Protein (Part 2)

protein, foods, greek, yogurt, cottage, cheese, eggs, steak, chicken, turkey, breast, tuna, peanut, butter, quinoa, mixed, nuts, edamame, green, peas, wheat, germ,

If you didn’t read Part 1, click here .

An egg is an excellent source of protein and its protein is so good that the egg is used as a basis of comparison to evaluate the protein quality of other foods. The egg has an arbitrary value of a « perfect » 100% :

FoodProtein rating
Eggs (whole)100
Fish70
Lean beef69
Cow’s milk60
Brown rice57
White rice56
Soybeans47
Whole-grain wheat44
Peanuts43
Dry beans34
White potatoes34

In the table, there is the value of whole eggs and it’s done on purpose. There is a fashion that consists only of eating the egg’s white because the yellow contains fat and cholesterol (which the egg’s white doesn’t have). The problem is that the egg’s yellow contains as much protein as the egg white and the majority of the vitamins and minerals of the egg.

In the table, you can see that rice, potatoes and beans give less usable protein than eggs and fish. It’s because that they have few essential amino acids. However, you can combine foods that have little useful protein so that the mix of all this gives you the amount of usable protein you need.

With this combination of feeds that have little usable protein, adding a complete protein food makes an excellent meal.

This combination of food with little usable protein is convenient because these are foods that are generally low in calories and fat, which is not the case for many complete protein foods. When you try to get as much muscle as possible with less fat, it helps a lot. You can also have fat-free protein with supplements.

In Part 1, I said that foods with little usable protein devoid of some essential amino acids, that’s why you have to have a special combination with food to make up for that lack. In « Diet for a small planet » by France Moore Lappe, the following combinations are recommended :

Grains plus Seeds

  • Breads with added seed meals
  • Breads with sesame or sunflower seed spread
  • Rice with sesame seeds

Grains plus Milk Products

  • Cereal with milk
  • Pasta with milk or cheese
  • Bread with milk or cheese

Grains plus legumes

  • Rice and beans
  • Wheat bread and baked beans
  • Corn soy or wheat-soy bread
  • Legume soup with bread

By remembering these food categories, you will be able to combine your foods to have the maximum protein available for use. You can also read a nutritional guide to know which of the 8 essential amino acids is missing in a food to be more precise, but with these food categories, it’s easier.

You just have to calculate the amount of protein you need per day, apply what you just read and reach your goals.

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 .

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Protein (Part 1)

protein, food, chicken, bean, rice, avocado, beef, egg, bean, nut, milk

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE. With my training, I’m interested in nutrition to stay in shape. I read some advices from Arnold Schwarzenegger and I learned some good stuff.

Your body uses protein to build, repair and maintain muscle tissue. Bodybuilders have a great knowledge of nutrition, especially the protein for building muscle. Since they want to consume much more muscle than the average person, they consume more protein than average.

Your body uses protein to build muscle only if all the necessary amino acids are available. The small problem is that your body doesn’t produce by itself all the necessary amino acids. Amino acids that your body can’t produce are called essential amino acids and fortunately they’re available in foods.

Proteins are made of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen like other macronutrients, but proteins have one more element, nitrogen. Bodybuilders often explain that they have a positive or negative nitrogen balance, which means that they’re in an anabolic state (muscle gain) or in a catabolic state (loss of muscle).

Food and protein

There are foods called complete proteins, which means that they provide all the amino acids needed to create usable proteins. Milk, eggs, meat, fish and many vegetable products have complete proteins. Be careful because these foods don’t have the same amount of usable protein by weight. For example a food that contains 10 grams of protein, your body can use only 7 grams.

