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Principles

Principles

 

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Never compromise your principles…This concept will always shadow my health and fitness philosophy, thanks to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a chubby, out-of-shape politician who somehow is one of my biggest workout influences. Before I carryon, let me non-regretfully admit that I heard him say this while watching his interview with Oprah Winfrey by myself, like Steven Glansberg eating ice cream alone in Superbad.

 

Having said that, I’ve tried various workout methods over the last few years, such as reps, how heavy and often to lift weights, sets and circuits, and how the hell to go about cardio. As I tried different styles, modifying my routines, I always maintained my FOUR WORKOUT PRINCIPLES.

 

Here we go:

 

  1. 1.     NO EXCUSES

 

  1. 2.     CARDIO BEFORE WEIGHTLIFTING

 

  1. 3.     BODYWEIGHT STRENGTH

 

  1. 4.     POUND-FOR-POUND WEIGHTLIFTING

 

 

These principles take precedence. They’re the four prerequisites to achieving my workout goals. Read on as I explain each one.

 

 

No Excuses

 

Your mind is your best muscle. Your attitude and mentality must permanently seek fitness success. That starts with saying, “No excuses,” because allowing one excuse leads to allowing several excuses.

 

Always show up to the gym on the days you say you will, and always get that shit done, no matter what.

 

There’s no excuse to do nothing. Every time I look for excuses not to workout, I’ll think about those who push through problems worse than mine. When I oversleep my morning workout, I’ll go at night, regardless of the time or my plans the next day. When I fractured my knee and was unable to run or lift lower body for 6 weeks, I still went to the gym and worked my uninjured body parts.

 

 

Cardio Before Weightlifting

 

Looking fit is better than looking just super strong, and that’s why cardio is crucial. I mean CARDIO, like running, stairs or biking. Minimal cardio, such as relying on circuit training or high reps. will knock your ass into worse shape. Those replicas of Humpty Dumpty in the World’s Strongest Man competitions may powerfully push cars forward, but aside from pushing things, they’re not well-mobile people.

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If I cannot run 6 miles at a 7:30 minute per mile average, then I increase my cardio routines so I can. (Do what you can for your goals).

 

About a year ago, I decreased my cardio to once a week, thinking circuit lifting and less rest between sets would make a valid substitute. My gains in benching, squatting, and deadlifting occurred at a much faster rate but meant jack-shit, since my body fat percentage increased correspondingly. REAL CARDIO is the best way to offset getting too bulky as you’re gaining muscle.

 

 

Bodyweight Strength

 

I’ve said it before, you’ve probably heard (or read) me say it, and I’ll keep saying it…anyone can push or pull weights, BUT not anyone can push or pull his or her own bodyweight.

 

You’ll grow bigger muscles through weightlifting, but bodyweight lifts better measure how fit you are. Bodyweight lifts truly grade your strength, because they’re narrowly tailored to you and the power within your body, without any help from anyone or anything. Assistance-based lifts, utilizing benches, machines, seats, spotters or something else I’ll probably dislike, will only tell you what you can push or pull with that amount of help.

 

If I cannot do 20 straight pull-ups and/or cannot do 60 straight chest-to-floor pushups, then I change my routines so I can.

 

Surely, it felt great 5 years ago to move around weights while lying down, sitting on something, or through the help of some gym-rat spotter, but BigBerg’s bloated body couldn’t even finish 30 proper pushups

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. Forget soaring through reps of 225lbs on the bench press when you can’t even rep out your own bodyweightthrough pushups. CrossFit athletes, for example, look incredible as they lift a shit ton of weight, while also annihilating all sorts of bodyweight exercises.

 

 

Pound-For-Pound Weightlifting

 

Cardio freaks, like myself, face the risk of looking like one of Jigsaw’s scrawny, weak victims from those Saw movies. (I’d beat all of Jigsaw’s traps…I swear to God). Weightlifting is essential to avoid that stick figure physique but in turn may deter cardio.

