Manage Your Carbohydrate

carbohydrate source food

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE !!! I watched a Jamcore DZ’s video  and I learned some good stuff.

If you want to learn how to manage your protein, click here and for amino acids, click here.

Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for the body. It’s true that we can have energy with proteins and lipids but they provide less quantity of energy.

To put it simply, when you eat carbohyrates, they turn into glucose and then into glycogen. To better understand, I’ll take the example of a gasoline tank. Imagine that the tank is a muscle and that the gasoline is glycogen. Gasoline in the tank helps move the car and glycogen in the muscle helps move your body.

This glycogen is shared in many places in your body : 80% in your muscles, 14% in your liver and 6% in your blood.

Carbohydrate type

 

Most people know 2 types of carbohydrates, slow carbohydrates and simple carbohydrates. There is a 3rd type, it’s fibrous carbohydrate and unfortunately many people neglect them.

Slow carbohydrates :

  • Whole wheat bread / white bread (refined carbohydrate)

  • Whole wheat rice / white rice (refined carbohydrate)

  • Oatmeal

  • Cereals (muelsi is excellent because there are often lipids and carbohydrates that are added like nuts, raisins, etc. ).

  • Sweet potato / potato

  • Whole wheat pasta / white pasta (refined carbohydrate)

  • Kinoa

  • Couscous

Simple carbohydrates :

  • Fruit (fructose)

  • Honey

  • Dextrose

  • Maltodextrin

  • Lactose (it’s sugar in the milk)

  • Cluster dextrin (it’s perfect during your training session because it has a low glycemic index).

Fibrous carbohydrates (vitamin, fiber et minerals) :

  • Vegetables (aspargus, carrot, cauliflower, salad, etc)

Carbohydrate, insulin and insulin spike

insulin spike blood sugar

There is a special relationship between carbohydrates and insulin. When you eat carbohydrates, they turn into glucose, which is a type of sugar, and then glucose is turned into glycogen. Glucose is managed by insulin. Insulin is a hormone created by the pancreas. The insulin’s role is to manage the sugar’s level in the blood. This avoids having too much sugar in the blood (hyperglycemia) or not enough sugar in the blood (hypoglycemia).

The problem is that the majority of people eat any type of carbohydrate anyway and they may quickly get a lot of fat. It’s important to understand that each carbohydrate has a different gylcemic index and this glycemic index will cause different insulin spikes.

Glycemic index

A glycemic index indicates how quickly carbohydrates become glucose in the blood. It’s for this reason that it’s recommended to eat carbohydrate with a low glycemic index rather than those with a high glycemic index.

Carbohydrates with low glycemic index  :

  • Sweet potato

  • Oatmeal

  • Kinoa

  • Sugar free fruit juice

  • Whole wheat rice

  • Whole wheat bread

  • Whole wheat pasta

  • Fruits (apple, orange, cherry, pear, apricot)

  • Cluster dextrin (for your training session)

 

Carbohydrate with high glycemic index :

  • Potato

  • Couscous

  • Table sugar

  • White rice

  • White bread

  • White pasta

  • Cereal (Kellog, Nestle, etc.)

  • Dextrose

  • Sweet drink (soda)

  • Fruit (melon, watermelon)

Here is an exemple of low glycemic index carbohydrates to eat. For high glycemic carbohydrates, it’s recommended to eat them in moderation because if you eat them in large quantities, after several years, you have the risk to becoming diabetic or having other health problems.

Consumption

Always take into consideration your bodyweight and your training’s intensity. There 2 bad situations :

  1. Have a not very intense training and eat too much carbohydrates, which results in having too much fat in the body.

  2. Have intense training and eat a little carbohydrate, which results in being weak.

Take for example :

  • A man who weighs 85kg and is a beginner. In this case, it’s recommended to start with 3.5gr per kilo of bodyweight so 3.5 x 85 = 297.5gr of carbohydrates to eat a day.

