My Top 5 Recommended Supplements

My Top 5 Recommended Supplements

Do you need supplements? Define need….but in my opinion, yes. We live in a world where our produce lacks a significant amount of nutrients its supposed to have due to low quality nitrogen in the soil. We live in a polluted world that is constantly stressing our adrenal glands, thyroid, and reproductive systems. Even if you ate 100% organic, all grass fed, wild, you would still be deficient in some way shape or form of a major nutrient or vitamin. Mankind has done a terrific job at destroying our planet and as a result, we have to “supplement” in order to counter act everything.

These 5 supplements are my favorite, and I feel the most important for a young, health minded individual. Even if you took one of these, you’d be improving your health. Some of you may not be stressed and may not have trouble sleeping, so in that case magnesium might not be best for you (though it can NEVER hurt). Some of you may already be ripped and lean, so zinc isn’t on the top of your list. Whatever it is, read and enjoy.

1. Betain HCL- I wrote about this in Why You Don’t Have a 6 Pack and I had tons of people asking me questions. I list it as #1 because without enough HCL, you’re wasting your money on food and supplements. A quick recap, without enough HCL in your stomach, you can’t break down your food, thus you won’t absorb it. And unless you’re taking a high quality probiotic and drinking apple cider vinegar on the reg, you’re HCL is low. Pollution, stress, alcohol, sugar, depletes our HCL. Read this article if you’re thinking about taking it and you’ll know what to look for and the steps on how to take it. Read about HCL

2. Fish Oil– if there’s one thing even the highly conservative and often ignorant medical community can agree with the forward thinking nutrition and sports community, is the value of fish oil/Omega 3’s. It’s importance goes way beyond the scope of this article, but to sum it up; reduce inflammation, reduce risk of heart disease, increased testosterone, decrease in blood pressure, and finally…it will help get rid of love handles. How? We store fat in our mid-auxiliary (or hips) from high levels of blood sugar storing it in this particular region. Ever notice how someone can have ripped arms and upper body but have love handles? That’s mismanagement of blood sugar. Fish oil is a power house. Here’s the only thing, you can not, I repeat CAN NOT buy your fish oil somewhere generic like Walmart, Target, Costco, CVS, or GNC. Why? Because all of these companies fish oils have been linked to toxic levels of mercury and PCB’s. Do not take it. Trader Joe’s makes an awesome and inexpensive brand.

3. Vitamin D– it cracks me up when people think taking 2,000 IU’s of Vitamin D is enough, or they aren’t deficient. Did you know that being outside, directly in the sun for 20 plus minutes, our bodies make up to 10,000 if not more IU’s of Vitamin D. So to think that taking a paltry amount is suitable or taking 5,000 IU’s is dangerous, think again. I’m sorry if you’re doctor says otherwise but he hasn’t stayed up to date on his science journals. Why is Vitamin D so important? From a “getting ripped” perspective, it offers very similar benefits to Fish Oil. Where it differs is the energy we get from Vitamin D. Almost every known disease has been linked to low vitamin D. It makes you stronger, your bones healthier, your recovery time quicker, and all around healthier. Think about how good you feel being out in the sun. That’s Vitamin D!

4. Magnesium- specifically magnesium glycerinate. I remember advising a personal training client of mine to take magnesium before bed and he described the feeling like taking valium. It really is that powerful and effective at calming the nerves. It’s my most important supplement because of what it does for handling stress, lowering cortisol, and sleeping. Remember how I said that stress and sleep can hold you back from a six pack? When I started taking magnesium I noticed a tremendous difference in my physique but also in my ability to handle stressful situations. If sleep and stress are a major factor for you, magnesium is your #1. And don’t think that buying crappy magnesium at CVS will cut it. It won’t. Go to Whole Foods or a health store and get some Mag Glyceninate.

5. Chelated Zinc- the man’s mineral, the natural testosterone booster, the immune system booster, zinc is just the bomb dizzle. For college students, I would say it’s one of the most important supplements to take. With all the partying and whatever else you do, zinc will give you an extra edge. If you work out hard and want to get to the next level, zinc is your ticket.

l_ye-1018

 

7 Hidden Foods That Are Very Healthy

7 Hidden Foods That Are Very Healthy….

Yesterday’s blog was the most popular one I’ve ever written. I’m thrilled. Not only are people learning a little something, but maybe they’ll make certain changes and improve their health. If you didn’t see it, clink the link below

7 Foods That Are Making You Fat

And without further ado….