Here is a table that shows the amount of protein by weight and the protein’s amount used in your body as a percentage for the most common foods :

Food% Protein by weight% Net Protein Utilization
Eggs1294
Milk482
Fish18-2580
Cheese22-3670
Brown rice870
Meat and flowl19-3168
Soybean flour4261

(Whey is a byproduct of milk that contain much more protein than eggs)

This table tells us that an egg contains only 12% protein by weight. Despite this small percentage, an egg contains an amino acids balance that allows your body to use 94% of it. However, the table tells us that soy flour contains 42% protein by weight. But because of the amino acids composition, your body can use only 61%. This shows us that there is a difference between the protein’s amount in a food and the protein’s amount your body can use.

This is the end of Part 1.In Part 2, I show you that in cases where you don’t have complete protein foods, it’s possible to make combination of food to have the maximum protein used by your body.

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 .

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Heat Illness

heat illness

What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE. With my training, I’m interested in biomechanics to avoid injuries. I read « Sport Medicine Media Guide » and I learned some good stuff.

Every summer, hundreds of people experience sun-related illnesses and heat. Being prepared and hydrated avoids theses situations.

Why

When an athlete exercises, his/her body temperature increase and the body sweats to cool the body. During this process, body fluids and electrolytes are lost. If the boy is not recharged with fluids and electrolytes, it’s dehydration and it increase the risk of heat illness as a heat stroke.

Symptoms

Symptoms are :

  • Chills

  • Dark colored urine

  • Dry mouth

  • Headaches

  • Thirst

  • Weakness

If the heat illness progress, there are more serious symptoms like :

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Body temperature increasing to dangerous levels

  • Muscle cramps

  • Nausea

  • Tingling of the limbs

  • Death

How to prevent

The most effective treatments for heat illness are :

  • Proper training for the heat

  • Fluid replacement before, during, and after exertion

  • Appropriate clothing (light colored, loose fitting and limited to one layer)

  • Early recognition via direct monitoring of athlete by other players, coaches and medical staff

  • Monitoring the intensity of physical activity appropriate for fitness and how an athlete has acclimated to conditions.

  • If possible, having an athletic trainer on site during events and practices to properly prevent and treat heat illnesses.

In situations where the training program is intense or during a trip in a hot climate, an athlete should limit the intensity and duration of the training session. Thereafter, the athlete will increase the training’s intensity for a period of 7-14 days to allow to the body, the time to adjust to the climate and environmental conditions. For athletes with respiratory, gastrointestinal or other diseases, they should especially evaluate these new conditions.

When an athlete should hydrate

hydrate

It’s necessary to hydrate before, during and after a training session. Drinking 47cl (16 ounces) of water is recommended 1 hour before exercises. Hydration should continue with 11-23cl (4-8 ounces) of water every 15-20 minutes throughout the effort

There is a trick to track the hydration’s level is to weigh before and after a physical activity. If the athlete is lighter after a physical activity, this means that there a deficit of fluids (indicated by weight loss) and it’s necessary to recharge them. For the next physical activity, it will be essential to drink more to evaluate the losses (perspiration). An athlete who loses more than 2-3% of his/her bodyweight during exercise may decrease the performance and the body’s physiological function.

If the athlete is heavier after a physical activity, it means that there is a surplus of fluids (indicated by gain weight). For the next physical activity, it will be essential to drink less to evaluate the surplus.

How to treat it

When you see signs of heat illness or heat stroke, it may be an imminent danger of death. It’s necessary that a person immediately call for medical assistance while you’re cooling the person at risk.

Treatment included :

  • Getting the athlete to a shaded area

  • If it heat stroke, cool the athlete rapidly using cold water immersion. If immersion is not available you may use spray from a hose, cold water sponging, or placing cold towels over the entire body

  • Monitoring body temperature

  • Providing cool beverage if possible (i.e., if the athlete doesn’t have altered consciousness).

  • Getting medical assistance as soon as possible.

Heat exhaustion is a type of heat illness that can happen after several days of exposure to high temperature and improper or unbalanced fluid recharging.

Statistics

  • Heat stroke is a type of serious illness related to heat. It can cause death to athletes and this is probably the leading cause of athlete death during the months of July and August.

  • The body produces 1.8 liters (a half of gallon) of perspiration to cool the body every hour. If there are not enough fluids or the heat is overwhelming the body, the person may develop heat-related illness.

