I trust her every opinion.

With that being said, this blog will pertain to women only. Guys, you can read it, but I don’t think it’s going to do you any good (pervs). You can skip right to the bottom.

Screen shot 2013-03-06 at 4.24.19 PMI asked Alyssa several fitness and health questions that I thought girls would be interested in knowing, especially from a girl’s perspective, since I know nothing on the topic.

1)    Alyssa, what is your favorite workout to do at the gym? And why? My favorite workout is featured at the gym that I work for. It specifically features a high intensity interval training (HIIT) class. The class combines 4 15-minute intervals on the treadmill at varying inclines and speeds, along with weight-training incorporating bozu balls, bands, and more (switching every 10-15 minutes) totaling an hour-long workout. It’s a pretty intense high calorie-burning workout, but with any workout unless I am sweating and busting my butt it’s a waste of time. Outside of shredding, I really enjoy running, hot yoga, and spinning. I’m all about the sweat J

2)    Do you have a favorite gym outfit? I am a full-blown lulu addict. I wear their leggings almost every day to class and work and have racerback tops in enough colors to last me for about 2 weeks before doing the laundry. I love the bright and fun colors. I used to always run in baggy clothes and my life changed after discovering how great cute workout clothes actually are. I think that looking and feeling good in your workout is very important. Also – Lulu pants seriously do something amazing to even the most average-looking tush. The splurge is worth every penny.

3)    Do you like it when guys hit on you at the gym? If so, what’s your favorite pick-up line? No I actually find it annoying. Gym time is me time and there is a 100% chance that I don’t want to talk to you while I’m at the gym. Any girl that likes to get hit on at the gym isn’t really there to workout. But “Brauny’s Take” about how to pick up girls at the gym does bring about good topics and is kind of true. (She winked)

4)    What’s the creepiest story that’s happened to you at the gym (guy related)? I’ve had a few trainers approach me at the gym and offer me free personal training lessons. At first I was excited about this…who doesn’t want a free personal trainer? Most of them are just pretty desperate. So in the end, I said no thanks. Didn’t want to lead them on. That’s never a good idea.

5)    What classes do you usually take at the gym? Refer to number 1 🙂

6)    Have you ever made out at the gym? Never. (But I have had fantasies at the gym……who hasn’t?!)

7)    What’s your favorite apparel brand? Why? My typical gym outfit is spandex shorts or crops and a lulu racerback top. Some of my spandex crops are from lulu and some of my shorts are from target. Target’s brand is honestly almost as expensive as lulus and is the same quality, in my opinion. Workout clothes are all about personal preference. I like body-hugging clothes that don’t move around while I run. I also like really bright gym shoes, although I know you aren’t supposed to choose running shoes based on how they look. I currently rock these Asics, planning Mizunos for my next pair:

8)    What’s an average day like for you at the gym? 1 hour of kickass HIIT. There is a timer in the room set for 60 minutes start to finish. As long as you are getting an intense high calorie-burning workout, an hour is really all you need.

9)    Are you a healthy eater? If so, what’s your normal meal plan? I’m a pretty healthy eater. For breakfast I stick to thin ½ a sandwich with egg, avocado, and salsa or peanut butter and banana with a cup of coffee and some fruit. I have been ordering a gourmet meal service for lunch/dinner because I’m in grad school and work 2 jobs. I unfortunately haven’t had a lot of time to cook for myself. These meals all incorporate clean eating and options to stick to the paleo diet (although I don’t consider myself to be on a diet of any kind). This 304669_2821778139838_852973517_nincorporates grass-produced meats, fish/seafood, fresh fruits and veggies, eggs, nuts, healthful oils. I eat a lot of quinoa and spaghetti squash as a substitute for bread and pasta. This meal service is delicious but also super expensive. It is definitely possible to cook your own healthy meals! Today for lunch I had turkey with sundried tomato and salsa incorporating free-range turkey served over dairy free pesto and vegetable quinoa. Tonight for dinner I’m having paleo BBQ chicken pizza. I order this food service from the gym I work at and actually get a small discount. If I can’t cook my own healthy meals, at least I know I am still eating meals that are prepared healthy each containing 400-600 calories. If you are in the Chicago area I can tell you more about the company if you are interested. I definitely need to say that I allow myself a day to splurge on the weekends. Typically on Sunday’s I eat whatever I want…which always includes a greasy hangover-helping brunch with my boyfriend 🙂

10) Why do you think it’s harder for girls to get jacked than it is for guys? Genetically, men have more lean muscle mass and less body fat than women do. More muscle + higher metabolism = faster fat burning.

