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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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Thanksgiving Fat to a December 6-pack.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

White wine: 100 calories per 1 serving

Margarita: 38 calories per 1.5 fl oz

Sangria: 132 calories per 1 serving

Vodka: 75 calories per 1.5 fl oz

White Cranberry Cosmo: 34 calories per 1 serving

White Peach Margarita: 37 calories per 1 serving

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

Have fun!

Peace. Love. Protein @CP

@AndrewBrauny

 
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Posted by on November 27, 2012 in The Brauny Take

 

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The Brauny Take: Vol. 1

Whats up CP peeps! I was recently asked to be a weekly blogger for Campus Protein and was pitched the idea to have my own series called “The Brauny Take”. Here is what we came up with: 

“The Brauny Take” will be a weekly blog every Tuesday where I will rant on about everything health and fitness related; from personal experiences to great tips and suggestions to help get you on your way to a healthier lifestyle. May even throw some fashion tips in there, but who knows…

If you’d like to contact me with your own inspirational stories or personal experiences that you’d like me to share, Tweet me @AndrewBrauny or Facebook message me. I’d love to hear from you whether its how I helped or what you liked and didnt like or other ideas on improving your lifestyle!

Shall we get started?

So, for my first take I’m going to write about myself. Surprised?

No?

STFU!

It’s my blog, so deal with it.

I want to tell you a little bit about myself before I start blogging away every week.

Fair enough?

Well I’m from New York and graduated from Indiana University with the lovely team from Campus Protein. I currently live in New York City and work for a real estate firm, but am also on my way to becoming a licensed personal trainer. As of now, I’m preparing to go to grad school to get my Masters in Nutrition and Personal Health next fall. (But things could change.) Not sure where I want to go yet, but it will probably be in NYC (Not worth living any place else). I have a real passion for nutrition and being healthy and living a healthy lifestyle. Everything I do revolves around health and staying physically fit. And yes, I’m considered a “gym rat”, and I LOVE IT

Honestly, I don’t really know what triggered this health obsession. All I remember was coming back from abroad in Florence in May of 2011 and realizing how disgustingly unhealthy I was for 5 months and wanted to change. Read my first blog “8 months and counting” to get the full story, because I’m done talking about this.

Anyways, long story short, I transformed my life within a few months and never looked back. It’s the greatest feeling in the world. You should try it sometime, just saying. It feels AMAZING! I love sharing my stories with people because it motivates them to change and honestly, that’s the second best feeling in the world. It’s contagious. Healthy living and nutrition is contagious and addictive, in a good way. Everyone that I live with or share my stories with is affected by it.

If you told me about 2 years ago that I would be a nutrition and health freak then I would have probably laughed in your face and went to Taco Bell (guilty pleasure). But now I gag at the very thought of fast food (I was never big on fast food anyways, except for Taco Bell, but only as drunk food – hmm thats an idea for next weeks take!).

So now I have to wrap this up because I want to save some material for next week. But just remember to eat your veggies and make your mommy proud.

But seriously, stay motivated till next week!! 

@AndrewBrauny OUT!

 
1 Comment

Posted by on October 9, 2012 in Guest Blogs, The Brauny Take

 

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Get Fit…Or Die Trying

Curvy, thunder-thighed, and hip-py. I’m a Hispanic girl with hips that don’t lie and ones that will never go away. I’ve never been one to have a “workout routine.” What is that word routine anyways? Does anybody really do the same exact thing everyday of their lives? Especially when they’re in college?

Well for me working out was never a part of my daily life, at least until recently. I’ve gone through some seriously hard times through the past two years and it has affected the way I feel about myself. My junior year I went through a stage – I was moping around, not eating, never going out and the result was that I miraculously lost 15-20ish pounds in a month. So as I was miserable, sad, and lonely everyone kept saying, “OMG you look so skinny, you look great!” And I hadn’t even noticed one damn change. And on top of all that I still didn’t feel good about myself.

This summer I decided to take back control of my life. I vowed to not only feel good but to look good too. Because if you didn’t know already, these two things go hand in hand. While feeling like a piece of shit on many nights alone, at home, and in bed, I watched the Insanity workout program infomercial probably a total of 50 times and finally decided that I was going to do something for ME, MYSELF, and I. I’m not exactly sure how you know that a workout program is right for you, but for me it was what the instructor of this DVD program said: “This is up to you. It’s time for you to look in the mirror and be the best that YOU can be. I’ll be here to help you and all you have to do is push yourself.” I mean here it was in my face the thing I had been doing wrong all these years – I was never ever doing it for the right reasons.