  • A man who weighs 85kg and who is advanced or pro. In this case, it’s 5gr per kilo of bodyweight so 5 x 85 = 425gr of carbohydrates to eat a day. As an advanced person, the training sessions are really intense, that’s why you need this amount of energy.

  • A man who weighs 85kg and who wants to be shredded. Let things be clear, it’s being shredded and not losing weight. In this case is between 1.2 ans 2.5gr per kilo of bodyweight so it’s between 102 and 212.5gr of carbohydrates to eat per day.

The carbohydrates amount to eat is to be divided into 4-5 meals a day for ease of digestion. Each meal is balanced in carbohydrates, proteins and lipids.

To be shredded

shredded lean lose weight vs versus

Let things be clear, be shredded isn’t a weight loss. In this situation, leptin must be taken into consideration. Leptin is a hormone that regulates your appetite. When you start to lower your glucides, leptin will aslo decrease and you’ll be hungry. These feelings of hunger are created because of ghrelin. Ghrelin is a hormone called « hormone hunger » because it stimulates the appetite. Ghrelin also affects your insulin and testosterone.

This means that people who too quicly decrease their carbohydrates will fail because the lack of energy will be too brutal. The feeing of hunger will be too intense because the body has not had time to get used to the new diet. This is where nutrition is out of control.

Never reduce carbohydrate to 0. The people who do that, make a diet ketogenic and you have to master this type of diet. The professional bodybuilder is doing this diet for 4 weeks, but they can do that because of chemical aid (steroids) and they have a dietician. The problem is that those who aren’t professional athletes and who are on a ketogenic diet do that because someone told them it was good. That’s why in the gyms there are people who lose consciousness because they don’t have enough energy. You need 50 to 130 grams of carbohydrates, just for your brain, it’s not a simple diet to lose weight.

Subscribe to my newsletter and share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

P.S. If you’re in Miami and you like Caribbean food, go to my cousin’s bistro to eat Haitian food, click here.

Manage Your Protein

protein food

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE !!! I watched a Jamcore DZ’s video  and I learned some good stuff.

I write this article about nutrition because when I started to seriously lift weights to build muscles, I didn’t know what to eat. There was a lot of people around me with impressive bodies but their muscle weren’t visible. So the problem I had was that when I ate too much, I had a big belly with swollen skin because of water. And when I ate a little, I didn’t have the energy to train in the gym.

Speaking with a bodybuilder, he explained me the basics of nutrition to have an athlete’s body or bodybuilder’s body but he told me that I should always continue to learn new scientific studies to be up to date.

To build good quality muscle, you have to eat healthy foods. These healthy foods are in the form of protein carbohydrate and lipids. The reason why it’s necessary to eat protein is because muscle is protein. If you cut your arm in 2 parts and you analyze inside, you’ll see that the muscle is made of protein, which means that the muscle is meat.

Here are the main sources of protein :

  • Beef

  • Chicken

  • Egg

  • Fish

  • Dairy products

  • Soy

  • Lentil

The nutritional quality source of these foods depends on whether they’re organic or not.

Protein is amino acids. Human body is composed of 80% amino acids. Your muscles, your skin, your bones, your hair are composed of amino acids. Each amino acid has an important role in the body. There are several amino acids like BCAA, glutamine, arginine, etc. I will write an article about amino acids.

To build muscle in our body, we need BCAA, especially leucine. Leucine’s role is to stimulate the synthesis of the protein that is responsible for muscle growth.

Consumption

protein healthy food plate

There are variations in protein consumption because each is different, each has a different goal and each has a different level of training (beginner, intermediate and advanced). Advanced level people are people who do amateur or pro competitions. There is the bulking phase and cutting phase.

We will use an example with a person who weighs 85kg.

