Supplements To Stage… (Fat Loss etc)

Before I start I want to just point out that the following have got me into the best shape of ‘MY’ life. (please understand it’s my body and my journey) My strength was still at it’s peak just 2 weeks from competition…

 

Product and how I used them…

Black Bombs – Straight out of bed in the morning, 330ml glass of water and a scoop of powder (or 1 tablet) as I start the treadmill. I finish the drink within 5 minutes of warming up at a low walking speed, before hitting my max brisk walk speed at 10 minutes on the clock. I then did 20 more minutes of brisk walking and drinking lots of water.

Creagen – Loading phase after a month off, I have 2 scoops per day. Morning and night on non training days. I have them morning and straight after training. After a week I drop it to either one in the morning on non training days or directly after training. I also drink lots of water daily. At least 8 pints.

Tempro – Easy to mix and tastes great, packed with 7 different types of protein sources. 2 scoops in my 80g oats with water for breakfast, 2 scoops immediately after training. 2 scoops midnight and more scoops if I feel like it.

DYnamino – This has been something that I have counted on more than anything else out there. I got through almost a tub of this in just the 2 weeks leading up to competition. I was drinking it constantly as it filled me up and helped me maintain strength. I was still drinking this the day before my show. It is best to drink this during training as it helps give me energy and it is also easier for the muscles to absorb as I’m training.

NOX Pump – This stuff is evil. I have 1 scoop half hour before hitting the gym. My energy levels go off the chart and the pump is unreal. I swear down by this and have never even look at another product since I started using it.

Vitamin C – I use soluble 500mg vitamin C tablets twice a day for general health.

And that is the lot. I have a break from Creagen, Nox Pump and Black Bombs for 1 week every 4 weeks. It just helps to stop my body getting immune to it.

I didn’t have any more supplements such as vitamins, minerals, oils etc as I was on a budget and tried to have a diet that I can get most of what I need from. I felt that I can buy a million different supplements for all sorts of things, I didn’t have any though and felt that I did ok without them.

 

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Supplement GAINS…

I know a lot of people slate supplements for not working due to one reason or another. The thing I find is that supplements work much better when you have the other pieces of the puzzle in place. Using supplements with a good body building diet* and intense training has shown me just how effective supplements really can be.

I have had supplements in the past that I have slated for my lack of understanding of how to use them, when to use them and what else is involved with using them. I now have a good diet which allows me to feel energetic, strong and it’s keeping my body fat relatively low and steady. The last time my body fat was like this I was doing 20kg hack squats, 40kg iso row, 60kg bench press, 160kg leg press, 30kg H/S pull downs. Now I am doing 100kg hack squats, 105kg iso row, 90kg bench press, 320 leg press and 60kg pull downs for reps. I am also feeling alive and full of energy on a daily basis!

My supplement stack is as follows;

Morning – Multi vitamins and vitamin C (General health supps)
Protein – Tempro Protein in breakfast and after training.
Pre Workout – NOX Pump for a crazy energy boost, focus and strength boost
Intra Training – DYnamino to help recover during training
After Training – Creagen first (and protein straight after in a separate taking)
Night Time – GH Blast for a deep sleep and muscle recovery
Fat burner – Black Bombs for when I do cardio

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I am very happy with my progress, my mood and training at the moment. I am making strength gains week on week and I can see the appeal of never wanting to lose the strength progression. I can add more calories into my diet if needed, although I feel that what I am doing now is right. I’ve spent years finding out how my body works through trial and error and I genuinely think that I am starting to get to grips with it now.

Having a great gym to train in is also a big reason I am progressing. Being able to train with my wife and not feeling afraid of shouting during my sets allows me to give it my all. I know I am still at the beginning of this never ending journey, but I also know that I have a much better understanding of myself.

I actually felt like I was achieving something when I looked in the mirror this week. Granted I chose the best lighting to look at myself in. I had an issue with my noticeably weaker body parts being my lats and traps, I think I am training them much more intense now and from what I saw, they are growing slowly. It’s all a time game any way, so progress is good, regardless to the speed I progressing at.

