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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

 

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Brauny’s “Female” Take

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sometimes life just isn’t fair!

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

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

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

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

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

Well thanks a lot Alyssa!

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

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

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

EAT SUPER FOODS.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anyways, Stay tuned for next weeks take.

Pce. Love. Protein. @CP

@andrewbrauny

 
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Posted by on March 7, 2013 in The Brauny Take

 

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The Art of Picking Up Girls at the Gym.

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

Not as easy as it seems, by the way.

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

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

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

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

Anyways, shall we begin??

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

One thousand one, one thousand two....

One thousand one, one thousand two….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hope you enjoyed my words of wisdom.

Peace. Love. Protein. @CP

@AndrewBrauny

 
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Posted by on January 22, 2013 in The Brauny Take

 

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