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A Future Lawyer’s Take On Supplements

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

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

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

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

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

Whey Protein

 

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

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

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

Whey Better Options

Whey Better Options

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

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

Creatine

 

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

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

Con-Cret

Con-Cret

Pre-Workout

 

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

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

CP FUEL

CP FUEL

BCAAs

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

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

Cellucor's Cor BCAA

Cellucor’s Cor BCAA

SIDE NOTE: Glutamine is also great for muscle recovery.

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

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

Twitter/Instagram ~ @lean_berg

Email ~ jordangreenberg32@gmail.com

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

Legs, Shoulders & Cardio

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

 

Before/After

Before/After

 

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Principles

Principles

 

GreenbergRippedPic

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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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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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

 
3 Comments

Posted by on February 13, 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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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

 
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Posted by on November 20, 2012 in The Brauny Take

 

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