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.

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Stop To Be Shredded Everytime

black shredded athlete

black shredded athlete

I watched a Jamcore DZ’s video  and I learned good stuff.

Spring is here and I see that everyone wants to be shredded to show off this summer. I think it’s interesting to explain the difference between be shredded or cutting phase and losing weight.

Be shredded or cutting phase comes from the bodybuilding’s field. After taking muscle mass, be shredded allows to show your muscles striated in detail.

People confuse be shredded or cutting phase and a loss of weight. When you do a good weight loss, you lose water and fat without losing muscle mass and bone mass. When you’re shredded or cutting phase, you lower your bodyfat to 5% to see your muscles in detail as a bodybuilder competing.

Please, women and girls, stop saying that you are shredded or cutting phase. Naturally you have more fat than men and that’s normal because it’s to feed the baby when you will be pregnant. Your body programmed for that and that’s normal. For a woman or a girl to be shredded, it’s necessary to take steroids like women who participate in bodybuilding competitions. A clean weight loss is excellent and sufficient for toning and having a beautiful body.

Let’s talk about weight loss. There are plenty of stupid draconian weight loss programs. These programs cause loss of muscle mass, loss of bone mass, slow down metabolism and create health problems. I wrote 2 articles about it, click here  and there for Part 1  and Part 2 .

Wait

body under construction

I agree with this point of view and I think it’s necessary to be patient before be shredded or cutting phase. Wait 5 years before doing your first cutting phase. Make a clean mass gain for 5 years. Jamcore DZ waited 7 years before to participate in his 1st competition. At the 2nd competition, he felt like he was flat net to his competitors. He waited 3 years before participate in his 3rd competition. 10 years to gain muscle clean with a healthy nutrition to have nice muscle mass when he’s shredded.

So wait at least 5 years to have a healty muscle mass gain before to be shredded or cutting phase. Maybe you find that long but see the reasons :

  • 1st reason : Learn and understand how your body works.

  • 2nd reason : Learn the art of patience. You’re going to have trouble but all the best things are hard to get. You will realize each summer with your friends who will show off but your friends are flat. They believe that they have muscle mass but in fact they’re thin and dry and you arrive and BOOOOM !

  • 3rd reason : After 5 years when you’re shredded, it will encourage you for the next cutting phase. You know that you have to rest your body for several years by gaining muscles in a healthy way to have a better body for the next time. I know that there are people who want to be shredded after 2 years but the results are poor : less experience and more muscle loss because there aren’t enough muscles that was built so a small muscle mass visible. Me, the first time I was shredded, I was disgusted, I felt flat because I had a small muscle mass visible.

    It’s depressing and most people when they’re in this situation, they think to take steroids to show off with pictures on social media. This is happening right now on social media.

  • 4th reason : The more you’re shredded, the more you will regress because you lose more and more muscles. When you’re shredded, you lose some of your muscles, this is the process. So if you do this every years or every 6 months, you lose each time a part of the muscles that you have built.

The most common question

ask question

To start, people who tell you that you can do this all your life are liars. When you start training, you do something new to your body several times a week. It’s like a romantic relationship with a girl. It’s beautiful and after 6 months, she starts to piss you off, you start to piss her off and after you breakup. For muscle mass, it’s the same principle. At first you’ll build muscles and you’ll change your composition’s body, it’s normal.

After a while (2-3 years), your body starts to adapt and you stagnate. That’s when you’re looking for a training system that suits you, you focus on muscle isolation during an exercise, you improve your recovery and you evolve slowly. Gaining healthy muscle takes time and you have to accept it.

At the beginning of your training, you’ll lose fat and water and gain muscle at the same time for 2-3 years and then you’ll stagnate. Most of people who gain muscle get fat because they eat too much and don’t do cardio. Cardio all year is important to help control your weight. When I say doing cardio, it means doing cardio at a middle level, not cardio at a high level to be shredded. Doing cardio while you’re gaining muscle helps you progress because you keep a metabolism that works.

