Manage Your Lipids

lipids nut avocado fish oil seed

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

Lipids help with brain function and hormones production like testosterone. Lipids are also the element that is the most energetic : 1gr of lipid is 9kcal while 1gr of protein or carbohydrate is 4kcal.

Lipids create the fat of living beings, which is why we most often use the word « fat ». There is 4 fat’s type :

  • Harmful fat – These are transformed fatty acids like partially hydrogenated oils. We find them everywhere, that’s why it’s important to have an ingredients label on foods.

  • Bad fat – These are saturated fatty acids

  • Neutral fat – These are monounsaturated fatty acids and they’re very beneficial for health.

  • Good fat – These are polyunsaturated fatty acids that are very beneficial. There are 2 families, omega 3 and omega 6. If your body has too much omega 6, it creats health problems.

Type

Harmful fat

It’s fatty acids that are partially hydrogenated oils that are, for example, in Nutella, candy, cookie, fast food and all pastries. It’s advisable to eat them moderately otherwise they create health problems. And unfortunately the majority of people consume this type of fat too much.

Bad fat

It’s fatty acids that are, for example, in butter, beef, cheese, coconut oil and cold cuts. Overeating this type of fat increases the insulin resistance that can cause diabetes. It also decrease the ability of your body to use this type of fat as energy.

But be careful because not all foods that contain this type of fat are equal. Take the example of coconut oil. Coconut oil is full of lauric acid which has excellent antibacterial and digestive properties for the body. This coconut oil is very rich in MCT (Medium Chain Triglyceride) whick is convenient to use to be shreddedd because it helps the fat’s oxydation and keep your muscle mass.

Fatty acids that are in bad fat have an important role in the testosterone’s production, that why it’s recommended to consume it in average quantitiy.

Neutral fat

It’s fatty acids that are, for example, in olive oil, almond oil, macadamia nut, brazilian nut, avocado and oleic sunflower oil. It’s important to diferentiate between oleic sunflower oil and classic sunflower oil. Classic sunflower oil has a lot of omega 6 and this create a lot of inflammation and other health problems. On the other hand, oleic sunflower oil contains oleic acid. Oleic acid has properties that control cholesterol levels by lowering your bad cholesterol and boosting your good cholesterol. Oleic acid is also good for the memory.

Good fat

It’s essential fatty acids, which means these are fats aren’t produced by your body. That’s why they’re important to consume. A deficiency of these good fats will create health problems. There are 2 families : Omega 3 and Omega 6.

Omega 3 : The source of omega 3 are fatty fish like sardines, mackerel, anchovies, salmon and tuna. There are also plant sources such as flaxseed, chia seeds, brussels sprouts, walnuts. It’s recommended to consume the animal source because they’re richer in omega 3 than vegetable sources (unless your eat huge amount of grain).

Omega 6 : The source of omega 6 are, for example, classic sunflower oil or soybean. All these foods with too much omega 6 are too present in the supermarkets. Omega 6 creates a lot of inflammation problem in your body, while Omega 3 decrease inflammation.

Consumption

lipids nut avocado fish oil seed

According to scientists, there is a ratio for having a healthy body. This ratio is :

  • -4/1 so 4 = omega 6 and 1 = omega 3

  • Or 1/1 so 1 = omega 6 and 1 = omega 3

The majority of people consume 20/1 so 20 = omega 6 and 1 = omega 3. That’s why a lot of people have health problems.

Lipids consumption is related to body weight. For exemple, take a person who weighs 85kg and who is beginner/intermediate :

  • To gain mass, it’s 0.9gr to 1gr per kilo of bodyweigth so 0.9 x 85 = 76.5 and 1 x 85 = 85. Which means between 76.5 and 85gr of lipids per day.

  • To be shredded, it’s 0.5 to 0.8gr per kilo of bodyweight so 0.5 x 85 = 42.5 and 0.8 x 85 = 68. Which means between 42.5 and 68 of lipids per day.

Now, take a person who weighs 100kg and who is a pro :

  • To gain mass, it’s 1gr to 1.5gr per kilo of bodyweight so 0.9 x 100 = 100 and 1.2 x 100 = 120. Which means between 100 and 120gr of lipids per day.

  • To be shredded, it’s 0.9 to 1.5gr per kilo of bodyweight so 0.9 x 100 = 90 and 1.5 x 100 = 150. Which means between 90 ans 150gr of lipids per day. A pro can take 150gr of lipid because he decreases carbohydrates.