1. Butter/Ghee– what? Butter? Blasphemous. How can this be? Easily. First and for most, the only reason people think butter is bad for you is because the government wanted us to think saturated fat was bad for us. Thus, food industries could create margarine, low fat foods etc. Pharmaceutical companies could make “cholesterol” lowering drugs. I’m not making this up. There’s actual evidence and records of the government disregarding the science that says saturated fat is NOT bad for us, there is even video footage of it. It’s mind blowing. Okay, back to butter.

Omega 3’s- yup, those wondrous fatty acids that you hear so much about are found in butter. But let me be clear, the butter needs to be from GRASS FED COWS. You see when a cow eats its natural diet, grass, not grains and whatever else they feed them, it produces a strong, lean, and healthy animal. Thus what we eat from that animal is filled with nutrients.

Vitamin K/ CLA/ Butyric acid- these three power houses have been PROVEN to ward off cancer and tumors in our cells. They also help with weight loss by improving our insulin sensitivity.

Butter also improves our gut floora, acting in a similar way to probiotics. It also has iodine. Both saturated and mono unsaturated fats. It’s a true power house.

If you’re wondering what ghee is…it’s just butter with all the milk solids removed. Or clarified butter. It’s been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years to treat all sorts of ailments. Now let’s think about that for a minute. If ghee (which is filled with saturated fat) has successfully been used by forms of medicine and healing for thousands of years, and cholesterol lowering prescription drugs do NOT lower your risk of heart disease…I wonder if the government and medical community was wrong about saturated fat…DUH.

*oh, the same goes for cheese, but again, it’s gotta be organic and grass fed in order to have all of these wonderful nutrients.

2. Grass fed beef– you hear all about it, why it is so much better? Pretty much for the same exact reasons that butter is. Omega 3’s, CLA, all B vitamins, and let’s not forget protein. Now let’s get one thing straight, generic beef is not “bad for you” in the sense where it will make you fat. Something that is just protein and fat does not stimulate fat storing hormones. However, low quality beef is exactly that, low quality. From a spiritual and humane perspective, eating from an animal that has been tended to in a proper, ethical, and healthy way will thus yield healthier food. And if you believe in energy passing between two forms, you are taking in positive energy from this animal. Vegetarians and vegans are probably screaming at me, I’m sorry. I 100% respect your decision to lead a life like this, I find it very admirable and rewarding as long as your educated enough to make the right choices to keep you healthy. Please fulfill your life in anyway, but I will continue to eat meat that has been treated properly.

3. Olives– random right? Olives are actually a fruit and extremely good for you. But let me be clear, black olives from a can are not real olives, they’re crap. Real olives are loaded with nutrients, mono unsaturated fat, and most real olives are fermented. Fermented foods are extremely good for us and vital to a healthy gut.

4. Purple/green cabbage– this one always shocks people. When you think of cabbage you don’t think of it as a health food let alone a SUPER FOOD. Cabbage is part of the same vegetable family as broccoli and kale…cruciferous. Red cabbage is high in anthocyanins, a powerful anti-oxidant that is found in anything purple or dark red (blueberries, eggplant, etc) Green cabbage is just as healthy as it’s sister. Cabbage is also very good at cleaning out toxins from our body, a compound known as Indole 3 carbinol does this little job. So if you can put two and two together, you’ll notice that because cabbage removes toxins and estrogen from our body, it also RAISES OUR TESTOSTERONE. Fascinating. Mother nature works in amazing ways folks. I’ll never forget eating cabbage and offering it to a friend, and she responded that her menstruation cycles were a bit out of whack and her doctor advised her not to eat cabbage because of it’s effects on estrogen and testosterone. I couldn’t believe her doctor actually knew this.

5. Beets- Dwight Schrute lovers rejoice. I LOVE beets. And I love Dwight. So it’s a win win….They’re one of my favorite vegetables.Why are they so healthy? Well, remember they’re purple so they have that amazing anti-oxidant known as anthocyanins. But they’re also very cleansing. If you ever feel under the weather or are really hung over, beets or beet juice can help clean your system out. They also have a fair amount of fiber and can help get your bowels moving if constipated.

6. Apple Cider Vinegar– another random item that you’d never think of as a health food. Vinegar in general is particularly healthy. The fermentation process of apple cider vinegar happens to make it extra awesome for both cleansing the body, and lowering the glycemic impact of food. If you were having a salad with potatoes in, and you added some apple cider vinegar to it, you would be lowering the insulin load of the carbs. Thus, lowering the likelihood of the potatoes getting stored as fat. It’s also a useful homeopathic remedy for digestion and diarrhea. Sorry to get so REAL on you. But it’s powerful stuff. Sometimes I’ll just take a swig of it if I’m feeling nausea.

