Should You Eat the Same Thing Every Day?

I tend to eat the same thing every day throughout the week, for several reasons. First, for convenience. I have devised a daily 6 meal plan based on my caloric needs and macronutrient splits. If I change something, it means I have to go back to the drawing table and recalculate everything. That’s a lot of work. Secondly, I am a creature of habit, and when it comes to food, I rarely get sick of anything. If an eating plan […]

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The Right Carbs at the Right Time

There are two types of carbohydrates in this world–and both have different impacts on your body, which is why differentiating between the two is important. First there are simple carbohydrates, such as table sugar, which digest quickly and give your body that energy rush–and the crash thereafter. Then there are complex carbohydrates, including starchy and fiber-rich foods like fruits, vegetables and whole grains, which your body digests more slowly than simple carbs. No one should completely ban carbs from their […]

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Overtraining Can Thwart Muscle Growth

You know that pumped up feeling you get after a heavy lifting session? It’s not the result of muscle growth but of the increased blood flow going to the exercised muscle. Muscle grows during your rest period, not during your training session, hence the importance of sleep in relation to muscle growth. But muscle growth can still be thwarted despite getting enough sleep–if you overtrain. When you lift heavy weights, you create very small tears in the muscle fibers. The […]

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ZMA, Sleep and Muscle Growth

One of the most important training tools in your weight training arsenal is one you probably pay the least attention to: Sleep. Here’s why. When you lift heavy weights, you’re creating microscopic tears in the muscle fibers–but don’t worry, that’s a good thing. The muscle tissue then repairs itself by forming scar tissue over the small tears. It’s what’s referred to as muscular hypertrophy. Eating the right nutrients, like protein, is important for your body to repair muscle tissue. But […]

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Couple Caffeine and Carnitine to Melt Fat

The enzymes of fat metabolism are located in structures within the muscle cells called mitochondria. When fats are transported into the mitochondria, they are broken down to generate energy. High-volume training can increase both the amount and size of mitochondria, and more mitochondria means more fat metabolism, more ATP, and more energy. But is there a way to facilitate the transport of fat to the mitochondria? There is, at least according to Jim Stoppani. “Fat needs carnitine to help it […]

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The Anabolic Diet: Eat Fat to Lose Fat

Professional natural bodybuilder and certified personal trainer Jen Heath discusses the benefits of the Anabolic Diet on FigureAthlete.com—and she delivers quite the sales pitch. If you haven’t heard of it, the Anabolic Diet is a high protein, high-fat and low-carb diet aimed at changing your body’s metabolism from a “sugar burner” to a “fat burner.” It sounds like the induction phase of the Atkins Diet, but there’s a big difference: The Anabolic Diet features a two-day carb-loading phase meant to […]

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Lift Heavy to Stimulate Muscle Growth

Dr. Bill Kraemer, a professor of kinesiology at the University of Connecticut, recently reported on a study that found women tend to lift half–or even less–of what they could lift in the gym. The result improved slight but not much for women who worked with personal trainers. So ask yourself this: Are you maximizing your efforts in the weight room? The most effective way to stimulate muscle growth is to lift heavy. As a rule of thumb, use a weight […]

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Can Fruit Make You Fat?

If you look at most physique athletes’ diets (like figure competitor Gina Aliotti, whose meal plan I outlined in my July 14 post), fruit rarely makes the list, especially those on the fast track to fat loss. The real enemy, however, here isn’t fruit, but fructose. “If you have a lot of fructose in your diet, it only has one place to go: your liver. If your liver glycogen levels are full, which is the case all times of the […]

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How to Lose Fat and Gain Muscle

A lot of people ask me about diet, specifically how supplements like protein, creatine and BCAAs fit in. Charles Poliquin summarizes it pretty well in a Q&A on T-Nation’s Question of Strength: October. Here’s what he had to say when asked if there’s a way to retain muscle while following a fat loss program: “Not only can you retain muscle while losing fat, but as I talked about in the previous question, you can gain muscle. In fact, you should […]

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Killer Strength, Cardio and Ab Circuit

Thursday’s Strength/Cardio/Ab Circuit: Warm Up: 2 minutes jumping jacks 40 BW squats 40 mountain climbers Complete only once Circuit 1 Ladder push-ups: Do a pushup, partner does a pushup, do 2, partner does 2, do 3, partner does 3, do 4, partner does 4, do 5, partner does 5. You’ve now each done 15 pushups. 5 X suicide runs 50 side-to-sides for abs Rest 30 seconds, repeat Circuit 2 15 DB split squats RIGHT leg, hold on last rep and […]

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