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28/09/2013

 

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*To my knowledge

Big Juice Bar – Our Opinions…

web-header-1st wpid-img_20140606_122612.jpg   Our delivery contained the following;

  •  One bottle of Super Veg
  • One bottle of Kale Green
  • 7 servings of Guarana (one per day)
  • 7 servings or Wheatgrass (one per day)

Let’s start with the bottles of Kale Green and Super Veg. wpid-20140619_100340.jpg wpid-20140619_100346.jpg What are they? They are a mixture of organic fruit and veg that are aimed at delivering the highest quality vitamins and minerals to your body, which promote better health and energy. You are less prone to get ill/cold etc when you use these Products. They are important/essential vitamins your body needs every day to stay strong, keep your immune system working well, help fight off illnesses, help you recover faster, energy booster and so on… What do they taste like? I personally find them to taste quite unique and they certainly don’t taste like a delicious smoothie. The whole point of these products is to mix a carefully selected selection of fruit and veg that will fit the requirement needed for an individual to consume at certain times of the day. Personally I wouldn’t enjoy a super veg blend first thing in the morning. I would like something with a bit more boost and taste to get me going. As the day progresses I would enjoy the veg blend much more. Fortunately they cater for all your needs with a wide range of products on the website.     wpid-20140606_122723.jpg I have heard of the name Guarana from the energy drink I used to buy from the local shops. Guarana is similar to caffeine that helps increase mental focus with a physical energy boost naturally, but without the side effects and crash afterwards. The huge difference between a cheap energy drink from the shop and these organic grown fruit is the quality of natural nutrients you will get from these shots. These boxes came in a weekly dose of 7 shots that you can take on a daily basis to give you an energy boost or you can use them as an appetite suppressant which means they can be used as a slimming aid. What did I gain from it? I had a serious energy boost without any side effect such as feeling bloated, sickness, crash afterwards and so on. I had a shot before the gym and it gave me what I expected to get from this product which was a physical and mental boost. I never had a crash during any time using these products or a bad stomach. The energy I found that they delivered to me was not a shaking, blood pumping type of boost, but a more subtle long lasting boost that feel more alive and fresh. wpid-20140606_122730.jpgwpid-20140606_122735.jpg wpid-20140606_122713.jpg


wpid-20140606_122754.jpgThis Wheatgrass is 100% natural and grown in the UK with natural sunlight and organic compost. The main purpose for having Wheatgrass is to be used as part of a detox diet or to revive vitality through periods of illness. Wheatgrass contains over 100 vitamins and nutrients which makes it one of the most nutritional foods you can eat/drink. It’s also helps alkaline the body, which in turn can help prevent the body from storing toxins as it works as a kind of detergent for the body. What did I gain from it? This is hard to say exactly how it has improved my body as I couldn’t feel any direct effect when taking just the one shot. What did the wife gain from it? It picked her up and makes her feel stronger mentally and physically. It makes her feel good because she knows that she is putting goodness into her body. Mentally she feels much better after taking this and hope to continue using it. My wife has always led a healthy lifestyle and tried her best to eat everything organic. She really loves the idea of this because not only does she enjoy having it but it’s a much more easier way to have all the vitamins/nutrients your body needs every day.   wpid-20140606_122744.jpg wpid-20140606_122749.jpgwpid-20140606_122804.jpg   At the BodyPower expo she fell in love with the Acai smoothie they did there. It’s definitely her favourite and supplies a large quantity of the daily nutrients needed from a seriously delicious smoothie drink Overall we are very happy with Big Juice Bar. There is a wide range of different products to use and would recommend them to anyone who wants to get healthy. It is important to include products/food like this in your diet. Thank you Big Juice Bar! Click here to be directed to the Big Juice Bar Website!

My Introduction to BodyBuilding…

We all have to start somewhere and many of us look to others for information, inspiration and usually motivation. Fortunately I didn’t really have anyone to train me, which means I looked for posts like this to educate myself. Everything typed here is from my head and what I have picked up along my journey. I hope it helps you…

First of all, bodybuilding is a sport that YOU have to do yourself! It is not a team activity and you will not gain anything by sitting back and not putting the effort in. The results are all about what YOU put into it!

There are three main components that any bodybuilder will need to remember. These are, Intensity, Nutrition and Sleep (INS).

Like many new comers to the sport, I thought that lifting a weight would make me muscular over a few months. I was far from right, so here’s a run down of a few things that will give you a good head start.

I lifted weights for a year at home and here’s a short list of how and what I was doing.

Diet;

  • Cereals for breakfast
  • Pasta and cheese for dinner (Hot or cold)
  • Random meal at night. Usually oven chips.
  • Snacks in-between would be biscuits, flap jacks, crisps etc.