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

-Steph

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Rupture Of The Pectoralis Major

rupture, tear, pectoralis, major, tendon

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

Pectoralis major begins on the anterior surface of the thoracic cage and its insertion is to the anterior surface of the upper end of the humerus.

Pectoralis major is a muscle which has the function of bringing the arm forward in front of the rib cage which make it possible to make hugs.

Bench press can create small tears at the pectoralis major which can sometimes cause a partial rupturing of its tendon (around upper chest).

This partial rupture of the tendon occurs in powerful athletes who have gained an abnormally rapid strength, which didn’t allow time for tendons to strengthen. This injury can also happen to athletes who make a « dry » diet, so a low-calories diet to better make muscles more visible. These low-calories diets weaken joints, tendons and muscles.

The wound always arrives during a bench press and affects only the clavicular head of pectoralis major.

The rupture of the tendon can be so painful that the athlete may lose consciousness. Often a tumefaction with eccymosis apprears on the anterior surface of the arm and the retraction of the clavicular head create a hollow around the upper chest.

Diagnostic error

how much

A problem that very often happens with this wound is that doctors, after diagnostic, considers it to be gravity-free. This is an understandable mistake because during the diagnostic, the injured person can make all movements related to the pectoralis major’s motor function. It’s for this reason that doctors consider this wound as a simple muscle tear rather than a ruptured tendon or a severe muscle tear.

Indeed, many muscles compensate the functional loss of clavicular head of pectoralis major to continue to move the arm. I spit of the rupture of the clavicular head of pectoralis major, it’s possible to raise the arm forward by the sternal portion (middle chest) and abdominal portion (lower chest) of the pectoralis major which also compensates.

When there is rupture of the pectoralis major, it’s necessary to have it reinserted as quickly as possible on the humerus with a surgery operation.

If not done as quickly as possible, there is retraction and fibrous transformation of the muscle. In this case, surgery is no longer feasible.

It’s true that the injured person can still move his/her arm without the upper portion of the pectoralis major but the injured person can never regain its initial strength and will be seriously handicapped to continue to do heavy bench press.

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

-Steph

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Find The Gym For Your Goals (Part 1)

radar dragon ball

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

The gym can become an important part in your life. For this reason is important to choose your gym well otherwise you will become bitter.

It’s not necessary to train in a gym to gain strength or to have a good physical condition. You can do a bodyweight workout program at home (bedroom, garage or basement).

But if you really want an athletic body, you need to have equipment like barbells or dumbbells. It’s possible that you don’t have place or resources to create your home gym (like me), so the best option is to have a gym membership.

Discover really what you want

discover

Don’t do the mistake to have a gym membership in the closest gym to your home. Think about your goals.

Make a list of things you need in a gym and make the difference between « must have » and « would be nice to haves ».

Equipment

I wrote an article in 2 parts about this topic (click here link ). Imagine you have a workout program based on barbell, you need to check this :

  • Olympic barbell

  • Power rack (or at least a squat rack)

  • Dumbells up to 45-68kg (100-150lbs) or heavier if you want to do a dumbell training over barbell

  • Pullup bar/Dip station

  • Flat bench with racks for the bench press

Classes

Gyms offer free classes for their members like kickboxing, dance fitness, stationary bike or yoga. This is helpful for beginners, don’t hesitate to try one.

Amenities

Some gyms offer good anemities like child care, a zone only for women ( my sister came one time in my gym and she said that men stared at her too much) or dry cleaning.

An environment to be focus

For me the gym has an important part in my day. When I train at home, I know I’ll be bothered by my rommates. I find it easier to concentrate when I’m at the gym with my headphones. When I’m at the gym it’s « my time » to me, I’m in my bubble. Everything about home, school, work doesn’t exist. The only thing is important is my workout.

Coach

Gyms have coaches available to help you improve your technique or workout program. From time to time it’s pratical.