These amount of lipids are to be divided between 4-5 meals a day for ease of digestion.

To be shredded, it’s really important to consider MCT

You have to pay attention to MCT (Medium Chain Triglyceride) because it increase your thermogenesis. Thermogenesis is what turns calories into heat and increases your metabolism to burn more fat. MCT helps you to be shredded by keeping your muscles mass as much possible.

It’s recommended to take 2 teaspoons of MCT per day, otherwise you will poop everywhere.

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.

Deadlift Correctly (Part 1)

deadlift

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

I see there are many people who are avoiding deadlift because they are afraid of getting hurt. It’s funny, it’s like squat.

Doing deadlift with good a technique is excellent for health, it allow your to have stronger joints and a stronger posterior chain.

All exercises can be dangerous when they don’t do with the proper technique, which is why it’s important to seriously study each exercise.

Why

why

In workout programs, you can find the deadlift in the day of legs of back. This can be disturbing but the truth is the deadlift is a polyarticular exercise.

The deadlift (polyarticular exercise) works several different muscle’s group :

  • Your hands, your forearms, your arms to keep the barbell in the right position and the barbell is stable during the movement.

  • Your shoulder and trapezius help to hold the weight and keep it stable.

  • Your back and core help to keep your body tight and stable so that your spine is safe.

  • Your posterior chain  and your legs act as lever to lift the weight.

What is interesting is that deadlift is a basic human movement like the squat. It’s a « functional » movement that we do every day to take an object on the ground. Lifting a chair or taking a bag on the floor is deadlift.

Training yourself to do deadlift with a good technique at the gym, will allow you to do these daily tasks by decreasing the risk of injury. I imagine you’ve seen a person hurt his/her back by lifting something off the floor. It happened because the technique was bad.

Let things be clear, everyone needs to do deadlift. Look at that grandmother 

grandmother deadlift

Also, deadlift is the purest way to measure the strength. You lift or you can’t. Sometimes with gym’s members, we do a deadlift party, it’s fun.

Choose

Attention : if you have spinal injuries, go see your doctor before starting

The origin of the word « deadlift » is : you lift dead weight (motionless) of the ground.

In short, you take a barbel with weight and you get up with the barbell in your hands until your shoulders, hips and knees locked. Your arms should be straight during the whole movement and when you’re standing, the barbell is at the level of your hips.

Here are the different type of deadlift most common :

Conventional Deadlift

conventional deadlift

Your hands are at your hips width, outside of your feet.

Sumo Deadlift

sumo deadlift

You have a wide position with your hands inside of your feet.

Hex or Trap Bar Bar Deadlift

hex trap bar bar deadlift

You need to use a special bar. In this way, you make the movement with another biomechanics.

Snatch Grip Deadlift

snatch grip deadlift

You use a wide grip like to do a Snatch.

Straight Leg Deadlift, Stiff Legged Deadlift, Romanian Deadlift

Many people are troubled by these variants. Here is an excellent article by Bret Contreras to see it in detail. Click here .

Deficit Deadlift, Rack Pulls

deficit deadlift rack pulls deadlift

These accessory movements allow you to increase or decrease the range of motion.

Dumbbell Deadlift Variations

dumbbell deadlift

You can do this when you don’t have access to a barbell and weights or as accessory movement.

In this article, I refer mainly to conventional deadlift.

Now, let’s talk about equipment :

Flat shoes

Converse Chuck Taylor Classic  are good (this is what I use). There’s also Vibrams, you can do in socks or with Powerliters shoes.

Chalk

chalk

This is optional but it can help you to not let your hands slip when you lift very heavy weights.

Deadlift can be taught in 1-2 sentences but there are complexities at different steps of the movement that you should know to avoid injury. I will develop this in the next parts.

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

-Steph

Squat Correctly (Part 2)

sqaut

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

Click here to read the Part 1 

Barbell Squat

I know 3 types of squat and this is the best known : the high bar back (also named « Olympic Squat » or « Oly Squat »), the low bar back squat and the front squat. Maybe there are others but I’ll talk about the best known.

The difference is how you place the barbell.

Depending on how you place the barbell on your body, this will modify the squat’s mechanism and geometry. Which means that you will use your muscles slightly differently depending on how you place the barbell.

