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A Future Lawyer’s Take On Supplements

Supplements are very effective, but before I give my recommendations, please note that your drive is the biggest tool in bettering your fitness and health. Fitness success requires personal goals, coupled with proper determination in achieving them. That determination means generally eating healthy and showing up at the gym. You can improve your TV settings by sitting on a couch, but a couch potato is still a couch potato. They do say, “abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym.”

So now it’s time to seek supplements. Supplements steer you towards your goals, such as building muscle, leaning out, bulking up, losing body fat, making the insides of your body happier, and yada yada yada. Supplements neither workout for you nor feed you all of your nutrients, BUT when used right supplements will GUIDE and ENHANCE your fitness ability. They are called SUPPLEMENTS because they help feed your body the necessary nutrients that you can not find in your daily diet. 

What supplements to buy is contingent on your goals. (Name your goal and Campus Protein sells a supplement for it). In simple terms, if you want to bulk up, mass gainers may help. If you want to lean out and get more shredded, a better supplement would be a leaner protein shake, such as whey.

Bear in mind here that while “J.D.” will follow my name in a year-ish (I hope), I’m not a Doctor nor Registered Dietician. I honestly cannot use great detail to discuss how every ingredient works, so research more if you’re concerned about something.

Here’s what I consider the core supplements, and then I’ll give one of my recent workouts at the end.

Whey Protein

 

Whey protein is the best hire for building muscle, as it’s the fastest digesting protein on the market. After the workout breaks down the muscles, protein builds them back up. Whey protein is best taken immediately post-workout (I’ve brought it in the shower many times) and also serves as a healthier snack, lacking the bad fats and carbs from shitty alternatives.

Buying protein powder is more convenient and economically smarter than getting protein from just food. Personally, 300 grams of protein per day is ideal for me, because my training burns away calories like it’s the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 (nearly 150 years since still too soon?). That would be dozens of dollars more spent on food, and life would suck carrying around several extra meals all day.

Cellucor Performance Whey is a stellar brand. It provides high protein, has barely any fat and carbs, and it’s extremely low in cholesterol and sodium, something that many cheaper brands are too high in. Two other brands worthwhile are Gold Standard Whey and Platinum Hydro Whey.

Whey Better Options

Whey Better Options

SIDE NOTE: Casein protein is a super slow digesting protein, so it’s a really good snack to fill you up between meals, or drink right before bed to feed your sleepy-self protein throughout the night. I buy Casein every other month or so, and it’s usually Gold Standard Casein.

ANOTHER SIDE NOTE: I don’t buy mass gainers because bulking up is not a priority. Cardio, endurance and stamina are my priorities. If you desire a mass gainer, check out Optimum Serious Mass.

Creatine

 

Creatine gives muscles energy. It increases activity in muscle cells that I cannot name, providing for better lifts and more muscle growth.  It’s insignificant with a strictly cardio regimen but is essential for muscle growth in weightlifting. Creatine has the most positive impact in a program that incorporates both lifting and cardio.

Creatine comes in many versions, so beware of what you buy. I dislike creatine monohydrate because of the bloatedness and puffy looks that come with it. Contrary, creatine HCL produces similar gains, while avoiding the adverse effects of monohydrate. Con-Crete is a great creatine HCL brand.

Con-Cret

Con-Cret

Pre-Workout

 

Pre-workouts are better than espresso shots and energy drinks when it comes to waking your ass up and getting you to the gym. In addition to the caffeine that several contain, the beta-alanine in most pre-workouts creates better pumps. Many pre-workouts contain creatine too but not enough to do shit.

Since I usually workout around 5AM, pre-workouts boost my energy at a time where I’m usually a bum. Reasonably priced and top quality, Campus Protein’s FUEL is a great deal. I’ve already gone through two tubs. Other brands well known to my warehouse are Cellucor C4 and USPlabs Jack3d.

CP FUEL

CP FUEL

BCAAs

BCAAs (Branched-Chain Amino Acids) take on the body maintenance role and are beneficial whether it’s before or after the workout, or any other time during the day. They improve how you take in protein, help you recover quicker and workout for longer periods, providing natural energy.

I often hear that BCAAs are the “building blocks of muscle” (something like that), and since taking them I believe it. I’ve noticed quicker recoveries and more gains in the lifting arena. Solid brands include USPlabs Modern BCAA and BSN Amino X.

Cellucor's Cor BCAA

Cellucor’s Cor BCAA

SIDE NOTE: Glutamine is also great for muscle recovery.

So if you’re looking for the core supplements, consider whey protein, creatine HCL, a pre-workout, and BCAAs. These supplements perform various tasks that will help you achieve your fitness goals and make you healthier overall, but they will NOT complete your goal for you.