Sometimes life just isn’t fair!

11) Do you take a pre-workout or post-workout (protein) drink? I don’t, but I probably should. I usually workout in the mornings after a cup of coffee, but I definitely think that I would benefit from adding a pre/post-workout drink. Any suggestions for women @campusprotein?

 @campusprotein: Redline is a great pre-workout for women. As well as Amino Energy. We recommend the best of the best for after, HydroWhey.

12) When you go to the gym, what is your goal? What do you want to achieve? When I go to the gym I want to utilize my time to have the most effective workout possible. I honestly don’t have time to be in the gym for more than an hour a day. I want to make sure that I am burning calories, sweating, and most importantly toning during my daily 60-minute workouts.

13) Who do you aspire to look like? Who’s your role model? Shakira and I are both 4’’10’. Although she isn’t my role model, I’d kill for her body. (pre-baby)

14)  If you had a microphone and had to tell every female gym rat something, what would you say? I would probably say be yourself. Work with what you’ve got. Don’t try and change yourself because someone tells you something or you see things. You gotta do you and be comfortable with yourself.

Well thanks a lot Alyssa!

Now Ladies, I hope you take what Alyssa says with an open mind. She has some great advice and knows a lot about the industry, or so I think she does.

So for the rest of this blog, I’m going to pick up where I left off on my spring break workout plan (because I realized that men are already reading this).

I hope everyone’s been eating right and working out daily. If so, here’s what I want you to do next.

EAT SUPER FOODS.

Quinoa, Chia Seeds, Black rice, Cacao, Raspberry Ketones etc. Look em up.

Super foods are great to incorporate into your diets. They are terrific antioxidants and taste yummy!

They are packed with nutrients that your body needs, plus more.

Something that I do that helps me is I like to run 2 miles everyday to every other day, especially for spring break season. Some people may say, “it slims you down” or “that’s stupid”, but I don’t really give a crap. I do what I want to do and it makes me feel good and fit. I wouldn’t recommend doing this for a long time, but just for a few weeks or something before your workout or after, or even in the morning or at night. Mix it in to your workout, along with jump ropes. Try and get your heart rate up and you’ll burn more. Run on an incline (1.5-3) and you’ll easily burn twice as many calories. Try it out. If your legs start to hurt, walk on a high incline at a speed of around 4-4.5. Switch it up. Try alternating the two in 10 minute intervals or something. BE CREATIVE. Have fun with it.

If you do this and mix it with healthy eating, I promise you’ll be on your way to a ripped a toned spring break body.

You can also work your abs every other day. But don’t abuse them. Limit it to about three ab workouts per day, and mix it up. Confuse your abs. Again, BE CREATIVE!

Lastly, always try to listen to tunes that will get your heart racing and get you in a good mood. Sometimes the gym plays absurd songs and that can really affect me. My obvious recommendation? The Campus Protein mix, its actually really really good: http://www.soundcloud.com/campusprotein/iworkout

Anyways, Stay tuned for next weeks take.

Pce. Love. Protein. @CP

@andrewbrauny

 
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Posted by on March 7, 2013 in The Brauny Take

 

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The Art of Picking Up Girls at the Gym.

how-to-get-fitI’ve had many requests from desperate men asking me to write this blog, and yes–it’s a guide to picking up girls at the gym.

Not as easy as it seems, by the way.

This guide is going to take you through each and every type of female that enters the gym and how to approach her the correct way.

Well, there is no one correct way, but there are certainly wrong ways, which I will point out to you.

Cockiness aside, I wouldn’t say I’m “bad” at picking up girls at the gym, but I’m alright.

As you will soon find out, there are so many different types of girls that enter the gym. It’s hard to tell who’s there to get toned or get boned.

Anyways, shall we begin??