7. Cinnamon– I always put cinnamon in my coffee. Why? It helps control blood sugar. It has fiber. It provides anti-oxidants. And it’s good for our joints. It also helps with fat loss and improving fatty acid storage in our body. It’s unbelievable that this little cooking spice can pack such a wallop but it’s amazing. Just sprinkle a little bit in your coffee and you’re doing wonders for yourself.

*I didn’t mention a lot of foods in this list, but I wanted to talk about the most obscure, random, and confrontational items. I hope you enjoyed it! Feel free to share the post!

butter

7 Hidden Foods That Make You Fat

7 Hidden Foods That Make You Fat

And ruin your health

1. Soy Sauce– people are often shocked that I don’t have soy sauce with my sushi, why? Where to begin….the number one reason is that soy is extremely estrogenic. Meaning, it lowers your testosterone and increases estrogen in the body. Not only will this slow your metabolism down, it will impair insulin sensitivity, and lower your immune system. Soy is also one of the most highly sprayed crops in the world, it’s ridden with pesticides. And let’s not forget the GMO’s. Soy is also one of the most genetically modified foods on the planet. So all environmentally conscious people beware, if you think you’re helping out the world by eating lots of soy…you’re not.

2. Soy Milk- I know a lot of people who put soy milk in their coffee….bad news bears. I listed all the bad things about soy up above, but taking it a step further, the soy milk at your local starbucks is crap. It’s absolute crap. It is literally the waste product of the crops that they don’t use for food items and processing, so they turn it into a liquid. Not only are you making yourself fatter by drinking it, you’re increasing your risk for disease. It is very bad for you. *by the way, the same goes for tofu…if you’re going to eat it, at least get organic, non gmo tofu, because what you’d get in a chinese restaurant is poison.

3. Ketchup– ahhh America’s favorite condiment. Will a little bit sabotage your six pack? Define a little bit. A tiny squirt? No. But who just eats a tiny bit. Ketchup is all sugar. Yes there’s tomatoes in it, but who cares. There’s minerals in poop, are you going to eat it? Seriously, ketchup is mostly high fructose corn syrup, the same crap in soda, and even two tablespoons is enough to make you fat. I know it sounds absurd because it’s not a lot of calories, but if you are learning anything from my blog it’s that calories are an irrelevant factor when it comes to getting fat. Oh and did I not  mention the tomatoes in ketchup are GMO’d and filled with pesticides? And they use crushed up bugs to dye it? Sounds fun, right?

4. Orange Juice- liquid sugar. It’s essentially drinking soda in orange form. It breaks my heart when I see people drinking OJ at breakfast. Not only are you setting yourself up to have zero energy for the rest of the day, your drinking liquid diabetes. Let’s once again thank the American Government into brain washing us that OJ should be included as part of a healthy breakfast. Even one glass will 100% sabotage your efforts.

5. Protein Bars– this was a tough one for me. Before I began doing a lot of research I figured protein bars must be good right? Wrong. They are loaded with sugar, LOW QUALITY PROTEIN, soy, and tons of chemicals. It’s nice to think that the picture of the jacked up bodybuilder eats these on the reg but he most definitely does not.

6. Generic Peanut Butter- I’m talking about skippy, jiffy, those generic brands. Why? Trans-fats. Hydrogenated vegetable oils. The label may say “no trans fats” but it’s lying. How? The FDA set a standard for all food manufacturers that each serving of food can have less than .5 grams of trans fats and the company can say “zero trans-fats” on the label. Meaning, you could be giving your kid a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with 4 servings of peanut butter, which equals 2 grams of trans fats. Multiply that by however much he or she eats a week or month? You’re damaging their health drastically. Buy organic peanut butter with just peanuts and salt. Or better yet, almond butter.

7. Canola oil- a newer addition to the “health food scene” and most often used in restaurants. Do you know what canola oil really is? It’s from the “rape-seed” plant found in Canada, and when manufacturers were thinking of ways to market it, they knew that nobody would buy an oil called RAPE SEED….so they named it after it’s country of origin, Canada, hence CANola oil. Okay but why is it bad? Let’s begin. Almost all generic canola oil that you eat has been heated at a very high temperature for stabilization, and if you know anything about your cooking oils, if they get heated past their given smoke points, they become rancid and they oxidize. So you’re taking in oxidized substances which will damage your cells, break down muscle, and damage your heart. Bad news. It’s also highly GMO’d, and again for you health and environmentally conscious people, think again!

soya_kikkoman_original_packaging1

 

Why you don’t have a six pack

Why you don’t have a six pack

This list is geared towards people who go to the gym, attempt at eating healthy, take supplements, yet still fail to get abs or even a flat stomach. If you practice zero healthy life style habits, that might be why you don’t have abs, sorry.

I want to preface this by saying that I don’t naturally have abs, nor am I naturally lean. But I can say that every day, month, year, goes by I’m leaner, stronger, and yes, more ripped than before. And it’s all through learning, experimenting, and figuring out the pain in the ass things that are holding me back. Read on.

1. Food Intolerances/Allergies- 3 and a half years ago I remember looking at myself after the gym and thinking, damn, I’m not looking bad! I then ate some almonds with my ground beef, twenty minutes later, I looked again (vain, I know) and my stomach was sticking out like crazy. All the lines, and tightness were gone. What happened? I did some research, specifically from Charles Poliquin and it made so much sense….something I was eating was throwing me off. I got blood work done a couple weeks later and there was a surprising amount of foods that I was “intolerant” to. Meaning, my body did not react well to them. They weren’t necessarily allergies, meaning I’d have to go to the hospital, but intolerances are no joke. They can manifest themselves as bloating, muscle cramps, acne, brain fog, achy joints, and YES, they can mess up your six pack. How? If we eat something our bodies are intolerant to, our immune system responds by sending out anti-bodies called IGG or IGE’s in order to clear out the threat from the food. The IGG/IGE’s however, linger in our system and actually cause some havoc on our cells and other metabolic processes.

So how do you know if you have food intolerances? Well, often times its simple, whenever you eat something do you immediately get bloated? Or do you feel sick? Do you break out? You’re most likely intolerant to things you eat ALL THE TIME. For me it was almost all nuts (almonds, cashews, etc.) But for most people it’s whey protein, eggs, tuna, chicken, etc. common “health” and “bodybuilding” foods. If your insurance covers it, get what’s called a RAST test done. It will change your life my friends.

2. Low HCL/Bad Gut- I remember when I started taking HCL I gained 3 lbs in 5 days. I’m not bullshitting you. Do you know why? No matter what you eat, if your body can’t break down the food and absorb it, it’s useless. All the money you spend on supplements, protein powder, high quality meat and veggies, it’s a waste if your body can’t use it. It works like this….HCL is the main form of acid that resides in your stomach/gut and it’s essential in breaking down everything we put into our bodies. And generally people who lift weights, or even health minded people in general, will eat a lot of protein and veggies, all of which are hard to break down. If you’re reading this, you have low HCL. I promise you, you do. Our natural stores get depleted in life through pollution, stress, poor eating habits, ALCOHOL….. Google Charles Poliquin and HCL. He outlines everything you need to do.

3. You don’t workout your legs– I’ll never forget doing my first legitimate leg workout, I was working out with a personal trainer in NYC and he made me squat 4 sets of 10 reps, all the way down. My body responded in a way that I never thought was possible. My metabolism shot through the roof. I was so hungry. I started to get veins in my arms, which I never had before. How was this possible? Easy. Your legs are the largest part of your body, and thus the most painful to truly workout. When you train your lower body, you not only create a greater anabolic response, but you increase your testosterone, you burn way more calories, and you tell your CNS (central nervous system) to start putting things into high gear and grow. I can’t tell you how many times people ask for my advice on why they can’t grow, why they aren’t lean, etc. and I ask them if they squat or deadlift? And taking it a step further, do they squat ass to the grass? Most often the answer is no.

4. Your always stressed– this is without a doubt my biggest issue and what has held me back. How does stress affect your six pack? Cortisol. Cortisol is the primary stress hormone in the body. We need cortisol, it’s what gets us up and out of bed in the morning, and what can save our lives and sharpen our reflexes/reaction times for certain dangerous situations. But the problem is, if cortisol is always high, you can’t be healthy and you definitely can’t have a six pack. What you have to realize is that the last thing your body wants to do when stressed out is build muscle and burn fat. So if you’re constantly stressed out, the food you eat will get stored as fat. Why? Quite fascinating actually. Believe it or not, it goes back thousands upon thousands of years. If we’re very stressed out, our body takes it as a sign that a famine is approaching, or food is scarce, so as a response to this threat, our bodies will store everything we eat to save us. Crazy right? Yes, but now you see why it’s not good to be stressed. Obviously it’s unavoidable at times, trust me, I know. But finding ways to manage it will do wonders for your six pack.

5. You don’t eat enough fat– high protein/low carb diets are great, but often useless without enough fat. Did you know that fats are vital for proper cell membrane function. They make up  a large majority of the cell walls and are essential for passing information amongst each other, as well as vital hormone production. Science aside, the more healthy fat you eat, the more ripped and HEALTHY you will be. Specifically saturated fats and omega 3’s. The government and the medical community has done a fantastic of telling us that saturated fat is bad for you. Anyone who is reading my blog knows that I don’t believe that nonsense, and don’t believe anything the government or a corporation tells me about what to eat. BACK TO THE SIX PACK. So we’re talking coconut oil, organic butter, rib eyes, whole eggs, whole fat cheese. Saturated fat and cholesterol is vital for proper testosterone production. It’s quite simple, start cooking your veggies and meat in coconut oil or butter. I promise it will make a huge difference.

6. You don’t sleep enough/well- and to the final and perhaps most underrated element of a six pack. Sleep. I’ve written about sleep many times, and will continue to write about it. But why does it effect your six pack? It all goes back to cortisol baby. The more you sleep, and the better you sleep, the more our hormones can function properly and do what they’re meant to do. I highly advise taking 400-500 mg of magnesium before bed. I told a personal training client of mine to take this, and he said it was like taking valium. It knocks you out. Also, take your cell phone out of your room. The radiation is terrible for our circadian rhythms. Read this blog and get more tips for sleeping.

Any one of these tips can set you on the right path. For some of us, getting ripped is very difficult, and for some (lucky bastards) it’s very easy. But anybody can learn from this and get leaner, and healthier.

 

The Power of Positive Thinking

The Power of Positive Thinking

Who are the most positive people you know? My top 4 are Ben Jon, Ryan Travis Woods, Jonathan Schultz, and Rob Morales

And you know what they all have in common? Read on.

1. They’re busy/productive– positive people seem to find a way to make things happen for themselves. They disregard the negative opinions of others and continue to do what they feel is right in order to succeed.

2. They laugh a lot/extremely funny– I don’t know if this is just a coincidence but I’m always laughing around particularly positive people.

3. They are selfless and selfish at the same time- the balance between helping other people and focusing on yourself is an undervalued element to happiness. I wrote about this here and it holds true for all of the positive people I know.

4. They are in great shape- this is not always the case, but something I often see. Why? Cortisol! Cortisol is your stress hormone, and people who are always stressed and producing cortisol tend to be more overweight. The last thing your body wants to do when stressed out is burn fat, build muscle, and be lean.

5. They read a lot– not only do they read a lot, but they read a lot of different types of books that don’t always relate to their chosen field.

6. They never shove advice down your throat– this is a big one. Perhaps it has to do with the selfless element they have, but I hardly ever find myself overwhelmed with their advice or opinions unless I ask. And even if I do ask, the delivery of their words is always carefully chosen.

7. When they get angry or fail, they learn and move on- oh what a beautiful and final way to finish this list….learning from failures and or negative emotions is so important. Who are we if we don’t learn from our mistakes? Positive people tend to have this one down perfect.

Make someone’s day and share this post with a positive person you know!

 

I don’t get hung over

I don’t get hung over. In fact, I haven’t been hung over in years. Want to learn how I do it, read on.

1. Hydrate– this one should be obvious, but sometimes it’s tough to remember when you’re in the midst of partying. I always drink 2 gallons of water a day, so for me it’s easy to remember. But for the non obsessive hydrator, be sure to drink lots and lots of water prior to drinking. Remember, add sea salt to get those minerals and help your kidney’s out also.

2. Drink 2-3 cups of green tea– one thing you probably know about alcohol is it’s severely damaging to your liver. The faster your liver can detoxify the alcohol from your system, the less hung over and healthier you will be. Green tea contains certain nutrients that help the liver speed up this process. Drink 2-3 cups throughout the day and even up to boozing. It makes an enormous difference.

3. Veggies (kale, broccoli, watercress, dandelion)– before my brother’s bachelor party began, I was eating a large bunch of kale and everyone was asking me what the hell I was doing. What I told them, and I’m telling you, is that these vegetables contain chlorophyl which again (similar to green tea) help detoxify the toxins from the alcohol out of our systems. Needless to say, everyone asked for a little bit when I told them I don’t get hung over from all the veggies. If you own a nutribullet or a vitamix, throw lots of vegetables into your drink (shoot for 2) hours before eating. If there is any “special secret” it’s this one.

4. Add lemon and lime to your drinks– I add a little lemon or lime to my whiskey, and to my beer (depending on what kind it is). These citrus fruits are notorious for their ability to help detoxify (hence used in cleanses) and like I keep saying with almost every other tip, they help remove the alcohol from your system. They also contain a descent amount of vitamin c and by adding them to your booze, they reduce the glycemic load of the alcohol.

5. Extra zinc– zinc is known as the man’s mineral, and for good reason. It’s essential in testosterone production and from yesterday’s blog you read that alcohol (beer in particular) suppresses testosterone and increases estrogen in the body. Take 30 mg of CHELATED zinc with a protein/fat dominant meal before hand.

*One thing to note about alcohol and drinking. When people ask me, “why can’t I lose weight?” or “I do everything so well, but I can’t seem to get to the next step” And often the first question I ask is, “do you drink?” and almost 100% of the time the answer is yes. Drinking is perhaps the ultimate way to sabotage your fat loss, muscle building, and health efforts. Until you get to the body fat or physique that you want, alcohol can not be part of your plan. Sorry folks.

Check out yesterday’s blog, I wrote about Alcohol and it’s plus and minuses.

Alcohol. The good and the bad.

Alcohol. The good and the bad.

Let’s get real, being drunk has no health benefits. Excessive drinking has no health benefits. However, psychologically, socially, etc. getting your sip on is definitely a way to relieve stress, celebrate, and “intensify” your experience with those you love. I had plenty to drink these past few days, not over board, but enough to feel good.

I’m going to break down the facts, and split things into 3 categories; beer, wine, and liquor.

Beer– beer is the worst choice out of all the things you could drink. Why? Read on.

1. High in carbs- drinking lots of beer is essentially pouring sugar down your throat. Some people think because it’s made from wheat, barley, or other grains that it’s complex…think again folks, it’s not. Your body just breaks down all that sugar and stores it as fat…or worse. *Drinking light beer is obviously less carbs, so in this instance it’s a better choice.

2. Gluten- whether or not you have a sensitivity to gluten, it’s bad for you, plain and simple. It’s highly inflammatory, disrupts your gut, and reeks havoc on your joints.

3. Estrogenic- yes men, you read correctly. Hops are extremely estrogenic, meaning they suppress your testosterone and increase estrogen production in your body. Beer gut, man boobs, etc. these are signs of high estrogen in the body, particularly low zinc and magnesium, which of course gets depleted by heavy drinking.

4. GMO’s- thank god information is coming to light on genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) because they will harm your health in terrible ways. What are they? Without getting too specific, corporations found ways to genetically modify ingredients in certain crops like corn, soy, etc. to increase a greater yield, less break down of the crops, and have stronger strains of the crop itself. It’s DNA tampering because let’s not forget, crops are a species of mother nature and when you start messing with her, you really mess yourself up.

Wine–  *red beats white, not only does it have less sugar, but it’s higher in anti oxidants. the healthiest choice out of all alcoholic beverages. That doesn’t mean you should get buck wild with it on a daily basis, but a glass of red wine at night definitely has a multitude of health benefits.

1. Rich in anti-oxidants- particularly resveratrol, which has been shown to slow down aging, increase insulin sensitivity, and help detoxify estrogen from your body.

2. It’s anti-bacterial- I’m not saying if you’re sick to drink a bottle of red wine, but it has anti-bacterial properties that can help keep your immune system up.

3. Helps lower blood sugar- now this is case dependent, if you’re a diabetic you shouldn’t be drinking wine, but if you’re having a high carb meal, a glass of red wine can help your body metabolize the sugar and not store it as fat.

Liquor– the middle man. Generally liquor has low to zero carbs, the only draw back of liquor is that it tends to be tough to drink without a mixer, which is often loaded with sugar. So people have 9 jack and cokes, which of course is like pouring poison down your system.

1. Drink on the rocks- I drink Jameson on the rocks. There’s no carbs, no crap, just the high quality alcohol running through my veins.

2. Adding soda or juice?- If you add soda or juice to your liquor, you’ve jumped its “bad” rating almost beyond beer. Forget the calories, the destruction you place on your body from the soda, or the pineapple juice, its all so terrible for you. And don’t think the juice you’re getting is some high quality organic dark cranberry juice, guess again, it’s probably high fructose corn syrup laden and will most undoubtedly pack the pounds on and impede any progress you’re trying to make in the gym.

Tomorrow….

I’ll post some special things to do in order to reduce being hung over, along with ways to negate the effects of alcohol on your system. Either way, enjoy your life, you have to live once and a while, but don’t over do it to the point that all your hard work is destroyed. In my opinion, it’s just not worth it.

7 things to do before the Thanksgiving feast.

7 things to do before the Thanksgiving feast.

Tips to lighten the load from all the holiday damage

1. Eat breakfast– for some reason, people think that by skipping breakfast they can eat more later on and lose weight, or have less damage from all the food at the feast, whatever it is, it’s wrong, 100% wrong. Skipping breakfast sets you up for a whole cascade of bad news, but most importantly, if you skip breakfast, you’re essentially guaranteeing that everything you eat at Thanksgiving will all be stored as fat. Check out this blog here to understand the importance of breakfast.

2. Have 10-20 grams of fiber– fiber blunts in the insulin response from a high carbohydrate meal, and you want this because the less insulin you produce and have circulating in your blood after eating, the less damage it will do (both from a fat gain perspective and energy as well) CVS carries a good brand of their own that’s made of Psyllium. Head out now, go get it,  take 10 grams a while before eating, and then another 10 about an hour before.

3. Drink 2-3 cups of green tea– I would advise having 2 cups a few hours before eating, and then a few after. Green tea is loaded with polyphenols and it also helps detoxify the body from all the crap you’ve just taken in.

4. Lift weights– unfortunately a lot of people waste away on treadmills and ellipticals thinking if they burn tons of calories before eating a big meal they are allowing themselves a buffer zone. Unfortunately, the human body just doesn’t work like that. Just because you burned 500 calories running (those machines are incredibly inaccurate by the way) it doesn’t mean you’ll be fine to eat a piece of cake worth 500 calories. Lifting weights ramps up your metabolism and it’s also more metabolically demanding. A very hard lifting routine will require nourishment to begin rebuilding what you’ve torn down from the weights, so tons of food can definitely be a good thing in that manner.

5. Eat your turkey first– I know it’s tempting to start off with the carbs, but if you begin with the protein first, not only is it less likely that you’ll eat too much of the other crap, but the amino acids along with some healthy fat will make your body more sensitive to the giant insulin response.

6. Take fish oil with your meal– take a little bit wrapped in some tissue to wherever your going, bust it out mid meal, and take 2-3 grams. Fish oil is one of the healthiest substances in the world, but in this particular case, it will lower the likelihood that all that sugar will get stored as fat.

7. Enjoy your meal– don’t stress that you’re destroying your hard work, enjoy, reflect, and have fun. The less cortisol (stress hormone) you make while you’re eating, the better your metabolism will work.

My Fat Burning Routine (arms)

My Fat Burning Routine (arms)

Continuation from yesterday’s blog on how I gained 8 lbs of muscle

Technically this isn’t just a fat burning routine. It will accomplish almost anything you’d need it to; muscle growth, conditioning, cardiovascular health, and fat burning. I designed it in such a way that it’s a mix of low, medium, and high reps, all in conjunction with lower rest intervals  in order to produce more lactic acid and growth hormone. I put an * next to anything that you might know, and in that case feel free to google it.

Also, when you see something like this 3201 or 4001 that means to do the lowering portion of the lift in 3 seconds, 2 seconds pause in the bottom, up quickly on the positive, and a 1 second hold at the top. This may seem tedious to you but it is in fact ESSENTIAL to getting all you can out of this workout. Every tempo is specifically prescribed in order to maximize muscle recruitment, if you don’t do the tempo, you’re 100% missing out.

And a 5×8 means 5 sets of 8 reps, 3×12 is 3 sets of 12 reps, etc.

Arms

A1. Dips 5×8 4100 (60 seconds rest) *move to A2

A2. *Preacher bench Zottman Curls (place your hands on the outer portion of the dumbbell) 5×8 4100 60 seconds rest *move to A1

Rest 90 seconds between super sets and move on to the B’s

B1. Seated Reverse Grip Dumbbell Skull Crushers- 4×8 5000 rest 45 seconds

B2. Seated Dumbbell Curls (place your hands on the inner portion of the dumbbell)- 4×8 3101

Rest 90 seconds

C1. Lying Barbell Reverse Grip Skull Crushers- 3×12 3010 rest 30 seconds

C2. Standing Barbell Reverse curls- 3z15 4100

You’ll notice I have a lot of weird grips, strange placements of hands on the dumbbells, etc. the reason for this is slight angle change ups results in different muscle activation. It’s quite simple. I really advise you try these grips out, you won’t waste your time if you just do regular skull crushers rather than reverse grip, but the burn is immense because you’ll be targeting muscles I bet you’ve never used before.