Bulking

To bulk, you consume 1.5 to 2.5 gr per kg of bodyweight. For a beginner, it will be 1.5gr of protein. So the weight (85kg) multiply after 1.5gr then 1.5 x 85 = 127.5 gr of protein per day. For an advanced, it will be 2.5gr of protein. So 2.5 x 85 = 212.5 gr of protein per day.

Cutting

To cut, you consume 2 to 2.7 gr per kg of bodyweight. We lightly increase proteins and lipids to compensate for the reduction of carbohydrates to avoid losing too much muscle mass. For a beginner, it will be 2gr of protein. So the weight (85kg) multiply after 2 gr then 2 x 85 = 170 gr of protein per day. For an advanced, it will be 2.7gr of protein. So 2.7 x 85 = 229.5gr of protein per day.

With these results, you’ll organize 3-5 meals a day with about 30-35 gr of protein per meal. But beware, these meals should be balanced against carbohydrate and lipids.

Subscribe to my newsletter and share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

P.S. If you’re in Miami and you like Caribbean food, go to my cousin’s bistro to eat Haitian food, click here.

Machine Crunch

machine crunches

I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.

Sitting on the machine with your hands holding the handles. Your feet wedged under the pads :

  • Inhale and round your back to bring your torso to your thighs.

  • Exhale at the end of the movement

This exercise is excellent because it allows you to adjust the weight relative to your level. You can use lightweights if you’re a beginner or heavyweights, without risk, if you’re an athlete.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Non Constructive Criticism

non constructive criticism negative comment

I watched an Olivier Roland’s video  and I learned good stuff.

These are comments that published regularly on social media. What is the difference between non-constructive criticism and constructive criticism ? Ask yourself this question : « Does this criticism have the will to help me ? ». If you don’t feel the will to help you, it’s like 95% of critics, it’s someone who criticizes just to criticize. These non-constructive criticisms based on an extremely superficial analysis of your content.

These people read the first 5 lines of an article, listen to the first 2 minutes of a podcast, watch the 2 first minutes of a video or read only the title.

When you publish content on internet, you’ll have people who will afford advice on what you do when they haven’t taken time to really understand, to analyze what you mean. It’s known that in communication there is an huge loss of the message’s meaning between what you mean, what you say, what people hear, what people understand and what people remember.

There is also an important factor is that in all areas, beginners have an opinion on everything and they say it. Does this give them a false sense of competence on topics they don’t master ? Yes, it’s ego on my opinion.

To be honest, it has happend to me to comment on something that I didn’t take time to analyze deeply. I gave my opinion based on an extremely superficial analysis and we all have already do it. Just understand that this is a normal human behavior and that it’s not a problem.

Attention, it’s not necesssary to remove these comments because they will never disappear. The goal is to reach enough people who understand your message and practice your advice.

1000 real fans

1000 fans

To succeed on internet, you only need to have 1000 real fans. It means people who understand what you say, who agree with what you say, who like your content, who share and who buy your products. You can have 1 million people who hate you, if you have 1000 real fans, that’s enough.

Many people are afraid of negative comments and that’s a shame. Imagine yourself in 10 years. You talk to a person and you explain to him/her that 10 years ago, you had a blog, a podcast or a Youtube channel and that you stopped it because of a negative comment that touched you. Think about that, do you realize how ridiculous it is ? So continue to create content on internet.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know.Thank you.

-Steph

Deadlift Correctly (Part 3)

deadlift

If you didn’t read the first parts, click Part 1 and Part 2 

I read a Nerd Fitness article and I learned good stuff.

Grip the barbell

deadlift grip

The strength of the grip is an important part of the deadlift. There are 2 types of grip:

  • Overhand grip => The palms of your hands are towards your body (pronated grip).

  • Over-under ou mixed grip => One palm of your hand is toward your body and the other towards the outside (one hand with a pronated grip and the other with a supinated grip).

  • Hook grip => Your thumb is under your fingers

For beginners, the double overhand grip is the best to have a safe grip.