My workout would be;

  • Biceps – Isolation curls, hammer curls, alternating curls
  • Tricep – Extensions, press, kick backs, dips
  • Chest – on the floor barbell press, floor flyes, press ups
  • Shoulders – Front, side, rear raises, standing alternating press
  • Legs – Nothing ( I thought being on my feel all day would build my legs. See intensity section)
  • Back – Pull ups, wide grip pull ups, one arm rows
  • Abs – Ab ripper x

I was doing this for a year and the weight I was lifting went up by pounds only. I never progressed at all. I thought I was doing it right, but I really wasn’t. I had no idea what muscles the human body had, I never understood even the very basic principals of weightlifting. I was working out every day, but with seriously low intensity looking back at it. I never pushed myself at the time, although I thought I really was back then.

I could workout everyday as my muscles never ached. I was going through my routine without intensity. Although I did think I was pushing hard, my form and the weight used wasn’t at all right.

A year later…

This is when I found the gym. I was taking my daughter to ballet and found a gym directly below it. I thought all my dreams had come true until I went for an induction to find that it was more of a small cardio gym. I was gutted to be honest as I had my heart set on this for weeks and it had nothing that I wanted.

Just one week later I took the children to the park and my youngest daughter was potty training and she needed the toilet. I panicked as you do and found a building where I politely asked if I could let my daughter use the toilet. Whilst in there I noticed a building plan with the magic words GYM wrote on it. I asked about it and the gym told me there was one directly below.

After a short natter he opened it up and showed me around. It was a dirty old, messy, small, basic, rough gym with paint hanging of the walls and smashed boarded up windows. It was perfect! I spent the next couple of weeks trying to find the owner and eventually got to join. The gym community was established in 1956 and most of the old guys are still there. It was nerve racking to say the least being an English man walking into a Welsh gym, but they took me in and made me feel welcome from the start.

One of the guys gave me a routine to do for six weeks which I did for a few weeks and tried to be clever doing extra routines which led to me pulling my lower back. This trapped a nerve. Let’s just say the pain was excruciating!

Here’s what they got me doing to start;

Every session for six weeks I was advised to do the following; ( I went twice a week to start for 1 hour per session, Monday and Friday)

  • Bench press
  • Overhead Press
  • Power Clean
  • Squats
  • Deadlift

(Some of my videos can be found here)

These are all compound movements which require more than one muscle group to carry out the exercise.

Compound exercise

Let’s take bench press for example. This uses more muscles than just the chest muscles (Pectorals- pecs). When performing the exercise you will also use your triceps and your front deltoids. Each repetition will include all these muscles and not just your pecs.

Isolation exercise

Let’s take a Bicep curl on a preacher bench. This exercise isolates just the one muscle which is the bicep. This allows full concentration on that singular muscle rather than a group of muscles.

Doing the above routine will allow you to get a good whole body workout and it will strengthen the whole body before you go into splitting up the muscle groups. I always try to aim for 8 reps on upper body and 15 on my lower body now.

Good form

Doing the exercises in a good controlled manor is essential when you are bodybuilding. Bodybuilding is all about focusing on the muscles that you with to build and sculpt. You will find that you won’t be able to lift as much weight when using good, controlled form, compared to when you are weight lifting.

Weight lifting – Lifting weights from point A-B.

Bodybuilding – Strict form ensuring specific muscles are target and all 3 parts of the rep are carried out correctly and controlled. Positive rep, static, negative rep. 

Now we need to discuss nutrition

Have you ever heard the expression, ‘abs are made in the kitchen and not in the gym’?

Nutrition is crucial for repairing, building and fuelling your body, before, during and after exercise. You can’t have a big breakfast that contains nothing nutritious and expect your body to absorb what is needed to grow. You must eat frequent and each meal should contain protein.

I now aim to have 6 small meals a day, every day. I will eat around 30g of protein per meal, equalling out to 180g of protein per day. Aim to have between 1-1.5g of protein per pound of bodyweight, spread over the day.

Protein facts

20% of muscles are protein.

The body can only absorb 50g of protein per meal

The body will only store that protein for 2-3 hours.

The above shows that a good supply of protein every 2-3 hours will keep you topped up and help your body to keep repairing the muscle tissue when resting. You also need to know that muscles are made up of 75% water and 5% fat, carbohydrates, and assorted proteins. Make sure you keep hydrated and have around 2 litres of water a day to keep your body flushed out and help prevent damage to your kidneys.