There are four types of girls that go to the gym:

There’s the girl who wears tight spandex and a tight tank top that you see entering the gym but never again because she disappears to the yoga studio or the zumba moomba room. She’s the kind of girl that you wish to watch working out, but she’s more focused and into those classes that are offered. Some advice, forget about her. Not going to happen.

Next there is the silent type. The girl that wears an old, baggy t-shirt and is locked into her music. She’s the type of girl that is not interested in socializing, so you can also forget about her. If she wanted to be bothered by you, she would have at least worn some make up or something semi-attractive, something to give you a sign. She’s either taken or plays for the other team. Try again.

The next breed is the social butterfly. Now this is the girl that you want to be focusing on. She’s the one that’s always talking to someone and smiling and looking fantastic. Take advantage of this and help her out.

The next and last type of girl is what I like to call the “brainteaser”. This is the type of girl that shows a little bit of all the qualities of the above women. This type is extremely difficult to read, so I suggest you lay low and just play your game. Play it simple and don’t let it bother you. Just focus on your workout and make eye contact when possible, and I promise it’ll work. The time will come and you’ll know.

So those are basically the four types of girls that you may encounter at the gym or at your local fitness hole.

Now there are the right things to say to a girl at the gym and then there are wrong and just plain stupid things to say to girls at the gym. Listen up meatheads–no girl wants to hear about your tri’s or bi’s, how many reps youve done, and they certainly aren’t interested in your criticism.

One thousand one, one thousand two....

One thousand one, one thousand two….

You just need to relax and set a non-threatening tone. If you see that she’s doing a workout wrong, calmly approach and offer some help or show her an alternative workout. This is a very sensitive subject and it can go south in a flash.

WARNING: If the subject does go south, the best thing you can do is faint, run away, or be a man and apologize and offer your assistance. You can also say you’re a certified personal trainer and make her feel dumb. That’s always fun!

You DO NOT want to stare, criticize, creep, lurk, wet-your-lips, stare, stare or stare.

I cannot stress that enough. You can glimpse, or if you make eye contact, smile. Positive vibes helps a lot.

A major plus would also be to be friendly with trainers and the staff at the gym. Girls feel less threatened when they see you’re having fun and laughing with the staff or just your “gym buddies”. Make the environment around you positive and happy. It can only help your case.

I certainly have my “gym crew”. We laugh, we have fun and our vibes and good humor certainly rubs off on others at the gym. One of my really good friends is a trainer at the gym I go to and when people see us joking and having a good time, it sparks a ripple effect of conversations in the gym. It’s contagious.

Now, once you’ve mastered all of the above and you’ve got a girl’s attention and your chatting and “gym buddies”, you want to be very careful because “gym buddies” can EASILY lead into the “friend zone.” You need to watch what you say. Small talk is KEY. I would try to refrain from personal talk at this point in the game. Wait until you actually ask her out on a date, then you can get personal. Right now you’re just planting the seed and working day-to-day on just initiating conversations that are light and friendly and non-threatening. You can approach her at the water fountain, or at the stretching area or even at a machine that she’s waiting for.

Every girl is different, so you might want to wait a few days till you initiate something more. You don’t want to wait too long because someone may be one step ahead of you.

But all in all, it’s the gym and you’re mainly there for one reason and one reason only and that’s to look like me, which is nearly impossible.

Hope you enjoyed my words of wisdom.

Peace. Love. Protein. @CP

@AndrewBrauny

 
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Posted by on January 22, 2013 in The Brauny Take

 

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The Resolution AFTER New Years…

Well…… I’M BACK!

Hope you’ve missed my witty remarks and sarcasm.

32307_2171161123282_107658938_n

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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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

 
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Posted by on November 20, 2012 in The Brauny Take

 

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Brauny Take 5: Zombiegeddon

I just want to start off with saying I hope everyone stayed safe these past weeks. My prayers and thoughts go out to everyone and anyone who was directly affected by Hurricane Sandy.

So I’m dedicating this week’s Brauny’s Take to New York/New Jersey and those in need during these trying times.

I also want to mention that my roommate and I are doing no-shave November in honor of Hurricane Sandy and are making weekly donations to the American Red Cross. You can participate as well by going to redcross.org or by texting REDCROSS to 90999 to give $10 to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief. It’s for a great cause. You can also check our weekly facial update by following me on Instagram (AndrewBrauny).