  • The Low Bar Back is a posterior chain dominant squat

    posterior chain muscle

  • The High Bar Back and Front Squat are a quad dominant squat.

Here a diagram form the book « Starting Strength » to better visualize the barbell’s placement.

diagram barbell placement squat strating strenght

Don’t worry, these 3 squat’s type work the same basic muscles. As you know each exercise has its variants. Now, you know the 3 variants of squat.

Go, find in your gym a squat rack,  a power cage or a squat stand  and place the barbell at the height of your clavicle. If you can’t do this and the height is too low or too high, choose the too low. I have never seen anyone lift on toe and with heavyweight, the accident is guaranteed.

power rack squat rack squat stands

As you read in my articles « Know how much weight to lift (Part 1 et Part 2) » [url link], it’s important to do a warm up with the barbell without weight. I don’t want to know how much you want to lift, do some sets with the barbell without weight to prepare your muscles and joints.

Low bar back squat

It’s the most popular squat’s type for beginners, general lifters and powerlifters. It’s also the squat’s type taught in the book « Starting Strength », one of the best book for beginners.

Once you have adjusted the barbell’s height, be in front of the barbell. Take a step to be under the barbell and grab it with your hands. For this squat’s type, you’ll use a thumbless grip so that your wrists aligned with your forearms.

Usually the grip’s width is near of the shoulders to create a meaty shelf to place the barbell on the muscles in our upper back (deltoid posterior). If you aren’t comfortable, you can have a wider grip. And with time, when you have more flexibility, you can have a grip near of your shoulders.

Here is the difference between a « wrapped grip » (left) and « thumbless grip » (right) : 

barbell wrapped grip thumbless grip

Once the barbell is on your back, stand up, contract your core (squeeze butt and abs) and step back. Normally, if you followed instructions well, you can only step backward. If you can take a step forward, you’re in the wrong direction.

This squat’s type is a posterior chain dominant squat and you’ll be able to lift heavier that the 2 others squat’s type.

High bar back squat

For this type of squat, you’ll start the same way but you’ll put your thumble around the barbell. This isn’t a thumbless grip.

The grip’s width is near of the shoulders to create a meaty shelf to place the barbell on the muscles in our upper back (deltoid posterior) like for the low bar back squat.

If you lack of flexibility to have a narrow grip, you can place the barbell 5cm (2inches) higher on your trapezius instead on your posterior deltoid. Which means that the barbell is placed almost on your shoulders.

Look the difference between a high bar back squat (left) and a low bar back squat (right) :

high bar back squat low bar back squat

Attention : the barbell placed almost on your shoulders and not on your spine. If you feel the barbell touching your spine, it’s too high and this can cause serious damage.

Place the barbell on your back and take a step back. Stabilize and tighten your core and squat down.

To do this squat version well, you need to keep your torso more upright. If you had difficulties to keep your torso upright with the bodyweight squat, it will be a little be more difficult here.

You can try, there is no problem but lift lightweight until you do it well to correct yourself. It would be a pity if your torso collapses and the barbell rolls on your neck (avoid this pain, really).

Front squat

For this squat’s type, you need to place the barbell in front of your shoulders. This squat’s type is quad dominant so you have to be able to keep your torso even higher than the high bar back squat.

Instead of stepping under the barbell, you place the barbell in font of you on your shoulder. To grip the barbell, it’s a little bit more complicated because you need to have mobility and flexibility in your wrists.

Front squat is done with a full grip around the barbell like the other 2 squat types but most people let the barbell roll on their fingertips (a three finger grip is enough). If you like’re me, you don’t manage to have 3 finders around the barbell, there are 2 variants :

Keep your hands to hold the barbell (if not the 3 fingertips is enough) and keep your shoulders high so that your upper arms are parallel to the floor. And squat down.

It’s important that you keep your shoulder as high as possible during the front squat. When you’re gonna squat down, you’re gonna feel the weight on your arms and it will probably correct your position, drop the weight otherwise you will hurt yourself.

What squat do ?

This is an excellent question. You’ll meet 2 clans that clash in the gyms : high bar back squat VS low bar back squat. Both clans have good arguments but that doesn’t help you make a choice.

The truth, test the 3 types and look with which you feel most comfortable, which you have the best technique and with which you can squat down the lowest (your hips joints lower than your knees). Once you have well studied and tested the 3 types of squat, you’ll find your type of squat.

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

-Steph