Once upon a time, a girl would go to the gym in her workout clothes, sneakers on, water bottle in hand, ready to go. But once she arrived at the gym she realized she didn’t know what she was doing and that everyone else was skinnier than her anyways so what was the point… I used to look at other people and compare myself to them. But then I realized, wait a minute, I have hips and an ass that I’m never going to get rid of no matter how fit I am. It’s a part of me and I’m a part of it. So I decided from then on and forever after watching that infomercial for the 50th time that I was going to be that – the best I could be. It finally wasn’t for anyone else but for me to feel good about me.

And since I’ve started Insanity, I can ALREADY see results. I have biceps when I flex, my abs are starting to take form, and oh my gosh can you say quad muscles! It’s just the beginning and I’m only 2 in a half (ish) weeks into the 60-day program. After I do the 40-minute video I’m usually always laying in a pool of my own sweat and I’ve never felt better. The best part about it is that I’m doing this entirely for myself at my own pace in the comfort of my own home. When I say that it’s the best workout I’ve ever done; I’m not lying.

The method is interval circuit training with short 30 second breaks after sets of exercises where you do as many of the exercise as fast as you can. I’ve even forced my roommates to try it and they love the sweat they get after 20 minutes which tells you that you will lose fat and you will gain muscle. Another important part of starting a workout regimen is eating right.

For me I just have to remember two things:

1. Eat to live DON’T live to eat.

2. Eat for the body you want NOT the body you have. Luckily for me, I do have a knack for cooking which does make the process easier.

Anyways, I decided to add a protein shake to my diet to help my muscles recover and to keep my stomach from growling throughout the day. I purchased Optimum Nutrition’s 100% Gold Standard Whey Protein from Campus Protein. They not only got it to me fast but also threw in a shaker! 🙂

I usually take one scoop, put it into a shaker bottle, and add milk for more taste. I take it immediately after my workout when the muscles need energy and protein to recover and build. And yum the vanilla ice cream is so good, I mean for a protein shake that is. So far, the protein shake regimen has helped with craving food, being hungry and overeating. I would recommend this particular protein because it has natural ingredients, doesn’t have fillers, and is only 120 calories per scoop! For me it was important for my body to have the fuel it needed to gain muscle and lose fat and after talking to a few friends (one from Campus Protein) this was the winner. It’s simple to use and you can even add it to yogurt or oatmeal and use it as a meal replacement. Remember, protein = recovery & muscle!

The moral of this story: if you want to feel amazing about yourself, exude confidence, and lose weight, its simple, all you need to do is pick a workout that is right for you and I highly recommend supplementing that workout with a product that suits you as well. For example, protein when doing any kind of strength training workout.

And my last word of advice: DO NOT MAKE EXCUSES. If you don’t start today the chances are you won’t start tomorrow and in a year from now you will wish you started then. So, get up and get fit if you want to be a better YOU from now until forever. If you can make this change you are capable of doing anything.

Thanks for hearing my story and I hope at least one person who reads this, will go out there and do something positive for their body!

-Adri

 
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Posted by on September 10, 2012 in Guest Blogs

 

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8 Months and Counting

The 8 month transformation

Within just a few months, I transformed my body from 15% body fat to just fewer than 7%. Besides my discipline and intense regimen, I owe my results to the team at CampusProtein. Not only were they my main supplier of supplements and vitamins, but they were also my encouragement and gym buddies during the whole process.

Every few weeks I would stop by Mike Yewdell’s house and raid his room of free samples and try numerous supplements until I found something that I liked. I like to take pre workouts before every single workout. I just recently finished Animal RAGE and it was very intense. I’ve basically tried everything under the sun. From C4 to 1.M.R. I’ve tried it all.

Throughout this blog, I am going to go through each step that transformed me from nothing to something. I’m going to explain and list all the supplements and programs that I followed. It was a very busy 8 months that more than paid off.