Any questions you have, feel free to ask below!

And if you enjoyed this article, the best way to thank me is by sharing it!

How I gained 8 lbs of muscle in 3 months.

How I Gained 8 lbs of muscle in 3 months. 

When I got back from tour I lost a lot of weight. I usually hover around 200 lbs but after the tour I was at 192, kind of skinny and lost a lot of muscle. it was weird. But right now I’m at 200 lbs and the leanest and most muscular I’ve ever been. As I’m sure you can gather, I’m a big self-experimenter and fortunately I’ve been keeping track of what I’ve done. Here it is.

1. Chelated Zinc– I started taking 60 mg total, 30 in the morning with breakfast, and 30 mg before bed with my magnesium. i remember texting my cousin after 4 days of taking zinc and was shocked as to the difference it made. Zinc is essential for testosterone production, immune function, and delivery of glucose into your muscles rather than your adipose (fat sites).

2. Green Vibrance– I heard about this one from my buddy Ryan at Enfuse Fitness in Enfield, it’s essentially a superfood mix of all vegetables, herbs, anti-oxidants, pro-biotics, and it’s all organic and vegan. Not only have I gotten leaner from taking it, I also notice a huge improvement in my sleep and energy in the morning.

3. Ate more carbs after workouts– in my post workout drinks I started taking in 40 grams of carbs (pomegranate or dark cherry juice, rich in anti-oxidants) on arm day, 60 on back and chest, and 80-100 grams on leg day. But as Charles Poliquin always says, you have to “earn” your carbs. Essentially, if you’re relatively lean or under 13% body fat, you will get anabolic faster by taking in carbs. It replenishes your glycogen stores along with lowering cortisol which speeds up recovery.

4. Ate more carbs before bed– this is a new one for a lot of people and I discovered  this when I started having some major sleeping issues. Contrary to popular belief, eating starchy carbs 2-3 hours before bed will raise your seratonin (feel good neurotransmitters) and allow your body to wind down. *I’m talking sweet potatoes, quinoa, or gluten free oatmeal, not brownies, cookies, and cake. The better quality of sleep, the more muscle you’ll build and the more fat you’ll burn.

5. Way less stress– this is a huge one. In the past 3 months I went to my brothers bachelor party, a close friends wedding,and my brother’s wedding. Not only that, we’ve been doing all this amazing work for these shelters and rescues that I just feel great all the time. I’m just not worrying about things as much anymore and allowing life to go where it will. To get to the point, the last thing your body wants to do is build muscle and burn fat when your stressed. Cortisol is high, testosterone production slows down, and life just SUCKS. Find a way to manage your stress and watch the fat go away.

6. Went to bed earlier– I started getting ready for bed around 9:30, and as far as I know, passing out around 10:30/11. I understand this is hard for some, and trust me, it took some getting used to. However, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is at this time (10:30-6:30) in which our bodies greatest restorative and recuperation begins.

7. Adding sea salt to my water– I hope everyone realizes that the water we drink from our faucets, and even bottled water is often void of the minerals that water should really have. I couldn’t believe the difference in satiation when I added a pinch of himalayan/celtic/mediterranean sea salt to my water. High quality salt is also essential for energy production, and don’t forget, sea salt is not crappy table salt and it will not give you high blood pressure.

8. Began listening to my body– this is the toughest one for people to grasp, and it used to be for me as well. We read in magazines that you have  to work extremely hard, put in the work, etc. and this is all well and good. BUT the difference is, I’ve learned to be smarter about it. I know that my body gets over run very easily if I go too hard. I’ve learned how to read biological signs like, sleep disruptions or difficulty falling asleep. Irritability, or lack of energy. Rather than going harder, I realized that backing off was the answer. Sometimes I can’t believe how much leaner and more muscular I am when I take the appropriate time off. If I have to travel, play a show, or be on the road, I don’t like to go the gym. I can’t eat as well, meditate, or recover as well.

9. Resting less between sets– there are pro’s and con’s to short rest intervals, the pro’s are you burn more fat, and produce more growth hormone. The draw backs are you can’t lift as much weight, so it’s harder to progress. And it also produces more cortisol, and if you have a lot of stress in your life and/or sleeping is an issue, this can be a problem. I’m usually a heavy lifter, and this change of pace for a while has made such an enormous impact. Not only is it extremely difficult, but it’s more fun to challenge myself. 

Tomorrow I’m going to give you the routine that I’m currently doing and why it’s da bomb. 

1404725_10153463978835313_1789550604_o