Use the mixed grip when you have more experience and you lift heavy because there are disadvantages. Stress on the shoulders is uneven and can create problems or injuries in the biceps whose palm is outside. As the stress on the shoulders is uneven, it’s easier to lift heavy weights.

When you begin deadlift, your grip’s strength is powerful enough to lift the barbell because your back’s strength is correct. The day of your back’s strength is more powerful than your grip’s strength (your hands slips slowly), that’s when you need to think about improving your grip.

If you don’t like the mixed grip, you can use the hook grip.

Wrist straps

Straps can help you lift heavier because your grip is assisted by a strap that is wrapped to the barbell and is hooked to your wrist.

I advise you to use wrist straps only when you lift very very heavy. This is not a thing to use all the time otherwise you’ll lose the natural strength of your grip.

Gloves

The truth is that the gloves don’t improve the grip. Gloves create a space between your hands and the barbell, this increases the diameter of the barbell and make the barbell harder to hold. Gloves prevent you from having a secure grip, I advise you to use them only if you have ripped callus to your hands.

With this video , you’ll learn to take care of your hands to avoid having this type of injury.

Belt

Many people in gyms use the belt in the wrong way, but you’re a smart one. The belt is useful only when you’re lifting very heavy weights and it’s not only for your lumbar. With this article , you’ll learn how to use the belt in an effective way.

Note

Use a mixed grip and a belt isn’t necessary to lift very heavy. Watch this video of Anthony Mychan  who do a deadlift at 249.47kg (550lbs) at a Nerd Fitness Camp with a double overhand with no belt.

Common mistakes

common mistakes

Rounded back

Having the back rounded throughout the movement may cause injuries. It’s necessary to have your spine in a neutral position.

Note => there are some powerlifters that purposefully round theirs upper back to decrease the range of motion, but this is a sport specific move, still a fault, and something you should not consider as a beginner.

Head raised and look up

To have a raised head create a hyperextension to your neck. This can cause injuries. Keep your head in a neutral position like your spine.

Hyperextending at the top

In fitness competitions, exaggerate the top of the deadlift has become popular for quickly show the judges that hip and knees locking is done.

Use the squat position

Deadlift is not squat. Deadlift doesn’t have the same start and end position as the squat. Deadlift is a different movement than squat.

Barbell makes a forward movement

It’s necessary that the barbell stays above your shoe’s laces and the barbell needs to be lifted vertically all along your body.

Barbell’s movements towards the front are to be avoided.

Your torso rises after your butt

We call it the « stripper deadlift ».

It’s important that your torso guides the movement and that your body moves in the same rhythm upwards.

Bend your arms

Often people bend their arms to lift the barbell more quickly. Unfortunately, this is a bad tactic because this can tear biceps muscle. Keep your arms straight during the movement.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Deadlift Correctly (Part 2)

deadlift

I you didn’t read the Part 1, click here

I read an Nerd Fitness article  and I learned good stuff.

Setup

As you know, there are several versions of deadlift that can match your training goals or your body type but the conventional deadlift is great for starting to learn the basics.

Attention : It’s important to do 1-2 sets warm-up with the barbell without weights. As with squat, this warm-up allows you to prepare joints and muscles.

  • Adds weights and uses collars for safety

    If you’re a beginner, only use 2-26-4.6kg (5-10lbs) plates to make easy to adjust the weights on the barbell. When you have better understood the movement and how your body reacts you can use plates of 20kg (45lbs).

  • Stand with your feet at the width of your hips

    The spacing of your feet is about 20-30cm (8-12 inches) and your toes are slightly outside about 5-10 degrees.

  • Look at the ground

    Place your feet under the barbell so that the barbell almost touches your ankles. The barbell must be on the node of your laces

  • Without moving the barbell or your hips

    Lean forward to take the barbell. Your legs are slightly bent. Your hands should be slightly outside your legs without touching them.