It all started when I got back from studying abroad in Florence. I was disgusted with what and how much I ate over the course of the 6 months I was there. Now of course we did backpack and hike a lot, but it didn’t make me feel any better. I was never the health freak, gym rat that I am today, but I wasn’t fat or a bad eater, I was just not physically fit and the best eater all the time. But things were about to change for the better. I really don’t know what got into my head to make me change so drastically. I guess I was just tired of not having those “washboard” abs and that “surfer V”, (aka Sex-V) that I’ve always wanted, so I changed my diet and worked out as much as I could.

As soon as I got home, I joined a gym. I joined Equinox because that’s where my parents go and it was so close to home. I would go literally every day for about an hour. The first supplement I took was called C4 by Cellucor. It was a great product. Great to start with and really gave me intense energy to get through my entire workout. I then took an egg protein shake, by Healthy N fit. I took that for a few weeks and then quickly changed to Gold Standard Whey protein. I really felt a difference in leanness and bulk. The C4 lasted for about a month and boy was that first month filled with intense weight training and cardio workouts. I got a trainer to help me get started for the first few weeks and to show me a few new workout regimens that would help me increase my results. My trainer measured my body fat % before our first training together and I tested at 15.4% body fat, which isn’t bad but I had little to no definition in my abs and arms. Little did I know that was going to change dramatically.

Morning Supplements: Centrum (multivitamin)

Pre workout: C4

Protein: Healthy N’ Fit Egg Protein & Gold Standard Whey

Diet: For the first month or so I rarely ate carbs. I only ate carbs before or right after my workout, and id usually workout in the morning.

Tip: If you want to shed weight quickly, watch out for 3 categories:

  1. Sat/trans fat
  2. Sugar
  3. and Carbs

         If you cut those out or watch your intake, then you’ll see drastic changes within just a few weeks.

For the next few months I started to take 1.M.R. by BPI. 1.M.R was a great pre workout! It was certainly different from C4 in the sense that it gave me more pump and helped me last longer through each workout. I could last about 1 hour to 2 hours in the gym on 1.M.R. It was really a great supplement and really helped me out through those long and intense workouts. I was still consistently using Whey protein and I was really starting to see great results. Towards the end of the summer I was really getting into a great routine.

I would wake up around 7-8am and eat egg whites with turkey bacon and 1 slice of whole wheat toast. I’d then eat a salad with some sort of protein mixed in it like grilled chicken or tuna and have a snack mid afternoon like nuts or a banana or a Cliff Bar and then I’d get home from work around 6-7pm and have my pre workout and workout til about 8-9pm and eat a protein full dinner of either chicken, fish or lean meat. I ate like that for about 6-7 months while I was in my transformation mode. I rarely allowed myself to cheat, even though it’s ok to have a cheat day once in a while. I’d treat myself to a burger or steak once or twice a month. (Tip: You need to give your body a break and spoil it for all of its hard work. The nicer you are to your body, the nicer it will be back.)

As the summer was coming to an end and I was starting to get ready to go to school, I was not letting up. I was still in the zone and was still going to the gym 5-6-7 times a week and eating healthy. I had just finished 1.M.R and switched to Amino Energy by Optimum. I didn’t really feel the affect from Amino Energy, but that’s exactly what I wanted. I wanted to take a little break from the hard core intense pre workouts and I wanted to go with something less intense and easier on the body. Amino Energy is good for someone who doesn’t want an intense workout but wants great energy and muscle recovery. It was good for the time being as I was about to leave for school. My trainer measured my body fat before I left for school in august and I was at 10.2% in only 3 ½ months of working out and dieting.

As soon as I arrived at school, nothing really changed. I quickly looked at my schedule and easily fit the gym in every morning at 10am. Classes didn’t start til 1pm everyday so I had plenty of time to get a great workout in. I wanted to take my workouts to the next level. I was seeing great results but I wanted to see better results, so I switched pre workouts to Jack3d by USPlabs. Jack3d was great! It gets a lot of mixed reviews but I didn’t have any problems with it. It gave me great energy and amazing pumps, not to mention the flavor (fruit punch) was amazing! Might as well of been homemade punch.

I wanted a leaner protein so I switched to Hydro-Whey protein by Optimum. I still use this today and I love it. It so lean and enters the body so fast. I personally love to blend it with a banana and strawberry and some ice water. It’s a great meal replacement and so delicious after a tough workout!