So, during the entire hurricane week, my roommate and I were praying for a zombie apocalypse. We have been obsessed with The Walking Dead, which has turned us on to countless zombie movies. During and after Sandy, we were walking the streets of downtown Manhattan and the atmosphere appeared perfect for a zombie takeover. Everything was dead and a mess. The city was in shambles: people panicked, fearing their impending doom. The supermarkets were empty, and the bars were lit with candles and flashlights.

Day in and day out we were (and have been) praying for a zombie attack (a particularly realistic next step, don’t you think?).

Then it came to me.

My next blog post would be a guide to surviving the zombie apocalypse. (I’m sure you could implement these tactics in the case of any real natural disaster, I just think a zombie apocalypse would be f$#*in awesome!)

In this “guide”, I am going to include the following;

1) A workout routine to ensure adequate fitness for survival against zombies

2) How to gain and sustain enough stamina to outrun and fight off zombies

3) What supplies you should carry at all times

4) And what NOT to do (just incase you’re a moron and haven’t seen enough zombie movies.)

Those are basically the only things worth mentioning, but feel free to comment and add your own if you think you know better (odds are I’m more knowledgeable than you are when it comes to this type of scenario.)

The name of the game when it comes to surviving a zombie apocalypse is CARDIO! Most of surviving relies solely on RUNNING and HAULING A$$. If you haven’t learned anything from zombie movies, it’s that the slow and weak (usually the fat) basically die first (unless you’re an overpaid actor/actress). If you’re going to want to outrun the zombies, you’re going to have to train using HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). HIIT is all about speed. It incorporates very intense, rapid bursts of movement. This pattern builds your stamina and raises your heart rate quickly. It’s a great routine for someone who needs to be reactive and alert at all times.

Next, you want to be able to climb if you’re backed into a corner. You’re going to want to master pull-ups and lifting your own body weight. Other great workouts to practice include squats and dead lifts because they help strengthen your back and core, key for climbing and fighting off zombies. You’re also going to be carrying a lot of supplies on your back, so the stronger your back is, the better off you will be in the face of adversity.

Another great workout routine is the Spartacus workout, which can be found on menshealth.com. It’s a great full body workout that I’ve done a lot. Could prove to be beneficial during a zombie apocalypse.

If I were to condense my advice, I’d recommend CARDIO (miles on an inclined treadmill and stair-master) and back and core workouts above all else… that is, if you want to survive.

But who knows.

I could be totally wrong here… But what do you have to lose besides your life?

Now onto what supplies to carry on you at all times.

Besides the obvious guns, knives, and swords, I am going to inform you what OTHER supplies to carry on you at all times. Like, health and fitness-related items…duh.

After all, that’s what this blog’s all about.

I’ll start off with easy to eat, protein-packed foods to keep your energy up and keep you feeling full longer. I personally like Cliff bars. They taste soooo good and are pretty filling. But any protein bar would work. Try and make sure that they have at least 10 grams of protein and 30 grams of carbs. These keep you fuller longer. It also might be beneficial to keep some nuts and easy to eat snacks on you at all times. They are very convenient and filling. But most importantly, always have water on you……….so that you can fill your shaker and mix your WHEY PROTEIN SHAKE!

Didn’t think I’d leave that out, did you?

As if you’d actually have time to put together a protein shake in the midst of a zombie apocalypse……..…

Next time you’re looting a supermarket, try grabbing some pre-made protein/energy drinks. They should keep you full as well and should keep you up and going. I recommend Redline… a great energy drink to keep you going against those zombies.

Now, really the only thing you shouldn’t do during a zombie apocalypse is GET YOURSELF KILLED. Avoid populated cities and enclosed unfamiliar areas.

But, who are you kidding? Just go watch The Walking Dead! It’s contagious and addicting. Have Fun!

Well, that’s all.

Hope you enjoyed this ridiculous blog!

Until next time….

Peace. Love. Protein! @CampusProtein

~@AndrewBrauny

 
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Posted by on November 13, 2012 in The Brauny Take

 

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