  • Hold the barbell

    Move your hips down so your shins touch the barbell. Stop moving your hips when your shins touch the barbell. Squeeze your torso and keep your back straight to have your back in a neutral position.

  • Your back in a neutral position

    Your back shouldn’t be rounded or hyper extends. If you feel like you don’t have your back in a neutral position, don’t hesitate to ask a friend or a gym’s member to make a video of you with a smartphone while you’re doing deadlift. This will allow you to correct your technique.

    In addition to your spine, uses the upper back’s muscles to help to lift your chest up (swagger).

    Your shoulders should be slightly in front of the barbell and your arms should be straight and perpendicular to the ground.

As each person has unique body, the person next to you will have a different starting position than you and this is normal. Think about it : if a person has long arms, will this person have exactly the same position as a person with short arms ? No.

Deadlift

deadlift movement

  • Ready to lift

    Be focus and squeeze all your body’s muscles

  • Deep breathing

    Take a deep breath and keep your chest up with all your body squeezed ant put all the weight on your heels and on the ball of your feet.

    Imagine driving your feet through the ground.

Here are the important points in this part of the movement :

  1. All the weight must be on your heels and on the ball of your feet. During the movement, you should be able to move your toes.

  2. Your whole body moves slowly at the same speed. Your butt shouldn’t get up faster than your torso.

  3. Be focused on directing your torso and putting the weight on your heels.

  4. Your arms should stay straight during the movement. Your arms only serve to hold the barbell, not pull it.

  5. The barbell stay in contact with all your body. The barbell is a few millimeters from your legs while your lift it. Powerlifters put socks on their shins and chalk or baby powder on their thighs to avoid cuts and scratches The barbell’s trajectory during the movement is a vertical straight line.

  6. Squeeze your glutes. When the barbell goes over your knees, squeeze your glutes to move your hips forward.

  7. When you stand, open your chest as if you’re proud (like a king/queen). Keep your spine in a neutral position (straight back) and all your body tight.

To lower the barbell

As with lifting the barbell, all your body needs to move at the same time.

Your body is always contracted, unlocks your hips and knees and lower the barbell by controlling the movement slowly.

If you unlocks your knees first, you’ll do weird movements that will force you to round your lower back.

deadlift low back rounded

Keep your body contracted until the barbell touches the ground. The majority of deadlift injuries appear during the descends of the barbell. People are so pleased to have lifted a heavy weight that they relax their bodies and lower the barbell with poor technique. It’s important to control movement with your contracted body throughout exercise.

Note

In deadlift the most risky moment is the eccentric part (descending the barbell). This is the part that will give you the most DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness).

That’s why several personal trainers advise their athletes to throw the barbell on the ground, especially for athletes who must be at 100 % for a competition in a few days.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Squat Correctly (Part 3)

squat

Classical errors

I read a Nerd Fitness article  and I learned good stuff.

Click here to read Part 1 and Part 2 

Squat is a movement that we make since baby, it’s a basic movement. But when I started to do squat with weight, I make mistakes and I’m going to talk about the classical mistakes we make when we’re newbies.

Put all the weight on your toes

You need to have your heels glued to the floor throughout squat. This is important for spreading your bodyweight and weights on the barbell.

You also distribute part of the weight on the balls of your feet but it’s not the total weight. You should be able to move your toes in all directions during the squat.

The total weight (your bodyweight + weight on the barbell) is divided between the ball of your fee and your heels.

Don’t squat down too low

Your squat should go down at least until your hips joint are below your knee (parallel).

Maybe you have a special training that asks you to make a lower squat, it’s up to you to see. But making a parallel squat is enough to work your muscles well.

When you do a partial squat , so you have a squat above the parallel, you’ll work more your quadriceps than your hamstrings, in addition you put a lot of stress on your knees. The more you squat down, the less pressure you put on your knee.