Morning Supplements: Centrum (multivitamin), Fishoil, and Green Tea Pills

Pre workout: Jack3d

Protein: Hydro Whey

Diet: I knew that going back to school would be tough considering my weekends…with beer and liquor, so I treated those drinks as my cheat food. I tried to limit my late night eating and still obeyed by my fat/sugar/carbs diet.

Tip: Try to limit your food intake after 3am even though it’s a myth that late night food is bad for you. But if you must eat late night, try eating something healthy, like a slice of turkey or an apple or some nuts. You’ll see some major progress.

The last few months of college weren’t much different. I continued to follow my regimen and diet and saw amazing results. I went home thanksgiving break and visited my trainer. He measured my body fat % again and I was down to about 8% body fat in only 3 months. I was right on schedule with what I wanted my body to look like. I was proud to flaunt my abs on the beach in Aruba over December break and couldn’t wait to get back and continue to see results.

As soon as I got back from break, I intensified my workouts and tried new exercises and workouts. I started the Spartacus workout with my roommate Jason Belnick, and started doing yoga with my other roommate Ian Sachs. It was a great variety and really worked every muscle in my body. I fell in love with yoga and did it about 2-3 times a week for the last 3 months of school. It was a great way to increase my flexibility and balance. It was also a great core workout and increased my definition and tone in my abs.

Spring break was coming up and I wanted to maximize my results so I started to take a more intense pre workout. I started Assault by Muscle Pharm. It was absolutely amazing! I loved the tingling feeling and the way it pushed me through each and every workout. I then took a caffeine pill, Spirodex by Gaspari Nutrition, to help me get through the day and push me to work out again or run. I do a lot of cardio. I mix it up between hot yoga, spin and running. Some people may not consider hot yoga cardio, but with the amount of sweat that I accumulated per class, I’ll gladly put it in that category. I usually do cardio 2-3 times per week not counting my usual 10-15 min warm-up run before every workout. I like to get my heart rate going before every workout. It helps to burn fat and it’s easier to get into a workout with your heart rate already going.

Soon after spring break I went back home for a weekend to relax before finals and LITTLE 500! I took a trip over to Equinox and had my trainer measure my body fat % one last time before the end of the semester. I couldn’t believe it. 6.8% body fat. But he said once your under 8% it really doesn’t make a difference where you’re at because its already so low. But I was so proud of myself. I hit my goal, and that is the best feeling. My goal was to be under 7% by the end of the school year and that’s exactly where I was. My hard work and dedication paid off and I had no intention to give up. From that day on I didn’t let up one bit. I still go to the gym 5-7 times a week and still eat healthy. (with a cheat meal here and there – my body earned it!)

Morning Supplements: Centrum (multivitamin), Fishoil, Green Tea Pills,

Pre workout: Assault

Mid-Day Supplement: Spirodex

Protein: Hydro Whey

Before Bed Supplement (Post-Grad addition): ZMA

Diet: Nothing really changed those last few weeks of college. I just added more cardio and cut more carbs, but added a lot of lean protein and vitamins. I ate a lot of fish as well.

Tip: When going to the gym, don’t just go and do random workouts. Have a plan of attack and target 2-3 muscle groups each session. I target Arms, Back and Abs on one day and Legs, Shoulders and Core on another. This will certainly help increase your results.

Thanks for hearing my story and I hope you’ll have the same determination I did. Hard work always pays off!

Before and After!

I’d really like to thank my friends at Campus Protein! If it weren’t for their low prices and huge inventory, I wouldn’t be where I am today, or my wallet would be a lot smaller haha.

Thank you Mike and Rusty!

– @andrewbrauny

CP4Life! #BEST CUSTOMER!

 
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Posted by on August 20, 2012 in Guest Blogs

 

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Green Tea to Lean Tea

Green Tea to Lean Tea

I want to give a shout out to my man Mike Yewdell for letting me be one of the first to blog for Campus Protein! You guys are doing big things and I can’t wait to see how far you guys will go in the future.

I’m going to discuss the amazing benefits that green tea can offer to everyone. I started learning about green tea when I casually found a study on MensHealth Magazine. I was never an avid tea drinker, let alone green tea, before I read this article, but it sparked my attention and now it’s the main beverage I drink (on weekdays obviously!).