It is pointless having 6 eggs, chicken, and what ever in one meal every 5 hours thinking that 100g of protein will make you bigger as it won’t.

Don’t forget to eat plenty of fruit and veg too!

How to build muscle

The three components for building muscle are Intensity, nutrition and sleep.

Intensity –  To build muscle you have to break the fibres creating micro tears in the muscle strands which will then repair bigger and stronger by protein synthesis. The idea is to create enough stress on the muscle to tear some of the fibres. The body will then repair them whist making them stronger and bigger.

You can tap a stick of dynamite with a pencil all day, but I dare you to BANG IT with a HAMMER! – Dorian Yates

Nutrition – In order to ensure the repair of a muscle (making it bigger and stronger) you must have a good nutritional diet. High protein, a few portions of fruit and veg, 2 litres of water a day depending on perspiration etc. Having a poor diet will hinder the recovery process.

Sleep – Your muscles do not grow in the gym, the muscles are torn in the gym and they grow when resting. You need to understand that going to the gym every day will not make you grow. If the muscle group feels tender then you MUST let that muscle fully recover in order to grow. Resting is equally important as intensity and nutrition.

Example – Dorian Yates said this and it is a perfect example of the above.

Imagine rubbing sand paper on the palm of your hand. If you rub it too soft then nothing will happen. If you rub it hard so it bleeds and then 5 minutes later rub it again, it will just keep on bleeding. If you make it bleed and then let it fully heal, after a few times your skin will grow back thicker and stronger. This is the same principle for your muscles.

My biggest issue since I joined the gym has been sleep. Having two daughters and my son being born has removed sleep from my life up until a month ago.

Protein Supplements

Everyone speaks about protein supplements and what they do. They are simply supplements to top up your protein levels if you can’t get enough from food. Never substitute a good nutritious meal for a protein shake if you have the choice. If you do have protein shakes, have them with water as the body absorbs it better and it is again easier on the kidneys.

There are a ton of supplements to use and I have had most of them. (This is not everything and I have tried many more in the past)
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So what have we covered?

A beginner workout routine which targets all your bodys muscles.

The difference between compound and isolation exercises.

A simple look at protein.

I will add a part 2 to this soon, so stay tuned and I hope this helps… *In progress 30-07-13*

Knowledge is the key…

Protein Bites (Crisps)…

NOW AVAILABLE AT ‘MUSCLEFOOD.COM’

Click image for a direct link

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These things are a gem to the world of weightlifting and snacking. They contain 20g of protein per pack, 9 grams of carbs, 3 grams of fat and 142 (140) calories per pack. They come in two flavors at the moment, Sweet Thai Chilli and Sour Cream. The 35g packs are very filling and very tasty! They also take a while to eat, which I find great as it feels like I’m eating much more than I actually am. I personally swear down by these for a number of reasons, one being I like to snack!

With new innovative ideas like these coming to the market, there is even less excuse to not follow your dream!

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If you need further info on how to get them for your gym contact http://www.twitter.com/proteinbites1 or more specifically sales@proteinthroughinnovation.com

My Opinions On Activlab…

Let’s start by saying that I have shopped around many places from E-bay to the main suppliers and here’s my finding on what I find to be the best company by far. (From my experience)

Here’s my opinion on what I want as a customer and this goes for everyday life. The most important thing to me is customer service (which is equally important as the product quality). The reason I find customer service to be so important is down to the fact that something could be wrong with the product and I may also require help with the product. I won’t go into any details on very poor customer service companies, although I will definitely talk about one that has stood out to have excellent customer service…

I enjoy supplements whilst working out and we all know there are hundreds of the same products on the market sold by different retailers and so I look to see what and where is best for me to shop. Let’s take a well known company like Optimum Nutrition and search for protein sellers on google, there are literally hundreds of sellers. Their main aim for them is to make money, just like every other company, obviously. When I have trouble or need help with understanding how to use the product though, I find it extremely difficult to get an answer, let alone asking for some advice with how products work, what they do, or how to stack them with other products etc.

I have absolutely no reason to praise the following company other than commenting from my own personal experience.