Very, very often, people make a connection between squat and knee problems. Unfortunately, it’s a negative myth, a lie that makes people afraid of squat. For exemple, a gym member saw me with my knee wrap and said : « Be careful when you squat, you’re going to hurt yourself ! ». But does he know that my knee wrap increase my squat’s performance by 5-10 % ? I don’t think so. Here are some interesting articles here  and there .

The more you squat down, the more you work your glutes. But when we squat down, we have to go back up. And more we go down and more it’s harder to go up (strength and flexibility). The squat in parallel (your hips joints below your knee), it’s enough.

If you have trouble to squat down at the parallel, it could have several causes : little mobility to your ankles, to your hip flexor or your hamstrings ; weak glutes ; poor pelvic alignment (among many other things).

Knee position

squat knee position

To do a good squat, you must have your knees aligned with your toes. As the body of every human being is unique, the position is slightly different from one person to another but your knees shouldn’t be too much outside or too much inside. Your knees are more or less in the center.

Back position

squat back position

During the whole squat, you need to have your torso up and your shoulders back. This position allows you to have your spine in a « neutral » position. This avoids having your back in hyper extend and not having your shoulders rounded forward.

Head position

squat head position

There are people (even personal trainers) who will tell you to look up or down. Let’s test it right away with an anatomical version.

When you look at the ceiling, your cervical spine is in an unsecured position and when you add weight, it becomes dangerous. Look at the ground is not better.

You need to have your head in a « neutral » position. To be able to do this, look straight in front of you. Focus on a point in front of you so that you’re able to hold a tennis ball between your chin and your torso.

Too much weight on heels and inside/outside of the feet

Often, when we’re beginners, we are so focused on putting the weight on the heels and having a good position with the knees we forget to keep the ball on the floor. You need to divide some of the total weight on the ball of the feet because it’s very difficult to keep the balance when all the weight is on your heels.

It’s the same for the inside or outside of your feet. As you put the total weight on your heels, you try to keep balance with the inside and outside of your feet. Keep the ball of your feet on the floor to distribute part of the total weight and it will be easier to keep the balance.

Complex

complex

Don’t worry, I also had difficulties to do a squat with a good technique. I’ll explain to you something I used to learn the technique. Using a box or a bench is also useful for people who have knee problems and can no longer do bodyweight squat.

Using a box/bench is great for learning to squat down by distributing well the total weight between the ball of your feet and your heels rather than on your knees and toes.

Find a box/bench that allows you to be in parallel with your squat when you’re sitting on it.

The lower the box/bench is, the more it will help you to have stronger hips. If the box/bench is exactly parallel, it will help you to have stronger quadriceps. If you’re a squat beginner, don’t worry, a box/ bench at the right height for you to be in parallel or a little below when you squat down is perfect.

Let’s go to do bodyweigth squat. Put the box/bench behind you and do one step forward.

Inspire, throw your butt back, keeping your knees aligned with your toes and squat down until your sit completely on the box/bench. Keep your body contracted and control movement.

When you seated, don’t move and study your position. Is your back and core contracted ? Is the total weight distributed between the ball of your feet and heels ? Is your head in a neutral position ? Once you answered these questions, you can get up by using you hips up. Don’t shift the weight forwards on your toes to help you get up. Use your heels, keep your shoulders back with your chest up and keep your knees aligned with your toes.

After some sets, you’ll understand how to better use your body and you’ll be able to make the movement in a fluid way.

You’ll know when you’re doing a good squat. This is when you’re in the low position of squat and when you get up, you don’t swing forward but you put the weight on your heels.

Long life to squat

Squat is cool

Ok, the majority of people say that squat is bad for knees but the truth is that it’s the safest movement and one of the best to improve your knees health (when the squat is done with a good technique). This help to strengthen your knees, improve your stability and reduce the risk of injury. This is valid for people over 60 years old.

If you already have a knee problem or have pain with squat and think your do squat with a good technique, you need to see a doctor or a physical therapist to check your knees.

What are your difficulties when you try squat ?

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph