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Self-Confidence Knocks Out Fear

Self-Confidence Knocks Out Fear

 

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

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

ToughMudder - LeanBerg_ThumbsUpHere’s my attempted Batman metaphor:

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

ToughMudder2

Till next time – LeanBerg

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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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Unconventional Mentality

ALL ABOUT MENTALITY

Hi. My name is Jordan Greenberg, I am currently finishing up my second year at The John Marshall Law School, and I had a fat stage in my life.

Before/After

Before/After

From this before/after picture, there’s a fat, insecure guy on the left and a lean, more confident guy on the right, clearly capturing the extremes at both ends of the spectrum.

AND THEY’RE BOTH ME!!

Was I strong? Hell yes. That was the strongest I’ve ever been in my life. Of course you can naturally lift heavier when you weigh so much more. But pound-for-pound, I was absolute garbage, and this was the most out of shape I’ve ever been in.

But that’s not the end of things, because I’m lean and shredded in the after picture. I had to get there somehow, and it wasn’t easy one bit. I’m so grateful that I reached an extremely low, self-depreciating point, because it forced me to find a way to put all that aggression into something that would eventually change my life forever.

So, can I please share a brief overview of my story? Thanks!

There are actually two stories: 1) BigBerg’s Story and 2) LeanBerg’s Story. Each version of myself possessed a different mentality, so they respectfully deserve their own stories.

BigBerg’s Story

A few months before my junior year at Indiana University, I hit an all-time low. I literally swam through an ocean of negative thoughts every damn day. I was getting in stupid fights, boozing too much, smoking cigarettes, chewing tobacco when I was not smoking cigarettes, eating Burger King like it was my full-time job, eating McDonald’s when I was not eating Burger King, and I think you get the point now.

There once was an extended weekend when I didn’t even leave my apartment. Luckily, I got some exercise by walking to my door to generously tip the pizza guy. However, like any short-lived, glorified moment such as opening your door to see a smiley, bicycle helmet-wearing pizza guy graciously hand you 3,000 calories of greasy crap, all temporary things come to an end.

Like any fat person, I would go through phases where I thought I was going to get back into fitness and health. I’d try these temporary workout plans and diets, only to see zero results. Something was fudged up in my head. I didn’t eat too many paint chips as a child so it’s not that, but I lacked dedication.

Motivation needs to be permanent if you’re seeking a lifestyle change. Temporary motivation will only change you temporarily, and then you’ll go back to being that person you hated. Yeah, I would prance like a bitch on the treadmill and try to bench a shit load of weight, but that did nothing. Additionally, I thought I could cheat more on eating if I spent more time at the gym. That’s bullshit. Period.

My workout attempts failed, my diet attempts failed, my don’t drink to blackout attempts failed, my don’t fight people attempts failed, my don’t love nicotine so much attempts failed, and for the worst attempt grand finale, I failed to be happy.

Special Note To Dieting: while I regret to announce this, the Fresco Menu at Taco Bell is not healthy, placing fruit in ice cream is not smart thinking, McDonald’s salads are not good for you, and cutting calories does not mirror decreasing your daily desert dosage. You need to cut the right calories, and everything I did at this time was the opposite.

I would constantly get pissed off and blame other people. But finally, a big influence in my life pointed out that I was the common denominator in every occurrence. That was hard to soak in, but it was true. Finally for once, I was angry at myself. I needed to be angry at myself to this degree in order to light the fire and get that motivation going.

This sentence is my transition to my second story.

LeanBerg’s Story

 

So now it’s summer, and I’m still fat. LeanBerg doesn’t begin when I become lean. It was never about that nor will it ever be.

It’s All ABOUT MENTALITIY, and LeanBerg was beginning to emerge immediately after I finally took responsibility. You cannot rely on these workout and diet plans to fix you. Sure, they can improve your physique for some time, but they’ll likely not become a ritual in your lifestyle. I needed the latter, not just some physical improvement. I needed a mentality fix more than anything.

The event that stands out most is when I signed up for a private boxing lesson nearby my house. I didn’t put much thought into it. I just decided to sign up, and that was that.

I go in at 7:00AM (that’s sleeping-in for me today), and the guy hands over a jump rope, hits the buzzer, and says I have two minutes until my next breather.

I couldn’t do it. I literally could not jump rope for two minutes during a warm-up and that really got to me. It was pathetic and symbolizes how pathetic I allowed myself to get. It’s just 120 seconds, and it was too hard.

Something happened that day where I realized I’ve been such a pussy lately. I finally acknowledged that I had to go All IN and work hard for something other than placing the perfect fast-food order. I needed to stand toe-to-toe with a physical challenge and not let it get the best of me.

WOAH, THIS IS THE BEGINNING OF LEANBERG.

There’s a major correlation with fitness, health and wellbeing. That’s why they’re grouped together. Not so your Health teachers could feel good that their textbooks are dense, but because they really do correlate.

I, now LegBerg, figured that if I kept working out and dieted by my own research rather than looking up FADs, something good would rise, and it would get me to believe in myself, helping with everything else life offers. I didn’t know it’d lead to an intense addiction that I’m really passionate and proud about, but hey, “It could happen.” (That was my Angels In The Outfield reference, starring Danny Glover).

It’s been uphill from there, and I’ll bullet point it, since I haven’t shown off my formatting skills yet. Think of the training montages in the Rocky movies while you read through this.

  • That summer in 2009, I cut around 60-70lbs just from intense boxing, building up my running, and barely drinking alcohol, and ACTUALLY eating healthy. I did not eat fast-food, limited my carbs, ate lots of lean protein, and didn’t binge eat at night. Those are the basics, and they were enough then.
  • While studying abroad in London for three months, I literally ran 6-8 miles six or seven days a week and became a force at running. The runner’s high is real!
  • In summer 2010, I ran the Soldier Field 10 Mile in a 7:12 minute per mile average. The was a big one, because I made the commitment to run that at my grandfather’s funeral, so thank the lord I didn’t bail on that one. That wouldn’t have been nice and would have resulted in a lifetime of cranky karma.
  • I then finally got into lifting weights. I have such a passion for weightlifting and have developed my own style that I’ll guarantee works for anyone. I’m all about high intensity supersets/circuits with middle to high rep ranges, every set till failure, usually working multiple muscles a day, often topped off with running a few miles at the end. Conditioning is more important than strength. Fat people, like BigBerg, are strong. Anyone can lift weights, but not everyone can do it in a way that forces topnotch conditioning.
  • Currently, I’m training for the 2013 Chicago Marathon, still lifting five or six days a week, and happy as can be. There are still setbacks, but that goes with anything. I ran 16 miles this week in a 7:50 minute average and know I can do more.

Like I said, it’s ALL ABOUT MENTALITY. Everything put together, from losing fat to jump roping to weightlifting to running to dieting to not drinking as much and more, they all are just factors into becoming happy, altering your lifestyle for the better, and changing your mentality permanently.

Fitness-wise, when you put your body through hell, suffering excruciating exhaustion, sweat and fatigue, the end result is that you know you just went ALL IN for the day and nobody can ever take that away from you. It makes you believe in yourself, and when that’s in your mind, you’re an unstoppable force. Any strength gain or advance in definition is a bonus.

After finally jump roping for two minutes and years of trial and error figuring this stuff out, I know what works. I write every single one of my workout plans and do it all my way. I have final cut, and every decision is pursuant to my discretion. As for dieting, the most important work is done in the kitchen. If you eat shit, you’ll become shit, no matter how hard you workout. Get ready to hear that a lot.

I went ALL IN, and I have not been out since. I love what I do, but the best part of it now is sharing with people and also learning from others. Are you ready to go ALL IN too?

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2013 in Unconventional Mentality

 

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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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Gym Bag Swag

Does it take you long to decide what to bring to the gym? Well in this blog, I’m going to talk about all of the essentials that you should throw into your gym bag, mostly for men (sorry ladies but I’m not sure I’m interested in what you throw into your gym bag (TMI)). Most of these things are items that you need besides your normal

THE GYM BAG

THE GYM BAG

essentials like tanks, shorts, sneakers, headphones, etc. You go to the gym to look and feel good, so why not bring that mentality into the locker room and beyond. I’m going to help you categorize your bag and include everything that you’ll need in order to feel refreshed and clean post workout and more.

Most gyms and health clubs already have towels, shampoo, conditioner and body wash available for you in the locker room, so you can count that out of your gym bag, unless your picky and prefer your own shower essentials, if so, feel free to throw them in your bag. You can go to any pharmacy and buy the travel size ones.

Gyms can be very dirty and filled with bacteria. People are constantly touching all of the equipment and god knows what else, so I like to throw in a bottle of purell or some kind of antibacterial wash. It’s important, especially during this time of year.

The next is a MUST! Let’s be real, you STINK when you’re all said and done. If you choose not to shower (gross) or even after your shower, spray yourself down with some body spray. You can go with the ever so popular Axe, or a brand of your choice. Just include it. You may or may not need it.

DUDE...you STINK

DUDE…YOU STINK

One of my favorite things that I include in my gym bag is hydrocolloid bandages for when I get blisters on my feet from running or on my hands. You can find them at any pharmacy and I promise you, they will be worth the $5.

You sweat a lot don’t you? Well sweat usually clogs pores and causes oily skin, which causes acne. Let’s prevent that acne. Go out and buy some pads or a cleanser (oil free) to remove all that dirt, oil and dead skin. Some people recommend Astringent toner pads (Men’s Health), but it really doesn’t matter all that much. Ask your dermatologist.

DEODORANT. Need I say more? Trust me. Before and after is more than enough. Don’t be shy.

Hair gel &/or a comb. I don’t usually put this in my bag because I go home after the gym, but if you go out after and want to prop up your hair, be my guest.

You don’t want warts on your feet, do you?

I didn’t think so. So do yourself a huge favor and pick up some cheap flip-flops. It will go a long way, I promise you that. They sell them for $10 at CVS. Don’t be gross.

Socks. It’s always a good idea to include an extra pair of socks just incase your current ones stink, or you loose them or they get wet. Your feet are very important, especially at the gym. Take care of them.

Plastic bags. Most gym have plastic bags available in the locker room, unless you belong to crappy gym, but just in case, throw a few cheap supermarket plastic bags in your bag. You don’t want your stinky, sweaty, wet clothes stinking up your bag, do you?

I also like to have a shaker, some protein and pre workout sample packets in my gym bag, just incase I forget or run out. It’s come in handy plenty of times.

Also, don’t forget to buy a lock. Most gyms don’t have locks for you, so that would suck if all your s*^t got stolen.

I also have a jump rope in my bag at all times. My gym doesn’t have them, so when it’s not crowded, I like to jump rope in-between sets on cardio and core days. It’s a great thing to have and it doesn’t take up that much room.

The bag itself is also very important. It needs to be comfortable and light but also big enough to fit everything. I have a puma bag that I bought at Equinox about 2 years ago. It’s great, but a little annoying because the strap sucks and it’s pretty uncomfortable. It does the job and fits everything. I recommend the lulu bags if you’re not strapped for cash. They are huge and very comfortable, but a bit pricey. But if you’re looking for something cheaper, you can go to any sporting goods store and pick up something sufficient.

Hope this helps. And if you think I’m missing anything, please hesitate to contact me because I probably don’t won’t wanna hear it.

Just kidding!

So, as I continue this trend, I want to share another amazing healthy recipe with you. I’ve been making this for the past 2 weeks and I love it.

I LOVE pancakes, especially syrup, and found an amazing recipe online for PROTEIN Pancakes. I put my own spin on it and it turned out amazing!

Here’s how I make it:

2 eggs (adds consistency)

2 egg whites

1 scoop of chocolate whey protein (Vanilla is good too)

1 scoop of cacao (Super food antioxidant that gives it a rich chocolate taste)

1 scoop of oats (Good carbs)

Pinch of cinnamon (Tigers hate cinnamon, they love pepper)

A few drops of skin milk to add some fluffiness (not a necessity)

You can then blend it all together or whisk away in a bowl. Whichever is more convenient for you.

When it’s all said and done, I like to add some greek yogurt and bananas to the top of my pancakes. I also use low sugar/carb grade a maple syrup that I got from whole foods. Now remember, its still pretty high in sugar (17 g per serving) so be gentle on it.

It’s a great breakfast and/or post workout meal. I make mine with about 40-50 grams of protein, not including the greek yogurt topping.

That’s enough. I’m starving now. Gonna go make me some pancakes!

Until next time…

Peace. Love. Protein @CP

@AndrewBrauny

The Brauny Take

The Brauny Take

 
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Posted by on February 13, 2013 in The Brauny Take

 

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Thanksgiving Fat to a December 6-pack.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

White wine: 100 calories per 1 serving

Margarita: 38 calories per 1.5 fl oz

Sangria: 132 calories per 1 serving

Vodka: 75 calories per 1.5 fl oz

White Cranberry Cosmo: 34 calories per 1 serving

White Peach Margarita: 37 calories per 1 serving

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

Have fun!

Peace. Love. Protein @CP

@AndrewBrauny

 
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Posted by on November 27, 2012 in The Brauny Take

 

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Brauny’s Take 6: CHEF Braun

Are you a healthy eater?

Do you cook yourself meals everyday?

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

I’m kidding…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

½ teaspoon of brown sugar

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

a pinch of kosher salt and black pepper

Combine spices in a small bowl

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

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

Start with at least 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts.

Use 1 tablespoon of olive or canola oil,

½ teaspoon of salt,

¼ teaspoon of black pepper

For the balsamic sauce:

3 tablespoons of chopped basil

1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon of chopped shallots

1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon of honey

¼ teaspoon of salt

¼ teaspoon of black pepper

4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil or canola oil

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

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

That’s all for this week.

Enjoy your meals!

Peace. Love. Protein. @CP

~@AndrewBrauny

 
2 Comments

Posted by on November 20, 2012 in The Brauny Take

 

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