Get the right drive in you first, buy some supplements, and then it’s all fun from there – LeanBerg

Twitter/Instagram ~ @lean_berg

Email ~ jordangreenberg32@gmail.com

PS: I promised a routine, so here’s one completely different than my usual ones:

Legs, Shoulders & Cardio

  • Bar ASS TO GRASS Back Squats
    • 5 total sets – 25, 10, 6, 4, 25 reps
    • Standing Dumbbell Arnold Press:
      • 5 total sets25, 5-8, 5-8, 5-8, 25 reps
      • 4 Round Superset
        • Standing Dumbbell Lat Raise 20, 10, 10, 20 reps
        • Dumbbell Upright Row (use two dumbbells together) 20, 10, 10, 20 reps
        • 4 Round Circuit:
          • Seated Calf Raise Plate Machine 12-20 reps (hold at least three seconds per rep)
          • Standing Dumbbell Calf Raise 10-15 reps
          • Dumbbell Shrugs Overhand and In Front Of You 20, 15, 12, 8 reps
          • Run 3-5 Miles (why the hell not?)

 

Before/After

Before/After

 

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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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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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Multi-Dimensional Strength Training Starts Now

My routines are a mind-fucking, physical challenge that will get you to do things you never thought your body was capable of doing, and you’ll feel a high better than any drug.

Last week, I introduced my origin story. Today’s post will show you what my fitness side is all about. I’m going to start you off with a Five-Day-Split Workout Plan of my choosing and then I’ll provide an excerpt from my Workout Handbook.

Multi-Dimensional Strength: my correct theory that will improve everything in your fitness

It’s wrong to define strength as how heavy a person can lift. Strength deserves to be a broader concept that grasps FITNESS IN ITS ENTIRETY:  heavy weights, but also lighter to middle weights, cardio, endurance, stamina, conditioning, mentality, pound-for-pound power, and more.

GreenbergRippedPic

Back in the BigBerg days, weighing-in at roughly 200lbs of saturated fat, my strength was one-dimensional: lifting heavy weights for low repetition. After a few pats on the back, nobody gave a shit that I used 5 seconds of energy to bench 300lbs for just one rep.

But today, weighing-in at roughly 160lbs of lean muscle and low body fat, I’m a professional practitioner of Multi-Dimensional Strength. I’m pound-for-pound the strongest I’ve ever been, while also able to run like hell. Most prominent lifters suck at running, and I’m proud not to be a member of that club. 

Follow my lead to become the next Hulk and know that you’re better off better at everything than good at just one thing.

Routines

Below is a sample Five-Day-Split workout plan. Do all five workouts in order, each on a different day, and then start over from the beginning. Do your best, and do what you can. This is the real deal. Perform each lift back-to-back for the specified number of rounds, resting 60-90 seconds between each round. The numbers next to each lift are the reps, given either at a range or strict number, correlating with however many rounds there are.

I cannot sit and type explanations for each lift. I assume most of you reading will understand most of the lifts, but if not, they’re easy to lookup. A rest day is okay, but do not rest two days in a row.

Five-Day-Split

 

Workout 1: Back & Triceps

  • 6 Round Circuit
    • Standing Bent Over Underhand Bar Rows: 25-30, 15-20, 12-15, 12-15, 10-12, 10-12
    • Lat Pulldown Machine 15-20, 15-20, 12-15, 12-15, 10-12, 10-12
    • Standing Bent Over Dumbbell Reverse Flies 10-15
  • 4 Round Superset:
    • Weighted Dips 10-15 (hold a dumbbell between your ankles and dip slightly below a 90-degree angle)
    • V-Up Crunches holding a Dumbbell 20
  • 4 Round Circuit:
    • Bar Reverse Skull Crushers 10, 10, 15-20, 15-20
    • Bar Close-Grip Bench Press while Holding a Straight, 45-Degree Angle Leg Lift 10-15
    • Wide V-Bar Row Machine 10-15
  • Run 4 Miles (Just get the distance and try not to walk)

 

Workout 2: Legs

  • 6 Round Superset:
    • Bar Deep Back Squats 8-15 (you better squat below 90-degrees)
    • Leg Curl Machine 8-15
  • 4 Round Circuit:
    • Bar Alternating Backwards Lunges 8-12 each leg (16-24 total)
    • Leg Extensions Machine 15, 12, 12, 10
    • Seated Calf Raise Machine 10-15
  • 3 Round Superset:
    • Kettleball Swings 20
    • Weighted Situps on Decline Bench 20-30 (hold a plate along your chest)

 

Workout 3: Shoulders & Traps

  • 6 Round Circuit:
    • Standing Bar Overhead Press 15, 12, 12, 8, 8, 15
    • Standing Dumbbell Front Raise 20, 15, 15, 10, 10, 25
    • Standing Dumbbell Shrugs 10-15
  • 4 Round Circuit:
    • Straight Bar Shrugs 10-15
    • Standing Dumbbell Side Raise 10-15
    • Standing Dumbbell Military Press 10-15, 10-15, 10-15, 25 
  • Run 3 Miles

 

Workout 4: Chest & Biceps

  • 5 Round Circuit
    • Dumbbell Incline Bench 25, 8, 8, 8, 20 (HIT YOUR CHEST)
    • Standing Dumbbell Straight Curls 20-25, 8-12, 8-12, 8-12, 20-25
    • Dumbbell Flies on a Ball 25, 8-12, 8-12, 8-12, 20
  • 5 Round Superset
    • Standing Straight Bar Close-Grip Curl 8-15
    • Dumbbell Bench lying on Ball 8-15 (HIT YOUR CHEST)
  • 5 Round Superset
    • Standing Dumbbell Hammer Curls 12-20
    • Standing Underhand Cable Flies 12-20
  • 4 Round ABS CIRCUIT
    • Lying Down Leg Lifts with Dumbbell between Ankles 20
    • Cable Crunches 20-30
    • Slow Crunches on Ball 30-50

 

Workout 5: CARDIO DAY

  • MINUMUM of 45-Minutes of Straight Cardio…..this is where I do long runs (17 miles next week). I recommend you do my version of HIIT, which is high intensity interval training by jogging and running. Do your best not to walk, because we walk enough throughout the day (like me walking to class), so why incorporate that in our workouts? 

…………….

 

Excerpt From LeanBerg’s Workout Handbook

  • PROTEIN, PROTEIN, AND PROTEIN. Gold Standard Whey is an awesome, affordable post-workout product. Drink 1-2 servings of that shit immediately after every workout.
  • PRE-WORKOUTS HELP. Many of my workouts start as early as 4:45AM. C4 is the most well know pre workout out there and has helped me get through those drowsy mornings. Also, rumor has it that Campus Protein came out with their own pre workout
    $20.00 for a Month Supply!

    $20.00 for a Month Supply!

    thats even better than C4 (had to do it lol).

  • CREATINE HELPS BUILD MUSCLE Cellucor and Muscle Pharm both do a great job with their products.  But if you don’t do your cardio while taking creatine, you’ll become a tubby, overly bloated weirdo.
  • ARM DAYS ARE FUN, but they’re easier workouts. Don’t heavily rely on them.
  • CHEST DAYS ARE REST DAYS, because working out while lying down is still resting. I’m lying down during naptime too.
  • ALL HAIL LEG WORKOUTS, but they’re also good to pair with shoulders so you can add presses to your squats, lunges, and split-squats.

 

  • SUPERSETS, CIRCUITS…OH MY GOSH! Single-set lifting is too easy. You just pick shit up and put shit back down, whereas my style produces Multi-Dimensional Strength.
  • DON’T WORRY ABOUT WEIGHT. Gains will come.  Producing gains with higher reps is indeed more difficult, but also more awarding with definition and muscles that actually pop out.
  • FOCUS MORE ON MID-HIGH REPS. Reps are Thor’s hammer in directing the body’s shape and composition. Don’t be one of those fat, 1-rep max lifters. Those guys really look like disguised donut gurus rather than physically fit.
  • INCORPORATE EVERY-GODDAMN-THING IN SOME WAY. You name it, and I do it. I had a dream that all kinds of workouts were treated equally, and now that dream is part of my reality While I just said to focus more on mid-high reps, adding in lower reps is good to mix things up or create rep pyramids.
  • LIFT EVERY SET TO FAILURE. Don’t ever stop when you can do more reps. You need full fatigue to get the best results.
  • DO YOUR CARDIO, BECAUSE LIFTING SHAPES YOUR BODY WHILE CARDIO SHAPES YOUR CONDITIONING! I’d have a lot more body fat if I did everything I do now minus the cardio. Cardio is the Holy Grail, and running is God.
  • DON’T NEGELCT YOUR ABS. Too many people say lifting works enough of their abs, but that’s false. It’s usually the people with no abs saying that. The best way is either by an abs circuit/superset or including abs within lifting circuits/supersets.

 

  • WEIGHTED ABS > CRUNCHES.  Treat your abs like you treat any normal muscle, and they’ll respond by showing more. My biceps are not going to bulge out if I do air bicep curls.
  • To have Multi-Dimensional Strength, hold tightly and grasp onto the most important formula of the day:

CONDITIONING > STRENGTH, and that’s the bottom line because LeanBerg (not Stone Cold) said so.

…………….

Going ALL IN is a commitment, so EMBRACE THIS SHIT.

I’ll see you next Wednesday when I detail stuff that I feel like detailing. I don’t know what yet, but I promise I’ll know when I know. Best of luck to anyone who begins the Five-Day-Split. Stick to it and you won’t regret it.

Do not forget where you came from, but always strive to get better! – Leanberg

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 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…)

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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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