Green Tea and WEIGHT LOSS

All of the hype these days is about weight loss. What better way to lose weight than to enjoy a nice cup of green tea? Green tea has been getting a lot of recognition recently and I want to expand everyone’s knowledge on why this little supplement and beverage can be vital to everyone’s weight loss and healthy lifestyle goals.

Before going into the awesomeness of this tea, we need to know why this tea is different from the rest.

Properties

Green tea, along with black and oolong tea, comes from the same plant, Camellia sinensis. Green tea is unique because the leaves are not fermented before drying. This means that the compounds in the leaves are prevented from being oxidized; where as the other tea’s compounds are converted into other compounds that are not as effective at achieving healthy weight loss lifestyle goals.

Polyphenols: What is this? Well, this is an ANTIOXIDANT that has anticancer properties. However, what makes green tea so special is the high content of a specific polyphenol called catechins.

Catechins: This antioxidant has been shown to reduce body fat accumulation. Catechins stimulate the central nervous system similar to caffeine (which means revving up your metabolism), but without the crash of caffeine. In addition, catechins reduce your LDL (or bad) cholesterol.

Flavonoids: Green tea has the HIGHEST mean content in a cup of green tea than other foods and drinks with the same volume. Flavonoids are a group of phytochemicals in plants that are responsible for the anti-carcinogenic effects.

These antioxidants and compounds play together to improve cardiovascular health and help get rid of the unwanted fat.

All right guys, this tea will NOT give you immediate weight loss, but if you incorporate this beverage into your diet you WILL certainly see results. Green tea has a unique thermogenesis property where the catechins will stimulate fat oxidation, boosting your metabolic rate at about 4% without the strain on your heart like caffeine does by increasing your heart rate.

By simply adding 3-4 cups of green tea a day, you can enjoy and reap the many benefits this great beverage has to offer. I know that drinking 3-4 cups a day is a lot, especially for the busy and active college student. Studies have shown taking green tea supplements yield the same benefit. My personal favorite green tea supplement is “Lean Green” by Primaforce. From all the supplements I have seen, this product contains the highest amount of polyphenols (90%) and catechins (70%) where as most products contain 60-70% polyphenols. Simply take 2 capsules in the morning and you receive your daily, powerful, antioxidant intake.

To increase my consumption of green tea, I usually put 4-5 tea bags in a big pitcher and let it brew over night in the fridge. Drinking a hot beverage multiple times a day can be tedious, so I like to mix it up and have it chilled. Plus this is a great way to increase your water intake if you guys are not getting your 8 cups a day.

I have completely switched over from coffee to green tea. There is less caffeine and more antioxidants to get your day started with green tea. You will not get a sudden jolt of energy like you do with coffee, but the energy effects is more stable; you will not crash from green tea and the energy you will get is slight yet long lasting. Being a green tea drinker for 6 months now, I have more energy than used to have than downing cups of coffee a day.

Along with a healthy diet and exercise, green tea can help you achieve your weight loss goals.

I hope this helps you with your knowledge on green tea and incorporate this little, but potent drink into your lifestyle.

Once again, props to CampusProtein for the hard work they have done. I would never have gotten so jacked,

not tan, without them.

References:

http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/health-benefits-of-green-tea

http://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/benefit_of_drinking_green_tea

http://greentealovers.com/green-tea-weight-loss-diet.htm

 
7 Comments

Posted by on July 30, 2012 in Guest Blogs

 

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The Power of Powder

Truth!

Hey guys! So I’m really excited because one of my favorite people in the world, Tarun Singh, has asked me to write a blog post for the Campus Protein blog (well, if you’re reading this right now, you already know that, so I’ll just get to it).

I really want to talk about one of my favorite things in the world: Protein powder! That sounds really lame, because if you saw me, you would never expect me to use protein.  I don’t know about the rest of you, but I tend to associate protein and other supplements with body-builder-type men who spend hours upon hours in the gym lifting twice my body weight.  While that may be the general assumption with protein powder, it’s a total myth that needs to be recognized immediately.

Seriously, I love protein.

My experiences with protein powder start with the “diet”, or rather lifestyle change, which permanently put me at my current weight.  The diet program Xyngular that I referenced during this time suggested a detox week at the beginning, in which you replace 2 meals with protein shakes, and then for the remainder of the diet, a protein shake for breakfast every morning.  While I didn’t end up sticking to the diet, per say, I fell in love with protein shakes for breakfast.