Rules

A « must have » rule can be you can bring your childen at gym. I don’t have children but it looks cool for people who have children. Some gyms don’t allow to do deadlift and have vibram  so check if rules match with what you want to do.

A gym membership can be a long-term commitment so look at these points :

  • If you do a workout program based on dumbbells like me, be sure that dumbbells up to 45-68kg (100-150lbs) or heavier

  • If you think you’ll do the Olympic lift, look for bumper plates and a gym that lets you drop the weight.

  • If you think you’ll try kickboxing or yoga later, check that the gym has this type of classes.

Budget

calculator

During my travels, I saw gym membership between $9.- and $365.- per month. In Europe, it’s on average EUR 50.- per month but it depends on the area where you live and the amenities offered.

It’s useless to take the most expensive price thinking that you’ll have everything you need in the gym (I already did this mistake). It’s for this reason I’m writing this article to help you to find the best gym at the best price according to your need.

Also think of the usual thing like the towel. Imagine you go to a gym that offer a towel’s service. You know it and you think it’s great, you don’t nee to bring your towel. One day, you go to train at the gym at lunch and the staff tell you that there is no more towels available. It’s annoying.

Apart from the equipement, there are services that are important to know if the gym offer them or not :

Events offer or trips with discounts. Imagine that the gym organizes a hiking trip and member pay only 20.-. I agree, it’s not an incredible discount but during the hiking trip you’ll able to meet people who work to improve their health like you.

A child care service during your workouts. It’s possible that you have to pay an extra of $20.- or $30.- per month. I don’t have children but it looks pratical.

Free classes including yoga that is great for relaxing muscles. I prefer Tai-Chi but there is no this class in gyms.

Location and hours

hour

Having a gym that is close to your house and your school/workplace is an interesting place.

By exemple, if you gym is close of your school/workplace, it’s cool. But the problem is that if you school/workplace is at a distance of 1 hour from you home, you’ll never train on weekends.

There is something I forgot to tell you in gym’s rules. There are gyms that close at 23h (11pm) and I know some gyms don’t allow their members to start their workout after 22:15 (10:15pm). If you work late in the night or during the night, it’s better to look for a gym open 24/7.

It’s important to choose a gym according to your willpower :

  • Imagine you want to train before you go to school/workplace. You do it because you want to train immediately to avoid not training all day or because when you wake up, you’re groggy and train give you energy for the whole day ?

  • Imagine you want to train after your school/workplace. You do it because you don’t have time to train during the day ? Be carefull because if you’re the type of person who is very tired after school/workplacle, you’ll find excuses to cancel your training. I meet everyday people like this.

An ideal location is to find a gym located between your home and your school/workplace. If you can do this, you’ll save time and money. I can’t do that but it’s really effective.

Note : It’s better to pay a little bit more for a gym that you use several times a week than pay less for a gym that you use from time to time. Don’t be fancy.

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

P.S. To read the Part 2, click here .

-Steph

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Spring Temperature

spring

Spring is here, it’s cool. The day’s temperature changes, it’s cold in the morning, at noon it’s hot and at night it’s cold.

And in the gym, I feel that I sweat more quickly, I think employees’s gym haven’t yet changed the heating (something I haven’t do at home) but my workouts are a little more difficult.

I think our bodies must do much more different tricks in the day to keep the body’s temperature at a good level. This doesn’t help at all when I see people who are already with their T-shirt (it’s not yet the summer, Oh!).

t-shirt in winter

On April 1st, I’ll increase all my exercises of 2 reps (except squat), it disturbs me a little. It’s always the same, I always want to be ready when I change my routine but it never happens and I get there. I think “I wait to be ready” is an excuse.

Now I begin to sweat more, I think it will help me stay dry and it doesn’t matter if I’m not ready to change my routine. I do it and we’ll see. Seriously, when you have an opportunity, are you ready ? When you fall in love, are you ready? No, but you do as well and it’s cool, it’s a little scary but it’s cool.

-Steph

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