 

The solution to weightlifting in a way that maintains your cardio and bodyweight strength is pound-for-pound lifting. Heavy people who lift heavy usually struggle at cardio, while lighter people who strongly lift in relation to their bodyweight can improve weightlifting while maintaining cardio.

 

Produce gains while weighing no more than 165lbs, or else change the routines. (Pick a maximum bodyweight that works for your goals and is in accordance with your body type, since everyone’s body works and develops differently).

 

I picked 165lbs, because that’s the heaviest I can weigh without harming my cardio goals. It is indeed harder to make gains lifting this way, but the results are golden.

 

………………..

 

As you piece together your own workout programs, know your goals and the principles needed to achieve them. Stick with those principles, do not compromise them, and it will be worth it!

 

Keep it up and see you next time – LeanBerg

 

Twitter/Instagram (if you dare) ~ @lean_berg

Email (if you double dare) ~ jordangreenberg32@gmail.com

 

Before/After

Before/After

           

 

 

 
 

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Self-Confidence Knocks Out Fear

Self-Confidence Knocks Out Fear

 

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

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

ToughMudder - LeanBerg_ThumbsUpHere’s my attempted Batman metaphor:

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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Till next time – LeanBerg

 
 

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Are You Spring Break Ready?

Hello people.

So, in honor of the super bowl and the ridiculous amount of wings and beer you all consumed on that given Sunday, I am going to start my spring break diet/workout with y’all. It’s NEVER too early for beach season.

Now, this spring break segment is not going to be covered all in 1 shot. It’s a process. Each section will be written as you progress and keep up with my plan. It’s supposed to get harder and harder as the segments go on, so keep up, if you can.

Let’s get started.

It is SOO important to have a workout and food schedule. You want to be organized and aware of what you’re doing each and every day. Try and write out a schedule each and every Monday. Kind of like a food/workout log. Record what you eat and do at the gym. Keep the same workouts for a few weeks and then switch them up to confuse your muscles. Record what you eat at every meal. Make up a points system and set a goal for the day/week. Make a game out of it.

Spring Break Ready!

Spring Break Ready!

No one said this couldn’t be fun!

Try and be consistent with your meal plan. Stick to a light breakfast (fruits, yogurt, egg white, protein shakes) and take your vitamins. Then have a nice snack in between meals (fruit, nuts). For lunch you want to also keep it light. A salad or fruit platter. Maybe even some greek yogurt and granola. Mix it up so you don’t get bored but keep it within your limits. You can cheat here and there but if you’re dedicated on that “spring break body” then id think twice before engulfing that chipotle burrito. Between lunch and dinner, I like to sip on some coffee and nibble on a banana. Both are filling and give me energy to workout and last me until dinner. You can also sip on a protein shake and blend the fruit in it if that floats your boat. Protein bars are not my favorite for this time. They hold too many calories and carbs. Most of them aren’t great for snacks. They make for good meal replacements if that’s what you want, but not snacks. But that’s just my opinion. Dinner is my favorite. I usually start off with a protein shake on my way back from the gym and enjoy things like turkey burgers (no bun; 1 piece of whole wheat or rye bread, if that), roasted chicken, london broil, and salmon. Try some variations, and get on a consistent schedule with your meats. Try to stay away from red meats. You can have them from time to time because you need the iron, but I’d limit it to about 2-3 per month. It’s sometimes very high in fat.

That’s just a general diet plan. I’ll get into more depth another time.

For this blog I’m only going to start to go into the workout routine and give you some pointers in order to get the best results. Like I said before, this is the first of many spring break workout blogs. You need to build up and earn the next level of this blog.

First off, the name of the game is CARDIO. I’ve said this before. If you want to shed some lbs, the only way you’re going to do that is by stepping up your cardio game. And NO I don’t mean the elliptical or stair master, I

Beach Body

Beach Body

mean HIIT (high intensity interval training) and cross-fit. Mix in some of those routines into your everyday workout. You want to keep your heart rate up because that’s the only way you’re going to burn fat. Yes you can run on the treadmill, but mix it up. Play with the speed and incline and don’t just run at the same incline for 20-30 minutes; Jog uphill, then run. Alternate the speeds. Mix in some jump rope as well. I like to jump rope in between sets sometimes. It keeps my heart rate going and feels incredible!

Next you want to focus on strength and interval training. It’s the best if you want to see long term results. It will help make your muscles and bones stronger while increasing your metabolism. If you need help figuring out which strength and interval trainings are good for you, then look them up. I’m no guru. (Lazy piece of ^#*@)

Don’t waste your time doing ineffective moves. You don’t need to do 100 crunches in order to get rock hard abs. That only works 1 section of your abs. You need to focus on your abs as a whole, this goes for every muscle group, in order to get the best results. Mix up your exercises. Confuse your muscles, but allow them the proper rest.

For your abs, try the stability ball plank, woodchoppers, bicycle, and mountain climbers. These will help target your entire mid section. But don’t just limit your routine to these. For arms try triceps dips, overhead press, bicep curls and lateral raises.

Want more? Your gonna have to wait….

Try group classes like Soul cycle, Billy’s Boot Camp, yoga, CrossFit. They all have their pros (and con$). Exercising with a group can be fun and motivating. Its something new and different from what your usually use to. Don’t be a baby, try them out. I guarantee you’ll have fun

Before I go, I want to share another recipe with you guys. It’s amazing. I’m going to attempt to cook it this week.

Its Mac and Cheese style Cauliflower! Only 273 calories, 16g of protein, 16g of fat, 18g of carbs and 6g of sugar. When prepared the right way, it’s a great post workout meal.

8 cups of cauliflower florets

2 tbs of butter or margarine

3 tbs of flour

2 cups of low-fat milk

1 garlic clove minced (1 tsp)

2 cups of reduced fat Cheddar cheese (or any cheese you want. I recommend Edam cheese)

½ cup nutritional yeast

1 pinch of cayenne pepper

2 egg yolks

1 ½ of fresh whole wheat breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bring large pot of salted water to a boil and add the cauliflowers and boil 5 to 7 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid, and set aside.

Melt the butter in the same pot over medium heat. Whisk in flour, and cook for 1 minute, stirring. Mix in the milk, garlic, and reserved cooking liquid and cook for 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in cheese, nutritional yeast, cayenne pepper and eggs until cheese is melted. Fold in cauliflower.

Coat a 13 x 9 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Spread the cauliflower mixture in dish, and sprinkle the breadcrumbs. Bake for 30 minutes until crisp and brown. AND THEN ENJOY! If you get a chance to make it be  sure to upload it on facebook or twitter and tag @campusprotein and @andrewbrauny!

Use these to reach your goal FASTER

Use these to reach your goal FASTER

Well, I’m done,

Until next time…

Peace. Love. Protein. @CP

@AndrewBrauny

Sources: AndrewBrauny, YogaJournal, HerCampus

 
2 Comments

Posted by on February 5, 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

 
6 Comments

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.

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

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

 

Which percentage do you want to be?

That’s what I thought!

Don’t worry, you’re in good hands.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I believe in you! (HA HA)

It’s a new year. 2013 baby! LET’S GO!

64609_4619152834388_1410096648_nPeace. Love. Protein. @CampusProtein

@AndrewBrauny

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2013 in The Brauny Take

 

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BROga: A Downward Facing Blog

Yoga.

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

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

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

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

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

Anyway, moving on.

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until next time…

Peace. Love. Protein. @CP

@AndrewBrauny

 
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Posted by on December 11, 2012 in The Brauny Take

 

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SEX and the GYM

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

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

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

…Unless you’ve been faking it.

Rude.

But back to the topic at hand…SEX

Sex should be fun for both parties involved.

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s get started.

Day 1:

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

Day 2:

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

Day 3:

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

ENJOY!

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

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

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

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

459192_10150699209806937_215897736_o

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until next time,

Peace. Love. Protein @CP

@AndrewBrauny

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

 
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Posted by on December 4, 2012 in The Brauny Take

 

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