Activlab have been incredible to me with any help I need and have answered any questions I have thrown at them. One of the Activlab Athletes Andy Torres added me on Facebook and just said hello to me as a friend would, we got chatting and I started looking through his posts and noticed some supplements that I had my eye on, but from a different supplier. He tested the product over a few weeks and wrote a great article on what he had experienced etc. I asked him a few more questions privately about a good stack and he advised me on several Activlab supplements and explained why he recommended them.

Now let’s get something straight, if he didn’t help me like no other company ever has, then why would I be interested in spending my money with them? Well, I wouldn’t be interested would I.

The thing that has made Activlab stand out over any other supplier is the very friendly, helpful, kind and professional way they have dealt with me. I ordered my first few items a couple of weeks back and told them how happy I was to have received such great service. Shortly after (maybe a few hours) I had an very nice email saying that they appreciate my feedback along with a few other kind words. Again, the only email I ever expect after a typical purchase, is an invoice.

I have paid special attention to Activlab now, just to find out more about them. I have caught up with Andy and how he started his bodybuilding, what he has achieved and even some obstacles he has overcome and conquered along the way. Again, this is a company I’m dealing with that is a business with a top priority of making money, but I genuinely believe that this company is actually a peoples company, not a grab cash and ignore you type of company.

I have wondered several times whilst writing this, ‘why on earth I’m typing it up’. I find the answer easy though, If people want a very good experience with choosing the right products, need advice on what they should take, or just a general good old natter with their athletes, then you need to follow Activlab on one or a few of the links below. (Please don’t waste their time if you don’t have any real interest though)

Again, Activlab have done nothing but make me feel welcome, I don’t have commission, I don’t have anything other than being a customer and I just want to spread the word on what I believe is a brilliant company!

One last thing that I almost forgot is that Andy Torres has a 10% discount code which can be found on his Twitter or Facebook account.

Follow these,

Facebook

Andy Torres, Activlab Athlete

Activlab

Twitter

Andy Torres

Activlab

Website

Activlab.co.uk

In short, Activlab are the best customer focused company I have dealt with since… well, years!

Roll on bodyPower so we can hopefully meet the gang…

My Supplement Progress Update (Jack3d + Storm + Protein)

If you have been following my blog, you will know that I have started taking some different supplements.

These supplements are as follows;

100% Optimum Nutrition (choco mint) Protein
Jack3d pre workout supplement
Universal Storm Creatine

I take the supplements as follows;

Protein is taken before breakfast everyday, two hour before a workout and one before bed on a gym night.

Jack3d is taken 30-45 minutes before workout.

Storm is taken before breakfast when it’s not a gym day or straight after a gym session.

And double the food intake from when I was dieting a few weeks back.

Has it made a difference?

In just two weeks, I have made some good gains in the bench press. Going from 3 reps of 190lb and a max of 220lb for one rep, to 5 reps of 190lb and a max of 230lb for one rep. My squat has increased by 7.5kg to a new personal best of 130kg.

I certainly wouldn’t say that I feel more energetic at the gym. I still hit fatigue as I always have done. I just feel that I have more power to lift heavier, as if my mind is more focused on what I can do.

I will update you more in the near future…

Monday Night Workout (Magic Combo)

WOW! That is exactly, how I want to start this blog post…

I have been eating double the calories, compared to what i was eating a few weeks ago, as well as changing my supplements around. I have been taking a new creatine (Storm), pre-workout supplement (Jack3d) and a new protein powder ( ON 100% gold). I think these three supplements added together, are my special mix. Tonight has been simply amazing…

Why was it amazing?

It just felt incredible! Strength, focus and recovery were all good. It’s been a while since I have had this type of workout and I know it’s down to the supplements.

What did I do?

Bench press (flat)

130lb x 10
170lb x 5
190lb x 4
210lb x 2
220lb x 1
225lb x1 (new PB)

Dumbbell flat bench

60lb x 8
70lb x 8
70lb x 8

Incline bench press

Dumbells

60lb x 8
70lb x 7
80lb x 5
70lb x 8

Barbell

100lb x 7
110lb x 6
120lb x 6
120lb x 6

Cable flies

50kg x 8
50kg x 8
60kg x 8
60kg x 8

Biceps

Ez bar curls

30kg x 8 x 4

Dumbbell curls

40lb x 6 x 4

Cable curls

40kg x 8 x 4

And that was it. The pump I felt when leaving the gym was crazy!

Focused, determined, craving, gaining…