Basically the shake consisted of a cup of frozen strawberries, half a banana, half a cup of non-fat milk, 2 scoops of Benefiber (I highly suggest incorporating this into your life regardless), and 1 scoop of protein powder.  I’m personally a fan of flavorless soy protein powder, but it’s actually surprisingly difficult to find. The reason I emphasize flavorless though is because I personally think that the vanilla or chocolate flavored protein powders are extremely overpowering, and very fake tasting.  Everyone has different preferences though, so experiment until you find the one you like! If you need the taste, want almost no fat, and high protein, then Optimum Nutrition’s Hydrowhey is the way to go. For this post though, I did do some research on various protein powders:

  • Soy Protein Powder is a plant-based protein powder that has been seen to absorb more slowly into your blood stream than whey.  It is generally associated with weight loss for women.  It is gluten and cholesterol free.  It also contains lecthin, which helps reduce cellulite in women (!!!) and it is better for nails and hair and such.  Soy protein powder also controls overproduction of insulin, which is awesome for us hypoglycemic and diabetic people who experience extreme spikes and drops in blood sugar as a result of too much insulin (I actually didn’t know this until just now, so I’m really excited)!!
  • Whey Protein Powder is an animal-based protein powder that absorbs more quickly into the blood stream, and thus is better for a post-work out shake to repair muscle tissue.  Generally associated with men and body-builders.  Using more than the recommended dosage can be harmful for your kidneys, so just be aware of how much your body can handle!  Whey protein has a higher concentration of amino acids (read more below)
  • Hemp Protein Powder: So in my research, I’ve recently come across Hemp protein powder, which is raw, 100% organic and vegan. It contains all essential amino acids, and while it seems like it might have more of a grassy taste, I definitely am going to give it a chance when I’m home!
  • Why Protein Powder? There are 20 amino acids that are quite literally the building blocks for our bodies, but we are only able to produce 11, which is why the other 9 are essential amino acids that we need to have.  Protein powder is a way to ensure that you are getting these amino acids!

Shout out to LiveStrong: Happens to be one of my websites to learn about health and nutrition.  It is very straightforward and to the point, and it is where I get most of my information.  And they post references at the end of articles so you can check out where they got their information for even more resources!

So yeah, that’s just a little research for those of you who are unfamiliar with how good protein is for you.

Now, while I love a good protein shake for breakfast, apparently you are supposed to save your protein shake for after your workout, in order to repair your muscles and help you build muscle.  If you are having a protein shake beforehand, make sure to also have a slice of whole-grain bread or some other source of carbohydrates.  During a workout, your body runs off of the glucose digested from carbohydrates, and it can be detrimental if you don’t eat before working out (it’s so shocking to me how many people don’t eat before working out!).  And even if you drink a protein shake beforehand, feel free to have one after as well (without the banana this time if you’re trying to lose weight).  Protein shakes are very low in calorie, and are really good for you!

I can honestly tell you that I seriously missed my protein shakes in the morning while I was living in the dorms this year.  I sometimes would get up early to go to Jamba Juice for a lower calorie smoothie and protein in it, which is saying a lot for me because I hate getting out of bed.  They really start your day off well, and leave you feeling great and energized.  Also, they are just as quick as making a piece of toast for breakfast, but they don’t leave you craving carbohydrates after (and regardless, you NEED to start your day with protein, otherwise I’ll be really mad at you)!

So that is just my little scoop of experience with protein powder (see what I did there?), and I highly suggest that everyone find a way to incorporate it into your lifestyle! Just keep experimenting and doing research to find out which is the best one for you.

Also, big shout out to Tarun and everyone at Campus Protein.  I am seriously so proud of them, and they are definitely doing big things these next few years, and I can’t wait to watch this company progress!

And finally, a little personal plug, check out my blog on my experiences with weight loss and over-eating and my seriously screwed up relationship with food at http://foodwithwhitney.wordpress.com/ !  I’m just getting started, so I would love the support, and it’s always fun to have fellow food-lovers on a journey to get healthy.

References:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/240170-soy-protein-vs-whey-protein-for-weight-loss/

http://www.livestrong.com/article/286843-soy-protein-isolate-vs-whey/

http://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/on-fitness/2011/10/13/best-workout-foods-what-to-eat-before-a-workout

 
5 Comments

Posted by on July 24, 2012 in Guest Blogs

 

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